Christmas Song Do You Hear What I Hear Sheet Music How To Play Christmas Sheet Music

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How To Play Christmas Sheet Music

The secret to playing Christmas carols is to have the melody stand out, the rhythm underneath, and a few chords to support the harmony of the song. And while this may seem like a fairly simple concept, for most pianists it takes some practice. Here are some ideas that may help.

Let’s start with the melody. I think for some reason many musicians forget that the melody is the most important thing. I’ll never forget that one time early in my career when I got a gig with some great local jazz musicians. It started off well, but eventually we got into tunes where I didn’t know the tune very well. I was playing all kinds of improv and the bassist turned to me and said, “Hey man, just play a flippin’ tune!”

Something was awkward, of course. Anyway, I never forgot it, and to this day I always put the tune above anything else. What does this mean? This means getting the tune right and playing it is the most distinctive part.

The next thing to accompany your melody is the rhythm. It’s so important to give your game a certain feel. So often, pianists focus on getting the notes right and therefore lack the rhythm and feel of the music. If you can, play your music along with the radio or record. This will help you develop a certain feeling.

The feeling comes from playing with others. It comes from bassists, drummers and other instrumentalists. Even now, when I play solo piano concerts, I can hear the drums and bass in my head, and it will be very clear first in the left and sometimes in the right with the rhythmic chords.

And, speaking of chords, don’t forget to add rich chord structures to your playing. Very often there are chord symbols on the Christmas card and you can take your advantage from these symbols.

If you don’t know how to read chord symbols, here’s a simple rule. If you see a simple triad chord symbol like “G”. This means it is a G major triad or 3-note chord. First drop the G, then the major third above which is the “B” and then the minor third above which is the “D”.

For minor chords, the intervals are reversed. First the small interval, then the main interval. Then, if you want to get really fancy, add sevenths to your chord voicing. For example; If you see the G7 chord symbol that means a major triad with another minor third on top of it. In other words, the chord would be ordered from bottom to top; G, B, D and F.

If you see a Gmaj7 chord symbol, it’s the same as a G7 chord, except the top note is F# instead.

The only other chord symbol is the minor seventh chord or G-7. This should be played as a G minor triad with the minor seventh stacked on top or; G, Bb, D and F.

While this may seem like a fairly simple approach to playing chord symbols, it covers at least 85% of Christmas carols. There are other chord symbols that you may come across from time to time, but like I said, that’s pretty much it.

So, when you’re practicing the Christmas carols with the melody prominent and correct in the right hand, add some rhythmic feel to it and add some good chord help to support the harmony of the song. Christmas cards will never sound the same again.

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