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Performance Tips for "Silent Night"

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The Chords for "Silent Night"

(see chords and lyrics for "Silent Night")

To perform "Silent Night" in a traditional style, you need only know three chords... C major, G major and F major. Using these chords allows you to play "Silent Night" in the key of C, which translates well to both the male and female vocal registers.

If you are just getting started on guitar, and are having trouble with the F major chord, you could instead elect to play the song in the key of G. To do this, substitute the:

This allows you to use G, C and D to play the same song, which will make your life slightly easier. Note that this may make the song harder to sing, since it's now in a different key. If this is a problem, I suggest using a capo on the fifth fret, which will again put the song in the key of C (read more about how to simplify chords by using a capo).

The Strumming for "Silent Night"

The song is typically played as a very slow waltz, which means three beats per bar.... think "ONE two three ONE two three". You spend four bars on the first C major chord, which means you'll be strumming twelve times - all downstrokes - before changing to the G major chord. Once you've made the change to the G major, your ear will alert you when it's time to change chords. It's not very hard - in fact, it's rather easy!

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