Silent Night – Be vewy, vewy quiet

Transcription available

Level: Intermediate     Tuning: Standard

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If ever there was a Christmas carol that should be played on the guitar, it would be Silent Night. After all, according to numerous recountings of the songs humble origin, it was first performed at the Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, 1818, with the musical accompaniment coming not from the church’s organ, per standard operating procedure, but from Fr. Mohr’s guitar. In the almost 200 years since its creation, it has become a central piece in the Christmas canon.

Stories abound about the reason the organ wasn’t functioning: mice had chewed the bellows, the organ had broken down and there was no organ technician who lived close by to repair it, and so on. But the role of the guitar in its composition and first performance remains consistent.

Stille_nacht

Gruber’s original autographed manuscript of the song with guitar accompaniment appears to the right.

This is my humble arrangement of the tune. You’ll find it is a relatively straightforward arrangement, although it does shift positions up and down the neck.

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About Bob

… is an award winning, Canadian finger-style guitarist and the 2003 U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion. He combines an eclectic mix of contemporary finger-style guitar and traditional roots music with a warm vocal style, tilted sense of humour and down to earth stage presence to provide a refreshing performance experience for music lovers in general. Definitely not just for “guitar geeks”.

3 thoughts on “Silent Night – Be vewy, vewy quiet

  1. MerleWindler

    Absolutely Beautiful….terrific arrangement!!!! Just posted a Facebook link so nephews and guitar playing friends could enjoy and possibly learn to play your great solo guitar version… Thanks !!!

  2. Bob Evans

    Hey Pete. Have fun with it. Yeah, it’s a good one for working in several positions up and down the neck. Turns out those extra frets are good for something after all. Now if I could just find some way to use the dusty ones above the 12th fret for something … 🙂

  3. Rockuk

    Hi Bob
    Just found your version of Silent Night and like it very much as it’s similar to a copy I used to have, but lost many years ago. I also find it very useful practice for shifting positions as well. Must have a look at your others now!

    Regards Pete

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