Star Spangled Banner – guitar tabs and chords

Last updated on July 4th, 2023


The U.S. National Anthem, Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key with music by John Stafford Smith. This post covers the guitar chords and sheet music for the melody including tabs. Let’s get started!

How to read the guitar chord charts

To clarify how to read the 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 A Major chord, you use the:

  • 1st finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret
  • 2nd finger on the 3rd string, 2nd fret
  • 3rd finger on the 2nd string, 2nd 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.

Star Spangled Banner guitar chords

In the key of A Major, the chords for Star Spangled Banner are A Major, F# minor, B 7, E Major, C# minor, D Major, B minor, E sus 4, A 7, D/F#, D min/F, and A/E. You can click on the chords with links to learn different ways of playing that chord.

Try the following chords one at a time until you feel comfortable switching between them. These chords will be written above the melody in the next section.

Star Spangled Banner guitar chords

Here are some other resources on chords:

Star Spangled Banner guitar tabs

This section shows you the melody of the song with guitar tabs and the chords written above the staff. Keep in mind that the melody and chords are meant to be played as separate parts.

The numbers next to some notes on the top staff indicate which fingers to use on the fretting hand. You can refer to this simple guide to understanding music symbols if needed.

By the way, you can get all the PDF’s of this post below.


Star Spangled Banner guitar tabs page 1
Star Spangled Banner guitar tabs page 2
Star Spangled Banner guitar notes


Star Spangled Banner lyrics

Verse 1:
O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
⁠What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
⁠O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the Rockets’ red glare, the Bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our Flag was still there;
⁠O! say does that star-spangled Banner yet wave,
⁠O’er the Land of the free and the home of the brave?

Verse 2:
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
⁠Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
⁠As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream,
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Verse 3:
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
⁠That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
⁠Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Verse 4:
O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand,
⁠Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land,
⁠Praise the Power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto—”In God is our Trust;”
⁠And the star-spangled Banner in triumph shall wave,
O’er the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Reference: The Star-Spangled Banner. wikipedia.org


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

Get the free guitar practice guide here!

All the best,

JG Music Lessons

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