Diana (Paul Anka) Guitar Lesson with TAB

Diana Guitar Lesson + TAB
In this guitar lesson, you'll get TAB for the chords, bass line and vocal melody. The TAB for the chords is a bit of an exercise, the analysis of the melody is a lesson in hit writing!


Diana | TAB


Let’s look at a couple of ways you can play Diana using your fingers, not a pick. This is similar to House Of The Rising Sun, although not the same, do compare!

Here’s the first idea, play along with the original recording and you have a great exercise. If it’s too fast, use a metronome first.

Diana TAB, idea 1

There are a couple of important little details to point out here.

  • Use your thumb for the bass note, then your thumb again on string 4
  • On the way down, use your index finger twice
  • The Em has an open string as the last note to help us get to C
  • The D chord doubles up on the top string
  • The D has an open G string to help us get to the G chord

Before we look at example 2, here’s the original bass line:

Diana TAB, bass line.

You must see all intervals played here, let’s look at each bar/chord.

  • G chord – R, 5th, maj7 (leads to E)
  • Em chord – R, 5th, b7 (leads to D)
  • C chord – R, 5th, 3rd, R (leads to D)
  • D chord – R, 2, 3rd (leads to G)


Let’s now incorporate the leading bass notes into idea 1:

Diana TAB, idea 2.

Finally, let’s look at the melody, it too uses only the strong notes from each chord, like this:

Diana TAB, melody.

I don’t think it could be any more simple than Diana’s melody, only strong notes!

Start with the 3rd of the G, this becomes the 5th of the Em. A semitone up we have the root of the C, and the D (chord V) moves down the arpeggio, root, b7, 5th. Repeat all this with new lyrics.

Next, starting on the 5th of the G, we have moved up the scale and increased intensity. The 5th becomes the root of the Em chord and the 3rd of the C. Peak with the 3rd of the D.

For the chorus, we have now reached the root of the G, which is the m3rd of the Em, going down to the 5th of the C, and lastly, the root of the D.

What is happening is that we are slowly building from the 3rd5throot of the G chord, our home.

Play along with the original and notice how the rhythm is manipulated from the straight, on-the-beat rhythm you see above.

This is as simple as Itsy Bitsy Spider, we call this nursery rhyme style hit writing, I have a lesson on this here: I’m Yours step 1.


Diana’s chord progression

I also have to mention the chord progression as it contains four classic movements.

  • The minor fall, I – VI (G – Em)
  • The IV – V (C – D)
  • Put together, the I – VI – IV – V is one of the most common progressions, sometimes varied as I – VI – II – V
  • The bridge starts on the IV chord (very common), then moves to IVm (Cm), one of the most common variations

Find out more about the IVm here.



Diana TAB | Related Pages


Diana | Chords + Lyrics

Diana chords.

You can learn how to play Diana by Paul Anka using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, a chord chart, and the original recording.

G | Em | C | D7 |
I’m so young and you’re so old, this my darling, I’ve been told…


Beginner Acoustic Course

This guitar lesson on Diana with TAB is part of Spytunes Beginner Acoustic Guitar Course.

In the Beginner Acoustic Course, you’ll learn how to play nine complete tunes using in-depth video lessons, full TAB, and loops to practice along with.

Most importantly, we’ll develop 2nd guitar parts so you can play with me, the singer, and understand each song more deeply.



Five Similar Tunes | Chords + Lyrics

When you can play the TAB for Diana, try these five tunes from the songbook.

Paul Anka tunes

Paul Anka wrote Diana.

After his first single Diana hit the charts back in 1958, Paul Anka has had an incredible career mainly based on his writing.

Credits include My Way, She’s A Lady, You Are My Destiny, Love Never Felt So Good, Put Your Head On My Shoulder, and Puppy Love.



Paul Anka on the web

Listen to Paul Anka on Spotify.

About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson and TAB about Diana.

This guitar lesson by Dan Lundholm features TAB and covers Diana. Discover more about him and how you can learn guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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