Today we’re going to take a look at a classic beginners song that is on pretty much every guitar course out there, House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals.
Now House Of The Rising Sun is famous for it’s arpeggiated chords, but we’re going to start with a very simple strummed version to begin with before we look at a simple fingerpicking pattern to get you through it.
If you manage to get through that, I’ve got something for the intermediated to advanced players out there too.
The Chords You’ll Need
To play through House Of The Rising Sun you’ll need just 5 chords: Am, C, D, F, and E. I realise that I’ve mentioned everyone’s most hated ukulele chord there, the dreaded E.
If you need a few tips on playing the E chord on the ukulele, check out my post on playing the E chord which should help (quick tip, the barred chord is probably the easiest to play).
Here are the chord boxes for all of the chords you’ll need…
As the song is arpeggiated (notes plucked from the chord in sequence) we’re going to try and mimic the feel using a relatively simple strumming pattern.
I’m playing D DUD D D D at a fairly quick pace using the DUD to give the arpeggiated feel.
Here’s what that looks like as a diagram…
And here’s what that sounds like…
It’s not a bad substitute for the way it’s played on the original considering we’re just strumming here.
There’s quite a bit of repetition in this one, in fact it doesn’t even have a chorus. The song is built up from an intro, 6 verses, a couple of interludes and an outro.
Here’s that with the lyrics…
Ok, so you’ve played through the strumming version, now you want to get a little fingerpicking in there. Here’s a simple pattern that will work well across pretty much the whole song…
To play this pattern I’m using my thumb to play the G string, with my index finger picking up the C, my middle finger on the E and ring finger on the A.
I’m picking a rhythm of 1 2&3 4 5 6 which sounds something like this…
Taking It To The Next Level
So there are a few ideas of how to play House Of The Rising Sun. However, we can take it one step further.
Over on our Patreon Jonathan Lewis and I took a look at a more advanced version of House Of The Rising Sun which you can hear Jon playing here.
Our Patreon costs just $5 a month, each month we produce a combined lesson where Jon and I talk you through a song or a skill, throughout the month we add additional tabs and pieces for you to try.