Happy Birthday Guitar Chords

With today’s non-stop cycle of daily activities, remembering special occasions can be difficult unless reminders are set for important dates including birthdays. For this reason, singing birthdays songs has become more special for celebrators especially when these songs are performed with musical instruments. The ever popular guitar lends itself well to accompanying these vocals, often you’ll hear the Happy Birthday guitar chords being strummed away at many birthday parties. In this page we will discuss further the role of the guitar regarding happy birthday songs.

Happy Birthday Guitar Chords

As time went by, especially in the 1920s – 30s people jazzed up the  Happy Birthday chords with different rhythm, tunes, and tempo to reinvent the classical tone of the birthday song.

Being one of the widely played instruments of the time, the guitar was and still is commonly used in these special occasions.

Not only that, it is also an easy instrument to learn and it’s sound gives an interesting melody to any song. During birthdays, performers can turn traditional Happy Birthday guitar chords into contemporary versions. These make greetings more unique and lively. In fact, just by searching on the Internet, a person can find numerous adaptations performed by popular artists or reinventions made by musicians.

Accompanying Singers with The Happy Birthday Guitar Chords

Happy Birthday guitar chords can be played in a variety of keys. Bearing in mind, not all singers have the same voice range. Some can reach extremely high pitches  and others have really deep toned voices. It then makes sense to accompany each voice in a chord range that suits these variants.

Everyone has a natural comfort voice range which will have a top limit, as well as a limitation to how low they can sing. A good accompanying guitarist who has a broad knowledge of the various chord sets, would then follow along in the key the singers have chosen to sing the song in.

How To Play Happy Birthday On Guitar In Various Keys

In this article, readers will be given ideas on how to play happy birthday on guitar in different chords such as F major, G major and in D major. When playing Happy Birthday guitar chords in F major, the guitarist can follow the format seen below.

To see another example in the key of C major visit the Happy Birthday piano chords page. Anyone taking up the ukulele and who want to learn the Happy Birthday ukulele chords should click this link.

Chord chart to accompany singers in the key of F Major

F                                    C7                                       F

♫ Happy birthday to you ♪ Happy birthday to you ♫

F                                                        Bb                                   F        C7   F

♫ Happy birthday dear (celebrant’s name) ♪ Happy birthday to you ♫


Below is listed some other chord charts in various keys which are worth practising, in the event you run into a company singing in them.


Chord chart to accompany singers in key of G Major

G                                    D7                                      G

♫ Happy birthday to you ♪ Happy birthday to you ♫

G                                                        C                                   G        C7   G

♫ Happy birthday dear (celebrant’s name) ♪  Happy birthday to you ♫

For those singers who want to sing in another pitch version of the song, Happy Birthday guitar chords in the key of D major for example. Preferably, the sequence of the chords will be ♪| D A7 D D F# G D A7 D |♪.

You may have noticed I have slipped in an F# in this set of chords, this is a bit more advanced and not really necessary for the beginner. The F# makes a transition from the D chord to the G chord at the words “Happy Birthday” just before, “dear (celebrant’s name)”. The pre-mentioned chord variations of F and G can also use a transition chord, which obviously will be different from the F# used in this example.

Chord chart to accompany singers in key of D Major Using The F# Transition

D                                    A7                                      D

♫ Happy birthday to you ♪ Happy birthday to you ♫

D                 F#                                     G                                D        A7   D

♫ Happy birthday dear (celebrant’s name) ♪  Happy birthday to you ♫
There’s nothing more special for celebrators apart from receiving birthday well wishes than hearing their families and friends sing and play the happy birthday song to them.  Turning greetings into a song has been a traditional way of expressing happiness towards the celebrator’s new age. By playing the Happy Birthday guitar tablature, a celebration will become more lively especially when the celebrator is about to blow out the candles on their cake.

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Video Showing How to Play the Happy Birthday Guitar Chords

I just had to add this video for you as I think it will help you a lot. Notice that the D chord is played in the video instead of the D7 that I recommended.

There is not a lot of difference in the final sound between them and there are many people who play this version rather than the 7th chord.

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