It’s Not Too Early …
To Learn Holiday Tunes
That time of year is right around the corner. The Christmas holidays are fast approaching and while you may be asking why I am writing about it so early, it is not too soon for music students to start brushing up on those holiday tunes.
Just this past week, I spent time in the studio recording my original arrangement for “We Three Kings”. I arrange and recorded all three parts for guitar, mandolin and banjo. It will be released at www.frementor.com in a week or two. Best of all, it will be part of an album entitled “Jingle Jam 3” produced at the music studio in which I teach. Most of the studio’s music teachers participate in this project on an annual basis.
Last night at my beginning guitar class, I asked everyone if they could name a song that everyone else in class would know. It took them awhile before they all agreed on one particular song that we could address and learn to play. I explained to them some of the best tunes to learn to play are Christmas tunes. Even those who do not celebrate Christmas would easily recognize a song like Jingle Bells or Silent Night. Next, I explained that if the melody line is already on your mind, learning the piece will be less cumbersome. This is one reason why holiday songs are good songs to learn, especially for the beginner.
There are other reasons to learn Christmas tunes. If you play standard country, rock and roll or blues, you will soon realize that some of the songs are quite basic and may in fact, only involve three or four different chords and some are in the same Key. While this may also be true for some basic Christmas tunes, there are many (such as Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire or O Holy Night and more) that have quite sophisticated chord structure. Learning to play such arrangements makes you a better student when it comes to mastering chord structure on your instrument.
Fretmentor has arranged a 12 song holiday collection for guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle. What is nice about this collection is that each tune has tablature and standard musical notation for each of these instruments. That is perfect if you want to play songs together in a small group or band. Some come along with recordings and rhythm tracks. Lyrics are also included. You can purchase the collection through the fretmentor website (www.frementor.com) or by contacting us via email; david (insert @ symbol) fretmentor.com.
So it is definitely not too early to brush up on learning holiday songs. Don’t be surprised if at the next holiday party, someone asks you whether or not you know some Christmas tunes. Start practicing today and you may have some ready for the upcoming holiday party.