Guitar lesson for

7 Years

by Lukas Graham  •  Lesson #22

Video lesson

Here’s my video lesson showing you how to play this song:

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Editor’s notes

This video is a guitar lesson for “7 Years” by Lukas Graham, including chords, tablature, lyrics, and strumming pattern.

Chord progression cheat-sheet

The basic progression used for most of the song (verse & chorus sections) is as follows:

Em . . D/F# G . . . C . . . . . D .

There are a few exceptions:

Lyrics & chords


    Em . . . G . . . C . . . C . D .
    Em . . . G . . . C . . . C . . .    (play with riff)


    Em                     G                C
    Once I was seven years old my mama told me
    Go make yourself some friends or you'll be lonely
    Em                     G                C     
    Once I was seven years old...


        Em               D/F#     G
        ...It was a big, big--- world... but we thought we were bigger
        C                                            D
        ...Pushing each other to the limits, we were learning quicker
        Em           D/F#    G
        ...By eleven smoking herb and drinking burning liquor
        C                                         D
        ...Never rich so we were out to make that steady figure

    Em                D/F#  G                 C
    Once I was eleven years old my daddy told me
    Go get yourself a wife or you'll be lonely
    Em                D/F#  G                C   
    Once I was eleven years old...

    (use same verse & chorus chords for entire song)

        I always had that dream like my daddy before me
        So I started writing songs, I started writing stories
        Something about that glory just always seemed to bore me
        'Cause only those I really love will ever really know me

    Once I was twenty years old, my story got told
    Before the morning sun, when life was lonely
    Once I was twenty years old...

        I only see my goals, I don't believe in failure
        'Cause I know the smallest voices, they can make it major
        I got my boys with me at least those in favor
        And if we don't meet before I leave, I hope I'll see you later

    Once I was twenty years old, my story got told
    I was writing about everything, I saw before me
    Once I was twenty years old...

    Soon we'll be thirty years old, our songs have been sold
    We've traveled around the world and we're still roaming
    Soon we'll be thirty years old...


    Em                          G
    ...I'm still learning about life, my woman brought children for me
    C                                             D
    ...So I can sing them all my songs, and I can tell them stories
    Em                                G
    ...Most of my boys are with me... Some are still out seeking glory...
    C                                             Bm
    ...And some I had to leave behind, my brother I'm still sorry...

    C                  D/F#  Em                      D
    Soon I'll be sixty years old, my daddy got sixty-one
    Remember life and then your life becomes a bigger one
    C                        D/F#           Em
    ...I made a man so happy when I wrote a letter once
    B7sus4                         B7
    ...I hope my children come and visit once or twice a month

    C                  D/F#  Em                             D
    Soon I'll be sixty years old, will I think the world is cold
    Or will I have a lot of children who can warm me
    C                  D/F#  Em        C    D
    Soon I'll be sixty years old...

Soon I'll be sixty years old, will I think the world is cold
Or will I have a lot of children who can warm me
Soon I'll be sixty years old...

(back to normal chorus chords)

(repeat first chorus, end)

Notes & tabs

Basic chords used

E ||---0----3----0----2----
B ||---0----0----1----3----
G ||---0----0----0----2----
D ||---2----0----2----0----
A ||---2----2----3---------
E ||---0----3--------------
       Em   G    C    D

Intro riff

See PDF.

Playing chords at the start of the the walk-down

If you want to start the walk-down riff by strumming a chord (instead of a single note), use these tabs. This applies to the D-chord and G-chord.

See PDF.

Em-to-G Walk-up

A rather recognizable part of the chord progression involves this walk-up transition from Em to G, by means of adding a D-major chord with a F# bass note. Here are a few ways to play that.

At its simplest, we’re talking about this F# on the 2nd fret of the 6th string. You can play this note by itself between the two chords and capture the spirit of this walk-up.

See PDF for diagram.

Strictly speaking, the full chords in question look like this – but when all strings are played, I find the bass transition is drown out by the higher treble notes.

See PDF for diagram. <!-- E ||---0---------2----3----- B ||---0---------3----0----- G ||---0---------2----0----- D ||---2---------0----0----- A ||---2---------0----2----- E ||---0---------2----3-----
   Em       D/F#  G -->

One way I like to play it is as follows – I’m playing only the 4-5 bottom strings, so that the transition is a bit more full sounding. If this is new to you, it’s important to recognize that the D/F# segment you’re playing is part of that “full” D/F# chord listed above.

See PDF for diagram.

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