Moonlight Sonata Guitar Lesson

Moonlight Sonata is one of Beethoven's greatest compositions. Learn the haunting melodies of this song arranged for fingerstyle acoustic guitar.

Ultimate Guitar
Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" contains many beautiful and dark melodies that sound incredible on acoustic and classical guitar. Originally composed on piano in the key of C# minor, this lesson has been adapted for standard tuning on guitar in the key of A minor.
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Moonlight Sonata Bars 1 - 3 TAB:

Moonlight Sonata Bars 4 - 6 TAB:

Moonlight Sonata Bars 7 - 9 TAB:

If you wanted to play this song in the original key of C#m, you would have to put a Capo on the 4th fret of your guitar. This guitar lesson covers bars 1 - 9 of Moonlight Sonata. My site contains video lessons up to bar 20 in the members area. Hope you enjoy and thanks for watching!

63 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Damn, I was hoping for the 3rd movement on electric guitar.
    ever heard of the human abstract?
    I took the time to look them up when I read your comment. Not bad but this guy is better:
    Wow he's really good, not a huge fan of his tone but I know Beethoven would approve because it's loud enough that he could hear it.
    Electric guitar covers of classical music sucks sp hard. It lacks dynamics, phrasing and often turns great arrangements into bland 1-2 guitar, bass and drums tune.
    I can't see where you hear it lacking dynamics or phrasing; the electric guitar can express both just as well as a piano, and more besides (vibrato, legato, etc.) Not saying some covers don't suck, but putting them all in the same basket is dumb. By your reasoning all Metal/Hard Rock music sucks because an orchestra or a piano could interpret it better.
    You cannot get a decent dynamic range on a distorted guitar... hence why his tapping is practically the same volume as his alternate picking in that vid. Although in this instance I don't think 'metalising' adds anything to it, that isn't always the case. The most obvious example I can think of is the rock version of Pachelbel's cannon, which can turn a dreary melody into an energetic guitar wank.
    You can definitely get a (more than) decent dynamic range on a distorted guitarit's called a volume knob, and plenty or guitarists use it between notes. This one just chose not to, because he didn't think it was necessary.
    Yeah, use volume knob to adjust dynamics while playing 16th notes on your guitar.
    Now you're being pedantic. Show me a pianist that adjusts dynamics between individual 16th notes.
    another example of turning guitar playing into a sport. if he wanted all those extra notes, he would have put them in. it really takes away from the piece
    I tried really hard to learn this, but it's just too much for me. Sounds so awesome on Acoustic though :
    This was just posted today, don't give up!!! Practice practice practice. Try to learn the chord shapes and changes first, then worry about the individual notes
    This lesson will definately take a lot of practice especially if you have problems holding down the chords, but keep trying you will get it eventually and it worth it in the end!
    I do not get how it is difficult for you? Here is a tip, try holding the Am chord then play each note separately while holding down the Am chord. That is for the first part, once you have that down get the motions of the change down slowly. Practice it as slow as possible while applying the correct pressure for 15 minutes straight. After 15 minutes, speed up by 5 measures each minute from then. By 1 hour you should have all the motions down and your should be able to play it decently. You should practice this with a metronome. Start with 4/4 timing at 80 beats per minute (BPM) or the speed at which the hand moves. By the end of the hour you should be able to play it at least at 120 BPM
    yeah, how could playing the guitar as a beginner be difficult in any way? I mean I was born shredding the **** out of my mother vagina. Wasn't everybody? as s...
    Not to sound conceited but by my 2nd week of playing I was playing very very well. I was already able to sweep and shred... I was 5 years old when I started my brother was 12... Then again, I practiced 6 hours a day 3 hours in the morning 3 in the nigh so, not everyone has that time and I understand.
    link no1
    Yea, after 2 weeks of playing I was giving Mike Portnoy from Metallica a run for his money when it came to shredding the keyboards.
    Lol, you do know that this song should be played at about 60 BMP tops right? I don't understand how figuring that out is difficult for you....
    Holy shit, I have been looking for the name of this tune for about a year now. Now I just happened to stumble upon it and realize I have heard it in many places already and didn't know it...
    It's not a song.
    ofcourse it's a song, one of the best songs of all time
    It's not a song in the musical definition of the word song. Which is a piece of music for voice with lyrics. However, a lot of people use the word song exchangeable with the a piece of music in this case a sonata. So, to say Moonlight Sonata is not a song is correct.
    Glad to know other people are bugged by misuse of the word "song". I thought I was just OCD about it, haha.
    Ah wow, its the Tasty Riffs guy! Had'nt seen him in awhile, cool lesson.
    Guitar is the only reason I don't bite my nails anymore, at least not on my right hand.
    i love how if you first learn in on guitar, it's not that difficult in the piano.
    So I get bars 1 to 9 here and then have to sign up or pay for anything the get the whole tab that I can download anywhere else for free ... seems legit
    The video lessons go beyond what the TAB can show you and has been adapted for the best finger positions on guitar, if you are a beginner this is helpful but if you have experience you could probably figure it out by yourself. The videos will get you through the TAB much faster then without, its a reasonable deal, not a rip off by any means
    yes you are right! video lessons are very helpful for beginners! I didn't watch the page don't if you have to pay for. it's ok when not, but if this is the case you can find a lot of awesome free materials, that was what I wanted to say, didn't choose the best words. cheers!
    It always looks harder then it really is. With practice and persistence, it takes not long before you become really well at playing any song.
    I play it on a seven string tuned Bb standard. C# is the proper key. Playing in other key sounds quite marginal compared to C#.
    Beautiful song. I play it on the piano. You play it just a little different than it's played on the piano, but it's still quite pretty.
    Just been watching underbelly 3 and this tune came on at a disturbing part of the film, I thought, Ibe just seen a video lesson for this on UG, I have to learn it now,
    hey good lesson man, for beginners i think its important to try and use the fingerpicking technique and then maybe try a hybrid picking technique with a fucn piece like this, once i distorted it with some nice rock tones it sounded gnarly as ****, cheers
    Bar 6 should have a G# in the bass, not an E.
    Damn someone caught me! Yes you're right I noticed this about a year after I made this vid, but atleast the E note doesn't sound too wrong so most people won't notice
    Sounds kinda like "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". I hope this Beethoven punk pays his royalties to the Beatles (Michael Jackson).