Christmas Songs for Guitar
The Christmas season is fast approaching and so is the time for Christmas songs for guitar! Amidst all the hustle and bustle of this time of year, music brings particular joy and cheer to our festivities.
For those musicians among us, Guitar Christmas Songs present an easy way to get into the holiday mood. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced guitarist, play some Christmas guitar songs at your next celebration to spark some real holiday cheer! Here are five favorite acoustic guitar Christmas songbooks to get you started.
Hal Leonard Christmas Songs for Easy Guitar Tab Songbook
Beginner guitar players … this book of Christmas songs for guitar is for you! All the songs are presented in tablature format, so beginners can play them right away. Favorites of the Christmas season are here, including "Holly Jolly Christmas", "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Jingle Bell Rock". All you need is to know how to read tablature and you could be "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" in no time! That song, for example, is presented in a simple 4/4 time signature and has a basic strum pattern that is very easy to memorize.
Hal Leonard The Christmas Carols Easy Guitar Songbook (no tabs)
As an instructor, I require my guitar students to learn to read music, not just guitar tabs. Tablature is convenient for beginners, but tabs give no information regarding timing, note duration or dynamics. Enter the Christmas Carols Easy Guitar Songbook without tabs. This one is for the beginner guitarist who has learned to read music. All the songs are presented in music staff. No tablature is offered, but these are still easy to learn and play. Christmas Carols Easy Guitar contains 120 of the best and favorite Christmas songs. For instance, "Jingle Bells" is a great song to start with. "Jingle Bells" is written in easy 4/4 time signature and is a very simple song to play. From an instructional perspective, this songbook will help the student get accustomed to reading sheet music.
The Complete Christmas Music Collection Sheet Music
For the intermediate player, I recommend the Complete Christmas Music Collection. The book has 128 Christmas favorites and carols. Each song is presented on a grand staff and the music can also be used for piano. Thus, the guitarist can accompany themselves with the bass line using finger picking techniques. One of my all time favorite Christmas songs for guitar instruction, "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" requires varied dynamics and mixed time signatures. For the intermediate player, this book is a good practice tool while playing some favorite Christmas music for your family.
Kathy Mattea's Good News Sheet Music
Kathy Mattea is a contemporary country artist. She has published a book of her own Christmas themed music for the intermediate guitarist. Favorites like "Mary Did You Know?" and "Emmanuel". This book is written for voice, piano and acoustic guitar. All songs are presented on a grand staff and include vocal melody and bass accompaniment. For an intermediate guitarist, there really is no better Christmas music songbook. I particularly like the song "Mary, Did You Know?" due to the possibility of a solo melodic version or a duet with one guitar playing the melody (treble clef) and one playing the harmony (bass clef). This is a great instructional song for practicing with another player. Throw in a singer and the Christmas songs for guitar show is complete.
A Classical Christmas
Now we have Christmas songs for guitar for the advanced acoustic guitar player. "A Classical Christmas" brings many favorites as well as a few carols to the fret boards of advanced acoustic guitarists. This songbook is focused on classical finger style acoustic guitar. There are a number of extras here as well. The book is presented in an easy to read 9" x 12" page size and all the music is written in standard notation, lyrics and illustrations. Tabs are included as well as fingerings, chord diagrams and introductions to the piece. This can be especially helpful in places where the music drops into a new key signature. For instance, in "We Three Kings", there is a spot where the key drops to a minor of the original key. If, even as an advanced player, you have a hard time with key changes like this, the tabs or chord diagrams can get you there faster. Have yourself a classical little Christmas.
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