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Easy Holiday Songs to Play on the Guitar

Put On Your Ugly Christmas Sweater and Break out a Holiday Tune!

Guitar Christmas Songs It’s that time of year, and many new guitar students out there want to show off their stuff for the holiday season. We want to help you out by giving you a selection of easy holiday songs to play on the guitar, and by also demonstrating what makes a song good for beginner guitar players. That way, you can start with the songs we’ve suggested and then find more selections on your own.

So what makes one song easier to play than another? It’s all about the basics: how much does a song focus on basic guitar skills? What key a song is in and the amount of chords a song requires are the first basic skills that come to mind. In other words, if a song is in C Major or G Major (the first two keys most beginner guitar students learn), it will theoretically be an easier song to play, especially if it sticks to the common chords within those keys.

Then, you’ll want to look at how fast the song is, or at least, how fast the chords change. Going back and forth between the C chord and the G chord is tricker than holding a C chord for a long time and then switching to G later on. Longer songs will also be trickier than shorter songs. Similarly, if you’re working on tabs or learning to play melodies, look for some with shorter ranges, standard fingerings, and simple chord progressions.

Holiday songs tend to meet a lot of this criteria. Many of them are also familiar to the average beginner guitar player, and when a tune is more familiar to us, it’s easier to learn. Furthermore, a number of the songs listed below are in the public domain, meaning it’s relatively easy to find sheet music, tabs, or chords for them. Now, without further ado, here are some easy holiday songs to play on the guitar!

 

  • Joy to the World
    This version is in G major and requires just three chords. It’ll be easy to focus on the singing with this one if you’d like to mix your musical skills.
  • Silent Night
    With a slow and simple melody and limited chord changes, this Christmas classic is easy to play whether you’re focusing on chords or on playing the melody. You can find the chords and the tab for the melody here.
  • 12 Days of Christmas
    Although this is a long song, the melody repeats over and over, making it relatively easy to play on the guitar. A minor chord is thrown in, so this one can also stretch your skills slightly.
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
    Songs for kids tend to be on the easier side, and this holiday favorite is a good example of that. You can find the chords here.
  • Jingle Bells
    An example of a faster song with limited chord changes, this song is also a great choice for those learning to read sheet music. You can find the chords and the sheet music here.
  • Auld Lang Syne
    For your New Year’s party, prepare to have another minor chord thrown in. You can find the chords here. Or, if you’re feeling a little more advanced, you can try to play the melody by using the sheet music or tab here.

 

In the end, the easiest holiday songs to play on the guitar will be the ones you like the most. People practice an instrument more if they like the song they’re playing, so if you want to try a song that’s not on this list, go for it! If you’re not quite there yet though, these songs are a great way to build your skill while also getting into the holiday spirit.

 

Music Practice Routines for Kids

How to Foster Good Habits and Develop Practice Strategies for Music Lessons

practice routinesAs a parent, it’s natural to want your child to learn good study habits and time management skills. Taking music lessons can be a great way to develop these skills, but they can look different when studying music rather than studying standard school subjects, such as math, science, or history. If you’ve never studied an instrument yourself, it can be hard to know how to help your child foster these unique skills. From the teachers at Philly Music Lessons, know that encouraging your kids to be good music students doesn’t have to take a lot of work, but it can go a long way.

Keep a Routine

When it comes to studying music, consistency is key. Some ways to maintain consistency in your child’s studies include:

  • Maintaining a regular lesson schedule with as few changes as possible.
  • Setting up a practice schedule that occurs at the same time for the same length every day (for example, a ½ hour of practice at 6 pm every weekday).
  • Keeping track of lessons, practice sessions, and progress in a notebook or journal.

Building these regular habits will allow your child to see the fruits of their labor much sooner. If their practice and lesson schedule is too sporadic, they won’t retain what they’ve learned as well, and musical concepts will need to be repeated more frequently than necessary. To build the ideal practice schedule for your child and their instrument, have a conversation with their teacher about what will work best.

Similarly, make the process of practice and lessons fun and welcoming. If possible, set up a space at home just for your child’s practice. Furthermore, you can incentivize practice and lessons with compounded rewards, such as small treats, tokens, or activities.

Be a Part of the Process

While your child’s study of music is unique and individual, you can have a healthy involvement in your child’s studies. Check in with their teacher after each lesson to understand what they’ve learned that week and what they should be practicing. Sit with your child while they practice if they’d like that, and encourage them to perform selections for your family once they’ve grasped a new concept. Celebrating small milestones will encourage them to work through the next step, which in turn will develop their work ethic and endurance.

Trust Their Teacher

We love our kids, and we think the world of them and their abilities. As a result, it can be all too tempting to push them into working on songs or auditioning for performance opportunities they’re not quite ready for. If your child’s teacher wants them to wait for certain songs or opportunities, discuss it with them. Their teacher is a trained professional who also wants the best for them, so the more you can be patient and encourage your child to do the same, the sooner they’ll be able to play that song or go for that competition.

It would be wonderful if all of our kids started music lessons by being focused, determined, and skilled. Studying music, however, is not solely about fostering talent; studying music works to develop these skills in kids, which will help them succeed later in life. Keep this in mind, and your child’s music lessons will go from a chore to a rewarding process that’ll last them a lifetime.

What to Expect in Your First Voice Lessons

By Kristen Seikaly

Voice Lessons, Voice Teachers, Philadelphia

Kristen is a professional vocalist and instructor with her Masters in Voice Performance and Pedagogy

You’ve signed up for your first voice lesson, and you couldn’t be more excited! Learning how to sing is a wonderful and fulfilling journey.

You may find that you’re nervous too, and that’s okay! It can be scary to open up and sing for a new person, especially when you don’t know what it’s going to be like. To help you prepare for your upcoming journey, here are some things you can expect in your first voice lessons.

#1 Expect a bit of conversation

The voice is a unique instrument in that each one is different (including yours!). Therefore, your teacher will want to take some time to get to know you, your past musical experiences, and your goals for voice lessons to ensure that they have the best understanding of your voice they possibly can. This initial conversation will help you to reach your goals that much faster.

#2 Expect to sing!

No matter how much conversation occurs, the best way for your teacher to get to know your voice is to hear it! They will probably take you through a set of vocal exercises to get a sense of your strengths and weaknesses. You don’t need to worry about sounding perfect. Your teacher just wants to know how they can best help you become a better singer.

#3 Expect to ask questions

Because the voice is an instrument you can’t see, oftentimes voice teachers will use metaphors or imagery to explain technical concepts. Therefore, their directions may not make sense to you right away. If you don’t fully understand, feel free to ask! Your voice teacher’s primary goal is to make sure you can continue to sing well outside of the studio, and understanding directions is important to that. Therefore, questions are always encouraged. Just make sure that you don’t get so bogged down in asking questions that you forget to sing!

#4 Expect to work and to be patient

It can be tempting to come into your first voice lessons wanting to be able to sing your favorite song like a pro by the end of them. Unfortunately, this is not how voice lessons work. Developing good posture, breath control, and vocal clarity are crucial to healthy singing in the long run. Therefore, it is important to practice the exercises and songs your teacher assigns you to get you to your goals.

#5 Expect to have fun!

Learning how to sing well is work, but it’s also fun! You probably started taking voice lessons because you love to sing, but you’ll find that each individual lesson itself can be a fun and rewarding experience. If you come in with an open mind and ready to learn, you’ll have a great time with voice lessons.

If you’re still a bit nervous, just remember one more thing: your new voice teacher was once a brand new student, too. As long as you let their experience guide you, you’ll have a great start to a wonderful and lifelong musical journey.