7 Easy Billie Eilish Guitar Songs

There’s been a lot of talk about how guitar is a dying instrument and everything is becoming digital and electronic these days. 

But there are plenty of fresh young faces in the music biz that still make ample use of guitars. And one of those faces belongs to the super-successful Billie Eilish. 

Of course, it would be a crime not to mention her brother Finneas O’Connell who has helped her write a lot of songs and accompanies her on guitar and piano in some live performances. 

But there’s something besides often writing and performing with more traditional instruments that sets Ms. Eilish (and Finneas) apart from many of her Popular music contemporaries.

As many people have noticed from seeing her live performances, although she does have some set pieces in the background, something is missing: backup dancers and the stage show that many performers use these days to bolster their live show when a lot of the music is pre-recorded. 

And the sex appeal that has been used to market other singers like Brittany Spears, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus is also mostly absent. 

Now I’m not saying Billie Eilish is unattractive at all! 

But her preference for baggy shirts and pants, hoodies, and Horror inspired makeup, makes her look more Goth and Alternative Metal rather than Pop and for me, this places the spotlight more on the music than the visual spectacle. 

And since music is what we’re here for, let’s take a look at some of her songs that you can learn to play on guitar

Now some of the chords in the songs may look a bit scary at first and you can use the videos to help learn them, but I think you will find that many of these songs re-use a lot of the same chords.

So if you learn most or all of these great tunes I think it will get easier as you go along.

And I would recommend watching the videos once or maybe twice to learn new chord shapes as needed but don’t let the videos become a crutch.

You should definitely try to play using just the chords provided when you are able, and finally memorize them if you want to impress your friends or perform one of these songs at an open mic night or something. 

1. 8 

Let’s start with something very simple for now!

This song is only four chords but gets its special sound from using a capo on the 8th fret and vocals that sometimes sound like a creepy talking doll. 

Obviously, there are other accompanying instruments and percussion rounding out the production on this track but it sounds great with just guitar and vocals too. 

Chords: G Gmaj7 C D (for Gmaj7 fret the 1st string at the 2nd fret instead of the normal 3rd)

Some people think that the C chord is actually an Am chord but I think either will sound okay here. 

Honestly, I think trying to sing the song is harder than playing it!

Link to tab

Here’s a lesson:

2. Wish You Were Gay 

This single from Billie’s first album takes a creative approach to unrequited love, hoping that her crush’s lack of interest isn’t based on any shortcomings of her own. 

Here are the chords you will need.

Verse: Am D7 G (or Gmaj7) Em and sometimes simply Am D7 G towards the end of the song.

Chorus: The first three lines are Am D7 G Em (fill is D/F# G) 

and then Am D7 G for the final line.

Bridge: Am D7 G Em (fill is D/F# G) x 3 like the chorus

And then Am D7

This one isn’t that hard if you just want to strum it, but to really polish it up nicely you can add the fingerpicking for the arpeggios and the percussive slap with your non-fretting hand; these are always good skills to have in your wheelhouse anyway.

Link to tab

Here’s a lesson:

3. Male Fantasy

This is another great song and one that Eilish likes to perform live but it isn’t exactly a song that I would feel comfortable playing at a party because of its lyrics!

Note that this song requires a capo on the 7th fret to match the album.

Intro and Verse: Cadd9 G D Em7 Cadd9 G D

Chorus: Am Em D C Am Em D

Post Chorus and Outro Part 1: Em7 D/F# G G/B Cadd9 (two times)

Part 2:  Em7 D/F# G G/B Cadd9 G/B Cadd9 D Em D

Break:  Cadd9 G D Em7 (like the first part of the intro and verse)

I know that the Post Chorus part looks and sounds daunting and it certainly will be for some beginner players. 

But if you watch the video you will notice that some of your fingers remain stationary when changing chords so it’s not as hard as it sounds. It just needs a little practice!

Link to tab

Here’s a lesson:

4 & 5. TV and The 30th

This next track we will check out is from one of the latest releases from Billie Eilish, a two-song EP appropriately titled Guitar Songs

See? She is actively making sure to incorporate real instruments into her music catalog. 

And the song TV uses guitar to great effect, with a melancholy chord progression that matches the lyrics’ sadness.

Don’t be put off by the Dadd11 chord – it’s just the C chord shape moved two frets higher!

Intro and Verse: G G/F# Em – then play the A string, first open, then at the 2nd fret, C Dadd11 Em

Chorus: C Dadd11 G G/F# Em C Dadd11 Em

Break 2: C Dadd11 G G/F# Em – same as the beginning of the chorus

Outro: C Dadd11 Em

This song is simple to remember and play so if you just want to add one Billie Eilish song to your repertoire this is an excellent choice.

Link to tab

Here’s a lesson:

The other track from Guitar Songs, The 30th, is also great but its fingerpicking requires a lot more work if you want to play it exactly as it’s recorded. 

Now this is definitely a song where a video or detailed tab pays dividends!

Link to tab

Here’s a lesson:

6. Happier than Ever

This song is well known, having been performed on Saturday Night Live and at the Grammy Awards ceremony. 

It’s an emotional song that relies just as much on 7th and minor chords for its vibe as it relies on the lyrics and vocals. 

And of course, there’s a big difference between how the album version and live renditions sound, with the live version rocking out for the 2nd half of the song. 

So this one is perfect for both acoustic or electric guitar, especially if you have an overdrive pedal that you’ve been neglecting. 

And don’t get discouraged by how complex some of the chords look! It’s often just adding an extra bass note or something. 

Here are the key chords you need. 

Intro: C G7

Verse: C E7 Am7 Dm7 G7

Break: C C/G (also fret the 6th string at the 3rd fret for the G note)

Verse: C C/G C C/G E7/B E7 E7/B E7 Am Am/E Am Am/E Fm

Pre Chorus: E Am Am7/G# D/F# Dm7 G

Chorus: Use the same chords as the verse

The song then changes moods with a more straightforward downstroke strumming…

Break 3: C Em Am F Fm

Verse 2: C5 E5 A5 F5

Verse 3: C E Am F Fm and then C E Am F

Verse 4: Same as Verse 2

Outro: Same as Break 3

This obviously isn’t the easiest song and there are a lot of chord progressions to remember but if you master it and can sing along, it’s sure to impress!

Link to tab

Here’s a lesson:

7. No Time to Die

For a final dive into Billie Eilish’s oftentimes strange and disillusioned world, let’s tackle a song that isn’t performed on guitar at all.

It’s actually done on piano but thankfully someone has transcribed it for guitar. 

This song was the theme from the James Bond movie of the same name and whether you’re a 007 fan or not, being chosen to do the theme for a Bond movie is a long-running indicator of critical success. 

The piano intro to the song can be done with fingerpicking and the video shows it in detail so I will just give chords for those who want to get the basics down. 

The B chord in this song sounds absolutely wicked and the last chord of the song is one that fans of the film franchise will immediately recognize. 

Intro: Em C A B

Verse: Em C Am (play three times) then C B

Pre Chorus: C Em Am B

Chorus: Em C Am

Break: Em C A B

Outro: Em C A Em C A Emaj7sus2 (a derivative of the “James Bond” chord)

Link to tab

Here’s a lesson: