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Mandolin Lessons: Silent Night

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[MUSIC]
All right,
we're gonna try to break down the classic
Christmas Carol Silent Night for
you here now.
I put it up on the message board there on
the front page just a couple of days ago.
So, and I didn't really explain it.
So, so here I'm gonna try and break it
down in a little more detail for you.
There should be the music up, at least,
some version of the music.
I'm gonna give you some variations on it
here though.
Which may or may not be written down, so,
you'll have to, pay close attention to nab
some of these.
But we're doing it in the key of C, and.
[MUSIC]
You all know the chords, I would
suggest you learn the chords first, just
so you have those really clear.
It's pretty straight ahead.
[MUSIC]
So four bars of C.
[MUSIC]
Then G.
Then C.
Then F.
Then C.
Then back to F.
Then back to C.
[MUSIC]
And then G again.
Or G7.
And hold the C for four, three.
And G.
And back to C.
Okay, so you can, if you wanna just follow
along on those chords just to get your
bearings that's a good, that's a good
starting place.
Of course I'm gonna play all kinds of
different voicings of those chords because
I'm attempting to play the melody and the
chords at the same time.
So what I'm doing is I'm putting the
melody in the top voice of the chord.
[MUSIC]
Up here the G note.
[MUSIC]
So what I'm gonna do right now is I'm
gonna zoom in, the camera and, and really
break that out for you with super close
ups so you can, so you can really see.
That's that first time through.
Second time through we'll do some
variations, but here's the,
here's a little break down.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
All right.
So here it is.
It's a C chord.
[MUSIC]
And I'm barring the G and
the C [NOISE] here on the top two strings.
[SOUND] And the melody's on the E string.
Right?
[MUSIC]
So I strum chord on the down beat.
[MUSIC]
And, and the whole
business with the way I'm phrasing this
melody is I'm, I'm playing the melody.
[MUSIC]
That's actually how it's written.
[MUSIC]
So the melody happens before the beat.
[MUSIC]
And so, that gives you the opportunity
to play the bass note on the down beat
after you've played that melody E note.
[MUSIC]
Then you do it all again.
[MUSIC]
Then.
[MUSIC]
So here, I start to bass notes.
Again, to give me that grounding feeling
on the down beat.
[MUSIC]
And I save the top melody note.
[MUSIC]
For later in the bar.
[MUSIC]
So I go from a [NOISE] an F and a D.
[SOUND] And I'm playing the G and D open.
[MUSIC]
And then I go to this B and D note.
You can play it with these two fingers if
you want.
And I'm simply cross picking.
[MUSIC]
4-3-1-2-3-2.
[MUSIC]
And it leads me to a C chord.
[MUSIC]
And the same thing happens.
Instead of playing.
[MUSIC]
I
don't play that note right on the beat
where you'd expect it.
I'm anticipating, I'm delaying it.
[MUSIC]
So, I'm playing the bass notes first.
[MUSIC]
And, and this gives us the feeling.
What we want those root notes to appear on
down beats so
that we really feel grounded, we feel like
were really playing.
We're, we're really feel like we're
hearing the chord changes as they go by.
If we don't get those bass notes on the
down beats, it,
it, it feels a little bit unstable.
[MUSIC]
So, this whole area here after playing the
C.
[MUSIC]
I play a C7.
[MUSIC]
Which is.
[MUSIC]
0-2-1, up three.
I'm just gonna let these big fingers of
mine.
Sorry about that.
[MUSIC]
And then I play the F.
[MUSIC]
As an anticipation to the down beat.
[MUSIC]
And, and, and then I walk into this.
[MUSIC]
These are, these are I guess tenths.
[LAUGH] [SOUND] A and high C.
[MUSIC]
They're the same thing as thirds,
but the low note is down an octave.
[MUSIC]
That, that would be thirds.
[SOUND] If we go with that sound.
[SOUND] Well,
here we're doing them as tenths [NOISE] by
moving this A down an octave.
[MUSIC]
Okay?
And what we're doing is we're playing the,
the first A note.
[MUSIC]
As a,
as an anticipation to the down beat with
the melody note on the down beat.
[SOUND] So if you look at bar nine, it's
the last note of bar nine.
[MUSIC]
Then.
Okay.
So.
[MUSIC]
Back to that C.
[MUSIC]
And now I'm barring here.
[MUSIC]
That's a, that's a difficult bar for some.
[MUSIC]
If it is you can always play two fingers.
[MUSIC]
On the C and G notes.
[MUSIC]
Then we're, here's our G7 again.
[MUSIC]
Same
kind of thing although this, this time now
it's six.
[SOUND] A and F.
[MUSIC]
Which leads us [NOISE] to that C.
And then I do a harmonic.
[MUSIC]
Then I play a G and a C just to simulate.
[MUSIC]
Cuz I'm up there.
I play it at the tenth and tenth fret bar.
And again with the, with the one finger.
And then [NOISE] I play the C and an E and
it backwards slide it.
[MUSIC]
And that's simply a long C chord with some
arpeggios and it could only almost be
anything.
[MUSIC]
Those last two bars.
From the harmonics.
[MUSIC]
G.
[MUSIC]
Now right here, you could play anything.
[MUSIC]
Okay?
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
So
now I'm gonna go into a little variation.
I'm gonna descend the bass notes.
[MUSIC]
'Kay, it's simply walking down.
Starting at G.
On the bass, then I play a B, then an A,
making this essentially an A minor 7.
[MUSIC]
Then open G.
And that gives you that nice feeling of
walking down.
I don't actually play a C.
[MUSIC]
Because I'm not as big fan of this
kind of C chord in this situation because
it has two C notes in it.
I'd rather have the open G.
[MUSIC]
E minor.
[MUSIC]
C7.
Now the whole chord.
[MUSIC]
It comes down, that's A minor, G, F.
A minor.
[MUSIC]
There I just played an arpeggio.
[MUSIC]
Now here I'm, I'm changing some chords,
so.
[MUSIC]
From the G7.
[MUSIC]
You could use tenths here.
[MUSIC]
D and F, B and
D, G and B, which leads to A minor
beautifully and E minor for the high E.
[MUSIC]
A flat.
[MUSIC]
B flat with a C note on top.
[MUSIC]
And C.
That's a classic,
[MUSIC]
ending.
[MUSIC]
Power ending.
[MUSIC]
I have one other substitution.
When you come up here.
[MUSIC]
Let's see.
[MUSIC]
You could make it in this high E note.
We could go from the A minor.
[MUSIC]
To an E diminished, or
you could call that an A7.
[MUSIC]
Or a C sharp diminished.
[MUSIC]
And these could be different chords.
C, E minor, A minor.
D minor, G, C, I'm actually playing it as
an,
as a kind of diminished again,
could be called an E flat diminished or
C diminished or an A diminished or an F7.
[MUSIC]
To a G7.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
Let me review some of that.
[MUSIC]
You could call this an E
minor with a B in the bass.
We could call it a C major 7 with a B in
the bass, or
you could call it, simply bass motion over
a C chord.
[MUSIC]
You could call this an E minor 7, A minor.
[MUSIC]
To C.
G.
[MUSIC]
There's a substitution,
that's a G-Sharp diminished, which leads
nicely to A minor and C7.
[MUSIC]
F.
[MUSIC]
That's an F sharp diminished.
[MUSIC]
Let me re-use that.
F.
[MUSIC]
F sharp diminished,
G, to C7.
Now use it again.
[MUSIC]
G7.
[MUSIC]
So that's.
[LAUGH] You could call it A7 plus 5.
[MUSIC]
G7 E7, A minor.
[MUSIC]
E minor,
I want to do that time because you got,
you've had enough diminished chords
[LAUGH] dominant chords.
C, A7 now for this G.
[MUSIC]
D minor 9.
[MUSIC].
[MUSIC]
G sus.
[MUSIC]
G7.
[MUSIC]
G7.
[MUSIC]
All right?
All right, at this point, you're probably
asking yourself, Mike Marshall,
what were you thinking?
But there you have it, whole bunch of
different variations.
And you know, not all of it is necessarily
that you don't need to play them all.
But it's just a wonderful way of looking
at a, otherwise very simple tune.
And looking at some options for alternate
chords without changing the melody.
The melody notes remain the same.
And all you change is the functional
harmony underneath.
Hopefully that gives you a little insight
into how my brain works on this stuff, and
if you have any questions about it, send
me your version of it, and I'll,
I'll review it, and, and get back to you
and help you out as best I can.
So thanks, happy holidays, and hope you
enjoy that little classic beauty.
Bye bye.
[MUSIC]