If you were like me, the first time I heard this song. I knew immediately that this was a song I would need to learn because it was music to my ears. And now after years of playing this song I can bring it to you. In this guitar lesson How to Play La Bamba on Guitar.

If your wondering How to Play La Bamba on Guitar. I will teach you how to play La Bamba by showing you all the ingredient you need to play the song on your guitar. Such as I will show you how to play the chords to La Bamba, The Riff, and chord progression, strumming pattern. Also included in this lesson is the tab and a bonus La Bamba Guitar Tutorial YouTube video.

If this sounds like a great way to learn how to play La Bamba on guitar. Then grab your guitar and lets get started.

La Bamba Guitar Song Chords

Lets start with the chords. There are three easy chords that when played together with this strumming pattern makes it so much fun to play. The chords are C, F, and G.

Chord Diagrams for the C, F, and G chords are listed below.

If you need help reading chord diagrams take a quick look at how to read chord charts.

Here is how to place your fingers to play the C Major chord.

  1. First finger is on the second string. The B string, at the first fret.
  2. Next place your second finger on the fourth string. The D string, at the second fret.
  3. Your third finger is on the fifth string. The A string, at the third fret.
  4. When strumming the C chord you don’t play the sixth string.

The F Major Chord Diagram Finger Position

There are several ways to play the F chord. This is one of them. And the easiest way to play it when you are going from the C to the F. At the Tempo of this song.

  1. Place your first finger at the first fret. Use it to bar the first and second string.
  2. Your second finger is on the second fret of the G string. Which is the third string.
  3. Then your third finger is on the fourth string. (The D string)
  4. Strum from the fourth string down. Don’t play the fifth and sixth strings.

2 Ways to Place Your Fingers for the G Major Chord

Here are two ways to position your fingers to play the G chord. They are the same notes. It just comes down to which is more comfortable for you to play. Here is the one I play:

  1. Place your second finger on the fifth string. The A string, at the second fret.
  2. Put your third finger on the sixth string. The E string, at the third fret.
  3. Your pinkie is on the high E string. Which is the first string. Also at the third fret.
  4. You can strum all the strings when playing the G chord.

The second G finger position is:

  1. First finger is on the fifth string, at the second fret.
  2. Second finger is on the sixth string, at the third fret.
  3. Use your third finger and place it on the high E string, at the third fret.
  4. You can strum all the strings.

Like I said it is all up to which is the most comfortable for you to play. So try them both and pick one.

The chord progression is C F G. This is after the riff. Which I will show you in a minute. Next so you can practice strumming these chords let me show you the strumming pattern.


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Strumming Pattern for La Bamba

The timing is 4/4 time. The strumming pattern is D D DU U UD U D U or Down Down Down Up Up Up Down Up Down Up. First practice the strumming without the chords. Just place your fretting hand lightly over the strings. So they don’t ring out, and practice the strumming pattern. After that incorporate some chords.


La Bamba Song Riff

In my opinion this riff is what makes the whole song. Yeah it has some good strumming. But the riff is where its at. So let me show you how to play it.

It starts with your third finger on the third fret of the 6th string. Pick the 6th string. This is the G note. Then you play the open A string, the 5th string. Next place your second finger on the second fret of the A string. Play the B note. Then place your third finger on the third fret on the A string.

At the same time you are positioning your fingers to play the C chord. But you are just playing the C note on the third fret of the 5th string, and the second fret of the fourth string. This is the E note on the second fret of the D string. You are going to play the fifth and fourth string at the same time.

Then the next note you are going to play. Is an open D string. Remember that’s the fourth string. Next you place your second finger on the D string at the second fret. Play the fourth string.

After that you are going to place your second finger on the second fret of the G string, the third string. And your third finger is on the third fret of the D string. Play both the G string and the D string at the same time.

With your second finger still at the second fret of the G. Now place your first finger on the first fret of the B string. Play both strings at the same time. The third and second strings.

We are at the last part of the first part of the riff and its easy. Just remove your fingers off the G and B strings. And play the G and B strings open. Meaning with no fingers fretting the strings.

Second Part of the Riff

This may take time to get used to playing. So break it down into little pieces when practicing. After you get part of it continue to the next part. Then you can try the second part of the riff.

Then you go back to the third fret of the sixth string. Place your finger there and then Pick the sixth string. Place your second finger on the second fret of the fifth string, and pick the fifth string. Then pick the D string open. Using your third finger cover the third fret of the D string. Pick the D string two times.

Place your second finger at the second fret on the D string and pick the D string again. Next play the open D chord.

Place your third finger on the third fret of the A string, and play the fifth string. Move to the second fret with your second finger. On the D sting, and pick the fourth string. With your third finger covering the third fret on the D string. Pick the D again.

Cover the second fret of the G string pick it. And then pick the G string open.

To get a better look at how to play the song La Bamba I recommend getting the Tab.

I hope your enjoying this lesson. Maybe you would also be interested in the beginners guide to guitar pedals & board setup All inclusive.

La Bamba Guitar Tab PDF

Since this is a fairly easy song to play. But the Riff can be a little tricky when you first start playing it. I decided to help you even more by creating the Tab. To assist you when you are learning this song. I recommend getting the La Bamba Guitar Tab PDF.


Related Questions

How do You do an F Chord?

Listed below is how to do an F chord in the first position. There are more than one way to play the F chord here is a link for 5 more ways to play the F chord.

F chord

  • Place your first finger at the first fret. Use it to bar the first and second string.
  • Your second finger is on the second fret of the G string. Which is the third string.
  • Then your third finger is on the fourth string. (The D string)
  • Strum from the fourth string down. Don’t play the fifth and sixth strings.
  • To learn more chords take a look at the Courses.

Where is a C Chord on Guitar?

There are several places to find the C chord on the guitar. The first position is listed below. And the more places you can find the notes and assemble the chords will open up the guitar neck to more possibility’s. More ways to play and more places to play on the guitar neck.

When you learn where the notes are and how to make chords. Then you will be able to play more songs. It lets you play 100’s of chords. If this is something you are interested in then take a look at the Guitar Bootcamp Course.

Listed below is the first position you will find the C chord.

  • First finger is on the second string. The B string, at the first fret.
  • Next place your second finger on the fourth string. The D string, at the second fret.
  • Your third finger is on the fifth string. The A string, at the third fret.
  • When strumming the C chord you don’t play the sixth string.

La Bamba Song

Did you know? The La Bamba song is a Mexican Folk song. The song is best known from 1958 Richie Valens Top 40 hit. And one of Rock N Rolls Best songs in America. Here is a link to the real Richie Valens Video. Where he sings La Bamba.

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