Guitar lesson for

Please Come Home for Christmas

by The Eagles  •  Lesson #199

Video lesson

Get the sheet music(3 pages)

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Editor’s notes

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!

Backing track

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

See first page of my sheet music for all of the lyrics, with chords included.

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

Time signature

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.

Chord progressions

See page 2 of my sheet music for diagrams of the chord progressions used in this song.

Strumming

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
>           >

Good luck!

Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you. Questions? Comments? Requests? Let me know!

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