Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – Music Sheet, Chords and Tabs

twinkle twinkle little star nursery rhyme

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is one of the most popular nursery rhymes in the English speaking world! It’s short, simple and has a very catchy and repetitive melody. That’s why this song is also a great choice for young beginners on the guitar! In this free lesson we will learn about the origin and history of the song and how to play it actually on the guitar. There are different ways to play it and we will start with a very easy version where you just need one string of your guitar! But we will also show you how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with easy basic chords and provide you some free PDF downloads like the sheet music for your practicing!

History and Origin of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

The lyrics are from the poem “The Star”, which has been written by the English poet and novelist Jane Taylor who was an English poet and novelist. The poem has been published in 1806 for the first time. The melody has been taken from the French nursery rhyme “Ah! vous dirai-je, maman“. The song has five verses, but only the first one is really known and sung. Today the song has also many adaptions around the world and has been translated in many different languages.

Tabs for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Each song can be played in many different ways from very easy to pretty advanced fingerstyle arrangements. We want to focus on the easy arrangement but we want to discover different ways of playing it. We are going to learn both, how to play it by fingerpicking the strings and by strumming with chords. You can choose which you like or prefer and learn the version. But, all of the versions are worth trying and especially guitar teachers can start with the easiest one build up to the more advanced ones.

1. Level: Playing only on One Guitar String

guitar playing on 1 string

Let’s start with the fingerpicking version first. We can actually play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star just with one string! Because we find all the needed music notes on one guitar string. This is a very good exercise for beginners since they have to focus only on picking one string and moving only one finger of the left hand up and down on this string. Even if it’s your first day playing the guitar, this will be the right arrangement! Push down the string with your index or middle finger of your left hand. Pluck the strings with the thumb of your right hand.

How to read Guitar Tabs

Using horizontal lines as strings and numbers on those lines to represent the fret you should play, tablature gives us the guidance we need to start picking away at songs and their melodies. The strings are “upside-down”, meaning that the high sounding E is the highest line on your tablature. A zero (0) means you play the string open without any fingers on any frets. Learn more about reading guitar tabs!

Here are the tabs for Twinkle Twinkle Little Start on one string:

twinkle twinkle little star tabs one string guitar

Have a listen how it should sound when played on the guitar! You can also reduce the speed of the recording to play along.

You can actually play the same pattern on any other string as well. Try for example the 6th string (low E string) to have a pretty low version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

2. Level: Playing on several Guitar Strings

guitar 3 strings

Playing the song on just one string is a good start but actually you can find the same melody across different strings too. And it’s much more common and efficient to use the other strings on your guitar as well. The advantage here is that you don’t have to move your left hand too much along the neck of the guitar. Of course, you now have to use several fingers and pluck different strings, but this is a very good exercise! To make the tabs as beginner-friendly as possible you also find in the tabs, which finger you should when you have to press down a string.

Here are the tabs for playing the nursery rhyme on the first three strings:

twinkle twinkle little star guitar tabs

It sounds pretty similar to the first version but you can listen to the recording to check your playing.

Chords for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Fingerpicking is a very good exercise on the guitar and it’s beginner-friendly way to get familiar with the melody of a song. But if you want to sing and play simultaneously the song then you should play guitar chords. Again, there are actually many different ways to play this song by chords but we want to start with an easy version. We are going to play this song in a key of G, which makes it also pretty easy for singing for most of the people.

The chords that you need for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star are the basic chords G, C and D7. You could also play a D chord instead of a D7 but the D7 sounds pretty nice for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Here are the chord diagrams for the required chords:

g chord guitar
c chord guitar
d7 chord guitar
How to read Guitar Chords

Guitar Chords are illustrated in guitar chords diagram. They are a simplified illustration of the guitar neck and it tells you where to put which finger on which string. Learn more about how to read guitar chords!

If you already know how to play the chords and changing between these chords is not a big deal for you then you are good to go for playing the song by chords. Otherwise, practice first the chords and try to play the sequence G-C-D7 with simple down strums.

As a beginner we start playing it slowly. So, for every chord change we make at first just a down strum. This gives us enough time for changing between chords without worrying too much about strumming. Also, singing is much easier in the beginning if you just do one down strum on every chord change. Once you master it, you can apply a strumming pattern.

GTwinkle, twinkle, lCittle Gstar,
CHow I Gwonder D7what you are!
GUp aCbove the Gworld so D7high,
GLike a dCiamond iGn the D7sky.
GTwinkle, twinkle, lCittle Gstar,
CHow I Gwonder D7what you are!
twinkle twinkle little star guitar printables

Make learning easier and more fun for kids!
Each song comes with an illustration to color out!

Sheet Music with Notes for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

All the information about a music piece lies in the sheet music. It indicates the pitches, rhythms and chords of a song. However, sheet music is not super beginner-friendly because it requires some knowledge and learning in order to read it. That’s why guitar tabs or lyrics with chords are used for kids and beginners. But, it’s worth learning reading sheet music and if you know how to read them, then playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with the music notes is your way to go!

How to read Guitar Sheet Music

Guitar Chords are illustrated in guitar chords diagram. They are a simplified illustration of the guitar neck and it tells you where to put which finger on which string. Learn more about how to read guitar chords!

Here are the music notes for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:

twinkle twinkle little star music notes

Feel free to download the Sheet Music for free as a PDF for practicing or for your guitar lesson!

twinkle twinkle little star sheet music

Learn other nursery rhymes

ABC Song
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Brother John
Five little Ducks
Happy Birthday
Humpty Dumpty
Itsy Bitsy Spider
Mary had a little Lamb
Old MacDonald had a Farm
Row row row your Boat
Wheels on the Bus
Yankee Doodle