Friday, December 17, 2010

Easy Holiday Songs to Learn In Time For Christmas

Time is running out to learn new Christmas songs this year, but since the holidays wouldn't be the same without music we've put together some easy holiday songs you can pick up with just a minimum of practice. Each of the songs we've picked out can be played with four chords or fewer, so your left hand won't have to do too much work, so you can easily play them with a right hand melody, or as an accompaniment for a sing-along.

As with our previous feature on three chord songs, each of these songs is listed alongside a MIDI song file that includes chord data to help you learn and play along on your keyboard. Playing along with a MIDI file, as you can see in the videos below, is a great way to learn to play a song, but it's also a great way to perform - you can load up any of these MIDI files, mute a few tracks, and you're ready to add your own parts and put on a show. These files also make great accompaniments on their own, if you need a background for singing or playing other instruments.

Finally, if you're playing along with one of these files and find that key of the song is too difficult to play at first, you can easily transpose it on your keyboard into one that's easier to play. Put anything in the key of C, and you probably won't have to mess around with any of the black keys.

Jingle Bells - There's a good reason "Jingle Bells" is a universally known holiday tune - it's simple, easy to learn and fun to play.

A Holly Jolly Christmas - Written by Johnny Marks, the composer of "Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer", "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" and other classic holiday tunes of the 50s and 60s, "A Holly Jolly Christmas" is a catchy holiday romp that's simple enough to learn without straining your fingers.

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Performed by everyone from Bill Evans to Bruce Springsteen, this holiday gem is simple enough for you to mold it into whatever stylistic form you want. Get creative!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas - This old caroling favorite that dates back to the 16th century is the perfect song to start with when building up a repertoire of holiday music.

- Doug