I have yet another classic Christmas song for you to enjoy learning today! This is “Silent Night,” composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber and lyrics by Joseph Mohr. It’s REALLY classic, haha.
Throughout the lesson, I mention my free eBook, covering all the basics of rhythm guitar. If you need any help at all with the basics, we’ve got you covered! It’s FREE to all of our subscribers. You can find it here: https://goodguitarist.com/learn-rhythm-guitar/
Because this song is so old and legendary, it’s been recorded a million times, and in a million different keys (that’s an exaggeration… there’s only 12 keys) to accommodate for all the different singers who have sung it. Everyone from Michael Buble and Kelly Clarkson to Elvis Presley and Mariah Carey.
And the reason why the key is important, is because on guitar we have a shortcut to help us change keys… we simply need to place a capo on our guitar, and it’ll raise the pitch of the entire tune! So keep that in mind if this key that we’re learning it in (G) doesn’t work 100% with your vocal range.
Anyway, as far as the song is concerned, it’s quite simple. The majority of the song is just 3 chords: G, C and D. We show you some tips to help you make clean switches between those chords before moving on to the strumming pattern, which is also fairly simple. We count it out, work on the motions and then slowly incorporate it into the chord changes and play through 2/3rds of the song together.
After that we learn 2 more chords: D#dim and Em. Em is one of the easiest chords on guitar, and I show you a trick that makes D#dim seem pretty darn easy (as long as you can play a D chord first). We practice up on the next part of the tune before putting it all together and that’s it!
I hope you enjoy this tune and I’ll see you soon with a more modern Christmas song 🙂
Silent Night Chords: