Yankee Doodle

Traditional song
First published in 1770
Words by the American military surgeon Richard Shuckburgh

First verse:
Yankee Doodle went to town
Riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his cap
And called it macaroni.


Yankee Doodle guitar tab and notes (pdf)

tabs tabs & notes


Yankee Doodle instrumental guitar (mp3)

Yankee Doodle - guitar tab, notes, chords and lyrics

"Yankee Doodle" is often credited to Richard Shuckburgh that lived in the 18th century, but both the lyrics and melody has probably a much older origin. The song is associated with America and the military in the colonial period and the lyrics gives it a humorous touch.

The music transcriptions of the song with tabs and notes are available for download as PDFs. It's free for personal use only.

Yankee Doodle (full accompaniment) - two versions

"Yankee Doodle" for guitar with full accompaniment in two versions. The first version include simple harmonizing whereas the second has the melody in a lower octave and eight notes as accompaniments in the higher octave. Both can be downloaded free in pdf-files and listen to.

Download version 1(pdf) | Download version 2 (pdf)

Yankee Doodle for flute

"Yankee Doodle" for flute in the key of C. Free download in pdf-file and audio.

Yankee Doodle flute

Yankee Doodle for ukelele

"Yankee Doodle" for ukelele in the C tuning. Free download in pdf-file and audio.

Yankee Doodle ukelele

Yankee Doodle (only melody)

"Yankee Doodle" standard and tablature notation for guitar.

Yankee Doodle notes and tabs

Tips on how to learn this song

It will be easier to learn the song if you notice the AABB structure: the 1-4 and 5-8 bars are similar and so are the 9-12 and 13-16 bars. Notice also that this song only includes the first three frets together with open strings. Because of that, your hand position will be rather stationary.

The most challenging with this song is probably the tempo, which is rather high. The 100 beats per minute tempo in the presented versions makes it quite fast in the 2/4 time.

Lyrics and chords

Yankee Doodle chords in the key of C
Verse 1:
(C)Yankee Doodle went to (G)town
(C)Riding on a (G)pony,
(C)Stuck a feather (F)in his hat
(G)And called it (C)macaroni.

(F)Yankee Doodle keep it up,
(C)Yankee Doodle dandy.
(F)Mind the music and the step,
(C)And with (G)the girls (C)be handy.

Verse 2:
(C)Father and I went down to (G)camp,
(C)Along with Captain Good(G)ing,
(C)And there we saw the (F)men and boys
(G)As thick as hasty (C)pudding.

(F)Yankee Doodle keep it up,
(C)Yankee Doodle dandy.
(F)Mind the music and the step,
(C)And with (G)the girls (C)be handy.

Doodle = according to Wikipedia: "The term Doodle first appeared in English in the early seventeenth century and is thought to be derived from the Low German dudel, meaning 'playing music badly'

There are more verses, up to 16, in the full version of the song. Notice how the verses ends with a perfect cadence: IV - V - I. Starting the chorus with a IV chord is a common feature in song writing.

There are possibilities to change to key further by using a capo. These are the keys that the song would transpose in depending on which fret the capo is put (based on the chords in the G major version):

Key, time, tuning and tempo

Information about "Yankee Doodle" considering musical key, time signature, tuning and bpm.

Key signature music symbol


The presented version of Yankee Doodle is played in the key of C.

Time signature music symbol

Time signature

The song is played in 2/4 tempo (counted one, two, one, two for each measure).

Tuning overview


The song is normally played in standard tuning (EADGBE).

BPM symbol and numbers

Tempo (BPM)

The tempo in beats per minute is 100. 100 BPM in 2/4 time can be marked as allegro.

Tags: Flute, Ukuele