Hotel California by The Eagles is one of the most iconic songs in American history. Learning how to play Hotel California chords is a rite of passage for any musician.
In this article, we will teach you how to play hotel California on the guitar.
We will also discuss some of the song’s history and its place in popular culture. So buckle up!
Welcome to the Hotel…
The Eagles’ Hotel California is one of the most iconic and well-loved songs in American music history.
Released in 1977, the song has become a staple of classic rock radio stations across the country.
This song is a six-minute (plus) masterpiece that tells the story of a person who checks into a hotel called “The Hotel California” but never leaves.
Hotel California Composition
Hotel California was written by Don Felder, Glenn Frey, and Don Henley.
The demo of the instrumental was developed by Don Felder in a rented house on Malibu Beach.
He recorded the basic tracks with an old rhythm ace drum machine and added 12 string guitar, mixing it all together through his spare bedroom four-track deck to make sure that everything sounded perfect before giving both Don Henly and Glenn Frey a copy.
Henley was especially impressed with the sound due to its Latin and reggae music.
Is Hotel California easy to play on guitar?
The Hotel California chords are not too difficult to play.
If you know your basic guitar chords, then playing Hotel California should be manageable for you.
What makes the Hotel California guitar parts challenging is that the song has a long introduction and is six minutes in length.
We will not be focusing on the solo in this post as this is strictly pertaining to the chords of the song.
Is Hotel California played with a capo?
Hotel California is played with a capo on the second fret.
A capo shortens the length of strings and raises the pitch. This helps to accommodate for a player’s vocal range or an easier chord pattern.
Hotel California Chords
Let’s start with what chords are used before we brerak the Hotel California chords down.
Remember this is with a capo on the 2nd fret.
For the intro, we are going to play the above chords twice.
Again the progression is: Am, E7, G, D, F, C, Dm
Am E7 On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair G D Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air F C Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light Dm My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim E7 I had to stop for the night Am E7 There she stood in the doorway; I heard the mission bell G And I was thinking to myself D This could be heaven or this could be hell F C Then she lit up a candle, and she showed me the way Dm There were voices down the corridor, E7 I thought I heard them say...
F C Welcome to the Hotel California. E7 Am Such a lovely place, (such a lovely place), such a lovely face F C Plenty of room at the Hotel California Dm E7 Any time of year, (any time of year) You can find it here
Am E7 Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, She got the Mercedes bends G D She got a lot of pretty pretty boys she calls friends F C How they danced in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat Dm E7 Some dance to remember, some dance to forget Am E7 So I called up the captain; Please bring me my wine (he said) G D We haven't had that spirit here since 1969 F C and still those voices are calling from far away Dm Wake you up in the middle of the night E7 Just to hear them say...
F C Welcome to the Hotel California. E7 Am Such a lovely place, (such a lovely place), such a lovely face F C They're livin' it up at the Hotel California Dm E7 What a nice surprise, (what a nice surprise) Bring your alibis
Am E7 Mirrors on the ceiling; the pink champagne on ice (and she said) G D We are all just prisoners here, of our own device F C and in the master's chambers, they gathered for the feast Dm They stab it with their steely knives but they E7 just can't kill the beast Am E7 Last thing I remember, I was running for the door G D I had to find the passage back to the place I was before F C "Relax" said the night man; we are programmed to receive Dm You can check out any time you like E7 But you can never leave...
Similar to the intro, the chords for the outro/solo are Am, E7, G, D, F, C, Dm.
The Hotel California chord pattern may seem overwhelming at first. Playing the chords will become second nature to you once you get used to them and practice regularily.
If you are new playing with a capo on your guitar, don’t worry as it will be an invaluable tool to learn Hotel California and other classic songs.
Capos are a great way to transpose songs so you can play them in different keys without having to adjust your chord shapes.
We recommend starting out slowly and learning each Hotel California chord individually before moving on to playing them together in sequence.
This playing method should help ease any frustrations that might arise when trying to learn Hotel California guitar!
We thank you for taking the time to read this article.
If you would like to learn the chords of a specific song, then drop a comment below.
Thank you again and remember to always HAVE FUN!