Knocking On Heaven’s Door chords by Bob Dylan


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Knocking On Heaven’s Door Chords + Lyrics


Intro

||: 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 :||

Outro

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


Knocking On Heaven’s Door chords and progressions (lesson preview)

Knocking On Heaven's Door Analysis + 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 D/F# | Am Am7 | G D/F# | C :||

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.

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 (members only): Knocking On Heaven’s Door, guitar lesson with TAB.

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all step-by-step guitar coursesTAB for the songbook, the Self-Eliminating Practice Routine, and the eBook Spytunes Method.

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 controversy 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).


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