Ode to Joy (Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee) – Melody with tabs, chords and guitar arrangement


Ode to Joy was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven and is formally known as Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Opus 125. This lesson covers the chords for this song, sheet music for the melody including tabs, and a fingerstyle guitar arrangement.

Grab your guitar and let’s get started!

How to read the guitar chord charts

To clarify how to read the guitar chord charts in the next section, the top horizontal line represents the high E string and the bottom horizontal line represents the low E string. The vertical lines separate each fret. The numbers in the blue dots tell you which fingers to use on the fretting hand. 

For example, on the C Major chord, you use the:

  • 1st finger on the 2nd string, 1st fret
  • 2nd finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret
  • 3rd finger on the 5th string, 3rd fret
  • Circles represent open strings
  • X means to avoid the string

You can check this link for more on how to read guitar notation symbols.

Ode to Joy chords

The basic chords for Ode to Joy are C Major, F Major, G Major, A minor and D Major. You can click on these chords with links to learn different ways of playing them on guitar.

Try the following chords one at a time until you feel comfortable switching between them. You’ll see these chords written above the melody in the next section.


Here are some other resources on chords:

Ode to Joy guitar tabs and chords

For the sheet music below, keep in mind that the chords and melody are meant to be played as separate parts. We’ll look at how to connect these parts later in the arrangement section of this lesson.

You can refer to this simple guide to understanding music symbols if needed.

By the way, you can get all the PDFs for this song below.


Ode to joy notes and tabs and chords

Ode to Joy lyrics

Verse 1:
Joyful, joyful, we adore You,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before You,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

Verse 2:
All Your works with joy surround You,
Earth and heav’n reflect Your rays,
Stars and angels sing around You,
Center of unbroken praise;
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
Praising You eternally!

Verse 3:
Always giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Well-spring of the joy of living,
Ocean-depth of happy rest!
Loving Father, Christ our Brother,
Let Your light upon us shine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

Verse 4:
Mortals, join the mighty chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
God’s own love is reigning o’er us,
Joining people hand in hand.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music leads us sunward
In the triumph song of life.

Reference: Ode to joy. Hymnary.org

Ode to Joy melody and bass notes

In this section, we learn to put different the melody and bass notes together using a finger picking style method of playing. The numbers next to some notes on the top staff indicate which fingers to use on the fretting hand.

You can check out this lesson to learn how to finger pick on guitar.


Ode to Joy guitar arrangement

For this last section, we are incorporating simple chords into the finger picking arrangement.



If you like this style of playing, you can check out this lesson to learn how to connect a melody and chords on guitar.

Get the free guitar practice guide here!

Want to learn more songs? Check out the sheet music with guitar tabs resource on this site.

All the best,

JG Music Lessons

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