Easy Happy Birthday For Guitar
Happy Birthday is a great song to learn, and one that everyone can put to use.
Begin with an easy version like the one presented here, then add bass-line runs or additional chords as your skills improve.
The chord forms are shown at the top of the music. If they don't make sense to you, read an explanation at Common Guitar Chords.
The G chord used here is a simplified version that uses only two fingers. The chord diagram shows the fifth string muted, but you can also let it ring. It sounds fine either way.
The melody is shown in the musical notation. For a quick intro to reading music, the article on Basic Music Theory might help.
The lines and numbers under the lyrics are guitar TAB for playing the melody if you would like to, otherwise you can simply strum the chords where shown. See the Guitar TAB Guide for a complete explanation of TAB.
In October of 2010 I updated the song and used the key of C. This simplified the song, and allows you to expand the song without worrying about sharps and flats. In addition, a PDF version of the Easy Happy Birthday song is available for download, simply click on the image to open a dialog box that will allow you to save the PDF file to your computer (you will need a copy of Adobe Reader, or similar software, to view the file on your computer).
The F-Chord is optional, but does add a nice touch to the song as you sing the person's name.
Finally, insert your favorite name in place of "Jimmy" ;-)