While My Guitar Gently Weeps Chords – Your Essential Guide

George Harrison’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords are easy to play once you break them down – Let’s dive in!

Over 100,000 guitar-learners get our world-class guitar tips & tutorials sent straight to their inbox: Click here to join them

In this free lesson you will learn…

  • How to play this classic Beatles song
  • Beginner and intermediate versions of how to play While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  • How to strum this song properly
  • How to sing while playing this tune!

Let’s Hear It for the Quiet Beatle!

While Lennon and McCartney were churning out a generation’s worth of mega-hits for The Beatles, my favorite Beatle managed to insert a handful of gems onto every album.

George Harrison’s songs always infuse a Beatles listening session with a fresh and quirky grace.

His biggest hits with The Beatles included “It’s All Too Much,” “I Want to Tell You,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Something,” “Taxman,” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Each of these songs is worth its own lesson, but today we’re going to take a look at the big one: “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

while-my-guitar-gently-weeps-chords

Harrison wrote this beautiful and troubled tune in 1968 after the band’s trip to India and foray into transcendental meditation failed to mitigate the disharmony that was percolating in the band.

Although the rest of the band – I mean, we know who – was initially a bit dismissive of the song, it became one of the biggest hits of The Beatles, also known as “The White Album,” when the album was released in 1968.

  • Harrison had been playing the Sitar for a couple of years before returning to the guitar with this hit in his hands.
  • This is a song that even beginning guitarists can master with ease, and that may be because of the Sitar’s influence – who knows?

So let’s get started learning this amazing song!

while-my-guitar-gently-weeps-chords

While My Guitar Gently Weeps Chords for the Absolute Beginner

This is a challenging song for an absolute beginner, but why pick up the guitar if we’re afraid of a little challenge?

The first song we try to learn on the guitar is almost always a song we have no business learning. That’s part of the excitement!

  • It also teaches us to work through the frustration of learning something new.
  • There are always deeper levels for learning songs, and that doesn’t need to stop us from doing what we can to play the songs we love.

Beginning Chords For The Verse

Here is a set of modified chords you can use as an absolute beginner to learn the sequence of While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords in the verse.

Am (x02010)

While-My-Guitar-Gently-Weeps-Chords

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

G (xx0003)

While-My-Guitar-Gently-Weeps-Chords

D (xx0230)

While-My-Guitar-Gently-Weeps-Chords

C (xxx010)

While-My-Guitar-Gently-Weeps-Chords

E (xxx100)

While-My-Guitar-Gently-Weeps-Chords

If you can practice changing these chords, you can figure out where they go in the verse.

These type of While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords save you the trouble of trying to get through the descending bass line that happens throughout the verse.

The sequence of these chords is right below, taking you from the beginning of the singing section right up to the bridge.

Am Am Am Am

Am G D E

Am Am Am Am

Am G C E

while-my-guitar-gently-weeps-chords

Learn the 12 EASIEST beginner chords with our famous FREE guide

  Stop struggling. Start making music.

  Learn 12 beginner-friendly versions of every chord.

  This is our most popular guide and it will improve your chord ability quickly.

Beginning Chords For The Bridge

The bridge portion of While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords is a completely different set, so it makes sense to learn and practice the two parts of the song separately at first.

We’ll get into why that’s the case later, but for now, here are the beginning versions of the bridge chords for you.

A (x02200)

While-My-Guitar-Gently-Weeps-Chords

C#m (xxx120)

While-My-Guitar-Gently-Weeps-Chords

F#m (xxx222)

While-My-Guitar-Gently-Weeps-Chords

Bm (xxx432)

While-My-Guitar-Gently-Weeps-Chords

E (xxx100)

While-My-Guitar-Gently-Weeps-Chords

Get used to changing between these chords, and then you can play them in sequence.

A C#m F#m C#m

Bm Bm E E

That sequence happens twice in the bridge, and then it’s back to the verse chords.

while-my-guitar-gently-weeps-chords

While My Guitar Gently Weeps Chords for the Slightly More Experienced

If you’re ready for fuller versions of the While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords, we have some options for you!

These sets of chords will get you through the song whether or not you are a user of barre chords.

Here are the chords for the verse:

Am (x02210)

Fmaj7 (xx3210)

G (320003)

D (xx0232)

C (x32010)

E (022100)

Using these shapes, these While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords for the verse follow this sequence:

Am Am Am Fmaj7

Am G D E

Am Am Am Fmaj7

Am G C E

The bridge sequence of While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords presents choices for you; feel free to use whichever sound good and feel comfortable.

A (x02220)

C#m (xx2120)

C#m (x46654)

F#m (xx4222)

F#m (244222)

Bm (xx4432)

Bm (x24432)

E (022100)

The basic progression of While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords in the bridge is the same no matter which versions of the chords you decide to use.

while-my-guitar-gently-weeps-chords

Pro-Tip: Before you begin using embellishing chords and bass lines, practice the basic structure of these While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords so that you become familiar with the song structure!

This will help you to hear where the embellishments are supposed to go and anticipate them while you are playing.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps Chords Including Bass Line

The first addition to your arrangement of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has to be the obvious: the descending bass line built into the verse chords.

With this sequence of modified While My Guitar Gently weeps chords, you’ll be able to make your arrangement sound like it does on the recording, even if you never make any other changes!

The sequence of embellished chords we are dealing with looks like this:

Am Am/G F#m7b5 Fmaj7

Am G D E

Those chord names are given in this pretty thorough version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords from Ultimate Guitar.

From a music theory standpoint, the names are correct, but those names don’t really help you to understand what’s actually happening on the guitar.

A better way to name those chords would be this:

Am Am/G Am/F# Am/F

While-my-guitar-gently-weeps-chords

All you are doing is adding another note to the bottom of the chord each time the chords change.

  • This emulates the bass line you hear throughout the verse.
  • If you have a bass player, you don’t have to worry about any of this, but you’ll want to have the bass line built into your solo guitar arrangement.

Here’s the sequence you’ll use for While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords during the verse.

Am (x02210)

Am/G (3×2210)

F#m7b5 (2×2210)

Fmaj7 (1x221x)

Each of these chords presents a slightly different guitar puzzle for you to solve.

Personally, I’ve developed the habit of using my pinky on the E string for the Am/G, my thumb on the E string for the F#m7b5, and my first finger on the E string for the Fmaj7, which means I have to reconfigure the whole chord every time.

Always remember that the right way to play a chord is whatever way you can get it to sound good!

See how these configurations work best for you, because that will depend on your hand size, neck size, and wingspan between your fingers. Be patient with your fingers, and you’ll get it!

while-my-guitar-gently-weeps-chords

Rhythm For Your While My Guitar Gently Weeps Chords

In the full band arrangement, there is an acoustic guitar strumming the basic While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords, while the descending bass line is handled elsewhere.

If you’d like to play the rhythm as it is in the acoustic guitar part, it’s pretty simple.

You’ll just strum down, down, down-up, down-up.

  • You’ll complete one of those strumming cycles per chord until you get to the second line of the bridge when the B minor chord gets two measures.
  • This strumming pattern keeps the rhythm of the song going nicely throughout the verse and the bridge.
  • It’s also a good way to get used to singing and strumming While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords at the same time!

How-to-play-while-my-guitar-gently-weeps-on-guitar

If you’d like a fuller rhythmic arrangement of the While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords, it’s pretty easy to incorporate the descending bass line.

You can maintain the basic down, down, down-up, down-up strum, but for the first two beats, instead of strumming, you’ll pick a single string twice.

  • For the A minor chord, pick the A string.
  • For the Am/G, F#m7b5, and Fmaj7, pick the E string. That’s where the bass notes are, so that’s where the action is!
  • You can maintain this pick, pick, down-up, down-up pattern throughout the song, or during the bridge you can revert to strumming the entire measure.
  • Strumming gives you a bigger sound and helps you to shape the song so that some parts are naturally louder than others. That’s dynamics, baby!

Easy-beatles-guitar-songs

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It can be disorientating for guitarists to understand which scales work with which keys.

With this in mind, we created a cheat-sheet; a key and scale-finder that you can use again and again.

Singing and Strumming While My Guitar Gently Weeps Chords

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a bit of a challenge to sing, if your goal is to keep the same phrasing that’s used in the recording.

Phrasing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – the act of connecting notes into phrases.

  • When you have lyrics to sing, the phrases make themselves – it’s usually pretty obvious how to group the lyrics together to make sense.
  • Another aspect of phrasing is the rhythm you use to sing the words, and that’s where “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” gets a little bit tricky.

George-Harrison-Guitar-Songs

If you listen carefully to the vocal line in the verse of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” you’ll notice that the words are slightly ahead of the beat.

  • Tap your foot and count while you’re listening to the vocals, and you’ll get an idea of how it’s done.
  • In the first line for example, “I look at you all,” the word “I” happens when you tap your foot on beat four, and the word “look” happens when your foot comes up between beats four and one, technically referred to as the “and” of 4.
  • The words after that, and most of the words in the song, happen on the “and”.
  • That’s known as syncopation, the rhythm you get when things happen in between the beats.

The words are ahead of the beat a lot of the time in this song. That means you’ll be singing a lot of the song while you’re strumming up.

When you practice singing and strumming, it’s best not to think about it too much and try to keep your steady strum motion going while you sing.

Singing in between the beat happens all the time, and practicing that skill improves your general rhythm a lot more quickly than if you weren’t singing!

Easy-beatles-songs-for-guitar

Here’s why it’s important to try to sing while you’re playing the guitar, even if you do not fancy yourself a lead vocalist.

  • When you strum the While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords, you are providing a certain rhythm to accompany the vocals. You are not, however, strumming the same rhythm as the vocals.
  • When you strum and sing, you’re executing two different rhythms at the same time. Of course it’s hard to do in the beginning, which is why tapping your foot is such a good idea.
  • You’re keeping the basic beat with your foot, playing a rhythm pattern on the guitar, and singing a different rhythm. That’s THREE different rhythm skills you’re doing at the same time!

With steady practice, it will start to feel completely natural!

fun-beatles-songs-to-play-on-guitar

Embellishments For While My Guitar Gently Weeps Chords

Whenever we listen to a song, little parts of the song like a particularly powerful drum fill or a lovely tasty little guitar lick tend to stick in our heads.

When you arrange a song, you can put those little pieces into your arrangement!

  • They make the song that much more enjoyable to play and listen to.
  • For me, a favorite bit I like to put into my arrangement of the While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords comes right after the first time the title is sung.

It’s an easy little lead line I like to use, and it goes like this:

beginner-friendly-guitar-songs

It fills up the space between lyrics nicely and it’s good to have a riff to break up the chords a little bit.

Another part I like to use in my solo guitar arrangement is the little walk-up halfway through the bridge.

It follows “they bought and sold you,” and it looks like this.

You can find your favorite little sections and insert them into your arrangement of While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords!

Here is a pretty good piece of tablature of some of the different guitar parts in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, to help you find your favorite riffs.

More Songs by the Beatles!

Now you’ve got a version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps chords, no matter what your experience level on the guitar.

Teach it to a friend! Play it at a jam! There are plenty more Beatles songs for you here at National Guitar Academy.

If you would like a book of Beatles songs, check out the Little Black Songbook, Beatles.

Recommended Resources

Here’s some more National Guitar Academy lessons you may enjoy!

What Type of Guitarist Are You?

Take our 60-second quiz & get your results: Take The Quiz

Want free guitar tips and video lessons delivered to your inbox?

Join over 100,000 other guitar learners and subscribe to our guitar-tips-by-email service. (It's free.)

We'll send you a series of lessons that will move you to the next level of your guitar journey.

Learn how everything fits together quickly, easily and effectively. We share ninja tips (for instant fun!) but also timeless fundamentals that will deepen your understanding.

Popular Lessons

How To Learn Guitar: An 11-Step Programme For Beginners

10 Easy Songs For Beginners

How To Strum A Guitar

How To Choose The Perfect Beginner Guitar

Guitar Notes Explained: A Guide For Beginners

How To Play Lead Guitar

3 Easy Ways To Play Bm

More Cool Guitar Stuff

Learn about the National Guitar Academy: About Us

Visit our YouTube channel for fun guitar videos.

Join us on Facebook for daily guitar tips.

Listen to our Learn Guitar Podcast for rapid guitar progress.

Check out our free chord lessons.

 
Get our best guitar tips & videos
Where should we send it?
Where should we send it?
Get our best guitar tips & videos
Enter your email address to learn our best guitar tips and tricks today!