Four Guitar Chords For Silent Night

Silent Night is one of the best-known Christmas songs and an essential addition to any fingerstyle guitarists repertoire. This arrangement includes four basic chords that beginners should be able to easily play without too much trouble.

One challenge posed by this song’s 3/4 time signature can be daunting for beginner singers, yet using a capo can easily help ease into it!


Silent Night has become one of the most iconic Christmas carols with songbooks and CDs available worldwide. Written by Catholic priest Josef Mohr on Christmas Eve in 1818 and performed first that same evening at an Austrian church; its music composed by Franz Gruber instead used an organ accompaniment instead.

G Major is an extremely popular key for songs, as its range of chords complement each other well. As an official key of God Save The Queen and New Zealand national anthem, it has also proven popular across country music, rock and metal genres – popular songs in G Major include Sweet Home Alabama’s Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik among many others.

G-D-C-Em is an accessible chord progression that is well suited to many genres of songs. Perfect for beginners, as no barre chords or complex fingering are required to use this progression; nonetheless, a solid knowledge of your fretboard and finger placement remains paramount to its use successfully.

To play this progression, you will require knowledge of both Em and C chords – both are very straightforward for most beginner guitarists to grasp. Em chord is a basic D shape which can be played using either your index finger or middle finger; playing it this latter way may give it a stronger tone for certain songs.

As soon as you change between Em and C chords, your fingers must move quickly between them. While this may prove challenging at first, with practice becoming easier. A useful trick to employ when switching chords is the third finger hover: this simple device keeps your third finger in position when switching chords.

One effective technique for switching chords is counting to four and strumming each beat, as this will help maintain rhythm while helping you remember fingerings easier. You could also try taking off and on fingers every four beats in order to help memorize shapes more efficiently.

Once you’ve mastered these chords, the next step should be timing your strumming patterns. Since it can be challenging to hit each note exactly on time when starting out, one effective approach would be listening to some band audios and trying to play along. Begin with beginner tracks before progressing towards more complex tracks as your ability at hearing the beat and counting out loud improves.

Once you are comfortable with this pattern, it’s time to move onto other songs. Listening to Bring Me the Horizon – Drown (in Key of G) or Linkin Park – Numb (Key of F#m), both feature this chord progression throughout, so that you can practice switching between two chords while maintaining a familiar rhythm is a great way to practice switching chords without becoming frustrated.