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Jingle Bell Rock (easy version!)

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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 3221
Topic starter  

Here's one way to play JINGLE BELL ROCK, the Bobby Helms classic written by J. Beal and J. Boothe. It's not really an "easy" song per se, but easy enough to make easier than the original, if you know what I mean. No guarantees any of this is accurate, but it sounds okay to me.

For the intro, I took out the double stops and play single notes instead. Note durations are under the tab.

Try to use a "swing" feel when playing, rather that using straight 8th notes as written.

The tricky part is the 1/2-step bend and release in measure 2, but it shouldn't give much trouble. I noted it as 17b(17), which means play the B string at the 17th fret, bend up a 1/2-step and release back down without dropping the sound. That's an E going up to an F and back down to E, for those keeping score. The bend up and the release are each 1/8th note in duration.

For the last measure of the intro, remember the 1/8-note rest before the bass line. Try playing that last part with light palm muting for a more percussive effect.


JINGLE BELL ROCK EASY INTRO

E||------------------------------|------17--------------------------|------------------|-----------------------||
B||--15--15--15----14--14--14----|--15------15--17--17b(17)-15------|------------------|-----------------------||
G||------------------------------|------------------------------16--|--14--------------|-----------------------||
D||------------------------------|----------------------------------|------------------|--r--------------------||
A||------------------------------|----------------------------------|------------------|-----------------------||
E||------------------------------|----------------------------------|------------------|-----5--3----2----0----||
e e q e e q e e e e e e e e w e e q q q

b = bend (1/2 step) with release
r = rest
e = 1/8
q = 1/4
w = whole

There are some scary-sounding chord names in this song (maj7s and 6s and sus2s, etc.) but they're pretty easy to play. Really! Take a look at the suggested fingerings and you'll notice that many of them are simply slight variations of others.

The chords in order of appearance are:

SUGGESTED CHORD FINGERINGS:
D xx0232
Dmaj7 xx0222
D6 xx0202
F#m xx4222 (I make a mini barre with my index finger and hit the F# with my ring finger or pinky)
A7sus2 x02000 (can they get easier than this one?)
A x02220
Em 022000
E7 020100
A7 x02020
D7 xx0212
G 355433 (you don't have to barre this, but it's easier to get to the Gm that follows it if you do)
Gm 355333
E 022100
E7* 020130 (different voicing of the E7 chord)
B7 021202 (note: you can also play this as a B barre chord, x2444x or x24442)

Whew, I hope I got 'em all. I know it looks intimidating but for the most part they're easy fingerings with the exception of a couple.

So, finally, on to the song!

For basic strumming, you can use a fairly simply down-up-down, down-up-down approach, but wing it and do what feels good. Remember the swing feel from the intro and try to keep it throughout. I use the "giddyup" phrase as an easy reference, down-up-down, gid-dy-up.

VERSE

D Dmaj7 D6 F#m
Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
D6 F#m A7sus2 A
Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring
Em A Em A
Snowin' and blowin' up bushels of fun
E7 A7
Now the jingle hop has begun

D Dmaj7 D6 F#m
Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
D F#m A7sus2 A
Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time
Em A Em A
Dancin' and prancin' in Jingle Bell Square
E7 A7 D (D7)
In the frosty air

CHORUS

G Gm
What a bright time, it's the right time
D
To rock the night away
E E7*
Jingle bell time is a swell time
A (play on 1st beat only, then play last measure from intro)
To go glidin' in a one-horse sleigh

D Dmaj7 D6 F#m
Giddyup jingle horse, pick up your feet
D6 F#m B7
Jingle a-round the clock
G Gm
Mix and a-mingle in a-jinglin' feet
E7 A7 D
That's the jingle bell rock

VERSE

D Dmaj7 D6 F#m
Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
D F#m A7sus2 A
Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time
Em A Em A
Dancin' and prancin' in Jingle Bell Square
E7 A7 D (D7)
In the frosty air

CHORUS

G Gm
What a bright time, it's the right time
D
To rock the night away
E E7*
Jingle bell time is a swell time
A (play on 1st beat only, then play last measure from intro)
To go glidin' in a one-horse sleigh

D Dmaj7 D6 F#m
Giddyup jingle horse, pick up your feet
D6 F#m B7
Jingle a-round the clock
G Gm
Mix and a-mingle in a-jinglin' feet
E7 A7
That's the jingle bell
E7 A7
That's the jingle bell
E7 A7 D
That's the jingle bell rock

I recommend practing the chord changes repeatedly until you can do them smoothly. I spent a fair amount of time on the D6 to F#m change in particular.

It might take a bit of effort, but this is a fun song to play and is a good one to get folks singing along. Enjoy!

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@dan-t)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5044
 

Good one Mitch! 8)

Looks like you put alot of time into making this one a bit easier for all of us. I'll have to give this one a shot later tonight.

Thanks alot & Merry Christmas! :D

Dan

"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge


   
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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 3221
Topic starter  

Thank you Dan, and Merry Christmas to you too! (Can we say that anymore? LOL)

Of course, my efforts were somewhat selfish as I was trying to make it easier for myself! :lol:

Just want to point out two variations that I came up with last night which might make it even easier; first is a small change to the intro, working down the B string instead of going to the G string at the end of the 2nd measure:

JINGLE BELL ROCK - EVEN EASIER INTRO

E||------------------------------|------17--------------------------|------------------|-----------------------||
B||--15--15--15----14--14--14----|--15------15--17--17b(17)-15--12--|--10--------------|-----------------------||
G||------------------------------|----------------------------------|------------------|-----------------------||
D||------------------------------|----------------------------------|------------------|--r--------------------||
A||------------------------------|----------------------------------|------------------|-----------------------||
E||------------------------------|----------------------------------|------------------|-----5--3----2----0----||
e e q e e q e e e e e e e e w e e q q q

Next, for anyone having trouble with the F#m chord shape, you can simply play it as xxx222 (similar to the Dmaj7 chord but without the D - just lay your index finger down across all three strings.) You give up the lower octave root at the 4th fret of the D string, but it's still the same chord.

Cheers!

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@b_morenz)
Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 12
 

Great post it sounds great! That swing feel makes it really fun to play I might have to bust this one out at Christmas


   
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(@anthonys53)
Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 11
 

Many thanks!

Merry Christmas and the best of Holiday Seasons to you and yours!


   
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(@anthonys53)
Active Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 11
 

Many thanks!

Merry Christmas and the best of Holiday Seasons to you and yours!


   
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(@clideguitar)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 375
 

slejhamer - thanks ! It's a great tab..... I have a little trouble going from D6 to F#M but otherwise I got it!

BJ


   
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