In this study an approximate method based on the continuum approach and transfer matrix method for static and dynamic analyses of multi-bay coupled shear walls is presented. The whole structure is idealized as a sandwich beam in this method. Initially the differential equation of this equivalent sandwich beam is written, then shape functions for each storey can be obtained by the solution of differential equations. By using boundary conditions and storey transfer matrices which are obtained by these shape functions, system modes and periods can be calculated. Reliability of the study is shown with a few examples. A computer program has been developed in MATLAB and numerical samples have been solved for demonstration of the reliability of this method. The results of the samples display the agreement between the present method and the other methods given in the literature. Copyright (C) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.