There is probably no one who is into guitar playing (or wanted to learn how to play the instrument) who haven’t heard of the song “Hotel California”. The song is made famous by The Eagles. I also think that every guitar player, newbie or not, knows how to play this song.

So, if you still don’t know how to play Hotel California, even just the strumming and rhythm part, I highly suggest you start studying it now. And hopefully this post will help you get the basic idea.

As always, I do not claim to teach you how to play this song. I am merely here to show you how I do it based on the lessons presented in Guitar Tricks with professional instructor Anders Mouridsen.

Click here if you want to learn more about Guitar Tricks. There’s a 14-Day trial if you’re interested. But registering is FREE, so go ahead and create an account to get all those freebies and lessons.

Let’s get into it!

How to Play Hotel California

In this post, I’ll show you how I play the 12-string guitar part of the song. There are a handful of guitar parts in Hotel California and as Mr. Mouridsen mentioned, “To recreate all these parts live you would need an army of guitar players, so this is obviously different from how they do it live,”

So, the part that we’re going to learn or is the acoustic 12-string (but I’ll use a 6 string one). Specifically, I’ll share with you how I do the intro and the strumming pattern that you can try to if you are playing solo with no backing band. Just pure rhythm!

I know that my video will really help you play the song, no doubt about it. But if you want to know the whole song, you will need a professional instructor to guide you. I highly suggest Guitar Tricks once again for that.

hotel california tab

Once you know the intro and verse part as the acoustic guitar player, it would be real cool to know and understand as well as play all the different guitar parts of the song!


  • The notations are in relative to the capo in the 7th fret
  • For practicing, it is highly recommended to use a metronome
  • Practice regularly until we perfect the part!
  • Stop reading and start learning! :), Watch the Video Above and learn how to play “Hotel California” Today!

Guitar Tricks Review

If you would like to know the whole song as taught by Anders Mouridsen, Click Here.
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Here’s what you’ll learn inside of guitar Tricks:

In this song tutorial I’m gonna teach you how to play the classic song “Hotel California”, as made famous by The Eagles. This is one of the quintessential guitar songs of all time, packed with great guitar parts, one rippin’ solo after another, harmonized rhythm and lead parts, great acoustic guitar parts, and a seemingly never ending stream of cool ideas. 

First we’re gonna breakdown the classic intro with the 12-string guitar part. Then I’ll break down the two driving rhythm parts in the verses, the chorus with the unison lines and awesome lead fills, the verses with the harmonized guitar parts doing call and response, the epic solos, how to get your guitar tones just right for this song, and much much more.

 Know How To Play Hotel California By The Eagles

Performed by the band The Eagles, Hotel California is a heart felt song composed and performed to reminisce the price they pay for being in the music industry and the rogue lifestyle that many performers live. The lyrics refer to their first experience when they reach Los Angeles and even though, people have given different meaning to the lyrics, the band claims that it was an ode to the dark side of the music industry.

The song is well known, has a great guitar solo and is a good choice to play to your peer group.

The Chords To Play Hotel California

The main chords used in the song are A major, Bm , E , Em , F#/Gb root6 and G . The step by step lessons will split it up and make it easy to learn.

What Makes Hotel California by The Eagles A Great Song?

The song has the best guitar solo of all time.
It is always loved by guitarists because it allows them to expose their skills.
The song has radio airplay even now and is a popular number among fans.

Why Hotel California is Amazing To Learn And Is Classified as Medium?

The Hotel California by The Eagles is ideal for both beginners and intermediate players. It has single note picking, finger picking and barre chords to hone learners’ skills. The song has a great rhythm part and is well known.

Know The Eagles And Their Hotel California

The American rock band The Eagles have won six Grammy awards and composed over six number one singles. The group originally was formed with Glenn, Don, Bernie and Randy. The song The California is one of the best based on the 70s rock standards. As of now, only Frey and Henly remain in the band while other members have left. The band broke up in 1980 and reunited in 1994 for the Hell Freezes Over tour. The Eagles gained fame again in 2007 with their hit album Long Road Out of Eden.

The Album That Hotel California Came From

Hotel California belongs to the fifth studio album and is the title track. It brought about a great change to the band and was originally released in 1976. It was also the first one to not feature its founding member Bernie and the first one to feature Joe Walsh. Randy Meisner, the bass player and former member wrapped up his tie in with the band after this song. The album also had another popular number the New Kid in Town. It has sold over 16 million copies within USA during the 70s