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How To Play Born in The USA On Guitar

How To Play “Born in The USA” On Guitar: A Guide For Beginner Guitar Players

American musical artist Bruce Springsteen’s seventh studio album was published by Columbia Records on June 4, 1984. It peaked on the charts in nine countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. By becoming his most excellent and successful album and one of the best-selling albums of all time, it has been sold 30 million copies. It was nominated for a Grammy and spawned seven Top Ten hits. Reviewers frequently named it one of the best albums. In this article, you will learn how to play “Born in The USA” by Bruce Springsteen. It is an easy beginner guitar song that every novice can play. So, let’s start to learn!

Annie Leibovitz’s classic shot of Springsteen from behind graces the cover. It features tighter songs, a brighter tone, and a prominent synthesizer than his previous albums. The album was recorded over several years with the E Street Band and producers Jon Landau and Chuck Plotkin while Springsteen was simultaneously working on Nebraska.

Springsteen is one of the world’s greatest music artists, having sold over 140 million albums worldwide and over 71 million in the United States. He has won 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, and a Special Tony Award for his work. Springsteen was inducted into the Songwriters and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame in 1999, got the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009, was named MusiCares Person of the Year in 2013, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2016.

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Who is Bruce Springsteen?

Bruce Springsteen is an American singer and songwriter who rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as the prototypical rock performer. He is an innovator of heartland rock, merging popular rock musical elements with narrative lyrics about working-class American life. He has 21 studio albums to his credit, the majority of which feature his backup band, the E Street Band.

Springsteen was raised in Freehold, New Jersey, a mill town where his father worked as a laborer. His rebellious and artistic side drove him to the adjacent Jersey Shore, where the rock band scene and boardwalk life, high and low, stimulated his creativity. After working in bar bands on the mid-Atlantic coast, Springsteen decided to go solo in 1972 and auditioned for talent scout John Hammond, Sr., who promptly signed him to Columbia Records.

Beginning of His Career

Springsteen’s first two albums, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., and The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle were released in 1973 and received little attention. In 1975, he tweaked his approach and became a global sensation with Born to Run. Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978) and The River (1980), which topped the US Billboard 200 list, followed.

He returned with the E Street Band for Born in the USA (1984), his most hugely successful album and one of the best-selling albums of all time, after his solo debut, Nebraska (1982). Seven of its tracks, including the title tune, charted in the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. Springsteen’s following three albums, Tunnel of Love (1987), Human Touch (1992), and Lucky Town (1992), were primarily recorded using session players. He reformed the E Street Band for Greatest Hits in 1995. Then, he released the minimalist acoustic The Ghost of Tom Joad, accompanied by the EP Blood Brothers (1996), his final album of the decade.

Springsteen’s 2002 album The Rising was dedicated to the victims of the September 11 tragedy. He recorded two additional folk albums, Devils & Dust (2005) and We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006), before joining the E Street Band for two more albums, Magic (2007) and Working on a Dream (2008). (2009). The following two albums, Wrecking Ball (2012) and High Hopes (2014), topped global album charts. His most recent releases are the solo Western Stars (2019), Letter to You (2020), and a solo cover album, Only the Strong Survive (2022). When Letter to You reached No. 2 in the United States, Springsteen became the first musician to have six Top Five hits in a row.

How Bruce Springsteen Started To Play Guitar?

Springsteen witnessed the Beatles’ TV debuts on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. He was inspired and purchased his first guitar for $18.95 at the Western Auto Appliance Store. Following that, he began performing in front of crowds with a band named the Rogues at local locations such as the Elks Lodge in Freehold.

Springsteen’s mother borrowed money in late 1964 to purchase him a $60 Kent guitar. This deed was later remembered by Bruce Springsteen in his song “The Wish.” The following year, he visited the home of Tex and Marion Vinyard, who supported local bands. They assisted him in becoming Castiles’ lead guitarist and, later, one of their lead singers.

The Castiles recorded two original songs in a public recording studio in Brick Township. They performed at various places, including Greenwich Village’s Cafe Wha? Marion Vinyard stated that she believed the young Bruce Springsteen when he vowed to make it huge.

Springsteen briefly performed in a power trio known as Earth in the late 1960s, playing in New Jersey bars. He also had one significant event at the Hotel Diplomat in New York City.

Springsteen performed with Steel Mill from 1969 to early 1971, which comprised Danny Federici, Vini Lopez, Vinnie Roslin, and subsequently Steve Van Zandt and Robbin Thompson. During this period, they often performed at Jersey Shore establishments, including The Stone Pony.

How To Play Born in The USA

Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in The USA” is a fantastic beginner song that only got two chords. We are going to show you a few ways to play it and a few different approaches to strumming. First thing, we’re using a capo to simplify the chords. The original chords played on the original recording for more advanced guitar players. You’re going to be using a B-barre chord and an E open chord. That’s the two chords you could use if you don’t have a capo and want to play along with the original recording. There are lots of different approaches because it’s only got two chords.

How To Play Born in The USA – Simple Strumming Pattern

Let’s start with the most straightforward strumming pattern possible: a down strum on beat one. Literally, you get the A chord down strum on beat one, change to D, and back to A. Using this, you’ll be able to play along with the original recording, which, if you’re a beginner guitar player, is loads of fun. Here’s the tricky bit it’s going to be a chord change if you’re a beginner. Every beginner finds it really difficult to change between the chords; it’s just really normal for beginners to struggle with chord changes.

The first step is to keep the strumming that simple, one strum per bar, and see if you can play along with the original recording. In this way, it’s great fun to be playing along with that. Once you feel confident and can play along using the single strum, we recommend that you go to four down strums to the bar. So, that would be the second strumming option.

How To Play Born in The USA – Different Strumming Pattern

Another strumming technique that you can apply to this song is putting an accent on beats two and four. So, you’re actually playing DU-DU-DU-DU. Just continuous strumming, but you want to put an accent on beats two and four. So, a harder strum on beats two and four kinds of copies is the backbeat, which is when the drummer hits the snare drum. It’s something that really moves the groove of a song.

So, you’ve got a few different levels there that you can play about with as a beginner guitar player to try out just real simple strumming. Then, you can try four down strums and then eight strums but accenting beats two and four. It would be the three options that we would kind of recommend.

How To Play Born in The USA – Additional Stuff

A couple of other lovely things that you can add in as a beginner that make it sound really cool. The first one is instead of playing a regular D chord; if you play a Dsus2, a Dsus2 is a very easy chord. You start with a D chord and then, lift off your second middle finger. And it opens up the sound a little bit more. It just adds a nice air to the tune. So, that’s something that you might like to have a bit of a play about as well. 

Another interesting thing about this tune is that you can change the chords you play because it’s only got two chords. As a beginner, it can be pretty interesting to try using different sets of chords for the same song. At the moment, we’re using A and D chords with a capo second fret. However, if we put the capo up on the fourth fret, we can now play the same thing using the G chord and C chord. It’s exactly the same sound you could still play along with the original recording using G.

Different Kind of Quality

It’s still the same chord you can jam along to, but it’s a different kind of quality. A certain chord change that sounds nice is to use the four-finger G. And then, instead of going to a regular C chord, you move the first and second fingers down the chord technically, which is called a Cadd9. Still, it’s just a different kind of C chord that beginners can use in this kind of tune.

Even if you want to, you could put the capo right up on the seventh fret and use an E chord and an A chord. If you’re learning and you know E, A, and D, you could play it with the capo at the second fret and play A and D or capo at the seventh fret and play E and A. It’s cool to be able to get these things figured out on your guitar journey. You’ll eventually learn how these things work.

Instead of playing a full chord, we went to an Asus2 chord. So, we’re just using the capo on the seventh fret; we’re using my second finger two frets above the capo. It happens to be the ninth fret on the fourth string and our third finger in the ninth fret on the third string, gives a nice sound called an Asus2 chord.


Bruce Springsteen is a singer and songwriter from the United States who is originally from the Jersey Shore. He has 21 studio albums to his credit, the majority of which feature his backup band, the E Street Band. He is an innovator of heartland rock, merging popular rock musical elements with narrative lyrics about working-class American life. His career has spanned six decades, earning him the moniker “The Boss.” Springsteen has been recognized for his lyrical, socially concerned lyrics and frenetic theatrical performances, which sometimes run up to four hours.

Columbia Records released Born in the USA on June 4, 1984. It topped the charts in nine countries, including the US and the UK, and became his most hugely successful album and one of the greatest albums of all time, selling 30 million copies. It was nominated for a Grammy, had seven Top Ten songs, and was regularly named one of the finest albums of all time by critics.

In this guide, we explained how to play “Born in The USA” on guitar. This all-time rock hit by The Boss requires only two chords. Based on what chords you know and where you choose to set the capo, you may play it with A and D, G and C, or E and A! We hope you all enjoyed this article and learned how to play “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen on guitar.