O Holy Night Guitar Chords – Step by Step Tutorial on how to play the o holy night song on the guitar. Easy guitar lesson for beginners, tabs included.
Learn how to play O Holy Night guitar chords if you want to create lasting Christmas Eve or Christmas Day memories. Although you may think that playing the song on the guitar is a difficult task, the truth is that most of the chords constitute the same chords you learned as a beginning guitarist. With the addition of the B minor, A minor and B major chords, you can learn how to play the favorite Christmas carol without any difficulties.
Play the Accompanying Major and Minor Chords
The chords to the famous song are as follows: G major, D major, C major, E minor, B minor, A minor and B major. Consequently, it only takes a total of seven chords to play the melody on your guitar. If you do not know how to play these chords, you can find illustrated online guitar chord charts depicting where to place your fingers on the fingerboard. Placing one finger on the appropriate string located in the appropriate fret enables you to play each chord on your guitar.
Strum the Guitar with your Thumb or a Plectrum
If you enjoy singing, you can also memorize the words so that you can sing them while accompanying yourself on the guitar. The song invokes the perfect mood for a Christmas gathering, and all it takes is knowing how to play the chords. After you memorize the chords and lyrics, you need to learn a few simple guitar strums.
If you own a classical guitar with nylon strings, you can use your thumb to strum the chords gently. If you own a folk guitar or an electric guitar, you will need to buy a plectrum for strumming the chords. A plectrum, also known as a guitar pick, is a triangular-shaped piece of plastic designed for strumming a guitar.
You Need to Develop a Sense of Rhythm
Any song you play on the guitar needs to match the song’s basic beat and mood. In this case, the song requires gentle strums evoking a spiritual frame of mind. Remember that you are playing a Christmas hymn, and proceed with care and diligence. Practice playing the song for 30 to 60 minutes each day until you memorize the chords and words. When learning how to play using O Holy Night guitar chords, a daily practice session leads to perfection.
Learn About the Amazing History of the Famous Canticle
Based on the Bible passages Luke 2:14 and Philippians 2:10–11, the popular song has a history as intriguing as the song’s memorable lyrics and melody. Known as “Minuit, Chrétiens” in French (“Midnight, Christians”), the lyrics were composed by Placide Cappeau. Monsieur Cappeau was an educated man with a degree in law.
Also regarded as a popular French poet and a wine merchant, Monsieur Cappeau was petitioned by the local church in Roquemaure, France, to write a special Christmas canticle. Nevertheless, Cappeau was outspoken in his anti-Catholic statements and rarely attended church services. The melody was also controversial because it was composed by Cappeau’s friend Adolphe Adam, a Jewish man who did not harbor any belief in the Christian religion.
“O Holy Night” was Composed by a Deist and a Jew
Composed for soprano Mme. Émily Laurey, a well-known resident, she first sang the new Christmas canticle during the Christmas midnight mass at the local Roman Catholic church. The year was 1847, and the performance at St. Jean-Baptiste et Jean l’Évangeliste Church marked the beginning of a new Christmas ritual. Yet the song was surrounded by religious and political controversies. For one thing, Cappeau was a follower of the philosophy purported by Voltaire, a famous French novelist and deist.
A Hymn Surrounded by Intriguing Controversy
Known as a free-thinker, Voltaire was not a Christian. Moreover, Cappeau believed and followed a philosophy that was not in accordance with basic Christian doctrines. Coupled with the fact that the composer Adolphe Adam was a Jew, the antisemitism of the period was reflected in an official church declaration that the teachings of Christianity were not represented in the canticle. But it became impossible for the church to condemn a song that was favored by the French people. The lyrics and melody eventually won, and the church proclaimed “Cantique de Noel” (“O Holy Night”) as an acceptable Christmas carol.
From Controversy to Traditional Christmas Hymn
In 1855, John Sullivan Dwight, an American transcendentalist and Unitarian minister, translated the French lyrics originally composed by Cappeau into the English language. Now revered as one of the most important Christmas hymns, the song has been performed by Bing Crosby, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban. In 1906, Christmas Eve bore a new stamp of approval on the controversial song. Reginald Fessenden, a chemist who previously worked for the American inventor Thomas Edison, spoke words into a microphone.
Regarded as a new marvel of technology, Fessenden read from the New Testament. The words were then followed by his playing the Christmas canticle on the radio. This was the first time music was aired via American radio waves. A minor miracle in itself, the broadcast reminded Americans about their Christian heritage. Share in the rich history of the beloved Christmas carol when you learn to play O Holy Night guitar chords.
George A. Smith received a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Berkeley. George has been teaching music professionally for the past 8 years. George regularly contributes content to several music websites including LoadRecords.com.