The holidays are a time of togetherness, when people gather round dinner tables, Christmas trees and often a blazing fire. It's always a nice addition when somebody pulls out a guitar for a round of carols. Use these easy guitar tabs to learn some Christmas songs to entertain and delight friends and family.
Most of these songs use primarily tabs, but those indicated with a C also have a chord version available on the same page.
- Silent Night (C, T): There are many versions available of this song, but this option gives both the basic chords and the tab, and alternatives to the more difficult chords.
- Joy to the World (T): Use the printable version to create a portable copy and the additional tutorial videos to practice along with.
- O Come All Ye Faithful (T): In addition to the easy to understand tablature, this version has an instructional video and simple sheet music for piano.
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel (C, T) - This version offers the piano score as well as guitar tabs, and the chords are available as well.
- Angels We Have Heard on High (T): Here you'll find a simple tablature that keeps the player within a few strings and frets, just watch the repeats (indicated by an *).
- Hark the Herald Angels Sing (T): Play-along options can be found here, as well as a metronome and the ability to change the tempo.
- The First Noel (C, T): This arrangement includes a chord guide and a video to help break down the tabs.
- Away in a Manger (T): This is a simple, easy to follow rendition of one of the simplest Christmas songs.
- O Holy Night(T): The traditional guitar part for O Holy Night does not follow the melody as one might expect, but instead provides a beautiful arpeggio-based support to the melody, like this version from composer Adam Rafferty.
- O Little Town of Bethlehem (T): This song is easy to play as it steers clear of the pinky finger and stays within a few frets.
- What Child is This (T): This website offers a free tutorial video as well as a link to a pdf with the tablature.
- Little Drummer Boy (T): In this version, the arranger offers a full lesson with audio and several key suggestions. While easy overall, it will give your pinky finger a workout.
Play a few songs just for the kids, who will love to sing along with these classics.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (T): This version of the beloved children's song offers a printable version and a video tutorial.
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas(T): This is a simplified version of the song, perfect for beginners.
- Deck the Halls (T, C): Tackle the fast moving melody with full finger tabs here, but you also have the option to simply strum and sing along.
- Frosty the Snowman (T): Another option that's great for beginners; you'll pick this one up in no time.
If you're looking to add a few more modern choices to your repertoire, these songs will fit right in.
- All I Want for Christmas is You (T): This version of the popular Mariah Carey song plays a half step down, and there is a video and printable pdf.
- I Wish it Was Christmas Today (C, T): The novelty song I Wish it Was Christmas Today as performed by Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan and Tracey Morgan has gone from novelty to Christmas staple since it debuted in 2000. It's easy and fun to play.
- Merry Christmas Baby (T): Here you'll find a pdf of this bluesy Christmas classic put together as a tutorial by Blue Guitar Unleashed.
- The 12 Days of Christmas (T): Arranger Peter Edvinnson has posted pdf versions of his own original Christmas tabs here, including The 12 Days of Christmas.
- Happy Xmas (War is Over) (C, T): This version offers two different tablatures as well as a chord-only option for John Lennon's Christmas tune.
- O Christmas Tree (T): This song is easy to play as it is essentially made up of two repeating phrases and doesn't require much tricky transitioning.
- Winter Wonderland (T): Master the simple original, then work your way up to the Billy Idol version with the tricky but amazing guitar solo.
Other Resources for Holiday Tabs
If you're looking for even more great tabs, try some of these options for easy Christmas music.
There are lots of online resources for burgeoning guitar players looking to brush up on their skills and get some Christmas and holiday classics under their belt.
- Try perusing the list of Christmas songs at echords, which offers guitar, piano and ukelele music for many holiday classics.
- Guitarnoise is another helpful site that offers tabs, tutorials, tuning and chord instruction as well as MP3 downloads for a wide range of Christmas favorites.
- Users at Chordie have put together "songbooks," which are collections of their favorite tabs available on the site. Many of these Christmas collections feature easy and beginner's tabs.
For those intent on playing it just like the pros, versions of the original songs can also be purchased from online retailers. You can search the large catalogue of sheet music available on these sites by song title, genre, artist and instrument of your choice. That way you can purchase original versions one song at a time, without having to buy an entire song book.
- 8notes - The sheet music of tabs for nearly forty seasonal songs are free to download and come in a variety of formats including gif, scorch, and pdf.
- onlinesheetmusic - There are a few songs available here for easy guitar, but the Christmas "masterclasses" include a dozen different tabs for just under $25.
- Musicnotes - There's a large selection of guitar tabs for holiday songs here, and many of them are labeled "easy." Most are priced around $5 which includes a digital download and one print.
If you prefer books, there are several great options for seasonal guitar tabs.
- Christmas Songs for Easy Guitar by the Hal Leonard Corporation comes in an updated edition and includes both classic carols contemporary hits.
- The Ultimate Christmas Guitar Book by Alfred Music includes 100 songs from a variety of genres, all of which are simple to learn.
- Christmas Guitar In TAB only include 14 songs, but all are arranged for easy guitar picking and include second guitar parts for duets. There are also two "C-instrument" parts (for woodwinds, strings, or piano) so you can have up to four people playing together.
'Tis the Season
Christmas is a season when everyone wants to be able to join in the festivities. By learning a couple of these simple songs, it's easy to join in the fun by guiding friends and family through a contemplative Silent Night or a rousing round of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.