Christmas Carols You Can Play this Christmas

with Just 3 Chords!


By Duane Shinn

 

    
Did you know that there are literally thousands of songs you can play if you know just 3 chords?

It's true. Songs from "Amazing Grace" to "Cum Ba Ya" to "Happy Birthday" to "On Top Of Old Smoky", "My Country 'Tis of Thee", "Take Me Out To The Ball Game", "God Bless America" and countless others.

But there are also Christmas Carols that you can learn to play this Christmas if you know, or are willing to learn, three simple chords.

So what are these chords?

In any given key, there are 3 "family members" that are residents of that key -- the I chord, the IV chord, and the V chord. They are far and away the most likely chords to occur in any given key.

For example, if I am playing in the Key of C, and the first chord is the C chord and I have to guess what the next chord is, I would guess that it would be either the F chord or the G chord. Why? Because those are the other "family members." So we have narrowed the odds a great deal just by knowing who the members of the family are.

So how could I tell whether it should be F or G?

If the melody is a "B", then the chord is probably a G chord. Why? Because "B" is in the G chord, but is not in the F chord.

If the melody is a "A", than I would guess that the chord is F. Why? Because "A" is in the F chord, but is not in the G chord.

You can also just match one of the three chords to the melody to see if it sounds right. If it doesn't, try another of the 3 chords. It won't take long before you get the knack of matching chords to the tune of a song.

Does that mean that there are always just 3 chords in a song? No, but there are literally hundreds of songs that are made of just 3 chords.

Here are a few Christmas Carols you can play with just 3 chords:

 

O Christmas Tree

Angels We Have Heard On High

Silent Night

Away In A Manger

Joy To The World

Deck The Halls

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

Go, Tell It On The Mountain

O Come, O Come Immanuel

Star Of The East

The First Noel

The Holly And The Ivy

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks


God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
 




Can you use other chords in these carols? Of course. And they will probably sound fuller if you do. But you can "get by" with just 3 chords -- the family chords in whatever key you want to play them in.

Here are the primary chords (the family chords) of all the major keys (remember that the primary chords are the I chord, the IV chord, and the V chord based on the scale of that particular key):

Key of C: C, F, G

Key of G: G, C, D

Key of D: D, G, A

Key of A: A, D, E

Key of E: E, A, B

Key of B: B, E, F#

Key of F: F, Bb, C

Key of Bb: Bb, Eb, F

Key of Eb: Eb, Ab, Bb

Key of Ab: Ab, Db, Eb

Key of Db: Db, Gb, Ab

Key of Gb: Gb, Cb, Db



Do you have to know all these chords in all these keys?

No.

You can choose to play in just one key, or just a few keys.

But what you MUST know is the 3 chords in whatever key you want to play in! That means
that the stark beginner can learn 3 chords in just a few minutes, and be able to play along with
thousands of tunes, because most folk songs, hymns, country songs, and many rock songs just use the 3 basic chords. That's why people who know zilch about music can pick up a guitar or sit down at a piano or keyboard, learn 3 chords, and chord along while singing everything from “Silent Night" to "Joy To The World" to..........................well, you get the idea.

Go thou and do likewise. It's not too late -- Christmas comes every year right on schedule!

For an in-depth course in playing Christmas Carols, please go to:

Spectacularly Beautiful Christmas Carols!

You will love it -- and it will be a great gift to yourself that will last as long as you play every Christmas!



      Duane Shinn is the author of over 500 music books and music educational materials such as DVD's, CD's, musical games for kids, chord charts, musical software, and piano lesson instructionalcourses for adults. His DVD video courses titled "How To Play Spectacularly Beautiful Christmas Carols on the Piano This Christmas!" have been used by pianists around the world to help them arrange Christmas Carols in an exciting manner. He holds advanced degrees from Southern Oregon University and was the founder of Piano University in Southern Oregon. He is the author of the popular free 101-week online e-mail newsletter titled "Amazing Secrets Of Exciting Piano Chords & Sizzling Chord Progressions" with over 70,000 current subscribers.

http://www.playpiano.com

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Duane Shinn is the author of over 500 music courses for adults including "Pro Secrets: Piano Playing Secrets Of The Pros”.  http://www.piano-playing-by-ear.com   He is also the author of the popular free 101-week online e-mail newsletter titled “Amazing Secrets Of Exciting Piano Chords & Sizzling Chord Progressions” at www.playpiano.com  with over 61,400 current subscribers

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Keyboard Workshop was established in 1965 to help piano players of all levels enhance their piano playing ability though the use of chords, styles, rhythms, runs, fills and other strategies. So we've been around the block a couple times, and we know what works!  We have taught hundreds of thousands of piano lessons on DVD's, CD's, videos, cassettes, music books, sheet music, chord charts, as well as free piano sheet music and free piano lessons online and instant chord finder from our sister-sites. 

     Duane is a graduate of Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon with a BS & Masters Degree in Humanities (Music & English literature - a double major) and he is known as "the pianoman" -- the author of over 500 books, CD's and DVD's having to do with all aspects of piano playing. But degrees and education means nothing without the ability to teach so that the student can UNDERSTAND and then APPLY what he or she understands. Take one course and you'll immediately see for yourself why Duane's DVD and CD courses are "one of a kind" -- they actually get you UNDERSTANDING music and then show you -- clearly and plainly -- how to APPLY what you learn to your piano!

     Duane has more fun teaching piano than should be legal, and that love of piano playing and music in general is contagious.

     No formalities here -- lots of laughs and exciting insights into how to make the sounds you love -- whether that means pop piano or praise & gospel piano or blues piano or ragtime piano or new age piano or -- you name it.

     He has worked with many doctors and professional people who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend a scheduled lesson in a studio, because they can do it on their own time. He also works with church pianists and music directors to help them hone their skills, as well as beginners that don't know Middle C from Tweedle Dee, and everyone in-between.