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Silent Night - An Advanced Fingerstyle Lesson

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange
Difficulty Rating: Intermediate-Advanced

Here's the trickier version of 'Silent Night' ... the easy version is here.

This is also in the key of A, and for those who may be moving up to this trickier version from the easy version, you'll quickly see that it bears no resemblance, apart from the open string bass notes. That's the beauty of the guitar, the way you can move things around the fretboard to new and more logical positions according to the arrangement.

This version, keeps a fairly steady stream of 8th notes ringing away filling out the gaps in the melody line, and a lot of them are strategically plucked open strings. The tab will show you which notes are the open stringers ... if you're new to this way of picking open string notes to up-the-neck chord shapes, you'll probably experience a bit of finger revolt ... I know I do when I work these out ... so you'll just need to get the moves down slowly until they're engrained.

There's a bit of everything in this arrangement ... as I just mentioned, the open string additions; pull-offs, hammer-ons; picking and plucking; chords, double stops and single note runs ... it certainly kept me on my toes once I'd settled on this arrangement. You need to think a couple of measures ahead.

I kept to the same chord progression toward the end as the easy version ... I do like the effect set up by that vi chord (the F#m) and the A/E chord ... together, they leave the listener in no doubt that the ending is coming up.

This, like many other carols, hymns and children's tunes, is strictly in key ... the V chord is 7th flavored, as it should be; the melody line over the IV chord turns it into a #4 chord, as it should; the momentary vi chord adds its flavor ... this is a great example of a I-IV-V (with a dash of vi) tune.

Silent Night Harmonized Version
Silent Night simple fingerstyle
Silent Night Strummed Accompaniment



Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange

Kirk LorangeAs well as putting together these fingerstyle guitar lessons, I am also the author of PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Package, which teaches a mindset, a way of thinking about music and a way of tracking it all on the guitar fretboard. Yes, there IS a constant down there in the maze of strings and fret wire, a landmark that points to everything at all times. I call it The Easiest Yet Most Powerful Guitar Lesson You Will Ever Learn and many testimonials at my site will back up that rather superlative description. If your goal as a guitar player is to be able to truly PLAY the guitar, not just learn by rote; to be able to invent on the fly, not memorize every note; to be able to see the WHOLE fretboard as friendly, familiar territory, not just the first 5 frets and to do it all without thinking about all those scales and modes, then you should read more here.