‘Tis the season for Christmas music and today I have a beautiful Christmas song to share with you. I’ll get you set up with everything you need to play Silent Night on the piano.
You do need some basic piano skills to play this song, so if you’re just getting started at the piano, see this post called Your First Piano Lesson.
This version of Silent Night by Will Baily isn’t too difficult to play and it has a beautiful backing track that makes the music come to life.
You could definitely play this music without the backing track, but I highly recommend playing along with the music. Not only is it beautiful and fun to play with, but it will also help you to play with correct timing and musical expressions.
Here’s how to get started:
- Enter your email address here to get the free sheet music and audio files sent to your inbox.
- Watch the videos below to learn how to practice.
Alright, let’s get to work!
Watch this video of the entire song.
If you’re comfortable reading music, you won’t have any problem learning the music.
If you’re still new to reading notation, I’ll show you a few tricks to make it easier.
We’ll start with the left hand. The left hand has 3 different patterns that it plays.
The first one is called 1-5-8. With this pattern, your hand will span an octave, and your finger 2 will land on the 5th note up, so 1 is your lowest note played with your finger 5, then you reach up to the 5th note with finger 2 and to the 8th note, or octave with finger 1.
Here’s a video demonstrating how to play that.
The next pattern we’ll see several times is the same as 1-5-8, except at the end, your finger 2 will cross over and walk up 2 more consecutive notes. You can see that here:
There’s one exception that is a little different. On the second page, there is a 1-5-8 walkover starting on D. For that one, cross over with your finger 3 so that you can reach the black key a little more easily.
At the very end of the song, you’ll see a couple of patterns that may appear be 1-5-8, but really the final note is a bit higher than the octave. It’s 10 away from the starting note. To play this pattern, you’ll have to release your lowest note and pivot with your 2nd finger in order to reach it, like this:
Put It All Together
Once you’ve got the hang of all of the different possibilities in the left hand, try playing all of the left hand along with the backing track.
Here’s a little clip of what that’s like:
Many people have an easier time playing the right hand than the left hand. And, since this is such a familiar melody, you’ll know if it sounds right.
A couple of little pointers:
The first line of the right hand is moving in 6ths. This means that once you find your starting notes, you hand can maintain it’s position as you move between notes.
The 3rd and 4th lines are moving in 3rds. You’ll want to consistently use the same fingers as you play these notes. Here’s what I suggest:
Once you’re comfortable with the right hand notes, go ahead and try playing the right hand alone along with the backing track.
Now you’re ready to practice both hands together. Take your time on this. It will likely feel too slow at first, but that’s ok.
When both hands start to feel comfortable playing together, you can try playing both hands along with the music.
When you’re playing along with the music, it’s completely normal if you’re having trouble keeping up. When this happens, do your best to jump ahead and catch up. If that’s too difficult, keep practicing without the audio file and try again soon.