The Star-Spangled Banner

National anthem
First published in 1814
Words by the American lawyer and author Francis Scott Key

First verse (excerpt):
O say can you see, by the dawn's early light, / What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, / Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight


The Star-Spangled Banner guitar tab and notes (pdf)

tabs tabs & notes


The Star-Spangled Banner instrumental guitar (mp3)

The Star-Spangled Banner - guitar tab, notes, chords and lyrics

"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the National anthem of the United States. It is originally a poem written by Francis Scott Key first titled "Defence of Fort M'Henry" about the War of 1812. It was set to the melody "To Anacreon in Heaven" written 1773 by the English composer John Stafford Smith.

The music transcriptions of the song with tabs and notes are available for download as PDFs. It's free for personal use only.

The Star-Spangled Banner (full accompaniment)

"The Star-Spangled Banner" for guitar with full accompaniment. Free download in pdf-file and audio.

The Star-Spangled Banner guitar accompaniment

The Star-Spangled Banner for flute

"The Star-Spangled Banner" for flute in the key of G. Free download in pdf-file and audio.

The Star-Spangled Banner flute

The Star-Spangled Banner (only melody)

"The Star-Spangled Banner" tablature notation for guitar.

The Star-Spangled Banner notes and tabs

Tips on how to learn this song

Notice the two endings of the first section, indicated with numbers 1 and 2. The 8th bar with the first ending should be played the first time before the reprise, when skipped the second time.

Capo can be used on first fret, which emulates the original key Ab (A flat). The version is otherwise arranged in the more guitar-friendly key of G.

The Star-Spangled Banner chords in the key of C
(G7)O (C)say can (G)you (Am)see, (E)by the (Am)dawn's ear(D7)ly (G)light,
What so (C)proudly we (G)hailed at the (C)twilight's last gleaming?
(G7)Whose broad (C)stripes and (G)bright (Am)stars (E)through the (Am)peril(D7)ous (G)fight,
O'er the (C)ramparts we (G)watched, were so (C)gallantly streaming?
And the (C)rocket's red glare, the bombs (G)bursting in air,
Gave (C)proof through the (G)night that our flag (Am)was (D7)still (G)there.
O (C)say (Dm)does (C)that (F)star-spangled (Dm)banner yet (C)wave(G)
O'er the (C)land of the (C7)free (F)and the (C)home of (G)the (C)brave?

Poetic and archaic words:
o'er = over

The two first verses begin with a dominant chord, which is unusual. To take notice of is also the E and D7 chords, which doesn't match the key.

There are possibilities to change the key by using a capo:

Key, time, tuning and tempo

Information about "The Star-Spangled Banner" considering musical key, time signature, tuning and bpm.

Key signature music symbol


The main presented version of The Star-Spangled Banner is played in the key of G.

Time signature music symbol

Time signature

The song is played in 3/4 tempo (counted one, two, three for each measure).

Tuning overview


The song is normally played in standard tuning (EADGBE).

BPM symbol and numbers

Tempo (BPM)

The tempo in beats per minute is 90 for the presented version.

Tags: Flute, National anthems