Happy Birthday Guitar Tabs, Piano Sheet Music, & Lead Sheets

Happy Birthday, with two new late elementary/ early intermediate arrangements perfect for singalongs, as well as for my favorite student exercise - transposing!

Also:

  • guitar tabs in two different keys!
  • with an easy chord piano arrangement that uses helper notes - notes with letters inside!  
  • In addition, other arrangements of Happy Birthday are offered here in multiple keys for all instruments, and with several arrangements for piano. 

Your students can learn it with this free, printable sheet music.

A fancy "oom-pah-pah" arrangement

Happy Birthday piano music with basic chords in the left hand

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

The purpose of the initial rolled chord

I love to start "Happy Birthday" with a rolled chord as shown above (and below), because it primes everyone to know just when to jump into the song!

The left hand split chords of this arrangement are just the I, IV, and V7 chords.  Very basic, and all piano players need to have an understanding of the relationship of these three chords.  Here, because we are in the key of C, those chords end up being C, F, and G7.

Introducing... seventh chords!

I have found it difficult to get my students to feel comfortable with the seventh chords, so this newest arrangement is going to get a big push from me in the coming months!

For chord newbies: regular chords are TRIADS - on the piano it looks like "note, skip, and skip."  To turn that triad into a seventh chord, just add one more skip.  (That's not the end of the story, but it's the BASIC idea.)

The arrangement below is essentially the same as the first one shown, except for:

  • the initial rolled chord is figured with a glissando mark instead of individual notes
  • when the same chord is played for two measures in a row, a secondary bass note  is used instead of the root of the chord

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

This one will be much trickier!  But I think students' understanding of playing chord inversions will grow exponentially.

Why will their understanding of chord inversions grow? 

Because I intend to make those students for whom this level is appropriate TRANSPOSE this song, from the key of C to G, then to D, then to A, etc.  Around the Circle of Fifths. 

Happy Birthday with guitar tabs

Easy guitar tabs in the key of D...

Happy Birthday guitar tabs sheet music in the key of D

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

And in the key of G:

Guitar tablature and chords for Happy Birthday, key of G

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

A left hand part that stays still

Here is the newest EASY piano arrangement, very elementary-level friendly with a few lettered notes. 

Scroll on down the page for the free downloadable PDF links:

Happy Birthday for piano with little chords and a few lettered notes for elementary students

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

A BIG oom-pah-pah arrangement

Happy Birthday for piano and vocal

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

The Happy Birthday piano sheet music arrangement I feature just above uses a simple, bouncy left-hand chord accompaniment in the "Oom-pah,pah" style.

I call it simple because it is simple to UNDERSTAND.  All the chords are in root position, and there is the seventh chord, as plain as plain, with its 4 notes.

Coordinating the two hands will take a lot of practice, but it will be worth it.

This is the approach I started with as a student

My piano teacher (Mrs. Catherine Hahn, a wonderful woman) began her students with this "bass note, chord, chord" approach, using all root-position chords instead of inversions. This made understanding basic chords and even the 7th chords very easy.

Below is the melody of Happy Birthday as a lead sheet, for any instrument. Verse two uses words I heard in Sunday School as a child, but did not understand until I was an adult!

Happy Birthday lead sheet in 7 keys, with two verses including Sunday School lyrics

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

The meaning of verse two

"Happy Birthday to you -- Only one (just having ONE birthday) will not do!"

"Born again" ("Ye must be born again", John Chapter 3 in the New Testament portion of the Bible) means Salvation; How many (how many "birth - days" -- how many times have you been BORN) have you?

Below is a version for brave beginners who want to be able to play all of Happy Birthday themselves, even to the octave stretch and the chords.

It is pretty easy, but kids need a bit of background in chord-playing first, such as Mary Had a Little Lamb (see that page for a little chord lesson).

Happily for young players, this is one of those easy chords songs:

simple version of Happy Birthday

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

With these small chords, I like to tell my students "This is a D 'pinch' chord" (D & C together). "This is a 'little' C chord" (C & E together).

Encountering black notes in the easy arrangements

The version in G may be easier for your students to play, because with the key of F version, each hand has to deal with a Bb note. In the key of G version, only the right hand has a black note.

However, the G arrangement uses several bass clef ledger line notes! You will have to decide. I think the G version is easier.

Sharing the melody between the hands

Here are the Middle-C versions for beginner piano students, the easiest arrangements of all.  Use one of these to make a duet with your beginner piano student, or even have two students play together.

First, the new "AlphaNotes" version. These fun notes turn a piece of music into note reading worksheets...

Made-easy notes for Happy Birthday - piano sheet music

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

That one is EASY to read.  The next one is a good challenge for your students still working on note-reading around Middle C:

Happy Birthday for beginning piano players, set at Middle C position

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Here is the same music again, but with chord symbols for a duet partner:

Happy Birthday with piano chord symbols for beginners

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

Make Happy Birthday a piano duet

If you want to turn it into a 2-student duet (the melody or Primo part will have to be played UP an octave), here are the Happy Birthday chords spelled out in this Secondo part.

Some of them are ROOT chords, and some are CHORD INVERSIONS:)

Duet chords for Happy Birthday

Is Happy Birthday traditional?

This song has BECOME traditional -- according to Wikipedia, Happy Birthday is the most-recognized song in the English language.

However, the writers are known to history -- two sisters named Mildred and Patty Hill, who wrote the song in 1893.

Originally the words weren't Happy Birthday at all, but "Good morning to you, good morning to you. Good morning, dear children, good morning to you!"




The links to the early intermediate arrangements for singing & transposing practice:



Download the basic arrangement for chord practice & transposing



Download the fancier arrangement using chord inversions, to transpose



The links to the Happy Birthday guitar tabs:



Download Happy Birthday guitar tabs in the key of G



Download guitar tabs and chords for birthday song in the key of D



The links to the solo piano sheet music PDFs:



Download version of Happy Birthday with small chords in the key of F



Download Happy Birthday Oom-pah-pah style in the key of D



Download free sheet music oom-pah-pah style in the key of Eb



Download oom-pah style free birthday song in the key of F



Download vocal and piano song, oom-pah style, in the key of G



The lead sheets, with two verses of lyrics:



Download Birthday song lead sheet in the key of A



Download Birthday song lead sheet in the key of Bb



Download Birthday song lead sheet in the key of C



Download Birthday song lead sheet in the key of D



Download Birthday song lead sheet in the key of Eb



Download Birthday song lead sheet in the key of F



Download Birthday song lead sheet in the key of G



The links for the easiest piano versions (not lead sheets):



Download simple version of the Birthday song in the key of F



Download helper version of Happy Birthday with little chords in F - it has letters in some of the notes



Download simple version of Happy Birthday in the key of G



The links to the Middle C melody arrangements:



Free easy shared-hands version of Happy Birthday, with lettered notes



Download Middle C version of the Birthday song, no lettered notes



Download song written for shared hands melody at Middle C with the Happy Birthday chords



Download Middle C duet secondo part for your students









Interested in songs from the Bible for your students or church?  Check out my other website, SingTheBibleStory.com!

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About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.