How to Play Yankee Doodle on Guitar (Simple Guide)

Do you want to know How to play Yankee Doodle on guitar? Do you want to impress your friends with a classic American tune? 

Look no further than the traditional song “Yankee Doodle,” a great piece of music for any guitarist starting. It’s an easy and fun song to learn and can be a pleasant surprise at any gathering. 

So get out your guitar, tune up the strings, and let’s get started!

How to Play Yankee Doodle on Guitar

The Basics of Playing Yankee Doodle

The structure of Yankee Doodle is straightforward. The song has three chords: G, D, and C major. To start, you should begin by strumming the G chord four times. We call this a down-up-down-up strumming pattern. 

After that, you should switch to the D chord followed by the C major chord twice. Then return to the G chord four times before transitioning back to the D chord twice and ending on the C major chord twice. For more detailed instructions on how to play each chord correctly.

Incorporating Melody

Now that we have our chords down pat, it is time to incorporate the melody into our playing. The melody consists of four notes played one after another in quick succession; G (the 3rd fret on the low E string), A (2nd fret on the A string), B (open B string), and back down again to A (2nd fret on A string). 

Once you are comfortable with these notes, it is time to combine them with our chords from earlier. Start by strumming four times per chord while incorporating each note from our melody separately between each strum – just like this ‘G – G/A – G/B – G/A – D – D/A…etc.’. 

Don’t forget that when playing both G and D chords; you will use two fingers for each.

Once you have mastered playing Yankee Doodle using the combination of chords and melody, it is time for us to add some emotion to our performance! 

Try adding a slight vibrato or bend into your notes while remembering to stay moderate, as too much vibrato can sound sloppy. 

You can also try increasing or decreasing your strum speed depending on what type of feel you want your performance to convey; faster strums may give off more energy, while slower ones can be more relaxed or sentimental. Have fun with it!


Learning how to play Yankee Doodle on guitar can seem intimidating at first, but with enough practice, it will become second nature in no time! 

Remember that practicing often helps build muscle memory which makes learning songs so much easier in the long run. 

Be bold about dedicating some extra time to mastering old classics like this one.

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