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how to play hey there delilahHey There Delilah” is a sweet and mellow song of the indi Pop/punk group Plain White Tees. Normally their sound is much more heavier, much more punky sounds, but just like 1-2-3-4 (which is the first Plain White Ts song that I got acquainted with) this song that we will learn today is way softer that the rest of their songs.

And by the way, professional guitar instructor – Douglas Showalter – is the one who taught me this. He’s from Guitar Tricks. I suggest you check him out! Click Here!

We’ll be learning the intro riff, which is the same chords or riff played all over the song so that’s good. The whole tab can be found in Songsterr and you can also download a pdf at the bottom of this post (both the tab and the chords of the whole song). Enjoy!

How to play “Hey, There Delilah”

The song is played on D major.. with chords D and F#m

We’ll be learning the signature lick in the beginning of the song and the parts we hear in the verses.

There are 3 verses that uses this lick and all of them has a little variation but basically uses this D-F#m lick

Let’s break down the parts you’ll be hering in the verses.

We start off with a 4-bar progression that goes D major, F#m, D , F#m..

A section, first verse, on the forth bar, we change to Bm, A note, G, Amjor, B minor, A major, A with high A on E string.

The Picking Pattern

The whole song is using a single picking pattern. It’s important to master this one since this is the whole sound of the song. Here’s the picking pattern:

  • You use the thumb to pluck the bass note of the chord, then;
  • use the index and middle finger (2) to pick the third and second strings (or which ever is mentioned in the video/tutorial).

How to Play The Intro

The intro is chords D and F#m:

D, F#m, D, F#m

Check out the tab of the intro.

That’s the intro riff of the song and it is pretty simple. The section is 4 bar long with 1 chord of each bar. Simple found of 1-and-2-and-3-and-4 for each bar since all notes are 8th.


D, F#m, D, F#m

D                            F#m
Hey there Delilah, What’s it like in New York City? 
      D                               F#m
I’m a thousand miles away, But girl tonight you look so pretty, 
/A         Bm  /A   G                 A                  Bm
   Yes you do,     Time Square can’t shine as bright as you, 
I swear it’s true. 
D                            F#m
Hey there Delilah, Don’t you worry about the distance, 
          D                                  F#m
I’m right there if you get lonely, Give this song another listen, 
  /A        Bm  /A  G                 A           Bm 
Close your eyes,       Listen to my voice it’s my disguise, 
I’m by your side. 

D                /A    Bm  /C#  D               /A    Bm
Oh it’s what you do to me,     Oh it’s what you do to me, 
/A  D                      Bm  /C# D                      Bm            
    Oh it’s what you do to me,     Oh it’s what you do to me, 
What you do to me. 

VERSE 2 (do Chords on verse 1)
D                         F#m
Hey there Delilah, I know times are getting hard, 
           D                                    F#m
But just believe me girl some day, I'll pay the bills with this guitar, 
              Bm    G              A               Bm
We'll have it good, We'll have the life we knew we would, 
My word is good. 
D                           F#m   
Hey there Delilah, I’ve got so much left to say, 
         D                                 F#m
If every simple song I wrote to you, Would take your breath away, 
             Bm   G            A                  Bm
I’d write it all, Even more in love with me you’d fall, 
We’d have it all. 

D                      Bm  D                      Bm
Oh it’s what you do to me, Oh it’s what you do to me, 
D                      Bm  D                      Bm            
Oh it’s what you do to me, Oh it’s what you do to me, 

G                                      A
A thousand miles seems pretty far, But they’ve got planes and trains and cars, 
D                                 Bm  
I’d walk to you if I had no other way 
G                                         A
Our friends would all make fun of us, And we'll just laugh along because, 
   D                                     Bm
We know that none of them have felt this way, 
G                               A            
Delilah I can promise you, That by the time that we get through, 
    Bm                                               A
The world will never ever be the same, And you’re to blame. 

D                        F#m
Hey there Delilah you be good, And don’t you miss me, 
         D                                         F#m
Two more years and you’ll be done with school, And I'll be making history, 
Bm        G                 A              Bm
Like I do, You’ll know it's all because of you, 
G             A            Bm
We can do whatever we want to, 
G           A               Bm                  A
Hey there Delilah here's to you, This one’s for you. 

D                      Bm  D                      Bm
Oh it’s what you do to me, Oh it’s what you do to me, 
D                      Bm  D                      Bm
Oh it’s what you do to me, Oh it’s what you do to me, 
What you do to me. 
   Bm   D    Bm    D    Bm   D    Bm   D D

Know How to Play Hey There Delilah By Plain White T’s

The song Hey There Delilah by Plain White T‘s is primarily based on the concept of long distance romance and is a romantic composition by the band. It has soulful lyrics with a catchy melody that will instantly appeal to every listener and will stay on forever.

The American band achieved their biggest success with this composition which is a huge hit in both US and UK charts. The song was a third single from the team but it was their first hit that brought their skills to limelight.

The Chords to Play Hey There Delilah

The main chords used in the song include A open, Bm open variation 2, F#/Gbm variation2 and G open variation 5. The step by step guide will help you learn the song in a easy way.

What Makes Hey There Delilah by Plain White Tees An Excellent Song?

The melody is romantic, instantly catchy and is memorable.
The lyrics are sincerely penned down which is simple yet striking.
It’s really fun to learn and play this composition to friends and family.

Why Hey There Delilah is Classified As Medium and is a Great Choice to Learn?

The song Hey There Delilah is quite fun to play and it has a neat finger picking style. Guitarists will find it easy because you don’t need to use a pick. There are some great chords found in the composition which will allow you to stretch and will have your fingers over the fret board, which is why it is classified as Medium difficulty to learn.

Know About Plain White Tees and Hey There Delilah

The Plain White Tees is an American band who tasted success with their third song Hey There Delilah. They were formed by Tom Higgenson and Ken Fletcher. There were several changes in the key group until they got fixed with their third song. They also composed other hits including 1,2,3,4 and Rhythm of Love.

The Album That Has Hey There Delilah

Hey There Delilah by Plain White Tees belongs to the 2006 album Every Second Counts. The album was the fourth studio release by the group and it continued to be in number 10 in Billboard 200 and number 3 in the UK top 75 albums. The song is about the pain a couple faces in a long distance love affair.

Other songs featured in the album include Hate – I Really Don’t Like You, Our Time is Now as well as the hit Hey There Delilah. The songs including Our Time is Now and You and Me and Making a Memory were featured in multiple commercials as well as select television shows.

About Riff (165 Articles)
Riff Richard is an IT person, a husband, a dad, a couch potato and a passionate guitar player

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