Favorite Christmas Songs On Guitar

Learn these 5 favorite Christmas songs for the holiday season.

Favorite Christmas Songs On Guitar
Lyrics, Demos, PDF's & Tutorials

1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Written in 1943, Judy Garland recorded this song in 1944 for the musical "Meet Me In St Louis". It has become a standard Christmas song ever since. Judy Garland didn't like the song for the film because it was a bit too depressing, but Hugh Martin altered some of the lyrics. Frank Sinatra recorded a version in 1957 and he had Martin change a line in the song to make it more upbeat.

  • Drop D Tuning = No 
  • Capo = No 
  • Rhythm = down down up down down and repeat 
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = G, Em, Am, D7, G#7, B7, E7, Cmaj7, Bm, A#m, Gmaj7, Em/D#, Em/D, Em/Db, A7sus, A7
Free Chords & Lyrics Sheet
Buy Full Lesson



2. I'll Be Home For Christmas

This song was written in 1943 and recorded by Bing Crosby the same year. The song was written to honour soldiers overseas during WW2. The original release of the song peaked at #3. 

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = No
  • Rhythm = down up stop up down up stop up and repeat
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = G, Edim, Am, D7, G, E/F, E, D7, D/Gb, Em, A7, D, C, Cm, E7, Bm 
Free Chords & Lyrics Sheet
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3. Jingle Bells

James Lord Pierpont wrote this song and had it published in 1857 titled as "The One Horse Open Sleigh". The song was not intended to be a Christmas song but instead as a drinking song. The first recording in 1889 was lost, but the 2nd recording in 1898 was preserved. Check out the original recording ... 

here. Bells were added to horse drawn carriages in the 1800's to avoid collisions with other carriages. So the term Jingle Bells does not refer to a certain type if bell.
  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = No
  • Rhythm = root down root up down up and repeat  
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = C, G, D7, A7, G7

Free Chords & Lyrics Sheet
Buy Full Lesson



4. Pretty Paper

This song became famous in 1964 after Roy Orbison released his version. The song was written by Willie Nelson who released his version a year after Orbison. Nelson saw a man with no legs peddling paper in front of a dept store  in Fort Worth Texas and got inspiration for the song from that encounter. 

  • Drop D Tuning = Yes
  • Capo = No
  • Rhythm = root down up down up and repeat
  • Picking = No
  • Chords = D, A7, G, E7

Free Chords & Lyrics Sheet
Buy Full Lesson



5. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

George Hall recorded his version of this one back in 1934 and sold 30,000 copies in 24 hrs. Over the years Bing Crosby, Neil Diamond, The Temptations and others have recorded this classic.

  • Drop D Tuning = No
  • Capo = No
  • Rhythm = root down root up down up 
  • Picking = Yes
  • Chords = C, C#, Dm, G7, F, C7, Fm, Am, Gm, E, Eb, Cb, A#, A7, C#7
Free Chords & Lyrics Sheet
Buy Full Lesson


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