The history of the guitar can be traced back some 4,000 years. The very earliest ancestors of today’s acoustic guitar are the bowl harp and the tanbur that were played in Mesopotamia, Sumeria and ancient Egypt. While the guitar has gone through many transformations to become what it is today, the acoustic guitar can travel anywhere – from campfire sing-a-longs to classical music halls.
This very versatility of the acoustic guitar has perhaps endeared this instrument to musicians around the globe. Regardless of the reason, holiday gatherings often inspire guitarists to accompany both song and dance. What more musically charged time of the year than Christmas?
Christmas songs for guitar
can be a central, uniting part of any Christmas gathering. And so, to celebrate the time of the year and our instrument of choice, here is a list of our five favorite Christmas songs for guitar.
The 1970 version of Feliz Navidad
by Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Jose Feliciano became almost an overnight hit. Feliciano’s version of this classic is one of the most downloaded Christmas songs of all time. The song became so popular that it has been recorded by multiple artists, each adding their own special flare. But regardless of who plays it, the song’s simplicity and clear message make it a popular song that will fly straight to the heart. This is our top choice of guitar Christmas songs.
The original lyrics of Silent Night were written in German by an Austrian priest (Father Joseph Mohr) and the melody was composed by Franx Xaver Gruber. The popularity of this Christmas carol has not abated over the last 200 years. It conveys the spirit of the season without making an issue of theological beliefs, focusing on the love of a mother for her child. Almost a lullaby, it touches the heart, is simple to play, and the tune and words are recognized by many. Interestingly, the version of the melody that is sung today is rather slower than the original Gruber version which was a rather upbeat dance tune.
Silent Night - Piano/Vocal/Guitar Sheet Music (This is not the specific arrangement by Daisuke Minamizawa, but you can modify the original arrangement to resemble Daisuke's playing. In the meantime, we are trying to get Daisuke's arrangement.)
#3 - Winter Wonderland
The song ‘Winter Wonderland’ was first published in 1934 and made popular by subsequent recordings by both the Andrews Sisters and Perry Como. But like so many of the Christmas favorites, Winter Wonderland has been remade by many artists over 50 years. Perhaps the best version – especially for acoustic guitar – is the 2004 version recorded by Jason Mraz, an American singer-songwriter born and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Mraz achieved acclaim through his combination of styles; reggae, rock, pop, jazz, folk, hip hop, even bossa nova in order to make a truly unique sound.
A novelty guitar Christmas song written by Randy Brooks and originally recorded by the Irish Rovers, this incredibly amusing, easy-to–play song is, thanks to its bone-tickling lyrics, sure to be a favorite wherever it is played.
The power pop band We the Kings from Bradenton, Florida recorded the song “There is a Light” on their 2007 Secret Valentine Album. At once simple and touching, There is a Light brings to mind the Christmases of childhood and the excitement and expectation associated with the holiday. The allure of this song is that it conveys the spirit of Christmas without being a redundant Christmas tune that everyone has heard a million times.
While these are the top five guitar Christmas songs that we recommend for the acoustic guitar player, this is hardly a comprehensive list. It has barely scratched the surface of the number of guitar Christmas songs available, but it is a place to start. We can only hope that it helps to make your holidays a little happier.