Due to the enormous success of the Little Guitar Picker Series by Larry McCabe and all the supplemental books that followed from Santorella Publications, we were inundated with requests for a Christmas book for “little pickers”. Easy Christmas Songs for Little Pickersis our answer to all those requests and has become our best selling Christmas title for guitar.
Our basic criteria in preparing this edition was to choose a wide variety of Christmas songs arranged for children at the level of an absolute beginner. Your little picker will be learning these holiday favorites by notes or by tablature with easy chord symbols for “stress free” strummin’. Lyrics are also included so that other family members can join in. This will certainly be a collection of songs that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.
A Child is Born in Bethlehem • Auld Lang Syne • Away in a Manger • Cherry Tree Carol • Coventry Carol • Deck the Hall • First Noel • God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen • Good King Wenceslas • I Saw Three Ships • On Christmas Day • It Came Upon A Midnight Clear • Jolly Old Saint Nick • Joy to the World • O Christmas Tree • O Come All Ye Faithful • O Come, Little Children • Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer • Silent Night • Up on the Housetop • We Three Kings • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
FOREWORD by the author, Mr. Larry McCabe
No time of the year brings families together like Christmas, and there is no better time than the holiday season for making music. Perhaps our most vivid musical memories are images associated with chilly December days: yuletide carolers strolling through festive decorated streets; a children’s chorus singing Christmas songs in an auditorium filled with proud parents; friends sipping hot cider while singing ‘Deck the Halls’ and ‘Silent Night’ around a crackling fireplace. Even the ringing of an unaccompanied Salvation Army bell sounds heavenly at Christmas time.
The holidays are also a time when new music careers are launched. Few Christmases will be remembered as fondly as those when a youngster receives his first musical instrument. I can still remember the Christmas-1958, I believe - when I was presented with a cheap little blue accordion and a play-by-number booklet. By the end of the day, I had learned to squeeze out a few Foster plantation melodies, sea shanties, and classic Christmas songs - and I was hooked on making music.
Subsequently, on another Christmas in the early ‘60s, my parents supplied my requested eight-dollar ukulele - my first string instrument - and a Ronnie Lee instruction book. The uke was a treasured companion until an unfortunate altercation with my younger brother, Doug compelled me to crack the little four-stringer over his head. That was the end of my uke, and my uke career, but the ukulele smashing opened up the opportunity to play the guitar later. (As I recall, it also opened up Doug’s head; but he’s bigger than I am now, so we don’t talk about the incident anymore)
I’m sure that your little picker enjoys, or will enjoy, making music as much as I did in my early accordion and ukulele days. Success in early music training can be secured with familiar songs arranged in an accessible manner. The Christmas songs in this book are arranged especially for young guitar players with small hands. To help avoid big stretches, most of the melody notes are on the first four strings, and the little finger (fourth fret) is used only when necessary.
Chord symbols are included for big pickers and little pickers whose hands can make the stretches, but the most important thing for young beginners is the melody. Lyrics are provided for singers.
This is a collection of songs, not a graded method, so the songs can be approached in any order. Have fun playing. . .and may your days be merry and bright!