Rocket Man Guitar Chords

guitar chords rocket man

Elton John first released Rocket Man in 1978 and since then many artists have covered it – such as Kate Bush, Pnau, and Dua Lipa in their 2021 single Cold Heart.

This acoustic guitar lesson adapts Elton John’s piano part note-for-note for use on acoustic guitar, using chord inversions to add variety and interest.


Rocket Man stands out as being more complex than your average song in terms of Chord-Melody Tension and Chord-Bass Melody complexity. Additionally, its key of B Major – according to Theorytab database it ranks eighth most popular among Major keys and 12th overall – makes this composition unique in that its Chords, Chord Progressions, Midi Files, etc are easily accessible! See the B Major Cheat Sheet for popular chords progressions downloads as well!

To understand how this slash-chord works, keep this in mind: the letter on the left side of the slash defines its chord; while on the right side is its lowest tone (bass). So E/A here refers to an E major chord with an A played as bass tone.


Rocket Man features more complex G chords than most pop songs, featuring increased Chord-Melody Tension and Chord-Bass Melody Tension, as well as being in an unfamiliar key for beginners – B major being one of Theorytab’s 8th most-preferred major keys and often utilized for pop tunes. If you don’t have access to B major guitar chords, any other major chord will do – just use a capo on the 1st fret while keeping your 2nd finger down for that low 2nd fret F# bass sound!


Although not typically found as part of functional harmony chords, C works beautifully as music. You could substitute any major chord to achieve the same effect.

Elton employs cluster chords, added 9ths and suspensions to add harmonic interest to Rocket Man. He also utilizes slash chords in order to maximize his Gm7/C voicing.

This song’s riff is extremely slick, offering advanced guitarists a wonderful challenge. The bass melody adds some nice tension while its overall arrangement serves as a wonderful practice tune. Additionally, learn some chord inversion techniques as it can make your songs sound really awesome!


The guitar is a stringed musical instrument played with either fingers or a pick, typically fretted with metal strings and notes produced by pressing fingers against frets. Standard tuning is most frequently employed; however, alternative tuning schemes are also frequently seen on guitars.

The word ‘guitar’ may have originated in Latin gitter or gittern and/or from its Greek source kithara; mythology credits Hermes with creating it from tortoise shell, later becoming part of European folk music cultures via Middle East sources.


Rocket Man is one of Elton John’s most beloved songs, covered by numerous artists such as Kate Bush, David Fonseca and Dua Lipa and even featured as part of John’s 2019 biopic soundtrack.

Recorded at Chateau d’Herouville in France using Elton John’s touring band from January 1972, and using real musicians instead of studio recording techniques. John and Taupin decided on this format because it allowed for greater creative control when recording an album together.

Taupin states the song’s lyrics were inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short story The Illustrated Man. Some may mistakenly associate this tune with David Bowie’s 1969 hit Space Oddity; however, their musical composition differ considerably.


Rocket Man features some surprising chord inversions you may not be used to playing, like the D/F# chord. To create it, play a standard D major chord while using your thumb to finger notes on the low E string to form an F# bass note – something which may prove challenging if youre unfamiliar with using your thumb for fingering notes on this lower string.

It also contains some B major chords which may prove challenging; take your time and concentrate on mastering these more complicated major key chords before proceeding further. If they give you any trouble, take it slow – they should be perfect before moving forward!