Don’t Stop Believin’ chords



You can learn how to play Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey!

The epic rock anthem Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey took the band to superstardom when it was released in 1981.

The new keyboard player (Jonathan Cain) joined just before the making of their seventh album, Escape, and came to the band with the riff and title. A title he had come up with after his father had encouraged him to not give up on his music career.

As Journey’s signature song, Don’t Stop Believin’ reached #133 on the 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time list, compiled by Rolling Stone magazine.

Notable cover versions include the TV series Glee which even managed to put Don’t Stop Believin’ back in the charts, reaching #2 in the U.K and #4 in the U.S.

Should you join a rock covers band, this song is guaranteed to make the setlist, along with other classics like Sweet Home Alabama, Sex On Fire, Summer Of 69, Livin’ On A Prayer, and Sweet Child O’ Mine.

Let’s take a closer look at the chords and lyrics to find out how this anthem is put together.


Don’t Stop Believin’ chords and lyrics


| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | C#m (D# E) | A5 (D# E) |
| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | G#m | A5 (D# E) |

| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | C#m (D# E) | A5 (D# E) |
Just a small-town girl, livin’ in a lonely world.
| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | G#m | A5 (D# E) |
She took the midnight train going anywhere.
| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | C#m (D# E) | A5 (D# E) |
Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit.
| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | G#m | A5 |
He took the midnight train going anywhere.

| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | C#m (D# E) | A5 (D# E) |
| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | G#m | A5 (D# E) |

| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | C#m (D# E) | A5 (D# E) |
A singer in a smokey room, a smell of wine and cheap perfume.
| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | G#m | A5 |
For a smile they can share the night, it goes on and on and on and on.

||: B/A A | B/A A | Eadd9 E | Eadd9 E :||
Strangers waitin’, up and down the boulevard.
Their shadows, searchin’ in the night.
Streetlights, people, livin’ just to find emotion.
| B/A A | B/A A | B5 E5 | B5 E5 A5 |
Hidin’, somewhere in the night.

| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | C#m (D# E) | A5 (D# E) |

| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | C#m (D# E) | A5 (D# E) |
Workin’ hard to get my fill, everybody wants a thrill.
| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | G#m | A5 (D# E) |
Payin’ anything to roll the dice, just one more time.
| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | C#m (D# E) | A5 (D# E) |
Some’ll win, some will lose, some are born to sing the blues.
| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | G#m | A5 |
Whoa, the movie never ends, it goes on and on and on and on.

||: B/A A | B/A A | Eadd9 E | Eadd9 E :||
Strangers waitin’, up and down the boulevard.
Their shadows, searchin’ in the night.
Streetlights, people, livin’ just to find emotion.
| B/A A | B/A A | B5 E5 | B5 E5 A5 |
Hidin’, somewhere in the night.

| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | C#m (D# E) | A5 (D# E) |
| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | G#m | A5 |

||: E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | C#m (D# E) | A5 (D# E) |
| E5 (F# G#) | B5 (C# D#) | G#m | A5 (D# E) :|| 
Don’t stop believin’, hold on to that feelin’.
Streetlights, people.
Don’t stop believin’, hold on.
Streetlights, people. 
Don’t stop believin’, hold on to that feelin’,
Streetlights, people.


Don’t Stop Believin’ chord progression

In a nutshell, Don’t Stop Believin’ just goes I – V – VI – IV, EBC#mA. Then varies it by replacing VI with III. EBG#mA.

But if we only play those simple chords from E major, we’d miss out on the bass line in between them which, let’s be honest, defines the song.

So what you see above may look unnecessarily complicated, but after playing it, you’ll see why all those bass line movements have been incorporated.

The good news is that it remains the same throughout the intro, verse, chorus, and solo. The only variation is at the end, where you only play an A chord, with no bass line.

Only the bridge left then. Here we play B/AA. This is not the most common movement I’ve seen! This is followed by Eadd9E.

To round it off, we play B5E5. B5E5A5, and then it’s time for either an instrumental section or later on, a solo.

Overall, the chords for Don’t Stop Believin’ are really simple, it’s just making sure you incorporate that bass line as that’s the riff of the song.


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