Learn To Play A German Christmas Carol

American Christmas TreeImage via Wikipedia

I was wondering if you will be playing Christmas songs this year for family, friends or your church?


I have fond memories of being asked to play "Ave Maria" when I was a kid. My Mom would invite all the neighbors to come over to hear me play the piano. No, I wasn't scared... well maybe just a little. 

While I kept playing the piano, I noticed people were talking amongst themselves in the background and that seemed to be relaxing for me, as well as for them, too. So, my advice is to choose your best songs you play well and just have fun with it.


 O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree is a Christmas carol of German origin. O Tannenbaum is its original name in German. O Tannenbaum is German for a fir tree or Christmas tree. The melody to this Christmas song is an old folk tune and the best known lyrics comes from a Leipzig organist and teacher named Ernst Anschutz in 1824.

You can find free sheet music to the song at http://www.makingmusicfun.net/htm/f_printit_free_printable_sheet_music/o-christmas-tree-piano-solo.htm 

Intermediate-Advanced Lesson: O Christmas Tree Chords 


Intro:


F(add2)
Bb
Dm11
Gm9/C
C7


Then Play:


F
Gm7/F
F
Am7/E
Gm7
C7
Bb(add2)F
F
C7sus/F

F
Dm7
Am7
Bb6
Gm7
C7
Gm/F
F

Bbmaj9/F
C9/F
F
Dm7
Gm7

Gm7/C
F6
Bb(add2)/F

F(add2)
Am7/E
Cm6/Eb (pause on this chord, you know... fermata sign)


Gm/Bb 
D7/A
Gm
C7
Gm11/F
F


Ending:


F
Bb/D
Dm7
Gm/C
C13
C7 
F(add2)

Beginner-Intermediate Lesson: O Christmas Tree


For the carol, O Christmas Tree, we need to use both the C Major chord and the C Seventh chord. The actual notes in these two piano chords and the chord symbol for each chord are given below:
(Part of this lesson is from http://www.pianochords.info/wagner/wagner_lesson_nine.htm)

C Major
-- Notes: C E G
-- Chord Symbol: C

C Seventh
-- Notes: C E G Bb
-- Chord Symbol: C7

Play the C7 chord with the fifth, third, second and first (thumb) fingers of the left hand.


O Christmas Tree: Two Major Chords, One Minor Chord and One Seventh Chord

To play this Christmas carol we will need the following piano chords:

C Major:
-- Notes: C E G
-- Chord Symbol: C

F Major:
-- Notes: F A C
-- Chord Symbol: F

D Minor:
-- Notes: D F A
-- Chord Symbol: Dm

C Seventh
-- Notes: C E G Bb
-- Chord Symbol: C7

Practice these chords in the two octaves below Middle C on your keyboard.

Lyrics and Tune of O Christmas Tree

Play the tune of O Christmas Tree with your right hand, starting on Middle C. There are three quarter-note or crotchet beats in every bar in this carol. In my notation, the ][ symbol represents a bar line separating the bars in the music.

O ][ Christ-mas tree, O ][ Christ-mas tree, Thy ][
C ][ F F F - G ][ A A A - A ][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er; O ][
G A Bb E ][ G F - C ][

Christ-mas tree, O ][ Christ-mas tree, Thy ][
F F F - G ][ A A A - A ][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er; Not ][
G A Bb E ][ G F - C ][

on-ly green when ][ su-mmer glows, But ][
C A D C ][ C Bb Bb - Bb ][

in the win-ter ][ when it snows. O ][
Bb G C Bb ][ Bb A A - C ][

Christ-mas tree, O ][ Christ-mas tree, Thy ][
F F F - G ][ A A A - A ][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er!
G A Bb E ][ G F

Practice this melody until you can play it by memory.

O Christmas Tree Chord Accompaniment

Now let's look at the piano chords for O Christmas Tree. Play the chords in a regular rhythm corresponding with the three quarter-note or crotchet beats in each bar.

A special note about the chords highlighted in bold face: these chords are played by themselves, half a beat before the final note of the melody in those bars. For example, at the end of the first line, F chords are played with the syllables 'Christ-' and 'tree', then the Dm chord is played by itself, followed by the melody note, A, by itself, with the word 'Thy'.

O ][ Christmas Tree! O ][ Christmas Tree! Thy ][
----][F----F----C----][F----F----Dm ----][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er; O ][
C----C----C----][C7----F --------][

Christmas Tree! O ][ Christmas Tree! Thy ][
F----F----C----][F----F----Dm----][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er; Not ][
C----C----C----][C7----F----F----][

only green when ][ summer glows, But ][
F----C7----C7----][C7----C7----C7----][

in the win-ter ][ when it snows. O ][
C7----C7----C7----][C7----F--------][

Christmas Tree! O ][ Christmas Tree! Thy ][
F----F----C----][F----F----Dm----][

leaves are faith-ful ][ ev-er.
C----C----C----][C7----F----
 
Best,
LadyD
 
 http://ladydpiano.blogspot.com/2008/12/we-wish-you-merry-christmas-chords.html

"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King
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