Happy Birthday is the most recognised song in all of the English language, and what better gift is there to give your friends and loved ones than for you to play them a fingerstyle arrangement of Happy Birthday on their special day?
In this lesson there are three different arrangements of Happy Birthday. The first is very simple and so if you're new to fingerpicking this is absolutely the one for you to learn. The other two versions are a little harder at more of an intermediate level, with the last being the most difficult to play.
Personally, I can't (and hate) singing. So when it's time for a friend to blow out the birthday candles, I'll opt for one of these fingerstyle arrangements to play and avoid the embarrassment.
I really hope you enjoy learning at least one of these arrangements and that you really make someone happy with it.
Now it's time to pick up your guitar and get ready to learn how to play Happy Birthday!
- Key - C major
- Tuning - standard
- Tempo - moderate
- Difficulty - beginner - intermediate
Happy Birthday (Beginner)
In this first lesson we learn a very basic fingerpicking version of Happy Birthday. All that's happening in this arrangement is the melody being played along with the root note of each chord in the bass.
Despite being easy to play, it still sounds great and your friends will be very happy when you play it to them on their birthdays.
It's worth noting that traditionally Happy Birthday is in 3/4 time but I've put all of these arrangements into common time. This is simply because I think it works quite well in 4/4 when playing this genre of fingerstyle.
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Happy Birthday (Intermediated)
Things get a little harder in this arrangement. You'll see the bass is a little busier and is now alternating across the low strings. There's also a few extra notes added in here and there to fill in a bit of space.
Happy Birthday (Advanced)
The main difference between this arrangement of Happy Birthday and the others is all the extra chords that have been added in. They certainly make your brain have to work harder as there are changes happening all the time.
Having said that, it's not highly advanced and the extra chords really lift the song to a new level and make it sound a bit more sophisticated. I'm sure this version will really impress your friends.
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Let me know what you thought of the lesson in the comments section below. Say what you found hard/easy, what level you're at and what your fingerpicking goals are.