Happy Birthday Guitar Chords – this tutorial teaches you how to play the happy birthday song on the guitar. Perfect guitar lesson for beginners.
‘Happy birthday’ is arguably the world’s best-known and most lucrative song. What many people don’t realize is the controversial legal battles that colour the catchy little ditty’s history. We sing it bathed in cake light to celebrate another year of life for someone special. We sing it in groups to embarrass those who don’t particularly enjoy being the centre of attention on their birthday, or any other day. Waiters and waitresses sing it when a customer celebrates their birthday in the restaurant. If you would like to add a special something to your rendition of the world’s most popular song, learning some Happy Birthday guitar chords is definitely the way to go.
The Birthday Song Guitar Chords
When it comes to strumming along with the ultimate song of celebration, it is fairly simple to learn how to play on guitar. With only four chords to learn and master, the song is within the playing ability of most individuals. The chords needed to learn are G, D, D7, and C.
Once you have memorized the finger placements on the strings and frets, practice getting the right pitch and ensure you are holding those finger tips down firmly. Just remember, if you’re not getting callouses on the tips of your fingers when you’re first learning guitar, you’re doing it wrong!
Once you get a good clear pitch with each chord and know the finger positions by heart for each chord, move on to practicing switching between the chords. This is the most difficult part of learning to play any song as you want those chord changes to be fluid. With time and practice, your independent finger movement will develop nicely, and as your playing progresses, it will become natural and won’t require any extra thought at all.
Playing Along With the Lines
Line 1 of “Happy birthday to you,” is G to D. Line 2 of “Happy birthday to you,” is D7 to G, and Line 3 of “Happy birthday dear…” is the C chord. The last “Happy birthday to you,” are the chords G, D7 to G.
Once you have the chords to go with the lines all committed to memory, you will be a hit at birthday parties and festive gatherings alike.
It’s hard to imagine that one of the world’s best-loved and most simplistic songs comes from controversial beginnings. Although the song has officially been declared ‘of the public domain’, it wasn’t always that way.
Originally called ‘Good Morning to All’, the song we know today as the birthday song began as a song written by a dedicated teacher to greet her students each day. Owner of the rights to the world’s most famous song for years, Warner Music made a killing from royalties each and every time the song was sung in a show, movie, or anywhere in public for profit.
The Hill Sisters
The Hill sisters, Mildred and Patty Hill, composed ‘Good Morning to All’ in 1893. Where ‘Happy Birthday’ normally appears, ‘Good Morning’ was its original line. Throughout the later portion of the 19th century, the soon-to-be infamous melody had made its way through a large number of schools.
Most likely foreseeing the future copyright controversies that would characterize their song, the Hill sisters forbid the song to be written down. In 1911, however, ‘birthday’ had began commonly appearing in the song, and in 1924, the birthday version of the tune was published next to the melody for the first time.
Before long, the song had started to appear in film and on the radio, initially without royalties being paid to anyone. After the song appeared in a popular musical ‘The Band Wagon’ on Broadway, then on Western Union’s first singing telegram and another Broadway production, the third Hill sister took matters into her own hands and ordered a copyright in 1934, due to its similarities to ‘Good Morning to All’.
The following year, the Clayton F. Summy Company published the first copyrighted version of the infamous birthday song. The Hills had rights to the song when sung for profit until 2013. Warner Music acquired ownership of the song in 1988, and the Hill Foundation has collected half of the song’s royalties since 1893.
Happy Birthday is a song that seems to simply exist in the collective conscience. It’s so deeply entrenched that it seems as though it has always been in existence. When one delves into its history, however, it’s clear that it’s anything but simple. Setting a lot of legal precedent for copyright laws and regulations, the seemingly timeless ditty began its evolution as a daily greeting for students. From there, it grew into a birthday celebratory song that has become the world’s most known and most lucrative song. Hence, this is a perfect song to learn to play on the guitar, and with a few simple chords to master, it is one that is ideal for all guitar playing abilities.