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Oh Come All Ye Faithful - A fingerstyle guitar lesson

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange
Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

Oh Come All Ye Faithful - The Lesson explained


Another one in the key of C. All of a sudden C seems to be the best key!

This one follows the usual Christmas carol format: chords mostly revolving around the I-IV-V chords of the key (C-F-G in this case) and a 'majorized minor' appearing in there as well ... the D7. Normally, of course, the D chord in the key of C would be D minor.

You'll see that there's a pick up note on the last eighth beat of bar 1 ... which is why the actual tune starts in bar 2 in both the tab and the video.

I tried to keep the arrangement fairly open and simple, sticking mostly to melody line plus bass line, but there are a couple of chordal things going on too. There's a nice sequence between bars 6 and 8 that was fun to put together. If you follow the chord names in the video you'll see how the whole sequence is made up from the I-IV-V chords. That little sequence is very Christmassy.

Towards the end, from bar 14 to halfway through 17, there's a series of '6th harmonies' similar to 'Deck The Halls'. As I mentioned in that lesson, 6ths are inverted 3rds -- the most common harmony -- and fall nicely onto a guitar fretboard.

Halfway through 17 I start an interesting little passage where the bass line starts rising up from a C# note to D, then drops the octave to the open bass E string and keeps rising chromatically to G. The whole while, of course, the melody line is playing away in the upper register and there's a nice contrary motion bit where the melody is coming down while the bass line is rising up ... fun to work out and fun to play. You might need to work on that section a bit.

That's about all I can think of for this one. Ask any questions at the forum, but I think that between the video, the virtual fretboard and the TAB/notation, you shouldn't have too much trouble with this.

(Don't worry too much about the endless series of chords that show in both that tab and the video. It's always hard for me to know what to include and what to leave out in these carols. Many of the passages are double stops that imply full chords and many come one-per-beat, but you obviously don't need to know the details. However, it might be an interesting exercise -- if you're into the finer points of it all -- to look for other voicings of the chords I indicate to see/hear how they fit together. I know I like that sort of thing!)

Merry Christmas!


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.


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