Hello everybody! I hope that you're all safe and well this holiday season. I've been working on some new arrangements that I'd like to share with you for the season. These will be on sale for 50% off through the end of January (Frosty isn't just a Christmas song!) Here's a rundown of what's new in my store:
I didn't get a chance to get as many guitar arrangements done this year as I had hoped. I think that you will enjoy the two that I did finish. Brenda Lee's Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree from 1958 is one that my students ask for nearly every year, so I thought I'd come up with my own beginner-level arrangement of it. I have a simple intro riff, simple and easy to read chord diagrams, the entire melody written out in standard notation and tablature, and all of the lyrics. The biggest challenge will be the B minor chord in the bridge section. Perhaps this is the tune that will get you playing that pesky barre chord once and for all. I'll tell you what I tell all of my students about barre chords. This is a long term goal. If it doesn't happen today or this week or this month, that's ok. It will happen! Grab my new arrangement for free right now right here!
I have also arranged Frosty The Snowman in a chord melody style. This is a bit of an old fashioned way of playing, I think it was mainly referred to as plectrum style back when plectrums came into fashion in the early 20th century when many guitarists switched to steel strings. You can certainly play this fingerstyle, but to get the best effect you should use a pick. The highest note in each chord will be the melody note for Frosty. The lyrics are there to help you sing it or just to help you keep your place in the tune more easily. You can see a sample of it here and try out the first few measures.
To my surprise, I've arranged more for baritone ukulele than any other instrument this holiday season. I can't get over how fun it is to arrange and play things on it!
Alright, I have four versions of Away In A Manger. I never know which version people are familiar with so I thought I'd get them both done. The one I grew up hearing is called the Mueller version. You can find a FREE lead sheet for that version here. And you can find a beginner-level chord melody arrangement here. I gave the other version, known by the composer's last name of Kirkpatrick, the same treatment. A free lead sheet with tablature can be found here and another beginner-level chord melody arrangement can be purchased for only $1 here.
I did the same thing with Silent Night as well. I'm starting to wonder if I need to publish a book of these by next winter? Any requests? Here's a free lead sheet and here's an intermediate level chord melody. I really enjoy how the harmonies work on this one on the bari uke.
And now for my favorite baritone ukulele arrangement I've ever made! The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) is such a well-crafted song by Robert Willis and Mel Tormé. I've been having a lot of fun playing the chord melody arrangement I made, but it's certainly not for beginners. Take a look at the sample on the product page before you make your purchase. I think you'll like it!
Last but not least are a couple of melodic-style banjo arrangements. This is another area where I'm thinking of making an entire book of these. The two that I did this month are The First Noel and What Child Is This? Try to accentuate the melody notes while allowing the notes in between the melody to be more in the background. Both of these are for standard G-tuning and should be accessible to early intermediate level players. Check out the MIDI rendition on SoundCloud of What Child Is This? to get an idea of how it sounds.
Let me know which tunes I missed this year that you hope to see next year!
I'm starting something new as well! If you tag me on social media with a link to a video of a performance one of my arrangements, I will give you a coupon code for 50% off your next order in my sheet music store. You can either use the coupon code twice for yourself or let a friend use one as well. I will also proudly feature your video on my website with your permission. My socials are in the bar at the bottom. @KyleGrayYoung will usually find me most places.
Happy holidays to all! I hope to see you in the new year!