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.

Camera
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 http://www.georgegoodman.com/georgesharpshop.
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.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

tom abourmad July 28, 2014 at 3:36 am

this is just GREAT! nice shirt by the way ;-)

Reply

O YUJI July 9, 2014 at 6:42 am

Hi.
Thia is very famous song even in Japan.
I will try sing this song in the clubs with my guitar.
Thank you for your lessons.

Reply

Mel Roberts May 3, 2014 at 2:34 am

Most excellant lesson! Thank you!

Reply

George Goodman January 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm

house of the rising sun is great, you really play this song well :)

Reply

Mick De nijs November 17, 2013 at 6:08 am

You really make the song come alive again. Gonna get a new harmonica too.

Reply

sicopr2003 July 1, 2013 at 11:35 am

Wao what a great turorial.I’m thinking to buy an acoustic guitar,so what model is your Fender?

Reply

longnek June 19, 2013 at 9:42 pm

I like your style dude.

Reply

Stewart Vascucci June 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm

wow ke gran musico es uds señor godman lo admiramos aki en el salvador.. saludos!!!!

Reply

TRIXER1958 June 8, 2013 at 2:58 am

Good job George!

Reply

Gillie Dee April 3, 2013 at 1:58 am

Brilliant !!!

Reply

Frank Fischer March 30, 2013 at 10:51 am

Very nice. Great pleasure. And what a romantic background…

Reply

Big Al Robinson March 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm

George…
Excellent tutorial!
Oftentimes, I have usually used an Am harp in my band to play along with this great song.
(The chorus also lays perfectly on the Am harp as well.)
But it is GOOD to get it down on a C harp in the upper register!
Thank you!

Here is another good idea to learn on a C harp:
“Moondance” by Van Morrison.
Done in the same key…Am… and has the same style and feel as “House Of The Rising Sun.”
(Once again… both the verses and the chous lay perfectly on the Am harp without any bends.
Even the horn fills work by doing some octaves on the Am harp.)

Reply

George March 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Hi Al,
Thanks for pointing out the use of the Am harp. There’s always more than one way.
Another way would be to play in third position using a G harmonica. The Am chord on the G harmonica is -4-5-6 and -8-9-10

Moondance is a great tune. I haven’t tackled that on harmonica yet. I’ll have to give it a listen.

Cheers, George

Reply

Javier January 20, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Thanks a lot, George!

I am from spain, I am learning both: harmonic and guitar. Your web pages is amazing!

Sorry my english. Cheers.

Reply

George Goodman December 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Thanks

Reply

Fsuholley December 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Great job. Love the Harp.

Reply

George Goodman December 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Thanks Man. Cheers

Reply

heavymetalfool December 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

great lesson!

Reply

George Goodman October 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Absolutely.
Start with an easy song.
Keep the guitar rhythm really simple to start whether with singing or whistling or playing harmonica.
Take it slow
Learn the 2 parts really well separately before bringing together.
Sign up for free lessons on my site – the link is below the video. I will soon be releasing a guitar and harmonica method video series that will only be free to those already signed up.
Don’t quit.

Reply

TheOneAndOnlyDerp October 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Got any tips on how to play guitar and harmonica at the same time? I have always been weird with stuff like that. I can’t sing and play guitar at the same time, I can’t whistle and play guitar at the same time and I can certainly not play harmonica and guitar at the same time. It’s like my brain just… disconnects.. *sigh*

Reply

George Goodman August 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Lots in the pipeline. Sounds like a video on figuring out the right key might make for a good video too.
You’re usually going to be playing in first position where the key of the harmonica matches the key of the song or in second position where the key of the harmonica is a perfect 4th above the key of the song.
All this means is that you need to know the key of the song before knowing which harmonica to play.

Reply

phoenix simps August 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm

sweet lessons any more in the pipeline? also how do i know what key harp to play, with different songs been looking but carnt find anywhere can you help?

Reply

Ron August 14, 2012 at 4:05 am

Hi Thanks for the tutorial. I am confused at which fingers pick whick strings and when on which cord. Can you help? Thanks Ron

Reply

Bummaweigue January 26, 2012 at 1:17 am

Hi my friends, how is everything? Here it is genuinely nice YouTube video tutorials collection. i enjoyed a lot.

Reply

easy piano lessons for beginners January 10, 2012 at 4:28 am

Hello very nice blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally?I am happy to find numerous helpful information here in the submit, we need work out extra strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

Reply

nitwit2008 January 3, 2012 at 3:37 am

Very good. The harp sounds a bit high to get that moody feel.
How about Natural Minor harp in Am 2nd position?
Best wishes
Lost John

Reply

nitwit2008 January 3, 2012 at 3:37 am

[..YouTube..] Very good. The harp sounds a bit high to get that moody feel.
How about Natural Minor harp in Am 2nd position?
Best wishes
Lost John

Reply

Brad White September 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I enjoyed the educational clip! Already knew the chords (except the 2 fingered E) and had been wanting to get a harmonica but wasn’t sure which key to get it in. I’m an amature videographer and have plans to use the song (played by me) in a short low budget movie. I read that there’s no copyright on the words but maybe that’s only true of the original version. Hope I can use it for no fee. Thanks for the lesson, Brad.

Reply

George Goodman September 21, 2011 at 9:33 am

Thanks very much and good luck with that. Cheers, George

Reply

GeorgeGoodmanDotCom September 21, 2011 at 9:33 am

[..YouTube..] @CRAIGARRR Thanks very much and good luck with that. Cheers, George

Reply

GeorgeGoodmanDotCom September 21, 2011 at 9:33 am

[..YouTube..] @CRAIGARRR Thanks very much and good luck with that. Cheers, George

Reply

CRAIGARRR September 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Nice tutorial! Was actually looking at how to finger pick this tune from the book the complete guitar player I just got. Now if I can get my fingers to be working..The book was talking about 2 and 3 note bass runs linking the Am and C chords.. I will be lucky if my fingers don’t get stuck just the regular way!! :o) thanks!

Reply

CRAIGARRR September 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm

[..YouTube..] Nice tutorial! Was actually looking at how to finger pick this tune from the book the complete guitar player I just got. Now if I can get my fingers to be working..The book was talking about 2 and 3 note bass runs linking the Am and C chords.. I will be lucky if my fingers don’t get stuck just the regular way!! :o) thanks!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: