Hotel California chords

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Hotel California | Chords + Lyrics (capo 7)


||: Em | B7/D# | Dsus2 D5/A | A9/C# |
| C | G/B G | Am Am/E | B7 :||

Verse 1

| Em | B7/D# |
On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair.
| Dsus2 D5/A | A9/C# |
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air.
| C | G/B G |
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light.
| Am Am/E | B7 |
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim, I had to stop for the night.

Verse 2

| Em | B7/D# |
There she stood in the doorway, I heard the mission bell.
| Dsus2 D5/A | A9/C# |
And I was thinking to myself, “This could be Heaven or this could be Hell”.
| C | G/B G |
Then she lit up a candle, and she showed me the way.
| Am Am/E | B7 |
There were voices down the corridor, I thought I heard them say.

Chorus 1

| C | G |
Welcome to the Hotel California.
| B7 | Em (E F# G A B) |
Such a lovely place (such a lovely place). Such a lovely face.
| C | G |
Plenty of room at the Hotel California.
| Am | B7 |
Any time of year (any time of year). You can find it here.

Verse 3

| Em | B7/D# |
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes Benz.
| Dsus2 D5/A | A9/C# |
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends.
| C | G/B G |
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
| Am Am/E | B7 |
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.

Verse 4

| Em | B7/D# |
So I called up the Captain, “Please, bring me my wine”.
| Dsus2 D5/A | A9/C# |
He said, ‘We haven’t had that spirit here since, 1969″.
| C | G/B G |
And still those voices are calling from far away.
| Am Am/E | B7 |
Wake you up in the middle of the night, just to hear them say.

Chorus 2

| C | G |
Welcome to the Hotel California.
| B7 | Em (E F# G A B) |
Such a lovely place (such a lovely place). Such a lovely face.
| C | G |
They livin’ it up at the Hotel California.
| Am | B7 |
What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise), Bring your alibis.

Verse 5

| Em | B7/D# |
Mirrors on the ceiling, the pink champagne on ice.
| Dsus2 D5/A | A9/C# |
And she said, “We are all just prisoners here of our own device”.
| C | G/B G |
And in the master’s chambers, they gathered for the feast.
| Am Am/E | B7 |
They stab it with their steely knives but they just can’t kill the beast.

Verse 6

| Em | B7/D# |
Last thing I remember, I was running for the door.
| Dsus2 D5/A | A9/C# |
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before.
| C | G/B G |
“Relax,” said the night man, “We are programmed to receive.
| Am Am/E | B7 N.C |
You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”.


||: Em | B7/D# | Dsus2 D5/A | A9/C# |
| C | G/B G | Am Am/E | B7 :|| to fade

Hotel California chords, progressions, and TAB

The intro, verse, and solo chord progression of the Eagles Hotel California uses clever little bass lines and extensions. Using a capo on fret 7, thinking in the key of Em, the first four bars are:

| Em | B7/D# | Dsus2 D5/A | A9/C# |

That’s chord VI – IIIx/3. Classical musicians would call the IIIx a mediant major, the most common variation we have, it leans more heavily towards chord VI. Although in Hotel California, we are moving the other way, from VI – IIIx.

The third bar is chord V, but without a 3rd (Dsus2), then with its 5th in the bass (D5/A).

The last chord is almost a C#dim7, just one note differs which means we have to call it a IIx/3. A II chord that is major, with that 3rd in the bass (A9/C#). Usually, this type of chord goes up to V. In Hotel California, we go down to chord IV instead.

Here’s the (much simpler) 2nd line of Hotel California’s verse chords:

| C | G/B G | Am Am/E | B7 |

Starting on chord IV, we go back to chord I using its 3rd in the bass first. Am and Am/E is chord II, now diatonic, not turned into a major. We finish on that mediant major again, or as I prefer to call it, IIIx.

The chorus is more straightforward, now we’re in the key of G, not Em anymore (compare with Roxanne). Here’s the first line:

| C | G | B7 | Em (E F# G A B) |

We start on chord IV, making it feel as if we’re taking off harmonically, then go back to chord I. As this is bar two, we don’t feel rested or fully resolved.

The last two bars are as if in Em again using that IIIx chord to VI. Here’s the 2nd line.

| C | G | Am | B7 |

Start in the same way, and finish on chords II – IIIx. That last B7 sets us up for the verse again in the key of Em.

Here’s Hotel California’s intro TAB (what Don Felder plays). You can play this for all verses as well.

Hotel California chords and TAB intro

Hotel California solo arpeggios

When I was a teenager, this was one of those solo’s we all had to learn, it was like a benchmark, just like Stairway To Heaven and Bohemian Rhapsody are.

I remember clearly how memorizing the fret numbers felt pointless. I thought to myself, once I’ve memorized this, then learned another bunch of solos, I won’t remember it. If I only had something to connect it with.

Fast forward ten years and I discover the CAGED system, now it all made complete sense, I just have to visualize the chord progression as the solo is just arpeggios of it!

Here’s the TAB, make sure you can see those chord shapes and you’ll never forget it.

Hotel California chords and TAB solo

In the playlist above, Don Felder talks you through how to play all this himself. He does play it all a tone lower than the original (very annoying).

Looking at the TAB above you can see how initially, the arpeggios are sharing shapes, using two strings. The last three bars are all in one shape.

If you modify the first half into being in just one chord shape as well, playing Hotel California’s arpeggio solo would be even easier!

Here’s the TAB for this experiment.

Hotel California chords and TAB new solo shapes

Hotel California chords | Related pages

Five similar tunes

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


Eagles tunes

Formed in Los Angeles, The Eagles released their debut album in 1972. They spent the next seven years becoming one of the biggest bands in the world.

Their best tunes include Take It Easy, Hotel California, Lyin’ Eyes, Life In The Fast Lane, One Of These Nights, and Take It To The Limit.

Eagles tunes.

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