Blackbird chords by The Beatles


Video blocked due to privacy settings

Change privacy settings


Blackbird | Chords + Lyrics

Intro (0:00)

| 3/4 G Am7 G/B | 4/4 G |

Verse 1 (0:06)

| 3/4 G Am7 G/B | 4/4 G |
Blackbird singing in the dead of night.
| C C#dim Dadd4 D#b5 | Em Eb |
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
| Dadd4 C#dim C | Cm G/B | A7 D7sus4 | 2/4 G | C G/B A7 | D7sus4 G |
All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Verse 2 (0:30)

| 3/4 G Am7 G/B | 4/4 G |
Blackbird singing in the dead of night.
| C C#dim Dadd4 D#b5 | Em Eb |
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see.
| Dadd4 C#dim C | Cm G/B | A7 D7sus4 | 2/4 G |
All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Chorus 1 (0:49)

| Fadd9 Em Dmadd4 C | Bb6 C |
Blackbird fly,
| Fadd9 Em Dmadd4 C | Bb6 A7 | 2/4 D7sus4 |
blackbird fly, into the light of the dark black night.

Instrumental 1 (1:01)

| 3/4 G Am7 G/B | 4/4 G |
| C C#dim Dadd4 D#b5 | Em Eb |
| Dadd4 C#dim C | Cm G/B | A7 D7sus4 | 2/4 G |

Chorus 2 (1:20)

| Fadd9 Em Dmadd4 C | Bb6 C |
Blackbird fly,
| Fadd9 Em Dmadd4 C | Bb6 A7 | 2/4 D7sus4 |
blackbird fly, into the light of the dark black night.

Instrumental 2 (1:32)

| 3/4 G Am7 G/B | 4/4 G | G | G | 5/4 G |
| G Am7 G/B C | G/B A7 D7sus4 |

Verse 3 (1:50)

| 3/4 G Am7 G/B | 4/4 G |
Blackbird singing in the dead of night.
| C C#dim Dadd4 D#b5 | Em Eb |
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
| Dadd4 C#dim C | Cm G/B | A7 D7sus4 |
All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise.
| G C G/B | A7 D7sus4 |
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
| G C G/B | A7 D7sus4 | G |
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.


You can learn how to play Blackbird!

Inspired by J. S. Bach’s Bourree in E minor and a bird waking him up in the morning, Paul McCartney created a modern masterpiece in Blackbird.

There are a few things you need to focus on if you want to learn how to play Blackbird.

  • A constant open G string binds the chords together.
  • A unique index finger strumming technique.
  • Variations in the chord progression like IV – IVm.
  • A key change for the chorus.
  • Odd time signatures for a bar only.

There are seemingly two Am-shaped dim7 chords in Blackbird, although, upon closer inspection, only a fraction of a C#dim is actually used.

The second suspected dim7 chord, starting on a D# is not even minor, it’s a D#(b5), an altered chord.

Below, there’s a guitar lesson that will give you all the TAB you need in order to play Blackbird just like Paul McCartney did. This is taken from the advanced acoustic course.


Blackbird index finger strumming

Unique to Blackbird is the strange index finger strumming technique. This is a homemade technique I’ve never seen before or since, which is strange as it’s so brilliant!

Combining the thumb plucking and strumming strings using a downward motion, the index finger strums the upper part of the chord.

Apparently, Paul learned how to play like this from Donovan, a Scottish folk artist who hang around The Beatles and Bob Dylan in the 60s.

Speaking of Bob, the rhythm of Blackbird’s strumming is actually the same as that of Blowin’ In The Wind.

Anyway, you probably want to get on and learn how to play Blackbird, exactly, note for note, as Paul played it back in 1968. Using the video guitar lesson below, you can!


Video blocked due to privacy settings

Change privacy settings


Practice Blackbird using 7 Loops @ 74 BPM

Let’s play Blackbird in small sections of just a few bars each. By starting off slowly and sticking with it, you’ll build great muscle memory.

This is essential in order to play Blackbird well at the correct tempo a few days from now.

Here’s the first example, this is the intro and the first part of the verse. we start in 3/4, then go to 4/4.

Blackbird chords, intro TAB.
Blackbird intro TAB

Next up we have some variations on this concept. This is what we play later down the arrangement when this theme comes back.

Let’s call this example 2. There’s a TAB loop in the playlist above, use it!

Blackbird chords, verse TAB.
Blackbird verse TAB part 1

Ensure you stay at this low tempo today, do not go faster, as it will only do you harm. Be patient.

Here’s example 3, now we start moving chromatically.

Blackbird chords, verse part 2 TAB.
Blackbird verse TAB part 2

In example 4, we go chromatically down, instead of up.

Blackbird chords, verse part 3 TAB.
Blackbird verse TAB part 3

Example 5 is what happens during the outro.

Blackbird chords, outro TAB.
Blackbird outro TAB

Example 6 is the chorus.

Blackbird chords, chorus TAB.
Blackbird chorus TAB

Finally, example 7 is what we play after the breakdown section.

Practice all seven examples to the TAB loops for best results. Avoid going faster than 74 BPM, instead, aim for perfect accuracy.

Blackbird chords, breakdown TAB.
Blackbird breakdown TAB

Next up in the course, we practice the major scale, we’ll be far up the neck, working on the C and A shapes.

This is followed by playing all these loops at a faster tempo. There is more to it than just slowly increasing the tempo in order to get there but still, increasing the tempo is a big part of the journey.

After sandwiching scale practice with Blackbird loops, we play the complete song before we finally build a 2nd guitar part.

Learn the 2nd guitar part and you, I, and the singer can play Blackbird together, like a folk trio! For the complete experience, sign up here.

McCartney paired Bach with Donovan and found Blackbird

Blackbird was written by Paul McCartney after he was woken up by a bird at six o’clock in the morning, in India. Other inspirations were Johann Sebastian Bach’s Bouree and Jason Donovan’s index finger strumming technique.

Released on The White Album (used as slang, it was simply called The Beatles, printed on a white cover), in 1968, it instantly became yet another classic to add to their immense legacy.

As a follow-up to the legendary Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band a year earlier, and John Lennon claimed The Beatles to be “bigger than Jesus”, they had now become the most respected band in the industry.

The White Album sold a staggering nineteen times platinum in the U.S. alone and charted at #1 in six countries. The Beatles responded by making fun of everything.

For example, they would give journalists new answers to the same questions, constantly pushing the boundaries of what they would print.

To this day, some of these stories have managed to stick.

At one point, in Wikipedia, Blackbird is said to be a song that Paul wrote after seeing racial tension escalate in America, he sang “blackbird fly”, referring to the idea that black women should get out of there.

Lennon would have been in stitches if he knew!


Blackbird | Related pages


Blackbird – 8 guitar lessons

Blackbird - 8 guitar lessons in the course.

Blackbird by The Beatles is a legendary song that we simply must learn note for note, just like Paul McCartney played it.

Once this is achieved, we can learn from Blackbird by building a 2nd guitar part and playing the song together.

Go to Blackbird – 8 guitar lessons.


Advanced Acoustic Songs

These songs use big chord extensions and sometimes, unique and complex chords that incorporate open strings.

Study these in-depth and you will gain a complete understanding of the fretboard, including how to build any scale, arpeggio, and chord, anywhere on the guitar.

Go to Advanced Acoustic Songs.


Blackbird – 5 similar tunes

When you can play Blackbird's chords, try these five tunes from the song book.

The Beatles

The Beatles are the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in the history of popular music.

As the leaders of the so-called British Invasion, their catchy Rock & Roll infused pop songs took America by storm, creating hysteria everywhere they went.

Go to The Beatles.


The Beatles on the web

Listen to The Beatles on Spotify.