The Easiest Way To Play Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds On Guitar

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Don’t worry about a thing. Because I’m about to teach you Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds chords and the simplest way to play the song on your guitar.

This is a beginner-friendly version of the song. Nice and simple, so you can focus on getting your chord changes in the right spots.

Three Little Birds is one of the easiest 3-chord songs for beginner guitarists. I’ll demonstrate each one in clear videos so you can practice at home.

We’re also going to use a basic strum so you really don’t have to worry about a thing!

Let’s get into it.

Who is Bob Marley

Robert Nesta Marley (better known as Bob Marley) was born in 1945 in Jamaica.

As a young child, he had a knack for successfully predicting the future through palm reading. At the age of seven, he declared his destiny to become a singer.

Marley didn’t start his music education playing guitar. He was a singer until local Reggae performer Joe Higgs began tutoring him in 1959. His professional music career started in 1963 when he formed the group Bob Marley & The Wailers.

Bob Marley died in 1981, age 36. In his short life, Bob Marley achieved international stardom and has long been credited as a key figure in the popularisation of Reggae music.

The story of Three Little Birds

Three Little Birds was first released on Bob Marley & The Wailer’s 1977 album Exodus. 

But it wasn’t released as a single until 1980. It’s possible that the song didn’t take off immediately due to the fact that the title is not part of the song’s hook. 

Marley’s friend Tony Gilbert shared his memories of the song’s origins. “Bob got inspired by a lot of things around him, he observed life. I remember the three little birds. They were pretty birds, canaries, who would come by the windowsill at Hope Road.”


Three Little Birds chords

The Three Little Birds chords are fairly simple to play on guitar. 

The chords we’re going to use to play it are A, D and E. If you don’t know how to play those chords, check out these videos:

Three Little Birds chord #1 - A

Three Little Birds chord #2 - D

Three Little Birds chord #3 - E

Three Little Birds guitar lesson

Got those chords? Excellent. Let’s talk strumming.

We’re going to do a very basic, beginner-friendly down strum. Nice and simple. 

Now I know that this doesn’t sound exactly like the Reggae styling you might expect, but that’s intentional. 

Too many beginners get stuck trying to strum in off-beat timing. It’s too easy to lose the beat. So instead, we’re going to keep the strumming as straightforward as possible. This way you can spend your time learning the chord changes and (hopefully) singing along.

Don’t know how to strum yet? No problem. I have a 10 day crash course for beginners where you learn the basics. It includes more songs, chords and a simple strumming technique.

Once you’ve got the chords and the strum, let’s give the song a try:

Three Little Birds lyrics

There’s no point learning the song and not singing it, so here’s my version of the lyrics for you. 

Once you’ve played through the guitar with the video a few times, you can start to incorporate singing. Just sing along with me to start, and then give it a go on your own.

Here’s how I’m singing it.

Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright
Baby don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Woke up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun
Three little birds
Outside my doorstep

Singin’ sweet songs
A melody pure and true
This is my message to you

That’s about it. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to play Three Little Birds on your guitar. 

Remember to learn little bits at a time, take plenty of breaks, and sing loud!

You might like to check out my list of 10 great beginner guitar songs. And if you want to take your learning further, jump over to my guitar courses and light a firecracker of enthusiasm under your playing!