“Ventura Highway” by America

Ventura Highway Chords And Lyrics

The PDF below is perfect if you just need a basic idea of how the song goes. You can consider it the “easy” version. It has the basic chords and lyrics, so you’ll have no problem faking through it if you are very familiar with how the song is supposed to sound.

Much of the song is a two chord progression of F, Cmaj7. You can substitute with a C chord If you are unfamiliar with the Cmaj7 chord, but Cmaj7 is a very easy chord to play, so why not learn how to play it.

In the original recording the guitarists use a capo on the 2nd fret, so it would sound a whole step higher than the chord/lyric sheet provided above. That makes the F chord sound as G and the Cmaj7 sound as Dmaj7.

I know, it sounds confusing. The capo is not there to boggle your mind. It’s just an easy way to the change the key. This is usually done to accommodate the range of the vocalist. First, just learn the basic chord progression and if you need to change the key you can use the capo. You’ll play it the exact same way relative to the capo.

Basic Strumming Pattern For Ventura Highway

Below is the basic strumming pattern used throughout the verses and musical interludes. The pattern changes a bit in the second half of the chorus, but it’s not much different. If you want to precise with the strumming be sure to download the extended score at the bottom of this page, or take a careful listen of the original recording of the song.

ventura highway strumming pattern

Here is an MP3 of the entire song being played (with capo on the 2nd fret):

Lead Guitar

Here’s the basic lead guitar part. With a capo on the 2nd fret all the notes end up two frets higher, mostly on the 5th and 7th frets.

ventura highway lead


In this video I demonstrate how to strum the basic rhythm and how to play the lead part:


Below is a complete transcription of the song. It is transcribed, in the key of G, without the capo in mind.  So, you could play along with the original recording without having to bother with one.

Complete Transcription To “Ventura Highway” (PDF)