Hotel California is a song with a lot going on. The original recording is layered heavily with guitars, including the signature 12 string guitar that opens the song and plays the chord progression in an arpeggiated manner.
With all of this going on, there is still an underlying basic song structure. You don’t have to play everything perfectly like The Eagles did in order to perform it. In reality, you can use use the basic chord structure and a basic strum pattern to communicate the song.
Sure, it’s fun to go in and study the different guitar parts. There’s a lot to be learned by doing so, but here I will present to you a practical way to play the song that doesn’t require 6 guitar players.
In the intro, you can use just whole notes to play it or you can attempt to arpeggiate the chords as in the recording. Assess your own skill level to determine if you’re going to use the whole note strum or arpeggiate it.
Ultimately, in order to play the song, you’ll need to know how to play 5th and 6th string root barre chords.
The basic chord progression for the verses follows as such: Bm, F#, A, E, G, D, Em, F#. Each chord gets one full measure.
Chords And Lyrics
Hotel California Chords and lyrics text file
Bm F#7 On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair A E Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air G D Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light Em My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim F# I had to stop for the night Bm F#7 There she stood in the doorway; I heard the mission bell A And I was thinking to myself E This could be heaven or this could be hell G D Then she lit up a candle, and she showed me the way Em There were voices down the corridor, F# I thought I heard them say... [CHORUS] G D Welcome to the Hotel California. F#7 Bm Such a lovely place (such a lovely place), such a lovely face G D There's Plenty of room at the Hotel California Em F# Anytime of year,(anytime of year) You can find it here... [VERSE] Bm F#7 Her mind is Tiffany twisted, She got the Mercedes bends A E She got a lot of pretty pretty boys that she calls friends G D How they danced in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat Em F# Some dance to remember, some dance to forget Bm F#7 So I called up the captain; Please bring me my wine (he said) A E We haven't had that spirit here since 1969 G D and still those voices are calling from far away Em Wake you up in the middle of the night F# Just to hear them say [CHORUS] G D Welcome to the Hotel California. F#7 Bm Such a lovely place (such a lovely place), such a lovely face G D They livin' it up at the Hotel California Em F# What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise), bring your alibis [VERSE] Bm F#7 Mirrors on the ceiling; the pink champagne on ice (and she said) A E We are all just prisoners here, of our own device G D and in the master's chambers, They gathered for the feast Em They stab it with their steely knives but they F# just can't kill the beast Bm F#7 Last thing I remember, I was running for the door A E I had to find the passage back to the place I was before G D "Relax" said the night man; we are programmed to receive Em You can check out anytime you like F# But you can never leave...
Intro Part 1
Here’s a tough one for you. To play this like the original you’ll need a capo at the 7th fret (and a 12 string to boot). It’s fun to learn and rewarding if you can finally get it, but I ain’t gonna lie… its a tough one!
Em, B7. Dsus2. E
C, G, Am7, B7