Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven ukulele tab intro

Stairway to Heaven is undoubtedly the worst Led Zeppelin song there is and a strong contender for worst song of all time. “If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow don’t be alarmed/It’s just a spring clean for the May Queen.” Nevertheless, everyone has to learn to play the intro. I think it’s in the Bible. Or maybe the Bhagavita. Something like that.

There are a few low-G versions of the tab around like this version on ukulele tabs. That version works pretty well on re-entrant and has the advantage of being in the original key. The downside is that playing it on a high-G ukulele shifts some of the notes up an octave – it still sounds OK but Stairway is so well known, it’s difficult to get away with. For my version, I’ve transposed the tune up three frets (from Am to Cm) to accommodate the notes.

I assume you only want to play the intro, but you can pick up the chords for the song on Ukulele Boogaloo. Those chords are in the original key of Am. If you want them in the same key as the tab, a quick auto transpose and you have the Stairway chords in Cm.

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34 Comments

  1. Ryan April 3rd, 2008 7:33 pm

    Stairway to Heaven is the worst Led Zeppelin song??? no… not only is one of the best Led Zeppelin songs, its also one of the best songs in existence

  2. Iain April 3rd, 2008 7:50 pm

    Got to agree with Woody on this one. Before I got into Led Zeppelin and heard it, I assumed it was some mythic, near faultless rock song. It turned out to be a bit of a let down.
    There must be loads of good ukulele-able parts on Led Zep 3.

  3. Woodshed April 3rd, 2008 8:09 pm

    Ryan: Everyone has their own opinion on the song. Judging by how popular it is, you’re probably in the majority.

    Iain: Zep III is my absolute favourite Zep album. It’s a great mix of the rockers and the acoustic numbers and a great mix of the folk and blues influences.

  4. Jeff April 4th, 2008 7:27 am

    Woody? Well I graduated H.S. in ’79 and I think STH was played at every school dance. Slow and cuddly to start and then break out the insanity… I live in California so I always get the feed 11-11:30pm. I work from home and on my computer with a uke nearby. I always like your feeds with tabbed or chorded songs and have to grab the uke and give it a little test. I have been strumming for almost two years. I like it when you slip in a few unusual chords. Thanks again.

  5. LonnaB April 4th, 2008 1:44 pm

    Speaking of Zeppelin, whatever happened with the reunion tour? How many shows did they play? Anyone get the chance to see them?

    I was misinformed and thought they were scheduled to headline Bonnaroo this summer. Doesn’t look like that’s going to be happening.

  6. Howlin' Hobbit April 4th, 2008 5:28 pm

    I was given to understand that the Zep reunion show was a “one off” but there was a slim possibility that it might turn into more.

    Learning Stairway was a big success for me as a 16 year old budding guitar player (back in the dark ages). I still like it but I don’t consider it either their best or worst.

  7. LonnaB April 4th, 2008 9:03 pm

    I guess because Robert Plant will be at Bonnaroo this year some folks were having wishful thinking.

    All in all, it would take a resurrection of Jimi Hendrix to get me to Bonnaroo. I’m all about the live music, but I can do without the crowds.

    Wasn’t it after Plant wrote the lyrics for Stairway that Page gave the lyric writing over to him? I agree with Woodshed in that the lyrical content of the song is a bit on the lame side. Not unlike some of Jim Morrison’s prose. My favorite- “killer on the road, his brain is squirming like a toad”. Who was buying that crap?

  8. Woodshed April 4th, 2008 9:46 pm

    Jeff: Glad I can distract you from more more important matters ;)

    Lonna and Hobbit: I heard it was a one off as well. I think it’s unlikely that they’ll do a full tour. I can’t image they need the money. But there was that Page and Plant thing a few years back, which is near enough for me.

  9. Weekend Blogroll | ControlRoom - Mixin' it with Dr. J April 12th, 2008 7:14 pm

    [...] Ever wish you could play the intro to Stairway to Heaven on a uke?  Check out the tab and video at Ukehunt. [...]

  10. drfrancov April 27th, 2008 6:26 am

    Great riff to learn!…I would recommend for those who are working on it to use the index finger of the right hand to fret Cm (at the 3rd fret obviously) on measure one…In that way you can use the annular (4th finger) to press the 5th fret and the pinky (5th finger) to press the 6th fret….Leave your index at the Cm shape all along the first 2 measures….A little advise for beginners like me.

    Great website!

  11. Woodshed April 28th, 2008 10:46 am

    Thanks for the tips and the kind words, drfrancov. That’s the way I play it, too.

  12. Variant August 2nd, 2008 6:52 am

    Now try tab Free Bird. :)

  13. Ryan Hartkopf December 4th, 2008 6:59 pm

    Actually, the song makes perfect sense when you hear it backwards.

    http://jeffmilner.com/backmasking.htm

  14. J December 8th, 2008 1:29 am

    CRAZY….

  15. Austin February 16th, 2009 2:51 am

    This is off key xD… at least i think so. It starts with 4th string 2 fret then strums down slowly then a string second fret and goes up

  16. Woodshed February 16th, 2009 5:44 pm

    Austin: It’s not ‘off key’. It’s transposed. As I said in the post.

  17. unrealman June 1st, 2009 10:29 am

    I’m sorry but saying STH is the worst LEDZEP song is like blasphemy. It’s not because it’s not as rock as the rest they made that it’s the worst. It’s their best song, it’s simple but efficient and it’s beautiful.

    If I had to choose only one song to listen to for the rest of my life it would be Stairway to heaven because even backwards it still rocks !

  18. Woodshed June 1st, 2009 4:04 pm

    unrealman: I don’t know how you can describe Stairway as ‘simple’. It’s massively overwrought.

  19. Ivan_A_13 June 2nd, 2009 2:28 am

    I like Stairway, but I will always prefer Kashmir.

  20. Woodshed June 2nd, 2009 3:12 pm

    Ivan: Agreed on the second part. Kashmir is great.

  21. Dan June 28th, 2009 8:43 pm

    Wood- On guitar sth is pretty simple but when u first learn 2 play it u feel like your hot stuff. It is like a right of passage for guitarists. This is an amazing song Kashmir is great but to long

  22. rogelio August 28th, 2009 7:16 am

    So I guess that in learning this song, I’ve conformed to the mainstream community of classic rockers. I’m not sure if I should be proud of myself for learning this, ashamed of myself for learning this or be totally indifferent towards it.

  23. Ellis October 29th, 2009 9:23 am

    WHAT!!! ONE OF THE WORST SONGS OF ALL TIME!!! BITE YOUR TOUNGE SINNER

  24. j April 19th, 2010 9:08 pm

    Honestly, I think this song ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    But that’s my opinion.

  25. j April 19th, 2010 11:16 pm

    and Woody is entitled to his.

  26. fer April 27th, 2010 5:48 am

    I’ve played guitar for 6 years and I learned this song a long time ago but I just got my ukelele and it feels so much cooler playing it in the uke.

  27. Dave April 28th, 2010 2:08 pm

    Stupid question from an absolute beginner (got my uke yesterday…play no other instruments) — what are the little red numbers? Thanks!

  28. Anonymous zeppelin fan August 29th, 2010 10:44 pm

    I was only looking for some Zeppelin ukulele tab when I stumbled across this comment about stairway being one of the worst songs of all time……I almost vomited. EFF you! You do not know two shits about music if you think stair way is one of the worst songs ever! Sure it’s not the best Zeppelin song but it has one of the most influential guitar solos ever and is a revolutionary song ever! And a majority of the world thinks it is the best song in the world so EFF off. You no longer have a right to talk about music.

  29. David January 20th, 2011 3:28 am

    A few years ago I looked this song up on Youtube and said, “Alright, I here so many good things about this song, let’s hear it.”

    Barely having the patience to listen to it all, it finally ended and I wasn’t impressed.
    “Uh, okay then.” I thought to myself.

    Then, more recently, I was doing stuff on my computer, with Pandora.com open in another tab, when all of a sudden, the song played. I thought,
    “Oh yeah, this song! Might as well listen to it…”

    8 minutes later, I was surprised. I really enjoyed it that time and although it might not be my favorite song, I can say that it might be the most technically “perfect” song made in the last hundred years.

    So what I’m saying is that when you jump right into it on purpose, going “let’s check this totally famous song out and see if it’s really that good”, you’re setting yourself up to being disappointed. You have to let it sneak up on you. That’s probably how all the DJ’s and rock fans experienced it and made it popular several years after it was released, and would explain why the song wasn’t very popular at first.

  30. Woodworking Books March 2nd, 2011 6:27 pm

    haha, not sure I have ever heard anyone say Stairway To Heaven is a contender for the worst song of all time. I think the guitar solo is one of the best ever played, but that’s my opinion…and you are entitled to yours :)

  31. Elizabeth Jones April 29th, 2011 12:26 pm

    Worst song in existence..? You must not listen to a lot of the music out there…

  32. Lee May 6th, 2011 6:03 am

    Just started playing the Uke – thanks for the stuff here.
    The other comments here about STH are funny. I graduated HS in ’78. Everywhere I lived STH was immortal. If you’re going to judge songs by the worthiness of their lyrics then half of eveything recorded in the last 40 yrs would have to be thrown out. Anyway it’s all personal opinion but having been there it certainly was a dominating and extremely popular song. They were playing the music with orchestra on the elevator music my parents listened to, and I remember my mom sayin “What a nice song”… I chuckled for quite a while – she would have been shocked to know the tune came from Led Zepplin. Having said all that, it’s not my fav Zepplin song either.

  33. JAFfa May 31st, 2011 2:56 pm

    Awesome! Now I can play Rock ‘n’ Roll Nerd too! Exclamations!

  34. Mira June 14th, 2011 3:12 pm

    I’m learning this song on the uke to annoy a buddy who thinks he’s the shiz because he can play it on guitar. Thanks for the tab. :)
    I don’t think it’s the worst song in existence, but it seems to be one of those songs that people in which people mistake abstract fogginess for deepness.

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