Hey There Delilah

Learn How To Play Hey There Delilah

Chords and Guitar Lessons

Watch This Video

Complete song – Acoustic guitar and vocals


Hey There Delilah is a single from one-hit wonders Plain White T’s.

The song was pushed to get on the radio for over two albums and years before it broke through. When Hey There Delilah finally did, it became a worldwide hit.

This song uses extremely common chords. Only the key, and therefore chord shapes, are rare for what is essentially an acoustic guitar campfire song.

If you think it sounds simple, try writing a song like this and get people to naturally sing along and you’ll soon realize that this is not easy.

To learn how to write a simple but powerful song, you must study these types of songs in depth. Start with the chord progression below.

Chord progression

The verse chords are just the I, III, VI, IV, and V chord from the key of D.

| D | F#m | D | F#m |

| Bm Bm/A | G A | Bm | A |

The chorus is even simpler, just moving between I and VI.

| D D/A | Bm Bm/C# |

During the m8 we recycle the chords and mix them up, like this:

| G | A | D D/A | Bm Bm/A |

| G | A | D D/C# | Bm Bm/A |

| G | A | Bm | Bm | A | A |

Slash chords and bass lines

A big part of the vibe the progression creates lies within the bass line which is notated as slash chords.

Bm/A – This descending bass line moves us from Bm to G like this: Bm – Bm/AG
D/A – This ascending bass line moves us from D to Bm, like this: D – D/ABm
Bm/C# – This ascending bass line takes us from Bm to D, like this: Bm – Bm/C#D

In the course

This is the first song we study in the intermediate acoustic course. It does seemingly contain barre chords, but you’ll soon discover how the CAGED system is not intended to be used as difficult to fret, full barre chord shapes.

The key is to visualize the full CAGED shapes, but only play fractions of them.

As this needs to be clarified, the first lesson in the course goes through this in detail, pointing out the advantage but also the potential problems with the system.

In the final step of learning Hey There Delilah, you’ll play all over the neck using the system as we play the song together with a singer.

Only by learning how to actually use the CAGED system like this, with a real song, can we progress with understanding music and cracking the fret board code.

Guitar Lessons

Introduction to the CAGED system

Introduction to the intermediate acoustic guitar course and the so-called CAGED system.

Learn how you can convert your open position major and minor chords into barre chord shapes.

Go to Introduction to the CAGED system.

Hey There Delilah – Step 1 (Free Preview)

In this first step, we learn how to play the verse and chorus from Hey There Delilah, just like on the original recording.

Use the TAB loops to master these two relatively simple sections of the song.

Go to Hey There Delilah step 1.

Hey There Delilah – Step 2

Let’s focus on how to play the M8 section.

You’ll soon find out how this in many ways just recycle the chords you already played in the verse and chorus.

Go to Hey There Delilah step 2.

Hey There Delilah – Step 3

In this step, we play the complete song from beginning to end, just like the original recording.

Use the TAB chart and video performance to play along with me and the singer.

Go to Hey There Delilah step 3.

Hey There Delilah – Step 4

Let’s take a look at how the CAGED system can help us discover 2nd guitar parts.

The secret to unlocking the guitar fret board lies within linking the CAGED chord shapes up and down the fret board.

Go to Hey There Delilah step 4.

Hey There Delilah – Step 5

In this step, we work out a 2nd guitar part around fret 5. All chords are now barre chords.

However, as we only play three strings, there is not much barring going on…

Go to Hey There Delilah step 5.

Hey There Delilah – Step 6

It’s time to move up the neck and find yet another 2nd guitar part, this time around fret 10.

Where will all this lead? To improvising and learning how to write guitar parts, that’s where.

Go to Hey There Delilah step 6.

Hey There Delilah – Step 7

In this final step, I’ll show you how you can use the CAGED system to improvise up an endless amount of guitar parts.

When you now play along with me and the singer one final time, you can make up your own part as you go along.

Go to Hey There Delilah step 7.

Related Pages


Hey There DelilahHey there Delilah what’s it like in New York City
I’m a thousand miles away
But girl tonight you look so pretty, yes you do
Times Square can’t shine as bright as you, I swear it’s true

Go to Hey There Delilah lyrics.

Plain WHite T’s

plain-white-ts-thumbPlain White T’s are an American rock band who had great success with their song Hey There Delilah, charting at #1 in many countries in 2007.

Using a very persistent marketing technique, Hey There Delilah was pushed for over two years before it was finally #1.

Go to Plain White T’s biography.


Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The intermediate songs require you to learn barre chords and pentatonic scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fret board.

Go to Intermediate guitar course.

Intermediate Acoustic Songs

You can learn how to play these intermediate songs on the acoustic guitar.

A Change Is Gonna Come, American Pie, Angie, Babylon, Blowin’ In The Wind, Dreadlock Holiday, Fast Car, Hey There Delilah, I Can’t Stand The Rain, I’m Yours, Kiss Me, Mad World, Red, Starman, Sunny Afternoon, and Whistle For The Choir.

Go to Intermediate acoustic songs.


All those open position chords you learned in the beginner course now become barre chords and pentatonic scales.

We’ll use this to map out the entire fret board. Everything becomes easier to visualize once this foundation is laid.

Go to Intermediate guitar exercises.

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Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

Go to Monthly subscription.