“Merry Little Christmas” Beginner Version
In this lesson we create a beginner arrangement of the tune “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. This is a beautiful Christmas ballad to share with your friends and family over the holiday season.
Arranging With Triads & 7th Chords
We create an arrangement just using simple triads and 7th chords, and we are going to play the tune in the key of C Major which is a very accessible key for beginners.
If you are new to jazz piano, Christmas songs are wonderful studies to explore and apply jazz harmony.
Making Our Melodies ‘Sing’
When playing well-known songs such as this one, it’s very important to make our melodies ‘sing’. If we make sure our melody is perfect, we can play very simple harmony underneath and still create a beautiful-sounding performance.
In this lesson we pay special attention to the phrasing of the melody.
Advanced Tutorial In Ab Major
Later in this course you can find an advanced arrangement of this tune in the key of Ab Major. It’s good to learn tunes in multiple keys and this will give you a different outlook, and a different perspective on the same set of the chord changes.
“Merry Little Christmas” Simple Chord Chart File Type: pdf
“Merry Little Christmas” Chords & Voicings File Type: pdf
Experiment with the lower registers of the piano in your left hand to add more impact to your arrangements.
Check out the related lesson on Sus Chords above. Sus chords - or suspended chords - are very common in the jazz Christmas repertoire and so it's important that we understand their use and function in harmony.
Start with simple turnaround variations as outlined in the lesson and pay special attention to the voice leading of b7ths falling to 3rds.
Check out the lesson above on "1625 and 36251" turnarounds for more inspiration on chord extensions and alterations that can be used over common turnarounds.