Learn To Play John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas” (War is Over) for Guitar in the key of G

Hello all of you, because we are near Christmas (and yes, as I am typing this, it is snowing!!)  we will have a look John Lennon’s “War is Over”.  For those of you who do know some of the music of the Beatles and Lennon as a Soloartist, this song is a typical John Lennon song. He plays the song with a little melody within his chords. Similar songs of this kind are “Norgwegian Wood” and “Woman. Similar as “Norwegian Wood” this song is in Six/Eight feel, which means 6 beats which all last an 8th in length.

First have a listen to the song here before I go into detail:

       Here is the basic chordsequence for the whole song, observe the two chords per bar rhythm in 6/8 :

     G    G        G   G       Am  Am    Am  Am     

     D    D        D   D         G       G    G

         C         C    C     Dm  Dm   Dm  Dm

     G    G             G    G         C    C            C   C



             F   F         G           G  G

   Dm  Dm      F           C  C          D  D

         Once you are comfortable with the sequence and feel, then start playing the chords like this:

       G Gsus2 Gsus4 G               Am   Amsus2 Amsus4  Am                Dsus2    Dsus4   D

    E ———————–            –0——-0——-0———-0——-     –2——-0——-3——-2——

    B –0—0——1—0—-           –1——-0——-3———-1——-     –3——-3——-3——-3——

    G –0—2——0—0—-           –2——-2——-2———-2——-     –2——-2——-2——-2——

    D –0—0——0—0—-           –2——-2——-2———-2——-     –0——-0——-0——-0——

    A –2—2——2—2—-           –0——-0——-0———-0——-       ———————————-

    E –3—3——3—3—-           ————————————           ———————————-

           Csus2 Csus4  C         Dm  Dmsus2  Dmsus4    Dm

     E –0—–0—-1——-0-     —–1——–0——-3——–1———

     B –1—–3—-1——-1-     —–3——–3——-3——–3———

     G –0—–0—-0——-0-      —-2——–2——-2——–2———

     D –2—–2—-2——-2-      —-0——–0——-0——–0———

     A –3—–3—–3——3-       —————————————–

     E ————————-       —————————————–

               Here is the Full Chordsequence with the New Chords, again two chords per bar!!:

               G  Gsus2     Gsus4  G     Am  Amsus2     Amsus4  Am

               D  Dsus2     Dsus4  D     G   Gsus2        Gsus4  G

                 Csus2      Csus4   C     Dm  Dmsus2    Dmsus4  Dm

               G  Gsus2         Gsus4  G       C  Csus2         Csus4  C

    Chords for Chorus remain unchanged, play them as mentioned in the beginning of this Guitar Tutorial!

A good way to play those new chords is to play one strum per chord, once you are comfortable with them start putting in more strums as you did for the sequence mentioned in the beginning of this lesson.
John Lennon’s version is in the key of A, I have chosen for key of G as it gets you around the Bm barre chord and other “akward fingerings”.

Hope you enjoy playing those “new” chordshapes and see you next time around.