Our Intermediate pack of Christmas Solos picks the level up a bit from our Easy Christmas Solos Pack with slightly more technical arrangements. Two of the lessons bring in some arranging techniques and harmony ideas- O Come O Come Emmanuel and Coventry Carol. The set also includes Hark The Herald Angels Sing and The Little Drummer Boy. Max Rich adds to the pack with We Wish You A Merry Christmas. And, like our Easy Christmas Solos Pack Pack, there is a bonus lesson in DADGAD Tuning, All Through The Night.
Lesson 1: O Come O Come Emmanuel - Solo Guitar Project
O Come O Come Emmanuel is a hymn that goes back centuries and has been set to many different melodies. I included it in a medley with I Wonder As I Wander and Coventry Carol on my album A Christmas Collection, done about 30 years ago.
This lesson is presented with a ‘build it yourself’ approach, starting with the melody and adding bass notes, then fuller harmony with the chords, and then some hints about filling it out with arpeggios and eighth notes.
The only attachment (for now) shows the melody and the progression. That is subject to change as people start working on it.
Lesson 2: Coventry Carol - A Lesson In Harmony - Holiday Instrumentals
Many melodies can be harmonized in different ways, meaning different chord progressions. Traditional Christmas Carols and Hymns particularly fall into this category.
This lesson goes into figuring out what chords in the key include which melody notes, and how you can mix and match them anyway that sounds good to you.
All that is included is a melody sheet but you will probably need to make some notes of your own to get the most out of this lesson.
Lesson 3: Hark The Herald Angels Sing Fingerpicking Solo
This is one of the first songs that drew me to ragtime arrangements of Christmas Carols. John Fahey’s album, The New Possibility had a great medley including Hark The Herald Angels Sing and it really opened up a lot of new possibilities to me.
This lesson goes through the steps of creating an arrangement, rather than just teaching the song. This involves understanding the chord progression, the melody, the bass notes, syncopation, and adding filler notes to help you create your own version.
Lesson 4: We Wish You A Merry Christmas
A simple 3/4 strumming pattern is used here, with the chords being in the key of E Major. This means plenty of barre chords, as well as a general explanation of the relationships between the chords in a key.
Lesson 5: The Little Drummer Boy Fingerpicking Solo
The Little Drummer Boy is another Christmas classic, based on an old Czech melody. This lesson is a solo guitar version done in Dropped D tuning, keeping a repetitive mono bass pattern going while playing the melody with a harmony line.
Lesson 6: All Through The Night - DADGAD Guitar Lesson
This short lesson is based on Doug Young’s arrangement from his book “A DADGAD Christmas”, where many traditional songs are simplified down to just the chords and melody, leaving expanding and embellishing up to the student.
We start with a few thoughts on DADGAD and sounds involved, but I suggest the student should sight read through the piece looking for fingering ideas before watching the Breakdown segment. It is also highly recommended to pick up Doug’s book at Doug Young's Guitar Website or Amazon, and download the free audio files from Doug’s site as well.