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We Wish you a Merry Christmas - A Guitar Lesson

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange
Difficulty Rating: Intermediate-Advanced

I was pleasantly surprised to find this one in the Public Domain, I was sure it was a fairly recent composition, turns out it was written in the 1500's! Amazing that it's lasted through the centuries.

Key of G again, or at least it starts in G. It changes key quite a few times, going to A, then B then back to G ... it's a little hard to nail down exactly what it does, but it's so familiar sounding -- we've heard it every year since birth -- that it makes perfect sense to our ears.

Again I've tried to keep as simple as possible, but this one's got a twisty little bit right near the start that will annoy you. Watch the video to see which fingers I use in bars 2 through 5 on the right hand. I experimented a bit to find the most comfortable way for me, it may well work for you too.

It's in 3/4 time -- one two three one two three -- so take that into account when referring to the tab or notation: three beats per bar.

As usual, I've indicate the chords in the tab and video. Try to relate what you're playing to the underlying chord shapes, it will help a whole lot if you make it a habit. Eventually, you'll see how everything relates back to the chords. They are central, boss, all powerful and ever present ... even if they're not actually being played as chords. I'll mention it again here: if you have a friend or family member who plays a chord instrument like piano or organ or another guitar, he or she can play those chords while you do the picking part and it will be a beautiful thing.

That C I wrote as C6 ... that's because one of the melody notes is the 6, turning the C into a C6. Plain old C will suffice, though, for anyone playing along.

I can't think of anything else to add to this one. You've got a few weeks to learn and refine this one. Take it one chunk at a time, get those fingers familiar with the moves, then keep doing it over and over and over until it starts to flow like music should ... like music is, really. Without the flow, it's just a bunch of notes.


Most of my lessons, including this one, are now free. Please consider making a donation so I can keep these free lessons coming. -- To donate, simply click the green donate button below and you will be taken to a PayPal page where you can enter the amount you would like to donate. No amount is too small ... or big!

A big thanks in advance, Kirk Lorange