To illustrate, Are you interested in learning how to play “Happy Birthday” on guitar? Insisting to perform it at a birthday bash? Undoubtedly, you may also desire to amaze anyone. Whatever your reason, you’ve landed in the right place. I’ll demonstrate the appropriate happy birthday guitar chords, strumming pattern, and melody if you want to play that as well.

As a result, this song makes the most sense when played on an acoustic guitar, but if you’d like to play it with an electric guitar, go ahead!

What Is The History Of The Happy Birthday Song?

The song is one of the most famous English songs ever recorded. Also, more than 20 languages have been sung and transcribed. Furthermore, for centuries, the song’s owners have indeed been allowed to collect royalty cheques for using the music. Also, it is challenging to believe as till 2016, the song was not yet in the public realm, and somebody was profiting from it.

Warner Bros. owned the song and profited handsomely from its copyright laws. Because this song is so well-known, you might be eager to learn that it began as a good morning pleasantry rather than a birthday song.

How does The Song begin?

The song starts like a music genre written and performed in school as a hello greeting. Patty and Mildred Hill, sisters from Kentucky, composed the song. The two instructors loved children and wrote the song to make learners more excited and enjoyable. Moreover, Hill sisters wrote good morning to all during the nineteenth century.

The happy birthday song has been sung in a cheerful tone to get program demonstrates for the day. Each time one of the children had a birthday, they might change the song to “happy birthday to you” to ensure that the child felt special.

The song’s prominence grew over time, and the sisters took legal action against unauthorized uses of the song. They even sued Irving Berlin and Moss Hart, who sang the song in a Broadway production. Despite their efforts, the sisters have never been granted copyright to the “happy birthday” song, having full copyright to the “good morning to all” song.

Releasing Moment

Once the tune to Patty and Mildred’s song became the attribute of the law, Jessica, their sister, became fed up with hearing that it was used without permission and finally agreed to copyright and see the song released. Despite the fact, this granted the Hill sisters have the right to exploit the song for financial gain until 1991.

She entered a deal with Clayton F. Summy Company for copyright. Later that decade, John F. Sengstack purchased the Summy Company and rebranded it the Birch Tree Ltd. After several decades, Warner Music paid around $25 million for Birch Tree Ltd.

As a result, they now have a rightful claim to and ownership of the song. This indicated that anyone wanting to incorporate the song had to pay a fee to the Warner Bros Company. Even Walt Disney would have to pay Warner Bros. around $5000 to put the song in a parade.

How The Song Entered The Public Domain?

When Warner Bros. purchased Birch Tree Ltd. in 1988, they accumulated the song. Furthermore, the company emphasized that participants possessed the song’s trademark until 2030, entitling them to many more generations of enjoyment and profit from the song. The song represents one of the most successful songs in history.

When filming a documentary about the “good morning to all” song, Jennifer Nelson paid $1500 to use the happy birthday song. She sued Warner Bros, claiming that the company was wrongfully claiming the song’s trademark. She eventually won the case, and the song belongs to the public domain.

Why should you learn how to perform Happy Birthday on guitar?

SMaybe, sometimes when your relatives or friends understand you have a guitar, somebody will eventually ask you if you’d like to play ‘Happy Birthday’ upon this. Luckily, that’s a musician’s happiness! So review the chord progressions you’ll now have to learn and you’ll be ready to sing ‘Happy Birthday whenever the unavoidable moment arrives.

What Are Beginners Guitar Chords For Happy Birthday? 

To begin, we’ll use a chord chart to learn how to perform Happy Birthday on guitar. To access the melodic chart below, you must be familiar with three chords: E major, A major, and B7.

However, for the newbie, B7 appears to be a scary and unattainable chord, but that is a relatively simple chord alteration, especially if it comes out from E major chord. Your pointer finger is a pivot; you only need to move the other two fingers.

What Are Strumming Patterns for Happy Birthday?

In particular, the strumming sequence is also straightforward:

A pattern of Strumming: DD-UU-DU (reproduced all through) (repeated throughout)

D – Strum Down

U – Up Strum

Did You Understand What Barre Chords Are? 

If so, give this a shot!

Amazingly, Happy Birthday on guitar could be even smoother unless you understand how to compose barre chords. You only need to transfer the chords we’re using into figures that use the chart.

Because E major is the I chord and A major is the IV chord, when you’re using the open E major frame chord as the I chord, the A major-shaped barre chord around the same fret will be the IV chord. It’s not even necessary to lift your hand across the neck.

So, relocate your IV chord, including two frets, and you’ll have discovered your V chord.

You can enjoy Happy Birthday on guitar in almost any key if you use the barre chords and follow the chord progression.

Note: Happy birthday chords in numbers (called ‘degrees of a scale): [I V V I I IV [I V] I 

How To Play Happy Birthday On Guitar

Please keep in mind that the figures on the dots represent preferred fingerings.

G Chord

G Chord

The G chord is played in the following manner:

  • A string, second fret, first finger
  • Third fret, low-E string, 2nd finger
  • 3rd finger: high-e string, 3rd fret

G7 Chord

G7 Chord

The G7 chord is played as follows:

  • First finger: 1st fret on the high-e string
  • Second finger: A string, 2nd fret
  • Third finger: low-E string, 3rd fret

D Chord

D Chord

The D chord is played in the following manner:

  • 2nd fret, B string, first finger
  • Second finger: high-e string, 2nd fret
  • Third finger: G string, 3rd fret

D7 Chord

D7 Chord

The D7 chord is played as follows:

  • First finger: B string, 1st fret
  • Second finger: G string, 2nd fret
  • Second fret, high-e string, third finger

C Chord

C Chord

The C chord is played in the following manner:

  • First finger: B string, 1st fret
  • Second finger: D string, 2nd fret
  • Third finger: A string, 3rd fret

Chord Progression

So let’s play that now that we remember the chords.

The progression is as follows (the notes in [brackets] pertain to the chords mentioned above). I’ve additionally included the following words):

Happy [G] Birthday to [D]You

Happy [D7]Birthday to [G]You

Happy [G7] Birthday Dear [C] Name

Happy [G] Birthday [D] to [G] You

Nota bene: Before playing the first G chord, you sing “Happy.”

If you’re still having trouble, try this method (I’ve highlighted the lyrics to enable you):


Happy BIRthday to YOU,


Happy BIRthday to YOU,


Happy BIRthday, dear NAME


Happy BIRthday to YOU!

Happy Birthday Guitar Tab 

Try to emulate this Tab for additional assistance in guiding your play.

Happy Birthday Guitar Tabs


Is The Fingerpick Instrument The Most Difficult?

The short answer would be that, as you might expect, trying to play that content is tricky! They perform incredibly complicated provisions integrating multiple guitar patterns but right-hand and left-hand processes. They have also been honing their expertise for an extended period so that they can play quickly and fluidly.

Are Nails Necessary For Fingerpicking?

Certainly not. To begin, if you’d like some of such tone/attack of players picked and don’t want to or didn’t grow nails, you can also use finger picks conversely. Second, playing finger-pick instruments with no fingernails is highly likely.

Sharing is caring

Related Articles