Happy Birthday (Chords)

Happy Birthday (Chords)

Every so often I take a look at the site analytics and the pile of rejected requests to find out what people are turning up on the site looking for and leaving unfulfilled. The answer is usually very depressing. And very dangerous. The last time I caved in to pressure ended up with me in hospital.

So this time I’m resisting requests for that damn Train song. Instead I’ll go with the second most searched for: the chords for Happy Birthday.

Suggested Strumming

All down strums. Simple. The only slightly unusual thing is that it’s in 3/4 time. That means the down strums are in groups of 3 rather than, the more common, groups of 4.

Twiddly Bits

The tab I did of Happy Birthday before but it was far too jazzy (and too crap). So I’ve put together a simple one that’s easy to do at a family occasion.

Happy Birthday (Tab)

View Comments


  1. Rose April 1st, 2010 8:05 pm

    So… Who’s Rudiger? Whoever he is, wish him a happy birthday from me :)

  2. Howlin' Hobbit April 2nd, 2010 4:42 am

    Sorry to be such a party pooper, but I think you should stay on the G for the third line until you switch to the C for Rudiger.

  3. Gary April 2nd, 2010 6:56 am

    Hello Alistair. Thanks for the Happy Birthday tab, I prefer the tab to the strum. On a different subject, any idea why there is a lack of Pono ukulele about?
    Cheers (Lurve the new site)

  4. Anne April 2nd, 2010 3:26 pm

    Happy birthday Rudiger!

  5. Woodshed April 3rd, 2010 3:47 pm

    Rose: I will do.

    Hobbit: Shame on you pooping Rudiger’s party. But, nevertheless, you’re probably right.

    Gary: No idea, I’m afraid.

    Anne: I’ll pass it on to him.

  6. Rob April 4th, 2010 2:37 am

    I didn’t think the first one was crap.This one is easier though. Thanks

  7. Woodshed April 5th, 2010 1:06 pm

    Rob: I think it was fairly crap. It definitely wasn’t right for the purpose.

  8. Ritek April 7th, 2010 1:00 pm

    So that is why that damn Train song isn’t here. Kids finally want to do a few chords on their ukes to that song and ‘Train Hunt’ is silent. Oh well, no prob. I understand – you don’t want the muscles in your arms to seize up and smack you in the noggin’ again. It’s cool, no pressure. It will end up here one day when it is quiet like and no one is looking for it…:-)

  9. Woodshed April 7th, 2010 2:41 pm

    Ritek: Now you’re making me feel bad!

  10. jaguar June 9th, 2010 9:31 pm

    any chords that would allow me to sing it at a lower pitch?

  11. Woodshed June 14th, 2010 4:28 pm

    jaguar: You can use this transposer.

  12. Koofster June 9th, 2011 2:21 pm

    If only we could all be like little Rudiger!

  13. Woodshed June 9th, 2011 5:34 pm

    Koofster: Tell me about it! He’s one handsome young man.

  14. melanie September 22nd, 2011 6:59 am

    c g
    happy birthday to you
    g c
    happy birthday to you
    c f
    happy birthday dear melanie
    c g c
    happy birthday to you

    Thank you for this wonderful website. This is how i play it

  15. melanie September 22nd, 2011 7:01 am

    bother, the message tidied up my song. the ‘g chord’ is supposed to be about the ‘you’
    i am sure you can all work it out!

  16. Joe February 18th, 2012 2:06 am

    Yep, your right Melanie, the G or a G7 goes at the “to you”. The G7th is very often used in place of the Major G

  17. nightkiller March 15th, 2012 1:15 am

    i do not think “G7” is needed. i like “G” better. it also sounds cool if you play “Am”.

  18. Morgan May 9th, 2013 8:49 pm

    Third line “Happy Birthday Dear XX” can also be played as: C, E7, F :)

  19. Woodshed May 10th, 2013 11:13 am

    Morgan: Thanks.

  20. Angie July 6th, 2013 12:30 am

    aaawww thank you for the chords! and all the other guys for the suggestions ;)

  21. Woodshed July 6th, 2013 6:13 am

    Angie: You’re welcome!

  22. Sam August 9th, 2013 7:30 pm

    A recording would have been nice. Its way easier to actually learn it when you can listen to it

  23. Woodshed August 9th, 2013 9:51 pm

    Sam: You don’t know how Happy Birthday goes?

  24. Sam August 9th, 2013 10:14 pm

    I do know how Happy Birthday sounds. I dont know how its supposed to sound like on a ukulele.

  25. Ellie March 31st, 2016 9:58 pm

    Speaking as a music educator (K-5), always put up the stupid Train song — figuratively speaking. Because kids, dude. We keep the required minutiae of all this from them until it’s too late and then they get hard to motivate. If it gets and/or keeps them playing, who cares?

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