How To Play Knocking On Heavens Door On Acoustic Guitar

“Knocking On Heavens Door Guitar Chords”Jimmy Dillon Acoustic Guitar Lesson from Guitar Control. This timeless classic is a crowd favorite and you will be the star at the next jam session.

Knocking On Heavens Door Chords

Hey, there this is Jimmy Dillon with Guitar Control, back with another acoustic lesson this is one of my favorite all time songs it’s a Classic epic tune by Bob Dylan it’s called “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”. I called this one humorously a three chord wonder, although there is a 4th quarter you can add to it which I’ll show you, but this one is in the key of G. We’re starting out for you beginners with the G chord and then a D chord and an A minor chord then back to G chord so those are the three chords in the song.

Check out this FREE!

Learn How To Play Knocking On Heavens Door


Now I’m going to show you a strumming pattern that I like to do on Knocking On Heavens Door. I’d like to do a little bounce on this Dylan tune, so I start out hitting the low G-string with my strum and I hit an open D-string by the D chord then an open A-string by the A minor chord. I’m actually singing the song mama take this badge from me, to get that you talk to see so that’s what I call a really easy strumming three-chord wonder. That’s why you can sing along with a couple guitars or a whole band as you like.

I think Guns N’ Roses did a cover of it that song originally by the way it was written for a movie called “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” and that starred Kris Kristofferson, actually Bob Dylan was in the movie. A little bit of trivia for you, so back to the actual bones of Knocking On Heavens Door. You know if you can get this if you’re a beginner you understand you know it’s just a simple G chord, a deep one and A minor.

Now if you’re a little slightly more advanced player, maybe an intermediate, we can take this to a cowboy chord and it’s the same G chord. Well what I do is I take my 3rd finger and I fret the 3rd fret on the B-string, D note, the pinky is tucked right under the high E on the 3rd fret of the E-string, what that sounds like as opposed to this chord which is fine when you get this one it’s a little more Chimey, thats what I like to use and on this song if you’re able to do that it’s a good one.


Now the other move I want to show you for Knocking On Heavens Door is kind of important and what I call connective tissue would be when you get to your D note, your D chord I should say you can hammer-on your pinky here and that’s always a nice little touch; or you can have around your second finger to the 2nd fret of the E-string.

That’s also a bit when you’ve heard James Taylor do that a lot then on you’re A minor chord. You want to get a slight sort of embellish. You lift your third finger up for that A minor chord and you’re going to get an A minor step which is a nice voicing. What it does it sort of implies a C chord. So if you don’t want to do the C chord at the end you can just simply get the A minor that implies the C chord and back to G, so it’s still three chords if you want to hit the C chord it happens at the end of the chorus of Knocking On Heavens Door.

What I call the cowboy version of Knocking On Heavens Door, you put your third finger on your low G note 3rd fret low E and then play your C chord with your pinky playing the 3rd fret of you’re A-string. If we do all the embellishments the chime G chord little hammer-on and this is for someone who’s a little bit more intermediate I would say even advanced because these are the things that a lot of people don’t know so if you do it with the chime your G chord notice what I do it a little slightly different strum from there, now if you do everything I showed you there’s your three cord wonder 4 chords if you choose put the C in there knocking on heaven’s door covered by everybody in there brother but a great classic Bob Dylan song and whether you can sing along with your friends play with another guitarist as you wish hope you enjoyed it. Make sure to subscribe on our YouTube Channel and we’ll see you in our next video lessons, thanks for watching How To Play Knocking On Heavens Door.

How to play your favorite songs from the 60's & 70's on the guitar


This free course expires in:


Get 2 hours of FREE Guitar Lessons.