New - now download purchases directly into Android devices
About Me
Contact Me | Latest Tutorials

Billy Joel Songs
On The Acoustic 

billy joel songs

Here on my Billy Joel songs page you'll find acoustic tutorial demos, free chord sheets you can download in .pdf format, some tips on strumming these songs and low cost acoustic tutorials to assist you in playing Billy Joel hit songs on the guitar. 

Jump links to quickly access the sections.


Billy Joel Songs
Chords, Lyrics, Rhythm Tips, Tutorials

As you know, Billy Joel has been an influence in music culture since 1965. It's no coincidence that he and Elton John have become great friends through the years. Their talents are on the same instrument, they started during the same period (Sir Elton in 1962) and both are close to the same age (Joel is 73 and Elton 75 in 2022). 

1. A Matter Of Trust

a matter of trust guitar lesson

A Matter Of Trust released this song in the summer of 1986 from his album "The Bridge".

The song reached #10 in the US and #3 in Canada. The music video for this one featured Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney as spectators and is the only music video featuring Billy Joel playing guitar. 

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: D, Bm, Gbm, A, D, Em, Dmaj7
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

2. Allentown

allentown guitar lesson

Allentown was a #1 hit in Australia and reached #17 in the US. The song has taken on a persona as a representation of the working class blue collar man. Joel began writing this song in the 1970's but never finished it until 1982. He called it Allentown not because it was an industrial steel town like Bethlehem PA and Levittown NY, but because it was easier to write lines that rhyme with Allentown.

One of those Billy Joel guitar songs that has it's own special vibe to try and capture on an acoustic. Find this track on the 1982 album "The Nylon Curtain".

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: No but a few riffs in the rhythm
  • Chords: C, Em, D, G, A7, Am7, Bm, Gbm, A#, F
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

3. An Innocent Man

an innocent man guitar lesson

An Innocent Man hails from the 1983 Billy Joel album of the same name. This song pays respect to Ben E King and The Drifters and Joel commented he went for the high notes in this one while he still had the vocal range.

The song peaked at #10 on the billboard Hot 100.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: root down up root up down up
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: C, Dm, F, G, A#
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top Of Billy Joel Songs

4. Honesty

honesty guitar lesson

Honesty was released in May of 1979 from the "52nd Street" album which was released a year earlier. The song was a #1 hit in France and peaked at #24 in the US.

Joel has performed this song with Elton John on occasion. This is one of those great Billy Joel guitar songs that everyone knows well.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No - original key 1 fret higher
  • Rhythm: down down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: a few riffs
  • Chords:  A, A/Gb, Fmaj7, E7, D, E, Dbm, Gbm, B7, Esus, E, Fdim, Ab, Dbsus, Dmaj7, Gbm/E, Db7, A7, E7
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

5. It's Still Rock N Roll To Me

it's still rock and roll to me guitar lesson

It's Still Rock And Roll To Me was a #1 hit in the US during the summer of 1980. If you listen closely you'll hear that the snare drum is tuned lower than usual which was a technique requested by the sound engineer of drummer Liberty Devitto.

The song was also a #1 in Canada. The song hails from the "Glass Houses" album.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 3rd fret
  • Rhythm: down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes a little
  • Chords: A, Dbm, G, D, Gbm, B7, E, Bm, Db, F, C
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

6. Just The Way You Are

just the way you are guitar lesson

Just The Way You Are hails from "The Stranger" album from 1977. This was a career launching song for Joel as his first top 10 in the US, reaching #3, and won Grammy's for Record Of the Year and Song Of The Year.

Yeah that will get you noticed for sure. The released single was about a minute shorter than the album version.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: D, Dsus, Bm, G, D7, Gm, G6, Am, Esus, E, A7, Em, Gbm, B7
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top Of Billy Joel Songs

7. Keeping The Faith

keeping the faith guitar lesson

Keeping The Faith is from the album "An Innocent Man" and peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Christy Brinkley, Richard Pryor and Joe Piscopo all appear in the music video.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 2nd fret
  • Rhythm: a steady down up down up shuffle
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: D, G, A, Em
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

8. Only The Good Die Young

only the good die young guitar lesson

Only The Good Die Young was one of four singles were released from "The Stranger" album back in 1977. Because the song was considered anti-catholic at the time because the guy in the song was lusting after a catholic girl, many radio stations got pressure from the church.

Of course the controversy drove up sales as it always does. And the guy in the song never scored with the girl in the end. The song peaked at #24 in the US.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes a little in rhythm
  • Chords: F, G, Am, C, D, C7
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

9. Piano Man

piano man guitar lesson

Piano Man reflects what Billy Joel played in the bar scenes in the beginning of his climb, and this song reflects some of the characters he'd encounter in piano lounges in Los Angeles in the early 1970's. This song was his first major hit peaking at #4 on the Easy Listening chart.

During the last half of the 1970's, all of Billy Joel's singles did better in Canada than in the US. The track can be found on the "Piano Man" album of 1973.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: C, G6, Am, Am/G, F, G, Em, D, D/Gb
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top Of Billy Joel Songs

10. She's Always A Woman

shes always a woman guitar lesson

She's Always A Woman was a #17 hit for Billy Joel back in 1977.

The song hails from the album "The Stranger".

  • Drop D Tuning:  No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: D, Dsus, A, G, D/Gb, Gb, Bm, Bm/A, A7, A/Db, Bm/Ab, E, A/Ab, Gm, Em, Dm, Dm/C, Dm/B, C, G6, A#, A#/A, E/Ab, E7
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

11. She's Got A Way

shes got a way guitar lesson

She's Got A Way goes all the way back to 1971 to the album "Cold Spring Harbour".

Billy Joel wrote this one about his first wife Elizabeth and mentioned the song was a bit corny but he re-recorded it again in 1981 for his first live album, "Songs In The Attic".

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down strokes or use a down down up down down up
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: G, D/Gb, Em, G7, C, D, Ebmaj9, Csus2, Am, Gm, D/Db, Edim, Bm, D7, B7, Gb, Em7 
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top Of Billy Joel Songs

12. Sleeping With The Television On

sleeping with the television on guitar lesson

Sleeping With The Television On was on the 1980 "Glass Houses" album.

The song was never released as a single.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: up up down up down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: Gmaj7, A, Bm/D, D, A/C#, Bm, G, D/F#, Bm, Em, F#, D/Gb, A7
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

13. Summer Highland Falls

summer highland falls guitar lesson

Summer Highland Falls is from his Turnstyles album in 1976. Often times musicians don't record with the same people you see on stage. There are "studio musicians" and "live on tour stage musicians".

This entire "Turnstyles" album was re-recorded after Joel was disappointed with the initial recording using studio musicians. So he used his road band in the studio to re-do the entire album and took over himself as producer. 

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 3rd fret
  • Rhythm: down up down up up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: D, D/Gb, Em, G, A7, E7, A#, Bm, Bm/A, E, A, A7sus, A7, C
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

14. The River Of Dreams

the river of dreams guitar lesson

The River Of Dreams is from the album of the same name and hit the airwaves as a single in 1993.

The song reached #1 in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 3rd fret - original key = no capo
  • Rhythm: down up up down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: G, C, D, Em, Em/D, A7
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

15. Uptown Girl

uptown girl guitar lesson

Uptown Girl inspiration for this song came from an encounter with Christy Brinkley, Whitey Houston and Elle McPherson and was going to call the song Uptown Girls, but then changed the title. He also said Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons gave him the idea for the vibe of the song.

It was a #1 in five countries but peaked at #2 in the US.

This one should be on your Billy Joel guitar songs setlist for a bar. This track is on the album "An Innocent Man".

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 2nd fret
  • Rhythm: down down up down up down up repeat
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: D, Em, Gbm, G, A7, A#, Gm, Cm, F, Am, Fdim
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top Of Billy Joel Songs

16. We Didn't Start The Fire

we didnt start the fire guitar lesson

We Didn't Start The Fire was one of seven singles released from the album "Storm Front" in 1989-1990.

This was the biggest single reaching #1 in the US and a top 10 in several other countries.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down down down up down and repeat
  • Picking: Yes a few riffs in the rhythm
  • Chords: G, D, Em, C, A
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

17. You May Be Right

you may be right guitar lesson

You May Be Right peaked at #7 in the US and #6 in Canada.

The track can be found on the "Glass Houses" album from 1980.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: down down up down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: A, E, Bm, G, E7, D, Gbm
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top

18. You're My Home

you're my home guitar lesson

You're My Home came about as Billy Joel was broke in 1973 while out n California and couldn't afford to buy his wife at the time a Valentines Day gift, so he wrote this song for her instead.

Helen Ready covered the song but Joel apparently did not really like her version. This track is on the 1981 album "Songs In The Attic".

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 3rd fret
  • Rhythm: down up down up down up with a steady shuffle
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: D, Dmaj7, G, A7, D7, Gbm, Em, Bm, A
Chords & Lyrics

Buy Full Lesson

Jump To Top Of Billy Joel Songs

I hope you found this Billy Joel songs page helpful. Any questions, touch base.


Billy Joel & Elton John On Leno

Here is a great clip of Billy Joel and Elton John hamming it up a bit with Jay Leno.

HomePage
Classic Rock Artists
Centerd popup window on the screen