All Levels


iOS Apps by justinguitar

The JustinGuitar Store


Buying things through the links below cost you no more but contribute a little to the site! Thanks, J.


Justinguitar - Free Guitar Lessons

Easy Happy Birthday Chords and Melody

The Folk Guitar Lessons

Happy Birthday dear Justin, happy birthday to me!

Everybody should know how to play a chord melody version of Happy Birthday!!!

In this lesson we are looking at a real simple chord and melody version, we're not going to get into using the folk fingerstyle yet, I just want you to see how the chords and the melody relate to each other, the way the previous chords and scales interact to allow you to play chords and melody together. More info under the tab!

After completing this lesson those who have bought the DVD might like to learn the version included as a bonus lesson on the DVD as it combines this chord melody with the Folk Fingerstyle Patterns we have looked at so far. I've made sure it's simple enough to do at this point in the module.

Video Lesson


Happy Birthday Guitar Chord Melody Sheet Music

Further Info

There are a few new things in the notation in this one!!

3:4 Time Signature
We've not really looked a lot at 3:4 in this course yet, but this song in it's most basic form is in 3:4, meaning that it has three beats in each bar. So when you count along you'll be counting 1, 2, 3 or maybe 1 + 2 + 3 + but you won't ever be reaching the 4. Great for those that are mathematically challenged ;) The version I teach as bonus material on the DVD is in 4:4 and uses the Folk Fingerstyle Techniques we have learned.

Huh? This is a fancy word meaning that the melody doesn't start on the first beat! In this case it's starting on beat 3, so we count those first two notes and 3 + with the chord being played at the start of the first bar.

See that thing on the 3rd stave down looks like a dot with 3/4 of a square around it? Well that means pause. Usually it's more round than square like that (it's the cool 'jazz' font that makes it square) and it means pause on the note below it. Very commonly used in music notation so it's a good one to know.



Justinguitar Beginners Songbook

The Justinguitar Folk Fingerstyle Module DVD

This DVD contains all 10 lessons from the Folk Fingerstyle Module found online PLUS 37 minutes of exclusive bonus material, more complex versions of Happy Birthday and Waltzing Matilda PLUS a 28 minute lesson on my song Page 99. You'll also find all the tab examples in an easy to print pdf ebook - and buying products helps keep this site (and further style modules) free for those that can't afford to contribute financially! Thank you for your support :)

Click here or the image to the left for more information and to order!



Lesson ID: FO-105