House of the Rising Sun Chords and Guitar TAB

Updated on March 3, 2017

The House of the Rising Sun Chords

Do you know the House of the Rising Sun chords? How do you play House of the Rising Sun on guitar? It is actually not that difficult to play House of the Rising Sun. Sending my mind back in time today... to when I learned the guitar chords for the House of the Rising Sun. It is sometime in the late 1960s (a lady never tells her age), and I am a geeky 12-year-old schoolgirl en route to Germany with a group of kids for my first ever holiday alone!


Well, specifically, I am with the Grimsby and District schools' swimming team bound for a gala and exchange trip to Bremerhaven. Very excited I was, and we kids were exploring the boat! I have my little guitar of course (then it traveled everywhere, these days I usually borrow someone else's). We are on a North Sea Ferry, and some older lads from I know not where are playing songs. They are professional buskers doing the Grand Tour! ;)

My new friends ask if I can really play guitar and I give them some Carcassi, Spanish music, Tarrega, a little improvised flamenco... They are impressed but do I play rock? The answer then is "No, my teacher only shows us classical." So, one of the guys hands me a plectrum, says "Follow me! Should be easy for you!" and we are off learning the chords of The House of the Rising Sun. It is easy, it is exhilarating to be part of a real band, and these buskers put me on a route I still follow - playing cool rock and blues songs.

The House of the Rising Sun, a Busking Classic!

Little did I then know how much of a classic the House of Rising Sun was! Eric Burdon and the Animals had made it part of our culture. In the tradition of 1960s rock icons like the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and the Beatles they had been heavily influenced by blues and took this traditional blues on to become an all-time rock classic of the 1960s. Meantime the 12-year-old girl that was me hit the strings for the first time in a powerful rhythm and quickly learned the fingerpicking accompaniment of House of the Rising Sun too.

TAB for The House of the Rising Sun as a Picture

House of the Rising Sun TAB
House of the Rising Sun TAB

House of the Rising Sun Chords

Do You Know All the Chords for House of the Rising Sun?

The chord progression you need for The Rising Sun is as follows. If you don't know any of the chords, just click on them to be taken to my Flickr page and see them. Incidentally, if the F is too hard (a barre chord) you could get away with the F major 7 in the intro photo!

Am / / / / / C / / / / / / D / / / / / F / / / / /

Am / / / / / C / / / / / E / / / / / E7 / / / / /

Am / / / / / C / / / / / / D / / / / / F / / / / /

Am / / / / / E / / / / / Am / / / / / E7 / / / / /

Here are some more songs you can learn the chords for:

  • 20th Century Boy
  • Band In A Jam Project
  • Best Songs To Learn On Guitar
  • Best Way To Use A Guitar Pick
  • Born To Be Wild
  • Hallelujah
  • Harley Davidson Guitar Stuff
  • Hey Joe
  • Highway to Hell
  • Johnny B Goode
  • Improvise on guitar - first lesson
  • One
  • Perfect Day
  • Play Guitar REALLY Fast
  • Satisfaction
  • Smoke On The Water
  • Stairway to Heaven
  • Summer of 69

House of the Rising Sun Chords
House of the Rising Sun Chords

House of the Rising Sun TAB

Guitar and Drum Music for House of the Rising Sun

A simple drum and guitar version with notes and TAB for The House of the Rising Sun Use this with the chords in the picture to do your own cover version of House of the Rising Sun.

House of the Rising Sun TAB
House of the Rising Sun TAB

Picking the House of the Rising Sun

There are two basic ways to pick the Rising Sun by the Animals, the first involves fingerpicking, which is the way I first learned it and the second way of picking House of the Rising Sun is to flat pick. I will explain both.

To fingerpick, let your thumb take charge of strings 6, 5 and 4, the bass strings. Where there are two quick notes, the thumb (p) rolls through both. Your index finger (i) should pluck string 3, your middle finger (m) pluck string 2 and your ring finger (a) pluck string 1. This is an easy way to play once you become proficient with fingerpicking. The pattern is either:

  • p i m a m i
  • p p i m a m i

To flat pick, you should follow the direction of string travel. This is called economy picking. Try to make the strokes almost continuous and don't turn the pick. If you have never used a pick before you might like to check out my lens on Using a Pick Correctly.

So the strokes go either:

  • down down down up up up
  • down down down down up up up

Do you have a favourite version of this American folk song classic or do you only know the Animals House of the Rising Sun?

Thank you for playing along!

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Lisa Marie Gabriel

    Can you play the House of the Rising Sun? - Where were you in the 1960s?

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Lady Lorelei profile image

        Lorelei Cohen 

        5 years ago from Canada

        I think every man that I ever dated (with the exception of one) said that House of the Rising Sun was their favorite song (my current husband included). The song really strikes a chord in some people.

      • RosaMorelli profile image

        RosaMorelli 

        5 years ago

        Looking forward to learning this one - I'm a (not terribly good) bass player more than a guitarist, but this is a song I've always thought would be nice to learn properly. Love the tale about how you learned this, I'm in the North of England too, but on t'other side - the North West.

      • profile image

        HowAboutThis 

        5 years ago

        I always liked this song. Thanks

      • Countryluthier profile image

        E L Seaton 

        6 years ago from Virginia

        Another great tune to lens about! Love the selection. Sadly another classic tune I cannot play.

      • profile image

        Edutopia 

        6 years ago

        Everyone should learn this song as soon as they can. A great way to develop your talents or a nice easy song to rock out on.

      • profile image

        Edutopia 

        6 years ago

        This is a great song to cut your skills on. Good for beginners to practice on and for advance players to add to their repertoire.

      • puerdycat lm profile image

        puerdycat lm 

        7 years ago

        Just the way we played it when we were kid! This is great, have to get a new set of strings!

      • lizziehumphreys1 profile image

        lizziehumphreys1 

        7 years ago

        I love this song and my dad plays it on his guitar :) great lens

      • Vikk Simmons profile image

        'Vikk Simmons 

        7 years ago from Houston

        Well done. Brings back memories here, too. I learned to play House of the Rising Son on the piano and it was always my fall-back position. :) Love the song.

      • profile image

        indiemusicheaven 

        7 years ago

        Great Composition. Hope we will receive such kind of composition in near future also.

        All the Best

      • profile image

        Mabelmew 

        7 years ago

        Great song and what a fun way to introduce how to play it! :-) the chord chart was very clever!

      • Wednesday-Elf profile image

        Wednesday-Elf 

        7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

        I took an adult evening guitar class at my local high school years ago in 'Beginning Guitar', One of the songs we learned in class was 'House of the Rising Sun', and I loved playing the chords. But the only version I was familiar with all these years was Bob Dylan's, because that's the recording the guitar teacher played! :-). It's a great song! I'm a big fan of all 1960s folk music, especially those songs played on the guitar, and this one fits right in.

      • Richard-H profile image

        Richard 

        7 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

        I don't play an instrument but The House of the Rising Sun is definitely a favourite :)

      • littlelotus profile image

        littlelotus 

        7 years ago

        I can't, not really musical :) good lens but :)

      • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

        Kathy McGraw 

        7 years ago from California

        This was the very first song I wanted to learn to play, and did. Always a classic. Loved your story of how you learned to play this :)

      • JeremiahStanghini profile image

        JeremiahStanghini 

        7 years ago

        A great song. :-)

      • dotpattern profile image

        Pat Moire 

        7 years ago from West Village, New York City

        Just saw some guitar chord playing cards on Amazon that are very cool.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Well looks quite tough for me, but maybe it is easy to play to the guitarists.

      • LisaAuch1 profile image

        Lisa Auch 

        7 years ago from Scotland

        Fantastic, my daughter will be getting a guitar for her birthday so I know where i will be sending her for music!

      • CHalloran LM profile image

        CHalloran LM 

        7 years ago

        Love this song. My husband's cover band had done a hard rock version of it, it was really good and the crowd always loved it too. I watched Haley sing it last week on American Idol, which wasn't bad at all. There is a youtube video of it.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        7 years ago

        Love music; can listen to music, sadly can't read music. :| Cheers to the house of the rising sun.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://spinditty.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)