To continue our Christmas music party that was kicked off with Away in a Manger, today we’ll look at Deck the Halls sheet music, again in two versions – a simplified treble/chords version, and a fully-arranged version. Sheet music is linked below. Enjoy!
How to practice Deck the Halls
In theory, Deck the Halls is a very simple Christmas song – a repetitive melody with easy chords that are very consistent. The difficulty lies in the tempo. It’s a fast song! You’ll need to start from a slow speed and gradually build up to that speedy tempo that is so essential to this Christmas piece.
Work on the chords separate, to practice those fast switches. I invert the notes of A7 closer to the notes of D chords so I can switch back and forth between them quickly. I do that with all the chords, and then practice them so I can switch between chords quickly.
Then, I do the same thing with the right hand – work through it separately to make sure I’m noting all the finger changes and movement. That’ll make putting both hands together significantly easier.
Deck the Halls Sheet Music – simple version
I like learning songs from sheets like this because you can let your imagination and creativity take the lead. Since the left hand isn’t notated, you can play it in any way you want, whether that’s just doing simple held chords, broken chords, or a variation of the Alberti bass pattern. Or you might even choose to sing the melody instead of play it – and play the bass notes in the left hand with fleshed out chords in the right. Choose your own adventure!
Deck the Halls Sheet Music – full version
The fully-arranged version of Deck the Halls still uses chords here and there – just at the cadences – but otherwise, the left hand is just a single note pattern. Tying into the previous video, this version of Deck the Halls I wrote in Baroque keyboard style, with a relatively independent left and right hand. Check out that video if you haven’t already!
Deck the Halls learning points
First, the Italian “Allegro” means to play fast, which we already knew.
Next is the key signature. Two sharps – that’s telling us we’re either in the key of D major, or its relative minor key, B minor. Since the tune is probably still fresh in your head, does it have more of a major happy sound, or a dark minor sound? Hopefully you answered major and happy. And by looking at the music you can see that D major chord, as well as the single note, is very prominent in this piece which confirms we’re in the key of D.
Deck the Halls chords
If you remember from the previous video on 7 chords, A7 means to take an A major chord, 135, and add the 7th to it – but not just any old 7, it has to be a lowered 7. So the formula for A7 would be:
1 3 5 b7
Which would make the notes A C# E G.
If you’re finding any of this confusing, definitely check out that video on 7 chords to get you up to speed. What I like to do is invert this chord so you don’t have to do a 5-note jump from D F# A to the A7 chord. I like to play it like this:
C# (E) G A
The E is in brackets because the fifth note of a chord is the least important, so you can choose to omit it and it’ll still sound good. Again, this was all covered in the video on 7th chords.
Have fun with this Deck the Halls sheet music – I love when this time of year rolls around, and can’t wait to get into Christmas music, so hopefully you enjoy it as well. 🙂