Deck the Halls - (the trickier version)
Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange
Difficulty Rating: Intermediate-Advanced
Note: The Printable PDF for the TAB/Notation for this arrangement is available as part of my Christmas Fingerstyle Guitar Collection along with 21 other Christmas Carol guitar arrangements. Click here to order it.
Here is the 'harder' version of Deck the Halls. It uses some of the moves of the easier version, so if you've got that one down, you're halfway there with this one.
It starts the same way as the easy version, the harmony line in 6ths, but halfway through it switches to a bass note/melody line. This is the first 'tricky' part. There are a few left hand moves that need to happen quickly and smoothly. Once again, the trick is to practice them very slowly at first, many times. That G11 chord (F/G is another way of writing it) has a little hammer on within it: the ring finger comes down onto the ringing open G string at the second fret. You don't have to do it, of course, you can just go straight to the F/G, but it's a little detail that adds a lot.
The second time through that section, I use a descending bass line similar to the one I used in the easy version (similar, not identical) instead of the sixths.
Bar 9 is where it gets even trickier. The melody line is played as single notes and there's a moving counterpoint line below it, basically the C scale starting at A and going down in quarter notes to C where it stops for two beat, then drops two more scale degrees to A. Meanwhile, in the higher register, the melody line becomes a series of three note chords with the melody note on top.
Halfway through bar 12, I start another descending bass line, all quarter notes, starting at F and going all the way through the scale to an F#, the bass note of that one majorized minor, the D7. So this is a D chord over its 3rd, a second inversion.
It ends almost the same as the easy version, but I added another D/F# interval there ... just for the fun of it. The last bar is identical to the easy version.
So, there you have it. Once you get both versions down, join them together: play the easy version first, then repeat using the harder version, and you'll have yourself a nice arrangement of Deck the Halls. Merry Christmas!
For this lesson, I will be charging a small fee of US $2.95 for the Printable PDF of the TAB/Notation. Click here to order it.
Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange
As 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.