The first thing to be aware of with this piece is the 3/4 time signature. Except for the very last part of the song, everything will remain in 3/4 time. Before you start learning the piece, make sure you can properly identify the time signature when listening along to the full track. Don't know what a 3/4 time signature is? Go ahead and check out this lesson. Also, the overall key of this song is in E minor.
In bars 1 through 4, we'll be repeating a muted percussive sequence that follows the main melody of the "Carol of the Bells" song. All those "X" markings that you see in the tab represent muted notes (dead notes). Also, if you look at the notation, you'll notice that we have a quarter note, then 2 eighth notes, then another quarter note in each bar. If you were to count these notes out loud, it would go something like this:
| One Two and Three | One Two and Three | One Two and Three |
When you play these muted notes, simply rest your fret-hand fingers lightly on the strings so no notes ring out. When you strum the strings, all you should hear is a simple "click" sound.
Starting in bar 5, we'll begin playing the actual melody on the Low E string. Then in bar 9, you'll go up two octaves to play the melody on the G string.
Have it down? Head on over to the next page for Part 2!