HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN – How To Play On Guitar and Harmonica

by George on September 5, 2011

in Beginner Guitar Songs, Music Lessons, Play Songs On Guitar and Harmonica, Song Lessons

The House Of The Rising Sun – Lesson on Guitar and Harmonica – Guitar Chords, Harmonica Tabs, Lyrics, Sheet Music, MP3 Downloads and More

House of the Rising Sun Quick Facts

  • United States folk song.
  • Most famous rendition by Eric Burdon and the Animals recorded in just one take and released in May 1964.
  • The Animals version became the first British Invasion number one hit in the US that was not written or recorded by The Beatles.
  • Earliest known recording by Appalachian artists Clarence Ashley and Gwen Foster in 1933.
  • Other versions include those done by Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Frijid Pink, and Waylon Jennings.

Musical Instruments and Recording Setup

Harmonic Gear
In this video, I’m playing a Hohner Special Twenty Harmonica, Key of C mounted in a Hohner Harmonica Holder. You can get either by clicking on the images below.

Fender Acoustic Guitar
Since I was on a camping trip when I filmed this, I’ve got my Fender F65 road trip guitar with me. I bought this guitar in 1983 in Fort St. John, BC and have taken it to many happy campfires since. Fender simply make great guitars that last and sound great.
If you’re looking to get started playing for a really great price, you won’t go wrong with the Fender FA-130 Acoustic-Electric Guitar Pack pictured below. This is Amazon’s best selling Acoustic Electric and comes complete with Fender® SA-10 Acoustic Guitar Amplifier, Gig Bag, Guitar Cable, Strap, Instructional DVD, Strings, Picks and String Winder.
I play a Fender and I love it.

This video and most of my videos previous have been filmed with a Flip UltraHD Video Camera. Unfortunately, they are no longer produced. The camera was a super cheap way to get HD quality.
However, because they have been discontinued, you can find great deals on these cameras. I will have to come back in the future to change this page because you won’t be able to get it any more but for now, use the links below to get awesome deals on this great little camera.

Flip UltraHD Video Camera – Black, 8 GB, 2 Hours (3rd Generation) NEWEST MODEL

Sheet Music

Folk Pop Rock: Guitar Chord Songbook (6 inch. x 9 inch.)

The House of the Rising Sun Sheet Music (Lead Sheet)

Guitar Chords, Lyrics, Harmonica Tabs

“The House Of The Rising Sun” music and lyrics are property and copyright of their owners and provided for educational purposes and personal use only.
If you want the real thing, use the links above.
This is my rendition, transcription, envision of an all time awesome song.
Harmonica tabs note – a minus (‘-‘) sign means draw otherwise blow.

Am C D F
There is a house in New Orleans
6 -6 -7 7 8 -8 6 -6

Am C E E7
They call the Rising Sun
9 -10 -10 9 8 -8 8

Am C D F
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy
9 -10 -10 – 8 -8 6 -6 -6

Am E Am E
And God I know I’m one
6 -6 7 -7 6 -6

Am C D F
My mother was a tailor

Am C E E7
She sewed my new bluejeans

Am C D F
My father was a gamblin’ man

Am E Am E
Down in New Orleans

Am C D F
Now the only thing a gambler needs

Am C E E7
Is a suitcase and trunk

Am C D F
And the only time he’s satisfied

Am E Am E
Is when he’s on a drunk

Am C D F
Oh mother tell your children

Am C E E7
Not to do what I have done

Am C D F
Spend your lives in sin and misery

Am E Am E
In the House of the Rising Sun

Am C D F
Well, I got one foot on the platform

Am C E E7
The other foot on the train

Am C D F
I’m goin’ back to New Orleans

Am E Am E
To wear that ball and chain

Am C D F
Well, there is a house in New Orleans

Am C E E7
They call the Rising Sun

Am C D F
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy

Am E Am
And God I know I’m one

eBusk - Make Money With Music Online
Video Transcription
Hey George here. Welcome to this video where I show you how to play The House Of The Rising Sun on guitar and harmonica up on Anarchist Mountain, BC, in front of an old Diamond T crane.
Ok, House of the Rising Sun guitar chords, let’s start off with the guitar chords.
We start of in Am and then C and then D and then F.
Back to Am again, to C, to E and then E7.
Then Am, to C, to D, to F.
Then Am to E to Am.
So that’s all the chords.

The time signature – we’re not standard 4/4 here. We’re actually in 6/8 where every eighth note gets a beat and there’s 6 beats to a measure. So it’s counted 1 2 3 4 5 6, 1 2 3 4 5 6.
Ok, we’re going to pick it here and we’re going to play bass notes with the thumb and then the first, second and third fingers to pick. Let me just show you with Am. So it starts with the thumb and then plays fingers 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 and continues with the rest of the chords.
So the only picking pattern that’s a little different is when we go from the E to E7 and add some tension to the chord.
For the harmonica, we’re in the key of C. Actually, we’re in the key of Am which is the relative minor to C major so we’re in the key of C, no sharps, no flats. So, I’m using a C harmonica, Hohner Special 20.
Get the harp and holder at George’s Harp Shop at
So, let’s play through this. I’ll put the lyrics and the harmonica tabs and stuff like that on the website so you can follow along there.
Let’s try to jam this out then shall we?
Alright, House of the Rising Sun. Eric Burdon and The Animals did the most famous version of that old classic song. So there’s the chords, key signature, time signature, picking-strumming pattern, harmonica, harmonica tabs on the website.
So I hope you can use that to put together this great old song.
Alright, so thanks for watching, cheers, have a great day. Please comment, like it, share it, spread it around.