Silent Night, The First Noel & Away In A Manger: Welcome

In this set of lessons, we are going to learn to play 3 very popular traditional Christmas Carols, all of which are played in 3/4 time.

We will learn to play each of these songs in two different styles:

First, we’ll learn how to play a simple strumming version of the song that is perfect for singing along with - either by yourself, or with your friends, family, and community gatherings.

And then, we’ll also learn to play a single-note melody version of each song. The single-note melody versions work beautifully as a solo instrumental, or to be played along with a friend who is playing the accompanying chords.

3/4 time has a lovely circular feel to it. It is often referred to as “Waltz Time”, and it counts out like this: ONE, two, three, ONE, two, three.... Each measure of 3/4 time contains three evenly spaced beats.

In the strum-and-sing versions of these songs, we’ll use a strumming technique that features a single hit of the bass note (lowest note) of the chord, followed by 2 down-strums over the remaining strings.

I’ll be showing you these songs on my steel-string acoustic guitar, but they can also easily be played on a nylon-string classical guitar, and/or an electric guitar. The mood and sound will vary depending on what kind of guitar you use, but the techniques I show you can be used across the board.

In each of these songs, I’ll be using a capo. This will allow me to use the easy chord ‘shapes’ of G, C, and D, while the capo allows me to adjust the key of the song to be a good fit for my singing voice.

You can feel free to learn these songs along with me, and then experiment with where to put the capo to best suit your own singing voice as you take it on your own.

So let’s get into the Christmas spirit with these 3 traditional carols: Silent Night, The First Noel, and Away in a Manger - all played in 3/4 time.