What are the Guitar Chords for Happy Birthday?

people singing happy birthday

Do you want to know how to play happy birthday on guitar? Maybe you’ve been asked to play it at a birthday party? Or you want to surprise someone.

Whichever the reason, you’re in the right place.

I’ll show you the correct happy birthday chords, the progression, the strumming pattern, even the melody if you wish to play that too.

This song sounds best on an acoustic guitar, but hey, if you want to play it on an electric guitar, you go for it!

Happy Birthday Guitar Chords

Ok, the chords you need are G, G7, D, D7, and C.

Note: the numbers on the dots are recommended fingerings, though not obligatory.

G Chord

Happy Birthday G Chord

How to play the G chord:

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

G7 Chord

How to play the G7 chord:

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

D Chord

Happy Birthday D Chord

How to play the D chord:

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

D7 Chord

How to play the D7 chord:

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

C Chord

How to play the C chord:

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

Chord Progression

Ok, now we know the chords we need, let’s play it.

The progression goes like this (the letters in [brackets] refer to the chords above. I’ve also included the 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

note: you sing ‘Happy’ at the beginning before you play the first G chord.

If you’re still struggling to get it, see if this way helps (I’ve accentuated the lyrics to help you):

————G—————–D

Happy BIRthday to YOU,

————D7————–G

Happy BIRthday to YOU,

————G7——————C———

Happy BIRthday, dear NAME

———–G————D—G———

Happy BIRthday to YOU!

Strumming Pattern

The strumming pattern is easy and shouldn’t prove too hard for beginners.

It goes like this:

Down, down-up, down-up (it just repeats)

Playing the Melody

If you want to play the melody to happy birthday, this video will show you how (includes tabs)

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