Jingle Bell Chords for Guitar

Published Categorized as Chords

The song “Jingle Bells” is a Christmas classic. And if you’re preparing yourself to get into the holiday spirit, you might want to start learning to play it now! In this article, we’ll show you the Jingle Bell chords you need to play this iconic song.

Who Wrote Jingle Bells?

Some people claim that Jingle Bells originated as a choir song or a drinking song, but the official writer and publisher of the song is James Lord Pierpont, who published it in 1857. Before we get to the guitar chords to Jingle Bells, here are some interesting facts about the writer:

– He wrote songs for the Confederacy. Although his father was an abolitionist, James Lord Piermont was a Confederate soldier. He wrote several songs for the Confederacy; they served as rallying cries.

– He’s J.P. Morgan’s uncle. His nephew, John Pierpont Morgan, was a financier who founded the banking firm J.P. Morgan & Co.

– He was an organist and church music director. At one point, he served in these roles in a Georgia Unitarian Church. He taught organ and singing lessons to generate income.

– He was also a photographer. Photography was another of Morgan’s creative endeavors. He began a photography business when he traveled to California, but he had to give it up after his equipment was destroyed in a fire. He eventually wrote about the experience in a song.

– The song made him famous. Though Morgan wrote and arranged plenty of songs in his lifetime, Jingle Bells is certainly the most famous. As a result of the song’s enormous worldwide success, Morgan was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

All About the Song

Now you know a bit about the writer of Jingle Bells. But the song itself has a pretty interesting history too:

– It wasn’t originally connected to Christmas. When the song was first written, it was just meant to be about having fun in the snow. It didn’t become associated with Christmas music until the 1860s and 1870s, and it didn’t become a very popular Christmas song until later.

– It was the first song broadcast from space. In 1995, as a prank, Gemini 6 astronauts broadcast a live rendition of Jingle Bells to Mission Control. It was played on a harmonica and a set of sleigh bells that the astronauts had smuggled into the spacecraft.

It had a different name at first. When James Lord Pierpont first published the song in 1857, it was under the name “The One Horse Open Sleigh.”

– The tune is used in other Christmas songs. The tune of Jingle Bells is found in French and German songs. These songs are also about winter revelry. However, their lyrics discuss different winter scenarios than the one in Jingle Bells.

– The “jingle bells” mentioned have a purpose. Since a horse-drawn sleigh in the snow makes very little noise, many people in the 1800s would place bells on harnesses to help reduce the risk of crashes with other sleighs.

Jingle Bell Chords for Guitar_Six String Acoustic

Jingle Bell Guitar Chords

Now we’ll get to the most important part — the Jingle Bells chords and lyrics. You probably already know the lyrics, but you might be concerned that the chords you need are challenging. But don’t worry — this version is in the key of G and uses only three easy chords. We’ll show you two verses and a chorus.

If you want to start off with an instrumental intro, you can strum through G, C, and D7. These are almost all the guitar chords to Jingle Bells you’ll need.

Let’s start with the first verse:

We’ve placed the chord symbols right at the point of each chord change. As you practice the song and get a feel for it, knowing when to switch chords should come naturally, too.

Now we get to the chorus. Right before you launch into the chords here, the word “oh!” serves as kind of a bridge between the verse and the chorus. You don’t need any musical accompaniment here. Then the chorus starts:

Since it’s more of a carol than a traditional song, Jingle Bells doesn’t have a bridge. So you just keep following the pattern of verse-chorus-verse-chorus. Most people only know the first couple of verses, so we’ll look at one more:

Now you’ve got the jingle bell chords you need to play this Christmas favorite. But what if they’re unfamiliar to you? Not to worry — here are the chord fingerings you’ll need for all four chords.

A Major (A)

  • 1st finger on D string at 2nd fret
  • 2nd finger on G string at 2nd fret
  • 3rd finger on B string a 2nd fret
  • Mute or skip the low E string

G Major (G)

  • 1st finger on A string at 2nd fret
  • 2nd finger on low E string at 3rd fret
  • 3rd or 4th finger on high E string at 3rd fret

C Major (C)

  • 1st finger on B string at 1st fret
  • 2nd finger on D string at 2nd fret
  • 3rd finger on A string at 3rd fret
  • Mute or skip low E string

D Dominant Seventh (D7)

  • 1st finger on B string at 1st fret
  • 2nd finger on G string at 2nd fret
  • 3rd finger on high E string at 2nd fret
  • Mute or skip low E and A strings

And lastly, what about rhythm patterns? Jingle Bells is a song with countless versions and adaptations, so there’s no single rhythm pattern that’s correct. This is a good song to play around with and create a rhythm pattern that works with your voice or the voices of people singing along.

But if you want a good rhythm pattern to start with, there’s a fairly common pattern that works well for a lot of songs: down-down-up-down-up-down-up. Feel free to add in muting and other techniques to help make the sound your own! You can also fingerpick the chords for a softer, mellower version.

Final Thoughts

Jingle Bells is one of the world’s most popular Christmas songs for a reason — it’s catchy, fun, and easy to play! And whether you want to play the music for a crowd of carolers or want to perform some holiday hits on your own, we hope these Jingle Bell chords will help!

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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