Christmas songs are usually pretty easy to play on the guitar.
Despite the fact that you don't hear a lot of guitar-driven Christmas tunes (usually piano or bell-driven), most Christmas songs translate really well to an acoustic guitar with just a few chords. This is especially true if you're talking about Christmas carols and some of the more popular Holiday favorites.
We'll cover some of those tunes in this list, focusing on songs that are particularly friendly to acoustic guitar players.
These songs have simple strumming patterns and require only a few chords to play.
If you need some chord help, check the resource below:
Read more: Basic guitar chords
Get a FREE Guitar Tricks membership that lasts 14 days and try it out. If it's not for you, just cancel. Your membership is also backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee.
11,000+ lessons, 1000+ song tutorials with tabs, works on all devices.
1. Joy to the World
This one is a popular Christmas carol that can be played with only three chords on the guitar, G, C, and D. It doesn't get much easier or Christmas'er.
2. We Three Kings
There are more chords in this song, but it can be played fairly slow, if needed. Check the lesson resources if you need some help with the chord progressions.
3. Blue Christmas
Did you know that Collective Soul covered this song? It's pretty catchy, but we've stuck with the easier versions that you don't need a full band to pull off.
4. Frosty the Snowman
Need a good Christmas guitar song for the kids? This one fits the bill and is easy to play, despite some extra chords on the lead sheet.
5. Jingle Bell Rock by Bobby Helms
Another rock-themed Christmas tune, this time with only three chords that you probably already know.
6. It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas
One of the more jazzy Christmas songs, this one uses a bunch of chords but is still pretty easy to pick up and play, especially since it's a slower tune.
7. Jingle Bells
One of the best known Christmas songs is also extremely easy to play on the guitar. For the D7 and A7 chords, just play a regular D and A chord.
8. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
This one is a little bit trickier, with chords and more of an up tempo. But it's still a great Christmas guitar song and achievable for most beginners.
Acoustic or electric guitar?
Does it matter whether you play these songs on an acoustic or electric guitar?
In most cases, not really.
While acoustic guitars are easier to grab and play quickly - requiring less setup - electric guitars are actually a little easier on your hands and easier to play. For these Christmas songs, both acoustic and electric guitars will work just fine.
You might try an electric guitar for the ones with more chords and acoustic guitars for the shorter chord progressions (songs with only three or four chords).
Are these songs written for guitar?
The chord and tab pages we've linked to display chords in a guitar-friendly format, and allow you to follow along with the words easily. In that respect, these songs are displayed in a manner that's easy for guitar players.
But that doesn't mean they were necessarily written for guitar. They've just been adapted to the guitar, as well as a handful of other instruments.
In most cases, these songs are played on the piano, or were at least written with the piano in mind.
What chords do I need to know to play these songs?
I'd recommend starting out with the following open chords:
- G Major
- C Major
- D Major
- E minor
- A Minor
Once you know these chords you'll be able to play a lot of different songs and plenty of Christmas tunes. They're the first chords you should be learning and will - on their own - open up a lot of musical possibilities for you.
These are just a few Christmas songs we recommend for guitar, and some of the easier options we were able to dig up. If you have other suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments section and we'll consider adding them to our list.
You can also drop questions about these songs in the comments section as well. Even questions about chords are how to play them are fair game.
We'll see you there.