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Storm Stenvold >> Holiday Guitar >>
Lesson Subject: Holiday Guitar
What you learn: Silent Night
Teacher: Storm Stenvold

lesson sample

Storm: Continuing in the holiday spirit with 'Silent Night' for this lesson. "Silent Night' is arranged in a solo Folk/James Taylor style. In an earlier lesson we looked at folk accompaniment for this lesson we will incorporate the melody into the chord parts. The song is in the key of G and uses the primary chords of G, C and D7 for the harmony. Here are the first two bars.

Bars 1-2

Storm: I use the familiar thumb, index, middle and ring fingers pattern in the right hand we've covered in previous lessons. The thumb covering the bass strings and index, middle and ring getting strings 3-2-1, respectively. The picking patterns vary according to the melody being played. Stay with the set fingering, it will make the patterns repeatable and speed up picking the melody and chord parts together. Here is a video of the first two bars for the right hand technique.

Right-hand technique

The thumb takes on a less regimented, but still active, role. Here are the next two bars, using the open G major chord.

Bars 3-4

Storm: The next two bars use two different D7 chord forms to accommodate the melody.

Bars 5-6

Storm: Back to G major for the next two bars.

Bars 7-8

Storm: The 'pinch' at the end of  bar 8 moves up nicely to the C chord in bars 9 and 10.

Bars 9-10

Storm: I continue using one finger per string in bars 9 and 10 despite having consecutive melody notes on the same string. The slower tempo makes this relatively easy to handle. There are some small variations between the next two bars and the opening bars of the tune.

Bars 11-12

Storm: The 1st and 2nd strings play together for a more full sound and variety between the next two bars. Otherwise, the phrase is identical to the chords and melody in bars 9 and 10.

Bars 13-14

Storm: You go back to the tonic (G) for the next two bars.

Bars 15-16

Storm: Bar 18 use some position shifts to connect three different D7 voicings. Only chord tones are played on strings 1 and 3 despite moving from the 7th, to 5th, to open position.

Bars 17-18

Storm: It is necessary to use different fingerings for the same G bass note in the next two bars. You then play a G major chord  using a common fingering, then a big stretch to the end of bar 20 made possible by using the 1st finger at the 3rd fret.

Bars 19-20

Storm: The D7 chord sets up our resolutions to the tonic G.

Bars 21-22

Storm: An arpeggio fills out the next to last bar before a full sounding strum of the G brings us to the end.

Storm: A nice finish. I hope you enjoyed this folk style, chord melody arrangement of Silent Night.

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