Skeptical Christmas Strumalong Guitar: Plain and Fancy
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The Scene: A Christmas Gathering. You: A Fearless Guitar Player.
Q: What exactly do you need? A: This book, no more, no less.
Here’s what you get:
The lyrics to 16 Christmas carols,
Chord symbols placed over the lyrics,
How long to play each of the chords,
What kind of strumming or fingerpicking pattern to use,
The starting notes for singing and
Condensed lyric sheets for photocopying and distributing to a grateful audience.
You don’t need to read music because you know all of the melodies. You don’t need piano arrangements because you are a fearless GUITAR player. (Most of the Christmas books out there are presented in standard notation, geared toward keyboard players, and may have a few crummy guitar chord diagrams thrown in as an afterthought, like a bone to a dog.)
And you might like to see two versions, a PLAIN one and a FANCY one.
That way, if you are a beginning player, you’ll be able to deliver a fairly serviceable rendition using just a few easy chords in easy keys. If you can handle more chords that change more often, you can look over at the facing page and find a fancier version.
The problem is that Christmas music has an abysmal shelf life. It’s really only useful for about a tenth of the year. So you really don’t want to spend much time practicing complicated arrangements of carols that will be left to gather dust for the other nine-tenths. And you want something you can play RIGHT NOW.
So I put these arrangements in guitar-friendly keys such as G, D, Am and C. I’m sticking with traditional carols, which better reflect the Christmas spirit than do the myriad sappy, commercial-pop Christmas songs that begin to pollute the airwaves as early as Labor Day, for crying out loud.
For a sample of the merchandise, check out “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
And have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!