Julia Guitar Lesson

Julia by The Beatles (Fingerstyle Guitar Lesson with Tab)

Julia was written by John Lennon and appears on The Beatles' 1968 album 'The White Album'. He wrote the song about his mother, who passed away in 1958 at the age of 44 after being hit by a car that was driven by a drunk off-duty police officer. John was just 17 at the time.

Julia is no. 40 on my Top 60 Fingerpicking Songs of ALL TIME list. If you've not seen the list be sure to check it out and sign up to my weekly email lesson. That way you won't miss learning any of these great fingerstyle songs.

The song consists of just John's vocals and him fingerpicking acoustic guitar. After taking a guitar lesson with fellow musician Donavon, Lennon employed travis picking technique and used it throughout the entire piece.

Another interesting thing about Julia is the chords Lennon's used, it's in the key of D major but he's borrowed many from other keys. This is very typical of The Beatles and one reason why their songs are so good. 

Julia Song Details:

  • Tempo - 135 bpm
  • Key - D major
  • Capo - 2nd
  • Tuning - standard
  • Difficulty - intermediate


First of all, the key thing you want to get down is the right hand fingerpicking pattern. The same pattern is used throughout the entire song, with just one small exception in the bridge, so master this and then add the chords in. This will certainly make the learning process for this song considerably easier.

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A short ten-bar bridge here; watch out for the slight change in the fingerpicking pattern on the E minor chord.

If you want to make sure that you're really on the right track with fingerpicking, then try one of my fingerstyle guitar courses - find out more here.

If you have any questions or want to share anything at all, then please leave a comment below.

I hope you've found this lesson useful.


  1. Mr. Tambourine left a comment on 25th August 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Sorry to bother you, but is verse 2 part of this song missing? Thank you very much for all your hard work. Best regards.

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 25th August 2019 at 2:22 pm

      I’ve just added the tab again, I don’t know why it wasn’t showing. From memory I believe that the 2nd verse is virtually identical to the 1st.

      • Mr. Tambourine left a comment on 26th August 2019 at 9:05 am

        Thanks for your quick response and I’m sorry for the inconveniences. Have a nice day. Greetings.

  2. James Wootton left a comment on 3rd November 2020 at 4:03 pm

    where do find the Tabs? thanks

    • Six String Fingerpicking left a comment on 6th November 2020 at 10:55 am

      Hi James, the TAB will be available again in the coming weeks. They all had to be removed due to copyright laws.

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