Silent Night: Ballad for Xmas

by Ben Higgins

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  • Difficulty: 5
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    THE PROFESSOR The melody for this song is derived from the Ionian Mode, the Major Scale, and having an understanding of how to build major triads, as well as dominant 7th chords, will go a long way in making sure that you understand the “why” behind this material, as well as the “how”.

    Welcome to my festive take on the traditional tune of 'Silent Night'!

    "Silent Night" (German: Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. - Wikipedia

    Considering the beautiful surroundings of Herr Gruber's native Austria, it's no wonder that he is responsible for one of the world's most recognisable Christmas Carols. Pine trees, snow, hot drinks and woollen clothing. This tune evokes all the positive and most loved aspects of the festive season.

    I decided that we're going to go for a rock ballad approach. Wailing guitar works very well over Xmas music. Just check out Marcus Lavendell's rendition of 'O, Holy Night' for further proof.

    For the first two movements, I use a clean setting to reflect the mood. I use the volume knob of my guitar to roll off the gain until I'm left with a cleaner tone which responds to my pick dynamics.

    For the climatic third movement, the gain is unleashed and we go for the full 'guitar hero on the mountain' vibe!

    This lesson will work on:

    -Dynamics / playing softly
    -String bending
    -Use of your volume control
    -Alternate picking
    -Guitar God Status

    Now that winter is here, you have the perfect excuse to lock yourself indoors and learn this tune - enjoy!

    Tuning: E A D G B E Standard Tuning

    Time Sig: 3/4

    Tempo: 100 bpm

    Gear: Marshall JVM 410H. OD1 Channel, Red setting. BASS 2, MID 4, TREB 8, GAIN 4

    Key: C


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