Hey There Delilah is a song by the American pop band Plain White T’s. The song was released in May 2006 as the third single from their third studio album All That We Needed. It received radio play over the following year and eventually reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 2007. Hey There Delilah has also been featured in television shows; such as Journeyman, I Love the New Millennium, Orange Is the New Black, and Family Guy. Today we’ll look at an easy Hey There Delilah chords arrangement.
Title: Hey There Delilah
Artist: Plain White T’s
Songwriters: Tom Higgenson
Album: All That We Needed
Chord Progression: D–F#m–Bm–G–A
Accompaniment Technique: Open Chords and Basic Finger-style
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when learning the Hey There Delilah chords. I provided some useful links above and I’ll take you through the chords, accompaniment patterns, song form, and a chord chart. Everything you need to get started playing this tune.
Hey there Delilah is the key of D major. The song opens with a D5 (or D power chord*) and uses a rudimentary finger-style technique that we’ll discuss below. The chords are the open-position D, G, and A chords with two additional barre chords, the Bm and F#m.
We’ll be staying relatively true to the accompaniment on the recording and you shouldn’t have too much trouble with it. This is a fun tune that you can quickly add to your repertoire and if you’re experimenting with finger-style technique and/or singing while playing, then you’ve found the perfect tune to get started with.
The rhythmic feel consists mainly of an eighth-note rhythm.
- Simply count: 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 (&).
- Please note that you will be playing a quarter note on the “4”.
Basic Finger-style Technique
Hey There Delilah is perfect for beginning finger-style players. The right hand is notated as follows:
- P = Thumb
- I = Index
- M = Middle
- A = Ring
The right-hand finger-picking pattern will not use the ring finger. The “P” (or thumb) plays on the downbeat while the “I and M” (index and middle) are played together, as if they were just one finger, on the “and” of each beat. Simply alternate between the P and I–M.
For the Intro, the P will play the 4th string while the I plays the 3rd string and the M plays the 2nd string. These fingers stay “glued” to the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings. And, for the entire song, the I–M stay on strings 3 and 2. The P moves to the 5th and 6th strings for the other chords.
Remember to play the 4th beat with the thumb only. There will also be a passing tone (in the bass, played with the thumb) on beat 4 in the second half of the Verse and in the Chorus. This is all explained in detail in the video below.
Hey There Delilah Chords Chart
I’ve included a Hey There Delilah chords chart, which is a simple road map that shows you:
- The overall arrangement of the song.
- A section by section breakdown of the song.
- Each chord and how long to play it for.
If you don’t read music, please don’t be intimidated. This is a cheat sheet that can help you get through the tune quickly and easily. I find it indispensable for learning songs and I can also hand it to a seasoned musician and they can follow along without any problems.
- Intro: A 4-measure pattern: Measure 1 (D5 for 4 beats), Measure 2 (F#m for 4 beats), Measure 3 (D5 for 4 beats), and Measure 4 (F#m for 4 beats).
- Verse: An 8-measure pattern: Measures 1–4 are the same as the Intro. Measure 5 (Bm for 3 beats and the 5th string, open A note on beat 4), Measure 6 (G for 2 beats and A for 2 beats), Measure 7 (Bm for 4 beats), and Measure 8 (A for 4). Then the 8-measure pattern repeats.
- Chorus: 4-measure pattern: Measure 1 (D for 3 beats and the 5th string, open A note on beat 4), Measure 2 (Bm for 3 beats and the 5th string, 4th fret on beat 4), Measure 3–4 are the same as Measures 1–2, then the 4-measure pattern repeats and ends with an additional measure (D5 for 4 beats).
- Bridge: 4-measure pattern: Measure 1 (G for 4 beats), Measure 2 (A for 4 beats), Measure 3 (D for 4 beats), and Measure 4 (Bm for 3 beats and the 5th string, open A note on beat 4), then the 4-measure pattern repeats and ends with 2 additional measures (8 beats of A).
Once you become familiar with chord charts, you’ll never want to go back. It’s just easier to see where you’re going when you have a map. And, it’s especially helpful when you’re not familiar with the song or there’s a section of the song that you don’t remember (Bridges and Interludes are notorious surprises that can derail a song’s performance). And, this tune has a Bridge, so don’t fall into a false sense of security.
As I said in the article, Hey There Delilah is great tune for aspiring finger-style players and singer/guitarists. It’s also a crowd favorite that will make a great addition to growing arsenal of songs.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed learning the Hey There Delilah chords and I thank you for hanging with me.