The song of the week is 'Silent Night' in the key of C.
Silent Night is played in 3/4 (waltz) time: 3 beats per measure; guitar rhythm = boom-chuck-chuck, i.e., bass note, strum, strum.
Luke Lenhart Family and Friends - key of G.
Reno & Smiley - key of Db (a half-step higher than C) - song starts at 5:13
Jason Homey & The Snake River Boys - key of C - starts at 11:25
Jason Homey and the Snake River Boys, IBA Open Mic, 12_16_19 - YouTube
Here is a youtube jam video that I have made for Silent Night.
Jason’s YouTube Links – Alphabetical Listing – Parisology (cyberplasm.com)
The chord progression I use for Silent Night is:
In the key of C:
From lowest to highest, the notes that make up the melody of Silent Night are:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
key of C C D E F G A B C D E F
key of D D E F# G A B C# D E F# G
key of E E F# G# A B C# D# E F# G# A
key of F F G A Bb C D Eb F G A Bb
key of G G A B C D E F# G A B C
key of A A B C# D E F# G# A B C# D
key of Bb Bb C D Eb F G A Bb C D Eb
key of B B C# D# E F# G# A# B C# D# E
but, it is only in the 5th line of the song that the melody goes up to its two highest notes, and it is only at the end of the 6th (last) line of the song that the melody goes down to its two lowest notes.
Banjo: to capo or not to capo
For banjo players, I recommend playing the song without a capo. This way all your melody notes can be found within the first five frets of the instrument. The highest note of the melody is the F note on the 3rd fret of the 1st string. The lowest melody note is the C note that results from tuning your 4th string down to a C. But, since this note occurs in the melody only once (at the very end of the form), and since it would make it inconvenient to get other parts of the melody if one were to tune the 4th string down to a C (C tuning), I recommend staying in G tuning and simply playing the last 2 notes of the melody (D note followed by a C note) an octave higher (i.e., open 1st string followed by 1st fret of 2nd string). The reason why I suggest playing the last 2 notes an octave higher, instead of just the very last note, is for no other reason than that it makes it less noticeable that one has jumped up an octave higher than where one would ordinarily expect the melody to be. If a banjo player were to capo on the 5th fret and play as if in G, then the highest melody note would be on the 15th fret of the 1st string! And there would be no melody notes on the 4th string. For banjo players who are unaccustomed to playing in the key of C without a capo, or are not quite sure what rolls, filler notes, or other Scruggs-style frills to put around the melody for playing a break for this song, I suggest just playing the melody as is for a break. (See the banjo tab melody sheet in the files at the bottom of this write-up.)
Guitar: to capo or not to capo
For guitar players who wish to work out a Carter-style break (i.e., strums added between some of the melody notes) for Silent Night, I suggest capoing to the 5th fret and playing as if in G. This way one can get all the melody notes on the 6th through 2nd strings - which tends to work better for most Carter-style breaks - instead of the 5th through 1st strings. But some may find it easier to play this type of break in the key of C without a capo, since all the melody notes can then be found within the first 3 frets instead of the first 4 frets. For this reason, in the files, I have included two guitar tabs of the melody, one in C and one in G.
In the mandolin tab of the melody in the files here, the three lines written above certain (longer) melody notes indicate where one may wish to use tremolo as a way to embellish the melody.
18 songs were played at last night's jam: 11 from the main list, 1 from the additional songs list, and 6 that are on neither list:
All The Good Times Are Past And Gone - C
Beautiful Brown Eyes - G
Blue Ridge Cabin Home - A
Boil The Cabbage Down - A
Buffalo Gals - A
Foggy Mountain Top - G
I'll Fly Away - A
A Memory Of You - A
Nine Pound Hammer - B
Soldier's Joy - D
Will The Circle Be Unbroken - G
Angeline The Baker - D
I Saw The Light - A
I'm Waiting To Hear You Call Me Darling - D
Away In A Manger - A
Joy To The World - D
Little Elf Joe - A
Silent Night - C
Silent Night - melody in C
Silent Night - banjo tab
Silent Night - mandolin tab
Silent Night - guitar tab 1
Silent Night - guitar tab 2
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