Guitar lesson for
Please Come Home for Christmas
by The Eagles • Lesson #199
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I’ve had a blast learning this classic holiday tune, “Please Come Home for Christmas”. Originally recorded by Charles Brown (1960) and then notably covered by The Eagles (1978), this is not only a great song - but one that’s darn fun to play on guitar. There’s quite a few chords needed, but it’s really the D#-diminished and E-augmented that add some really special flavor to the main chord progression. In this lesson, I’ll teach the song with a heavy focus on the first verse (learn that, and you’ll be 80% of the way there). I hope you enjoy!
You can currently find the backing track here. Note, this is only the first verse - looping over and over. The idea is to let you practice your chords, strumming, etc - with a steady background track to have on for reference.
Lyrics with chords
VERSE #1 A Amaj7 A7 A7 Bells will be ringing........... the sad sad news D D D#° D#° ...Oh, what a Christmas............ to have the blues A D A E F#m ....My baby's gone.............. I have no friends B7 B7 E E+ ...To wish me greetings................ once again VERSE #2: A Amaj7 A7 Choirs will be singing......... "Silent Night" D D#° Christmas carols................ by candlelight A D A (E) F#m Please come home for Christmas.... please come home for Christmas B7 E7 A A7 If not for Christmas.... by New Year's night BRIDGE D Dm Friends and relations... send salutations A E+ A7 A7 Sure---- as the stars shine above D Dm But this is Christmas... yes, Christmas my dear B7 E E+ The time of year to be with the ones you love VERSE #3: A Amaj7 A7 So won't you tell me......... you'll never more roam D D#° Christmas and New Year's.... will find you home A C#7 F#m E There will be no more sorrow...... no grief and pain D D#° A F#m B7 E7 A E+ ....And I'll be happy.... happy, once again SOLO: | A | Amaj7 | A7 | A7 | | D | D | D#° | D#° | ENDING: A C#7 F#m (E) There will be no more sorrow...... no grief and pain D D#° A F#m B7 E7 A D A (let ring) ....And I'll be happy.... happy, once again
How to play the chords
Here’s how to play the chords you’ll need. There are a lot, but take it slow and don’t give up!
E ––0––––0––––0–– ––2–––1–––2––– ––0–––0–––0–– –––2––––4––––2––– B ––2––––2––––2–– ––3–––3–––1––– ––0–––3–––1–– –––2––––6––––0––– G ––2––––1––––0–– ––2–––2–––2––– ––1–––1–––1–– –––2––––4––––2––– D ––2––––2––––2–– ––0–––0–––1––– ––2–––2–––2–– –––4––––6––––1––– A ––0––––0––––0–– –––––––––––––– ––2–––2–––––– –––4––––4––––2––– E ––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––– ––0–––0–––––– –––2––––––––––––– A Amaj7 A7 D Dm D#° E E7 E+ F#m C#7 B7
Understand that this song has 6 counts per each measure. I’ll explain more about this later (within strumming section), but it’s important to understand when looking at the chord progression - and understanding how long you stay on each chord.
"Bells will be ringing..." | A | Amaj7 | A7 | A7 | | D | D | D#° | D#° | | A | D | A E | F#m | | B7 | B7 | E | E+ |
Verse #2: (same as first, except final line is different):
"Choirs will be ringing..." | A | Amaj7 | A7 | A7 | | D | D | D#° | D#° | | A | D | A E | F#m | | B7 | E7 | A | A7 |
"Friend and relations..." | D | D | Dm | Dm | | A | E+ | A7 | A7 | | D | D | Dm | Dm | | B7 | B7 | E | E+ |
"So won't you tell me..." | A | Amaj7 | A7 | A7 | | D | D | D#° | D#° | | A | C#7 | F#m (E) | D D#° | | A F#m | B7 E7 | A | E+ |
Solo: | A | Amaj7 | A7 | A7 | | D | D | D#° | D#° | "There'll be no more sorrow..." | A | C#7 | F#m (E) | D D#° | | A F#m | B7 E7 | A | D | A ...let final "A" chord ring
If you want to keep things as simple as possible, try doing a single down strum on the 1 and 4 counts (or, only the 1 count). I recommend doing this, with the song or backing track on in the background, to get a feel for the pulse of the song.
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + D D
Next, start moving your strumming hand regularly within the rhythm of the 6 counts per each measure. The important thing, though, is to place accent on the 1 and 4 counts (all other strums can be light, delicate brushes upon each string).
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + D D D D D D > >
You can then bring in up-strums. One way is to add a “down-up-down-up” after each heavy “down” that happens on the 1 and 4 count.
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + D D U D U D D U D U > >
Finally, here’s one example of one additional way you can add some variety to the strum. I demonstrate this in the video lesson - it isn’t easy, but is just one example of how you can make a strumming pattern your own.
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + D U D D D U D U > >
Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you. Questions? Comments? Requests? Let me know!
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