Whether you’re learning to play the recorder in elementary school or the piano or guitar later in life, you’ll probably run into “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” at some point. But even though we all know what the famous song sounds like, how do you actually play it? In this article, we’ll take you through the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star guitar tabs.
Who Wrote Twinkle Twinkle Little Star?
It seems like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star has been around forever. But who wrote it? Here are some quick facts about its writers:
- It came from a poem. The lyrics are taken from from a poem written by Jane Taylor and initially published in 1806.
- The author was a prolific poet. Jane Taylor published several collections of poetry along with her sister Ann Taylor. Many of the collections were written for children.
- The tune already existed. The song’s tune came from “Ah! vous dirai-je, maman,” a French children’s song whose title translates to “Oh! Shall I tell you, Mama.” The song traces back to the 1740s.
- The original tune is anonymous. Since “Ah! vous dirai-je, maman” is an old folk song dating back to the 1700s, nobody knows the original creator of the melody.
- Mozart wrote a few versions of the melody. Though the song’s melody was first published in 1761, Mozart composed several variants in his “Twelve Variations on ‘Ah vous dirai-je, Maman.'” The piece was written in either 1781 or 1782.
All About the Song
Now that we’ve gone over the writers of the song, here are a few fun facts about Twinkle Twinkle Little Star itself:
- It’s in the public domain. As you may have guessed, the song is old enough to be in the public domain. It’s been adapted into several versions worldwide.
- The melody isn’t unique. You already know it came from a French children’s song, but you may not have realized that this song shares a melody with the alphabet song and “Baa Baa Black Sheep.”
- It was parodied in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” In the book, the Mad Hatter delivers a parody called “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat.”
- There are many more verses. The poem the song came from has five stanzas, but most versions of the song only use the first one.
- It’s usually played in the key of C major. Since it’s a song perfect for children and beginners, it makes sense that it’s played in a relatively uncomplicated key.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Guitar Chords & Tabs
How do you play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on guitar for beginners step by step? Whether you want to strum, play the melody, or both, we’ll show you how. In this section, we’ll take a look at some Twinkle Twinkle Little Star guitar tabs and chords.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Chords
If you want to work on your chord changes, strumming, or both, you’ll be relieved to hear that you only need three chords to play this song: G, C, and D7. Here are some Twinkle Twinkle Little Star guitar chords for beginners:
How do you strum Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? There’s no set rhythm pattern for the song. If you’re very new to rhythm guitar, you might want to do one downstrum per syllable. This isn’t necessarily all that interesting, ao as you get more comfortable, you might want to mix it up a bit.
If you aren’t sure where to start, try a repeating down-down-up pattern. It still tracks pretty closely to the lyrics, but it does add a bit of variety.
But what if you aren’t familiar with the three chords you need? Here’s a quick rundown of how to play each chord you need for the song:
- First finger on the A string at the second fret
- Index finger on the low E string at the third fret
- Pinky on the high E string at the third fret
- First finger on the B string at the first fret
- Middle finger on the D string at the second fret
- Ring finger on the A string at the third fret
- Don’t play the low E string!
- First finger on the B string at the first fret
- Middle finger on the G string at the second fret
- Ring finger on the high E string at the second fret
- Don’t play the low E or A strings!
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Guitar Tabs
If you’re new to guitar, you might worry that you need Twinkle Twinkle Little Star guitar sheet music in order to learn the notes to play. Luckily, you can also learn it from the simplified Twinkle Twinkle Little Star guitar tab.
For the tabs to this song, we’ve included a very simple one-string version. It’s a perfect introduction to playing tabs (and to playing notes instead of chords). The tabs show it being played on the high E string, but you can play the same notes on the low E for a more bass-heavy version.
First, let’s start with the first two lines. Each note corresponds to a syllable in the lyrics:
Now, here are the middle two lines. Just like the first two lines, each note represents one syllable in the lyrics. The notes are evenly spaced, so it should be relatively easy to get into a rhythm:
And finally, for the ending, we return to the first two lines again. Play it just like you did before:
Once you get the hang of playing the different notes, you can use the song to practice different techniques. Try some hammer-ons and pull-offs, slide from one note to the other, or use the steady tempo to practice your alternate picking! And just like any other tab, play through the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star guitar tabs as slowly as you need to without making mistakes. Once you can play it accurately, you can work on playing it faster.
Remember that this is only one Twinkle Twinkle Little Star tab; there are seemingly endless arrangements out there. If you don’t like how this one sounds (or if you want to try out something a bit more complex), you can always find another!
We hope that you’re now well on your way to being able to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with confidence. Thanks to its simplicity, it’s an excellent choice for getting comfortable with both picking and strumming songs. And since the lyrics are so familiar, it’s a great song to start practicing playing and singing at the same time, too!