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Piano Lesson: Learn To Play Jingle Bells Without Piano Sheet Music

Aug 17, 2007
In this piano lesson we will learn to play piano Christmas music. We will use piano tab notation so you don't need to read piano sheet music.

Jingle Bells is one of the most popular secular Christmas songs in the world. The most played part of the song is the refrain which we will concentrate on in this piano lesson.

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh

In this piano lesson you will learn to play Jingle Bells without the use of piano sheet music. After this learn to play piano tutorial you will be able to play the melody with both hands!

Instead of piano sheet music we will use piano tab notation which will tell you where to place your fingers as you play the melody.

The first thing we will do is to locate the note C.

You will find the note C on many places on the piano. It is the white key to the left of two black keys.

Now it's time to locate the middle C. It is the C right in the middle of the keyboard. On an ordinary upright piano it is near the keyhole.

In our piano lesson we will number the keys. The middle C in our piano tab notation is called 1.

What does 1 mean?

When you see the number 1 you are to press down the middle C once. The white key to the right of C is called 2, the next 3 and so on.

Let's play some piano tab notes:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Now you have played a C-major scale with the actual notes C D E F G A B.

Let's proceed in our piano lesson and play the first notes of Jingle Bells!

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

3 3 3 3 3 3

This is the first part of the refrain. Easy?

I guess that you hear that the third and sixt note has to be a bit longer to create the melody Jingle Bells.

So far we have only used the right hand for playing the melody. How can you use your left hand?

Let's make this piece a little bit more difficult and also more rewarding to play by using the left hand for bass notes.

The notes from C to the next C is called an octave. The keys are grouped this way on the whole keyboard.

You also have these notes to the left of the middle C. We can call these notes the left octave.

If you use the notes 1-7 in the left octave to play bass notes with your left hand we can notate the melody in the following way:

3/1 3 3 3/1 3 3

The note to the right of the slash is the bass note. 3/1 means that as you play the first number 3 with your right hand you simultaneously play number 1 in the left octave with your left hand.

I guess you have noticed that you only play bass notes together with some of the melody notes.

Let's continue this piano lesson with the next line:

Jingle all the way!

3/1 5 1 2 3/1

What fingers should you use as you play?

You can and maybe you already use your index fingers on both hands to play but it will be easier to find your notes if you cultivate the habit of using all your fingers.

On your right hand you can use your thumb to play number 1 and your index finger to play number 2 and so on.

The next piano tab looks like this:

O what fun it is to ride

4/4 4 4 4 4/1 3 3

If you want to use fingerings on your left hand you place your little finger above key number 1 and your thumb on number 5 and the other fingers accordingly.

It's time for the last piano tab:

In a one-horse open sleigh

3 3 3/2 2 2 3 2/5 5

Actually it's not the last piano tab. Now you are supposed to play the refrain from the beginning and when you come to the last line play it in the following way:

In a one-horse open sleigh

3 3 5/5 5 4/5 2 1/1

I suggest that you learn this Christmas song by heart. Memorize it one line at a time and enjoy the Christmas spirit present when you play the song for your friends!
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit his site Capotasto Music and download your free Christmas sheet music and learn to play piano resources at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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