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Jingle Bells: Mastering Christmas Songs on the Piano and Keyboard

October 16, 2011 by  

Check out our complete series on mastering Christmas songs on Piano and Keyboard.

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A very popular Christmas song is “Jingle Bells“. Here’s how to play a simple arrangement of it.

Jingle Bells: Introduction

Here, Jingle Bells is written and played in the key of C Major, and has a 4/4 time signature.

Jingle Bells: Main Melody

This well-known Christmas song is made from four distinct phrases, with the first two being very similar to one another, and the second two following each other closely.

The first eight bars feature the first phrase. The second eight bars feature almost the same phrase repeated, with the exception of the final two bars.

The next eight bars feature the second phrase. The final eight bars feature that phrase almost identically repeated until the final three bars.

The melody notes you need to play are:

E E E – | E E E – | E G C D | E – - – |
F F F F | F E E E E | E D D E | D – G – |
E E E – | E E E – | E G C D | E – - – |
F F F F | F E E E E | G G F D | C – - – |
G E D C | G – - G G | G E D C | A – - – |
A F E D | B – - – | G G F D | E – - – |
G E D C | G – - G G | G E D C | A – - – |
A F E D | G G G G G | A G F D | C – - – |

Here’s the complete melody written out:

Jingle Bells melody score

(Download this as a PDF file)

And here’s what it sounds like:

Listen

Jingle Bells: Fingering

The first 16 bars can be played with the right hand in a single position. It’s then a small jump downwards onto the right thumb to begin playing the last 16 bars. These can be played without much stretching involved, and with the right hand thumb ‘anchoring’ around the lower G.

Jingle Bells: Single Note Bass Line

Below is a simple bass line for the song using just one note at a time. It’s a very simple whole note per bar arrangement, where you’ll always be playing either C, D, F or G.

Continued below...

Here’s the printed music:

(Download this as a PDF file)

And here’s what it sounds like:

Listen

Jingle Bells: Adding harmony and fullness with chords

In the final version of Jingle Bells, I’ve added two- and three-note chords to the right hand, always with the melody note as the highest note. The bass line has also been slightly altered to fit with the harmonies.

Noting the only sharpened note in the whole piece, in bar seven. The F sharp at the root of the chord helps create an interesting harmony.

Here’s the printed music.

Jingle Bells chords score

(Download this as a PDF file)

And here’s what it sounds like:

Listen

We hope you found this guide useful. Feel free to leave comments below if you have any questions or suggestions.

Check out our complete series on mastering Christmas songs on Piano and Keyboard.

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Comments

One Response to “Jingle Bells: Mastering Christmas Songs on the Piano and Keyboard”

  1. sahi on January 31st, 2012 11:48 am

    oh wow now I no to play jingle bells song very well

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