Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Mastering Christmas Songs on the Piano and Keyboard


How to play Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on piano and keyboard - mastering Christmas carols

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

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This guide will show you how to play simple arrangements of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Introduction

Here, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is written and played in the key of C Major, and has a 4/4 time signature.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Main Melody

Here are the melody notes you need to play for the introduction part of the song:

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

Here are the melody notes you need to play for the main part of the song:

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

Here’s the complete melody written out:

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer melody score https://pianoandsynth.com/wp-content/uploads/music/rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-melody.mp3

And with metronome:

Download MP3 | Download MP3 with Metronome | Download MIDI

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Single Note Bass Line

Below is a simple bass line for the song using just one note at a time. Most of the time you simply play one whole note (semibreve) per bar, with the exception of bar 28 which contains two half notes (minims).

Here’s the printed music:

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer simple bassline score

Download this as a PDF file

And here’s what it sounds like:

With metronome:

Download MP3 | Download MP3 with Metronome | Download MIDI

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Walking Bassline – Octaves and Fifths

To inject a bit of movement into the piece, here’s a walking bass line comprised of quarter notes (crotchets) or eighth notes (quavers) and quarter notes (crotchets).

The bass line in the introduction follows the melody with timing, and uses descending sequences of fifth intervals. So we move from the beginning F up to C, then E and B, D and A, C and G, then down to A and E, G and D, F and C, and then down to a lower C and G.

The octaves then take over with a pair of Es, then As in the next bar, down to Ds, followed by a run of four quarter notes from G down to D, which help the transition from the end of the introduction to the main part of the song.

From thereon, you generally play a bass note followed by a note one octave above, then repeat.

Bar 28 has two different sets of octave intervals. The first starts on D and the second on G.

In the final bar hold the third note (C) for two beats.

Here’s the printed music:

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer walking bass score

Download this as a PDF file

And here’s what it sounds like:

With metronome:

Download MP3 | Download MP3 with Metronome | Download MIDI

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Walking Bassline with Right Hand Chords

In the final version of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I’ve added three-note chords to the right hand to give fullness and a richer harmony.

Generally there’s a chord to play on the first beat of each bar. Try to hold the lower notes of the chord while you play the melody over the top. Using the sustain pedal will really help smooth the sound out.

Watch out for bar 28 which contains two half note chords.

You’ll notice that the bass line has changed slightly in bar 25 to add a bit of interest, moving in between the distinct sections of the song.

Here’s the printed music:

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer walking bassline with chords score

Download this as a PDF file

And here’s what it sounds like:

With metronome:

Download MP3 | Download MP3 with Metronome | Download MIDI

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Lead Sheet

Here’s a lead sheet for the song, with melody, lyrics, and chords to play.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer walking bassline with chords score

Download this as a PDF file

Here’s the complete lyrics:

You know Dasher, and Dancer, and
Prancer, and Vixen,
Comet, and Cupid, and
Donner and Blitzen
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose
and if you ever saw it
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph
play in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas eve
Santa came to say:
“Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you’ll go down in history!

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.