Easy Guitar Christmas Songs—Jingle Bells—Chords, Melody, Guitar Duet, Standard Notation, Tab, Lyrics

Updated on December 19, 2016

Rhythm Guitar

This is the chord chart, perfect for holiday sing-alongs. The chart is notated with rhythm slashes. Strum direction is: down, down-up, down-up, down-up. The rhythm is counted: 1 2 and 3 and 4 and. Rhythm slashes correspond to standard notation, but do not move up and down on the staff. They are non-pitched, and tell you how the rhythm pattern is played.

This is an excellent way to notate chord charts. There is no reliance on the lyrics to show where the chord changes fall. Instead the song is broken down into bars. Simply, play and count. Keep your strum hand moving in a constant, steady down-up pattern. The only stroke that is missed is the 'and' of 1. This is a quarter note slash, the rest are eighth notes.

Melody Guitar

This transcription is in the key of G. G Major has one sharp in the key signature: F♯. This means that, every time the note F is played in this key, it is sharp (one fret higher than the natural note). Try to use the same fret hand fingers as the fret placement in the tablature. Use your fourth finger for the F♯. Try not to shift your hand, just stretch out your fingers. Basic rule is: four frets, four fingers. It is harder to stretch the fingers down this low on the fretboard, due to the fact that the frets are further apart. Using the same fingers every time, makes it easier to visualize and memorize any piece of music.

Melody Up An Octave

Here is the melody transcribed and octave higher. Most professional transcription programs will do this automatically when a vocal melody is copied into a guitar staff. The reason for this has to do with the way the piano keyboard is laid out and the octave numbers. There is nothing saying you have to transpose an octave higher, but it takes the melody line away from the pitch of the rhythm guitar. It gives it more separation.

Guitar Duet (Rhythm and Melody)

This transcription combines both parts. Fairly easy, beginner to intermediate piece. Fun to play and definitely one of the most requested Christmas songs I know of. Teaching holiday tunes is a great way to introduce students to a number of music fundamentals. I always quiz them on the regular symbols (treble clef, sharps, etc), then I have them name the notes and note durations. Try writing out the note names above or below the notes in the melody. In the treble clef the lines are E G B D F (silly saying: Every Good Boy Deserves Fun). The spaces are one word: FACE. Above or below the staff, simply go to the next letter in the alphabet (below the first line: D, above the top line: G). Remember the musical alphabet only goes from A to G, then starts all over again. Have fun!!!

Lyrics

Dashing through the snow

In a one-horse open sleigh

O'er the fields we go

Laughing all the way

Bells on bobtail ring

Making spirits bright

What fun it is to ride and sing

A sleighing song tonight!


Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way.

Oh! what fun it is to ride

In a one-horse open sleigh.

Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way;

Oh! what fun it is to ride

In a one-horse open sleigh.


A day or two ago

I thought I'd take a ride

And soon, Miss Fanny Bright

Was seated by my side,

The horse was lean and lank

Misfortune seemed his lot

He got into a drifted bank

And then we got upsot.


Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way.

Oh! what fun it is to ride

In a one-horse open sleigh.

Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way;

Oh! what fun it is to ride

In a one-horse open sleigh.


A day or two ago,

The story I must tell

I went out on the snow,

And on my back I fell;

A gent was riding by

In a one-horse open sleigh,

He laughed as there I sprawling lie,

But quickly drove away.


Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way.

Oh! what fun it is to ride

In a one-horse open sleigh.

Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way;

Oh! what fun it is to ride

In a one-horse open sleigh.


Now the ground is white

Go it while you're young,

Take the girls tonight

and sing this sleighing song;

Just get a bobtailed?bay

Two forty as his speed

Hitch him to an open sleigh

And crack! you'll take the lead.


Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way.

Oh! what fun it is to ride

In a one-horse open sleigh.

Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way;

Oh! what fun it is to ride

In a one-horse open sleigh.

Questions & Answers

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      • Lorne Hemmerling profile image
        Author

        Lorne Hemmerling 3 years ago from Oshawa

        Thank you, you too!

      • Seafarer Mama profile image

        Karen A Szklany 3 years ago from New England

        I definitely will!

        Happy, healthy, and peaceful holidays to you!

      • Lorne Hemmerling profile image
        Author

        Lorne Hemmerling 3 years ago from Oshawa

        Thank you so much, my friend. Please share the lessons with anyone that might be interested!

      • Seafarer Mama profile image

        Karen A Szklany 3 years ago from New England

        This looks awesome, Lorne. Thank you for posting this. I plan to learn this song on guitar by the holiday season! :0). I don't pick up my guitar often enough, but I believe that I'll be giving your hubs lots of traffic in the coming days. :0)

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