Guitar lesson for

Can't Help Falling in Love

by Elvis Presley  •  Lesson #349

Video lesson

Get the sheet music(3 pages)

  • A properly licensed, print-friendly arrangement is available for individual purchase at Musicnotes.com
  • This sheet music was designed & hand-crafted by me (David Potsiadlo) with care, providing you with everything needed to both learn and play this song.
  • On the fence? Here's a video guide I made showing the purchase & print process.
Buy at Musicnotes.com

Patreon supporters: click here to get the 50% off discount code on this purchase

Editor’s notes

Hey friends! Here’s a guitar lesson teaching you how to play the Elvis classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” from his 1961 album (and film) Blue Hawaii. This lesson is focused around a beginner-friendly, strummed version of the song – aimed to make things as approachable as possible. I’ll be using no capo in my video lesson, just to ensure those of you without capos can play along – but note you’ll need to add a capo on 2nd fret (and use the chords I show) to play along with Elvis’ album version. I’ll also explain simple ways to play some of the more tricky chords (F and B7), and likewise show you a handful of strumming patterns – some of which are great if strumming gives you trouble. Thanks to all of you who requested this classic song… I hope you enjoy!

Video timestamps:

Lyrics and chords

Capo 2nd fret to play along with Elvis.

INTRO
		C    G    C    C

VERSE
        C       Em       Am      Am         F        C       G       G
    ....Wise... men..... say.......... only fools... rush... in
        F       G        Am      F          C        G       C       C
    But I...... can't... help... falling in love.... with... you    

        C        Em       Am      Am           F        C       G       G
    ....Shall... I....... stay....... would it be...... a...... sin
        F        G        Am      F            C        G       C       C
    If  I....... can't... help... falling  in  love.... with... you

BRIDGE
        Em                B7              Em                B7
        .....Like a river flows.............. surely to the sea...
        Em                B7              
        ...Darling, so it goes...
        Em                A7              Dm                G
        Some things......... are meant to be....................

        C         Em       Am      Am         F        C       G       G
    ....Take..... my...... hand...... take my whole... life... too
        F         G        Am      F          C        G       C       C
    For I........ can't... help... falling in love.... with... you

        Em                B7              Em                B7
        .....Like a river flows.............. surely to the sea...
        Em                B7              
        ...Darling, so it goes...
        Em                A7              Dm                G
        Some things......... are meant to be....................

        C         Em       Am      Am         F        C       G       G
    ....Take..... my...... hand...... take my whole... life... too
        F         G        Am      F          C        G       C       C
    For I........ can't... help... falling in love.... with... you
        F         G        Am      F          C        G       C       C
    For I........ can't... help... falling in love.... with... you

Capo 2nd fret

To play along with the Elvis version, add a capo on the 2nd fret and use the chords I show here. Without a capo, you’ll need to play in the key of D to play along with Elvis. You can still use the chords I show with no capo, but note you’ll be out of tune with the Elvis version.

Chord shapes

Here’s the chord shapes needed. Note, if the F and/or B7 chords are giving you trouble – you don’t need to play any of the notes that are in parentheses. For example, the simplest way to play F chord is by only pushing down on the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd strings as shown below. Likewise, for the B7, you can only worry about playing the middle four strings.

e –––0–––0––––0––––3–––(1)––(2)–––0––––1–––
B –––1–––0––––1––––0––––1––––0––––2––––3–––
G –––0–––0––––2––––0––––2––––2––––0––––2–––
D –––2–––2––––2––––0––––3––––1––––2––––0–––
A –––3–––2––––0––––2–––(3)–––2––––0––––––––
E –––––––0–––––––––3–––(1)–––––––––––––––––
     C   Em   Am   G    F    B7   A7   Dm

Chord progressions

Here’s the measure-by-measure progressions used for the entire song, which has a verse and bridge section. The diagram below is broken into measures, each of which has 6 full beats.

Verse:

"Wise men say..."
| C       | Em      | Am      | Am      |
| F       | C       | G       | G       |

"But I can't help..."
| F       | G       | Am      | F       |
| C       | G       | C       | C       |

Bridge:

"Like a river flows..."
| Em      | B7      | Em      | B7      |
| Em      | B7      |

"Some things are meant to be..."
| Em      | A7      | Dm      | G       |

Strumming and rhythm

This song has 6 counts per measure. If you set your metronome to 100 bpm, this means one “click” per every 3 counts. In other words, the “1” and “4” counts would happen on the metronome beats. Visualized, this looks like this:

[ See PDF for diagram ]

To strum the song, the most beginner-friendly way to start is doing a down-strum only on the “1” count of each measure.

[ See PDF for diagram ]

From there, you can dial it up a bit by adding another down-strum on the “4” count. That is, do a down-strum on the “1” and “4” counts:

[ See PDF for diagram ]

To continue dialing it up, you can add even more down-strums… but make these a bit lighter, so that the “1” and “4” remain the strongest strums.

[ See PDF for diagram ]

Finally, you can add some up-strums if you wish – but again, keep these light! It’s okay if you’re only brushing the thinnest few strings when you up-strum.

[ See PDF for diagram ]

Get my lessons in your inbox!

Every couple weeks I send out an email newsletter with links to whatever new lessons I've made. Sign up here and stay in the loop!


Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!

If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).

You can also support me on Patreon. For only $5/month you'll get access to a print-friendly PDF of my notes for each new lesson (view free sample).

Thanks!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel

Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!


Recent video lessons:

📝 My "song" PDFs are now individually purcasheable! I've arranged a licensing agreement with Musicnotes, a service that lets you buy my sheet music arrangements. Patreon supporters get 50% off each purchase. Learn more here »

June 22, 2022

How to Make Drum Tracks Using GarageBand's Beat Sequencer

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #442

A beginner's guide to using GarageBand's Beat Sequencer tool to create custom drum beats! Even if you're a total novice when it comes to drumming (like me), I'll walk you through the basic steps to create rich-sounding drum tracks to play over while practicing or performing.

May 27, 2022

Creating a Fingerstyle Arrangement of Tom Petty's "American Girl"

Practice Log  •  Lesson #438

A few years after learning American Girl the way Tom Petty plays it, I returned to it — this time determined to work out a low-key, easy-going fingerstyle arrangement. Here's how it went!

Patreon PDF

May 22, 2022

Using Triads & Double-Stops to Punch Up a Melody

Practice Log  •  Lesson #436

As part of my Learning Lead Guitar series, I share a realization I recently had showing different ways to fill out melody lines using triads, double-stops, and harmonized sixths.

Patreon PDF

May 19, 2022

Q&A: Learning a Song for a Wedding? Here's My Advice.

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #435

I answer an audience question about how to go about learning a song (with a tricky riff) for a peformance at a family wedding.

Patreon PDF

May 12, 2022

List of My Beginner-Friendly Song Lessons

About

After many requests from y'all, I finally created this list of all my beginner-friendly song lessons! These are grouped by key, allowing you to take the chord shapes you already know and find other songs using those same shapes.

Patreon PDF

May 4, 2022

Easier Ways to Play B-minor (No Barring Required)

Tips & Techniques  •  Lesson #431

Two easier ways to play B-minor, using open chord voicings — super helpful to have these in your toolkit. Includes different practice riffs to accompany each chord voicing.

Patreon PDF

Browse my all lessons

By lesson type

By song decade

By musical genre

By guitar technique

By musical key

By popular artist


← back to lesson list