A Guide To Guitar Chords

Fur Elise

Für Elise is a very famous classical piece of music written by Ludwig Von Beethoven in 1808. It is also known as 'Bagatelle in A Minor'.

The opening part of Fur Elise is easy and fun to play. It uses very basic chords mixed with some single note lines. In fact, it is so easy that Zack Kim in the video next to this text decided to learn how to play Fur Elise on 2 guitars. I suggest you start with one guitar.

Here's an mp3 of Fur Elise played on piano. You'll hear that the first part isn't too hard to play, but don't make an attempt at the second part unless you're hardcore!

Here is the guitar chord chart of the chords that are used in Fur Elise:

Fur Elise guitar chord chart

As you can see, these are all very basic chords. Maybe you are used to play the G chord a little different.

Here's the sheet music with guitar tabs for Beethoven's Fur Elise. One important thing (really, I'm not kidding): look at the guitar chord symbols as well as at the guitar tabs. When you see Am or E on top of the guitar tabs, finger that chord and you'll see that the tablature follows the chords. I see a lot of beginning guitarists play the tabs without fingering the chord. The smart beginning guitarist though, will fret the entire chord, it sounds different and he'll develop an understanding of what he is playing. Anyway, here is the sheet music:

Fur Elise sheet music with guitar tabs

 

Welcome back, did you find Fur Elise hard to play? If there are parts that you don't understand, let me know.


Some fun facts about Fur Elise :

  • Who is Elise? Nobody knows for sure. Theory 1 is that Beethoven's song is supposed to call 'Fur Therese', Therese Von Malfatti being a daughter of a Doctor from Vienna. Beethoven wanted to marry Therese, unfortunately she didn't want to marry Beethoven. Fur Elise was published after Beethoven's dead and it is possible that someone misread his handwriting. Theory 2 is that Elise was one of his piano students, Beethoven is known to fall for his piano students. He used to give his female students songs that were too difficult for them to play, so that they had to come back for more piano lessons. Naughty naughty! Theory 3 is that Elise is Elisabeth de Robiano, since 1799 married to Charles Pierre le Candèle de Gyseghem. Fur Elise was written in 1808, so that makes him again a naughty boy!
  • A jazzed up version of Fur Elise was played in the Benny Hill Show.
  • Fur Elise is a trucker's tune. In Taiwan and Iran the song is played by garbage trucks to tell people it's time to get out the trash. In Brazil it is used by trucks selling gas cilinders and throughout the world Fur Elise is used in ice cream vans.

 

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