Transcribing Notes From John Neil (Head Transcriber)

Believe it or not, this song was originally written as a ballad. It certainly didn’t end up as one. It’s also believed to be the first use of the term “heavy metal”, from verse 2, which is describing a motorcycle.


A raspy lead vocal with the range of D3 to G4.

Born to Be Wild - Steppenwolf - Vocal Melody

Download the Melody Music Here



An awesome gritty Hammond organ part. You can really hear the Leslie speaker spinning. It gets pretty choppy in the organ solo, and lots of clusters are played. I did my best to transcribe the correct notes, though when it’s choppy and staccato-y and overdriven, something close should be okay.

Born to Be Wild - Steppenwolf - Keyboard Sheet Music

Download the Keyboard Sheet Music Here

Lead and Rhythm Guitars

A nice overdriven guitar tone. I’ve watched a few live videos, and from what I could see of strum patterns, there is no real rhyme or reason. I indicated what seemed to be the gist of it, so pirate rules (more like guidelines). The slide ring guitar at the end of the organ solo is covered as well.

Born to Be Wild - Steppenwolf - Lead Guitar Tablature

Download the Lead Guitar Tab Here


There isn’t a strum nor ukulele part in this song, so a part was made up that can work for solo performances as well.

Born to Be Wild - Steppenwolf - Strum Guitar

Download the Strum Tab Here

Born to Be Wild - Steppenwolf - Ukulele Tablature

Download the Ukulele Tab Here


A nice bass part that moves around a lot. A very muffled tone, most likely played with fingers as opposed to a pick.

Born to Be Wild - Steppenwolf - Bass Guitar Tablature

Download the Bass Tab Here


Born to Be Wild - Steppenwolf - Drum Sheet Music

Download the Drum Music Here
Born to Be Wild - Steppenwolf - Lead/Chord Sheet
Download the Lead Sheet Here