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Guitar Lesson: Learn To Play White Christmas With Guitar Tabs

Jun 17, 2008
In this guitar lesson you will learn to read a special type of guitar tablature. We will use the song White Christmas as an example. You will learn to play the melody and the chords on your guitar.

Guitar tabs show you how to put your fingers on the guitar fretboard in order to play a song, chords or something else.

A very common type of tabs has a staff with six lines representing the six string on the guitar and numbers showing which frets to press down.

In this lesson we will use a form of tablature with numbers telling you which fret and which string to play. Here is an example:

24

The first number tells you which fret to press down and the second number which string to play. These two numbers tell you to press down the second fret on the fourth string.

Let us take a look at the first line of the Christmas carol White Christmas and the corresponding melody written with this type of guitar tabs:

(C)I'm dreaming of a (Dm)white (G7)Christmas

24 34 24 14 24 34 44 03

As you can see the first note to play is the second fret on string four. The last note 03 tells you to play the third string without pressing down a fret.

I have also included chord suggestions in brackets in the lyrics immediately before the appropriate syllable.

The chords C-major, D-minor and G7 can be played as follow:

C: 35 24 03 12 01

Dm: 04 23 32 11

G7: 36 25 04 03 02 11

Time to continue with the next tabs:

(F)Just like the (G7)ones I used to (C)know

23 02 12 32 12 02 23 03

I suggest that you assign your left hand fingers to play specific frets on your guitar fretboard according to this table:

index: first fret
middle finger: second fret
ring finger: third fret

If you use these left hand fingering suggestions it will be easier for you to find your way around the fretboard as you can keep your left hand in a relatively fixed position as you play. It might be a little bit tricky at first but with practice it will soon be a natural way to play on your guitar.

Time for the next tabs:

Where the (C)treetops (C7)glisten and (F)children (Fm6)listen

35 04 24 24 24 23 03 35 35 35 03

The chords C7, F-major and F-minor6 can be played:

C7: 35 24 33 12 01

F: 34 23 12 11

Fm6: 04 13 12 11

Here is the end of the first verse:

To (C)hear (Am)sleigh bells in the (F)snow (G7)

34 24 34 24 04 35 04

The chord A-minor can be played:

Am: 05 24 23 12 01

I suggest that you memorize the melody by practicing one line at a time. Then you are prepared to play the melody as soon as you find a guitar around.

The next verse starts with an identical melody but the last two lines have changed.

(C)I'm dreaming of a (Dm)white (G7)Christmas

24 34 24 14 24 34 44 03

(F)With every (G7)Christmas card I (C)write

23 02 12 32 12 02 23 03

May your (C)days be (C7)merry and (F)bright (Fm6)

35 04 24 24 24 23 03 12

And may (C)all (C#dim)your (Dm)Christma(G7)ses be (C)white

35 04 24 24 23 25 25 25 35

The chord C#-dim7 can be played:

C#dim: 15 24 03 22 01

In this type of guitar tablature notation you will not find any indication of the length of individual notes. I suggest that you sing the melody as you memorize the lines to get the rhythm right.
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson invites you to download your free guitar tablature and guitar lessons at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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