Song 4 - Classic Guitar Songs - Stairway to Heaven



I bet most of us have a Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin memory. Perhaps we can remember the first time we heard it. Or maybe the song brings us back to a special time or event in our lives. Nostalgia aside, Stairway to Heaven sounds just as fresh today as when it first came out. The lyrics, the music, the change in dynamics - this song is worth learning.


Before you start learning this song, you may want to listen to it a few times. You want to get the timing and the music in your ear so you can play it more accurately. You may choose to strum as it is displayed in the song, or you can do your own thing. It’s up to you.

Also, don’t panic. This song is a little more complex than the other songs you’ve worked on. But, if you’ve been practicing your chords, this won’t be hard at all. You may notice that there are some chords you don’t know yet. I’ve included their diagrams after the lyrics and music and the chords will be underlined. One more thing. A “+” after a chord indicates that it is augmented.


Stairway to Heaven Words and Lyrics


Am   G#+   C   D   Fmaj7    G    Am

Verse 1

	     Am            G#+           C            D

There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold

               Fmaj7                     G  Am

and she’s buying a stairway to heaven

              Am                  G#+             C                 D

When she gets there she knows if the stores are all closed

         Fmaj7                                G    Am

with a word she can get what she came for

C  D  Fmaj7  Am         C          G                 D

Oh __ Oh __ and she’s buying a stairway to heaven

               C                D               Fmaj7       Am

There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure

                 C                       D                   Fmaj7

‘cause you know sometimes words have two meanings

         Am         G#+                 C                  D

In a tree by the brook there’s a songbird who sings

                 Fmaj7                      G   Am

Sometimes all of her thoughts are misgiven

Am     G#7     C     D   Fmaj7     G     Am

G/B     Am7     Dsus4     D                       Am7            Em       D

                                       Oh it makes me wonder

Am7     Dsus4     D                      Am7       Em      D      C    D  C  D

And              it makes me wonder

Verse 2

               C           G             Am

There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west

             C          G               F   Am

and my spirit is crying for leaving

           C                     G                   Am

In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees

             C           G                       F   Am
And the voices of those who stand looking

Am7     Dsus4     D                      Am7       Em      D      C    D  C  D

And              it makes me wonder

Am7     Dsus4     D                      Am7       Em      D      C    D  C  D

Oh              it  really makes me wonder

Verse 3

Repeat chords for Verse 2

And its whispered that soon if we all call the tune

then the piper will lead us to reason

And the new day will dawn for those who stand long

and the forest will echo with laughter


C                G/B               Am                                    C

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow don’t be alarmed now

                      G/B                  F      Am

it’s just a spring clean for the may queen

Repeat line 1 of bridge

Yes there are two paths you can go by but in the long run

Repeat line 2 of bridge

there’s still time to change the road you’re on

Repeat music from first part of bridge for next four lines

Your head is humming and it won’t go in case you don’t know

the piper’s calling you to join him

Dear lady can you hear the wind blow but did you know

your stairway lies in the whispering wind


Next  part:

This end uses an Am G F G bar chord sequence. We learned bar chords in a previous lesson

And as we wind on down the road

Our shadows taller than our souls

There walks the lady we all know

Who shines white light and wants to know

how everything still turns to gold

And if you listen very hard

the time will come to you at last

When all are one and one is all

To be a rock and not to roll

Interlude and then:

         Fmaj7		     G   Am

And she’s buying a stairway to heaven


There, now that wasn’t so bad, was it? Play this along with the actual song and you’ll develop your timing and it will also double check to make sure all the chords are correct. Make any changes you want and break away from the original form to create your own interpretation.


What follows are the diagrams for the chords we haven’t covered yet. There are only four, but practice them until you are used to forming the positions.


Am7  G/B  Fmaj7  Dsus4


Play this song slowly at first to help you learn how to change from one chord to the next. Then, play along with the classic hit to help you learn the timing. Oh, and if you intend on singing to it, start practicing that as soon as you start strumming the chords. It can be challenging to do both together so you may as well start from the beginning.