There are only about four sections of music to learn in Light My Fire, which The Doors released in January, 1967 on their self-titled debut album.
Robby Krieger is said to have written most of the song himself, and also claims that it is the first one that he ever wrote. For this song, and for their entire first record, Robby uses his Gibson SG straight into a Fender Twin Reverb amplifier.
Light My Fire – Song Analysis
To play along with most versions of this song, you will need to tune your guitar down one-half step. This was actually a post-production error and was not intentional. Modern releases of the song have been fixed. There are only about four different sections of music that you will need to learn in order to play this song.
Light My Fire – Key and Scale
Light My Fire is in the key of A Minor
The Intro is a short five-bar section of music but the majority of chords for the entire song are in this small section. Let’s break this into two parts to make it easier to look at.
Light My Fire – Intro Pt. 1
The first three bars of the Intro really pack in the chords and it looks like this. (Fig 1)
Let’s take another look at those chords. (Fig 2 and Fig 3)
The first thing we might notice is that while there are a lot of chords, we only need to learn three fingerings. The G Major and F Major use the same shape. The D Major and the D# Major use the same shape, and the A# Major and the G# Major use the same shape.
The interesting thing about this section is that it actually starts out in the key of G Major for the G Major and D Major chords. It then switches to the key of F Major for the F Major and A# Major chords. It switches key yet again for the D# Major and the G# Major chords, but this time it switches to the key of D# Major. Robby can switch keys so often because a rule of theory states that you are free to move between any two like chords. For example, if you play a G Major chord, you can follow it with any Major chord and be “within the law,” even if the Major chord of choice is not in the same key. The same can also be done with Minor chords.
Light My Fire – Intro Pt. 2
The second part of the Intro is only two bars long and it looks like this. (Fig 4)
Let’s take another look at that chord (Fig 5)
For these two bars, the A Major chord tells us that the key this time is the key of A Major.
Light My Fire – Verse
The Verse is only two bars long and it repeats. I put four bars in the example so you can see it better. It looks like this. (Fig 6)
Here is another look at the chords. (Fig 7)
For the verse, we can see that we once again change keys. This time we alternate between the keys of A Minor and F# Minor.
Light My Fire – Chorus
The Chorus is seven bars long. It switches back to Major chords and continues in the key that follows the chord style. We will break this up into three parts to make it easier to look at.
Chorus Pt. 1
The first two bars of the chorus look like this. (Fig 8)
Here is another look at those chords. (Fig 9)
Light My Fire – Chorus Pt. 2
The second part of the Chorus is three bars long and it looks like this. (Fig 10)
The only new chord is a B Minor in the second bar, so let’s take a look at that. (Fig 11)
Light My Fire – Chorus Pt. 3
The third part of the Chorus is two bars long and looks like this. (Fig 12)
There is only the one chord in this section, an E Major, and it looks like this. (Fig 13)
Keyboard and Guitar Solo
Both the Keyboard Solo and the Guitar Solo that comes after it use the same one bar chord progression. Robby might add some extra strums here and there but it pretty much stays the same for around 140 bars and it looks like this. (Fig 14)
Let’s take another look at these chords. (Fig 15)
The last section that we will need to learn is the Outro Chorus. This Chorus is very similar to the main Chorus, but it is also different. We will break this up into a few parts for easy understanding.
Light My Fire – Outro Chorus Pt. 1
The first part is exactly the same as the first part of the regular chorus. It is repeated once. (Fig 8)
Outro Chorus Pt. 2
The second part is a little bit different but not much. It looks like this (Fig 16)
Here is another look at those chords. (Fig 17)
This part gets repeated three times.
Light My Fire – Outro Chorus Pt. 3
The third part of the Chorus is three bars long and looks like this (Fig 18)
The most important part of this section is that the third bar changes to a ¾ time for that one bar.
Light My Fire – Solo Analysis
We will cover the Solo in a future article but if you want to play your own Solo then you will want to start it out in G Major. In the middle of the Solo, there is a change to C Major, and towards the end, there is a return to G Major. Robby covers the entire neck as well; he’s not much of a box player. (Fig 19)
Light My Fire – Song Overview
Once you have learned these parts, it’s time to play the song. This is how it goes:
Keyboard Solo (70x)
Guitar Solo (70x)