Happy Xmas (War is Over)

by John Lennon • Lesson #35 • Dec 23, 2016

Editor’s Notes

This video is an acoustic guitar lesson for the song Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. I’ll show you how to play it, whether you’re looking for simple strum-along version or a more advanced arrangement full of flourishes to capture the melody you hear in the album version. This lesson includes a playthrough, explanation of how to play each chord, overview of the chord progressions needed, strumming patterns – I cover it all!

Free Video Lesson


  • 0:00 Playthrough
  • 1:08 Lesson intro
  • 1:58 Basic chords used
  • 3:20 Strumming pattern
  • 3:55 Simple-strum instructions
  • 5:20 Adding melodic flourish

Print-Friendly Song Sheet 3 pages

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Chord shapes

Here’s how to play the chords needed in this song, in their simplest form. In my song sheet (and video lesson) I show the various ways Lennon modifies each of these chords to add a bit of melody to the strumming.

E |–––0–––2–––0–––2–––0––––3–––
B |–––2–––3–––0–––3–––0––––0–––
G |–––2–––4–––1–––2–––0––––0–––
D |–––2–––4–––2–––0–––2––––0–––
A |–––0–––2–––2–––––––2––––2–––
E |–––––––––––0–––––––0––––3–––
      A   Bm  E   D   Em   G

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