Learn how to play American Pie on one acoustic guitar!
‘American Pie’ was the first and most successful song by American singer-songwriter Don McLean. Telling the story of the day the music died the song became an instant hit.
The chords can be tricky to remember since the same chords seem to be repeated in lots of different ways.
Thinking of them as numbers really will help as every number has a sound. If you can tap into this, you can hear where the progression wants to move next.
Learn more about hearing chord progressions like this in the intermediate course.
Intro and chorus chord progressions
Here are the intro and chorus chords:
| G D/F# Em | Am C | Em D Dsus4 | 2/4 Dsus2 D |
| G D/F# Em | Am C | Em C | D Dsus4 D Dsus2 |
| Em Am | Em Am | C Em7b5/B Am | C D |
| G D/F# Em | C D | G D/F# Em | C D | G |
| G C | G D | x3
| Em | A7 | Em | D Dsus2 D | Dsus4 D Dsus2 D |
In this video lesson, you’ll see a close up of the strumming hand. When you take the course we use this alongside complete TAB to learn the song to perfection.
Verse and outro chord progressions
These are the chords for the verse and the outro:
| G | Am | C | Am | C | D Dsus2 D | Dsus4 D Dsus2 D Dsus4 |
| G D/F# | Em | Am | C | Em | Am | D Dsus2 D | Dsus4 D Dsus2 D Dsus4 |
| Em | D | Em | D | C Gsus4/B | Am | C | D Dsus4 |
| G D/F# | Em | Am | C | G D/F# | Em | C | D |
| G C | G D Dsus4 |
| G D/F# Em | Am C | Em D | 2/4 Dsus2 D |
| G D/F# Em | Am Em | Em C | Dsus4 D Dsus2 D |
| Em Am | Em Am | C Em7b6/B Am | C D | 2/4 Dsus2 D |
| G D/F# Em | C D | I D/F# Em | C D | G |
You get the full lesson for ‘American Pie’, including what the chords mean and complete TAB when you take the intermediate guitar course.