Knocking On Heaven’s Door chords by Bob Dylan

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Knocking On Heaven’s Door Chords + Lyrics


||: G D/F# | Am Am7 | G D/F# | C :||
Ooh-ooh-ooh. Ooh-ooh-ooh. Ooh-ooh-ooh.

Verse 1

| G D/F# | Am Am7 |
Mama take this badge off of me.
| G D/F# | C |
I can’t use it anymore.
| G D/F# | Am Am7 |
It’s getting dark, too dark to see.
| G D/F# | C |
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.

Chorus 1

||: G D/F# | Am Am7 | G D/F# | C :||
||: Knock-knock-knockin’ on heaven’s door :||

Verse 2

| G D/F# | Am Am7 |
Mama put my guns in the ground.
| G D/F# | C |
I can’t shoot them anymore.
| G D/F# | Am Am7 |
That long black cloud is comin’ down.
| G D/F# | C |
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.

Chorus 2

||: G D/F# | Am Am7 | G D/F# | C :||
||: Knock-knock-knockin’ on heaven’s door :||


| G D/F# | Am Am7 |
| G D/F# | C |

Knocking On Heaven’s Door Chords: Learn the progressions

Knocking On Heaven's Door guitar lesson + TAB T

As one of the most obvious beginner guitar songs of all time and a classic introduction to Bob Dylan, we have Knocking On Heaven’s Door.

Since the early ’90s, perhaps more people have discovered this tune through Guns N’ Roses stadium rock version.

There is also what I heard first and still like the most, Clapton‘s reggae version. This one was released in 1975, two weeks after he’d gotten the idea from playing on Arthur Louis’s version as a session player.

All these versions are available in the playlist at the top of the page.

Dylan’s chords are I – V/3 – II, followed by I – V/3 – IV. In the key of G, that becomes:

||: G (I) D/F# (V/3) | Am (II) Am7 | G D/F# | C (IV) :||

On the C chord, Bob often adds the top G, that’s fret 3, string 1. This doesn’t change the chord as G is the 5th.

During the intro and in chorus 2, he adds the same note (G, fret 3, string 1) to the Am chord. This does change the chord into an Am7. Members get TAB for exactly how this can be strummed.

Here’s the first line of some TAB for how you could strum Knocking On Heaven’s Door on one acoustic.

Knocking On Heaven's Door chords and TAB Bob acoustic first line

On the Clapton version, he actually changes the chords. Instead of alternating between Am and C at the end, he just goes to Am, like this:

||: G D/F# | Am Am7 :||

Members get TAB for how to play this in a reggae style using barre chords which may not sound like you should be doing as a beginner but it’s easier than strumming the chords as Dylan does!

Here’s a link to the complete lesson: Knocking On Heaven’s Door – Guitar Lesson with TAB.

Knocking On Heaven’s Door was from a soundtrack!

Bob only ever did one soundtrack, the 1973 Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid.

He wrote all the songs for the movie and even starred in it as the character Alias.

The lead role was played by another singer, Kris Kristofferson (Me & Bobby McGee, Help Me Make It Through the Night).

Plenty of controversies surrounded the movie which is described as a revisionist Western, meaning it’s not a clear good guy/bad guy plot.

The director, Sam Peckinpah, fell out with the film studio and lost control over the editing process. This resulted in several editors removing so much of the plot the film stopped making sense and flopped at the box office.

Years later it was released closer to Peckinpah’s vision and was then hailed for its brilliance. At the time, it mainly became known for Bob’s hit, Knocking In Heaven’s Door.

Amazingly, another tune (Wagon Wheel) was half recorded during this time but scrapped by Bob who can be heard mumbling the chorus on a bootleg recording. 

Later finished by Ketch Secor (2004) who wrote the verses, it became a huge hit in the hands of Nathan Carter (2012) and Darius Rucker (2013).

Knocking On Heaven’s Door Chords | Related Pages

Beginner Acoustic

There are many more Beginner Acoustic Songs with chords similar to Knocking On Heaven's Door.

This collection of beginner acoustic tunes will teach you how to arrange for one acoustic guitar, as well as how to create a supporting part.

Playing songs will help you with switching between open-position chords and give you the context you need to understand how music works theoretically.

Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play Knocking On Heaven's Door's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.

Bob Dylan tunes

Bob Dylan wrote Knocking On Heaven's Door's chords.

Widely regarded as the most influential artist in popular culture, Bob Dylan has been covered and copied by almost everyone who ever attempted to write a song. His famous tunes are so many it’s impossible to pick just a few.

Some say Dylan invented modern songwriting.

Bob Dylan on the web

Listen to Bob Dylan on Spotify.

Guns N’ Roses tunes

Guns N Roses covered Knocking On Heaven's Door.

Formed in the mid-’80s in Los Angeles, Guns N’ Roses wrote almost all their best tunes before the release of the debut album.

Their biggest hits include Paradise City, Welcome To The Jungle, Sweet Child O’ Mine, Patience, You Could Be Mine, and November Rain.

Guns N’ Roses on the web

Listen to Guns N' Roses on Spotify.

Country & Folk

When you can play Knocking On Heaven's Door, check out these Country and Folk tunes too.

In the primarily acoustic genres of Country & Folk, you must acquire what matters the most: A repertoire. Nothing else will give you the gig.

Learn tunes by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, America, Don McLean, and many more.

About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson on Knocking On Heaven's Door's chords.

This was a guitar lesson about Knocking On Heaven’s Door chords, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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