Hotel California Tabs

The Eagles in Concert; Adam Bielawski / PR Photos
The Eagles in Concert
Expert fact checked article

The Eagles are one of the most famous bands of the West Coast AOR genre of the 70s, and guitarists continually search for Hotel California tabs so they can play the band's most famous song. The band itself had a very polished sound and spawned a huge following for their intelligent, articulate music. The song itself was so popular that it won the Grammy award for Record of the Year in 1978. Hotel California is a popular song to learn for fans of classic rock guitar, and you can pick up the tabs to play the song from several different sources.

Where to Find Hotel California Tabs

There are plenty of websites to visit for guitar players looking for tabs for the song Hotel California. However, the multiple nature of the guitars used in the song means that each guitarist would have to choose which part to learn and play first.

Hotel California sheet music and tabs

There are a good selection of sites that contain tabs to this song and other Eagles' classics, including:

  • Ultimate Guitar - At Ultimate Guitar you'll find a few different versions of the song itself, including the original album version, live, and acoustic.
  • AZ Chords - This site has lots of options as well including bass tabs, acoustic tabs and chords, and tabs that are geared towards beginners.
  • Guitar Nick - This site is run by a guitar instructor, and here he offers his "easy version" of the Eagles' classic, arranged for fingerstyle play.
  • Farhat Guitar - If you're really serious about mastering the song, you'll find complete instructions with video right here. You can download all of the tabs and learn each section on each guitar part.

There are also many songbooks available that contain both chords and tabs for this popular song. These are available online and in music shops.

They include:

Tab Structure of the Song

A Walk-Through of the Chords

When guitarists look at Hotel California tabs, they will immediately be struck by how simple the actual overall structure of the song is. The song is essentially two sections - the verse section and the chorus section. The solo part of the song is played over the chords of the verse section. The song is based around a repeating chord pattern in the verses. The first chord played is B Minor, which is then followed by F-Sharp Major. These two chords are held for four beats each, as are the rest of the chords in the progression. The chord pattern then moves to A Major, followed by E Major, keeping the first section of the verse rooted in the key of A Major, except for the modulation to F Sharp Major. For the second section of the verse, the key moves down to G Major, and follows the pattern of G Major moving to D Major, followed by E Minor, and making a return to F Sharp Major before moving into the chorus. The chorus itself remains in G Major, moving from G to D Major, to E Minor again, and then once again returning to F Sharp Major.

The Solo and Outro

The guitar solo has a very distinctive sound, owing to the double use of guitars playing harmonized notes. The solo itself, again, is an exercise in simplicity of structure, and is partly responsible for why there is always such an interest in Hotel California tabs among guitar players. The solo line loosely follows the vocal melody with accompanying trills and improvisations. It then segues into the outro, which is essentially a repeating passage based loosely on arpeggios of the verse chords. The outro fades out, leaving a haunting reminder of the excellence of the song just played. The playing on the solo and outro parts are good exercises in finger-work, especially for novice guitar players.

Explore More Eagles' Material

There are a wealth of options available to anyone who seeks to learn this classic song on guitar. The casual fan may end up expanding their interest in the band itself and move on to other material in their catalog.

Hotel California Tabs