Timelss Christmas Melodies for Bass
Includes Popular Songs Silent Night & Jingle Bells
Full band audio tracks to play along to
From the author of Top-Rated Play Bass Guitar in 14 Days
All music is presented in popular easy-to-follow tab format so you’ll be able to quickly apply the material right to your bass guitar.
Bass instructor and seasoned author Michael Mueller presents 12 easy-to-learn bass guitar arrangements of Christmas classics. This is the ultimate book for learning Christmas songs — fast!
No complicated bass arrangements here! Instead, each song is arranged with beginner and intermediate bass players in mind. Yet, even seasoned bass guitar vets will find the songs fun to play!
This Christmas book not only provides bass players with simple arrangements of Christmas melodies, but also beginner- and intermediate-level bass lines, as well.
The Song List:
- Auld Lang Syne
- Deck the Halls
- The First Noel
- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
- Jingle Bells
- Joy to the World
- O Christmas Tree
- O Come All Ye Faithful
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel
- Silent Night
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas
- What Child Is This
My father was a church organist, so I grew up hearing many of the Christmas songs featured in this book played in that context. The organ he played featured a three-tiered keyboard, plus a set of bass pedals on the floor. This meant that, at times, he was using his hands to play what was notated on the sheet music while simultaneously using that information to improvise bass lines with both of his feet.
While I didn’t exactly follow in his footsteps, as I took up guitar rather than piano, those bass lines reso- nated with me. Sometimes, they were just simple drones; other times, it was like he was tap dancing on those pedals. In either case, though, the bass notes were primarily used to fill out harmony. In this book, however, the bass lines are designed to help you team with a drummer or percussionist to lay down the groove, and therefore serve as a rhythmic device as much as they do a harmonic one.
The songs in this book are presented with five elements: the melody (arranged for bass), lyrics, chord symbols, beginner-level bass line, and intermediate-level bass line. The chords are provided above the staff wherever they occur in the song. The top tab staff contains the melody and lyrics, the middle staff contains the beginner bass line, and the bottom staff features the intermediate bass line. It’s presented in this fashion so you can see the relationship between the chords, melody, and bass lines. (Intro continues in book)
Originally modeled after the acoustic upright double bass, the first electric bass guitars had four strings. In the ’60s and ’70s, manufacturers began making 5-string basses, and then, in the ’80s, 6-string bass- es. For this book, we’re using the common 4-string model, as it’s by far the most widely used bass in the world. Take a look at the diagram below if you’re not already familiar with the various parts of the bass.
DECK THE HALLS
BEGINNER TIPS: The entire bass line here uses the ubiquitous “root–5th” move (e.g., G–D over a G chord, or D–A over D7). This decision was inspired by the classic G–D7–G cadence found in bars 4 and 8. Though you could play the open 2nd string for the D note, the fretted D on fret 5 of the 3rd string, as written, offers more control.
INTERMEDIATE TIPS: The intermediate bass line starts similarly to the beginner one but adds an an- ticipatory 8th note on the “and” of beat 2 in bars 1–2, 5–6, and 13–14. At bar 9, the bass begins a walk down the G major scale, beginning on the note D and going all the way down to the open E (4th string). Notice that, even though you’re playing a scale, the notes work perfectly with the underlying chord changes. Play this section in 2nd position, starting with your pinky finger on that 5th-fret D. Similarly, at bar 15, you’ll need to shift your fret hand back to 2nd position (from 3rd position in the measure prior) to most efficiently play the final two bars.