How to Play Carol Of The Bells by Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych (Guitar Lesson)

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Chris Liepe

Carol Of The Bells

Ladies and gentlemen of JamPlay, we are proud to introduce a new instructor by the name of Chris Liepe. Chris has masterfully crafted a wicked rendition of "Carol Of The Bells" for this lesson. Here he teaches the melody, some lead guitar ideas, and some crushing drop D riffs. Chris has brought a holiday classic to us worthy of 21st century play. Enjoy this one and rock your socks off this season!

Taught by Chris Liepe in Songs with Chris Liepe seriesLength: 25:00Difficulty: 4.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (25:00) Carol of the Bells Summary
This is a short, different take on an old Christmas favorite utilizing the use of natural and harmonic minor scales, chromatic and pentatonic scales, and arpeggios. Legato playing, alternate picking, and sweep picking are among the techniques used to create the phrasing and overall feel of the tune.

I have included a measure-by-measure transcription of the rhythm guitar as well as some scale and arpeggio shapes and ideas for the lead guitar. Please reference the video for a step-by-step breakdown of the guitar solo.

I have also included a few different versions of the backing track for you to practice with. There is the full mix, and then there is a version without the lead, one without the rhythm and one with just the drum sequencing and bass. Have fun!

The Opening Riff
This is a shameless pentatonic groove played on a Telecaster on the bridge pickup to give it that throaty sound. Use a little less overdrive than you might think. With the exception of the middle section of this tune (measures 21 - 26) and the ending (a measure of 9/8) I've put this traditionally 3/8 feeling song into 4/4 time. This makes for some nice 3/4 over 4/4 phrasing between the melody and leads and the rhythm section. Note that in measures 14 and 32, there is a Major 3rd sound instead of a minor third sound.

The Harmonics
This is achieved by playing between the 1st and 2nd frets on the 3rd string. I'm moving my finger around over the string and trying to get a little melody going that consists of "A" (the 5th) "G" (4th) and "F" (m3rd). You'll need a lot of gain and a bridge humbucker to make this section work!

The Solo
This was played on an Ibanez RG Prestige with a Floyd Rose setup through Digidesign's ELEVEN software amp. I also have a dual delay effect (one with a triplet feel and one with a quarter note feel) synced to the tempo of the song. I am also switching frequently between my neck humbucker and my bridge humbucker to darken or brighten the sound for specific licks. (refer to the video and reference tracks)

Scales, arpeggios, and other ideas explained
Figure 1: This is the primary position of the d minor scale used in the guitar solo and melody. I've opted to not use the 1st string for this scale because it allows more control of the vibrato on the higher notes when played on the 2nd string. This scale is also played with the occasional blues tone and is frequently reduced to a straight minor pentatonic

Figure 2: This arrangement goes in and out of the harmonic minor scale quite a bit. Part of the fun of playing the song is that you can be playing around the harmonic minor sound and throw in some blues-influenced notes and phrasing at the same time. The position used here works well for working in some of the chromatic legato lines used around measure 23 of the song.

Figure 3: C Major Arpeggio... When placed appropriately over the d minor groove, playing this C Major Arpeggio creates sort of a dm11 sound. It takes you outside just a little. Here's how it works: If you look at a C Major triad, you have "C, E and G" which, when looked at in the context of a d minor chord you have "C" as the m7 "E" as the 9th, and "G" as the 11th tone. It works in the context of blowing past it and working back to a straight d minor sound, but, because we're not including the m3, it wouldn't work to well to dwell on it for real long over a d minor chord.

Figure 4: This line is the basis for the alternate picked run in measures 33 and 34. I've thrown in some chromatic and well as blues tones to build the tension for the final ascending harmonic minor line at the end. The 4 note phrasing helps make it easier to play up to tempo to get that "flying bumble" bee type sound.

Figure 5: We're back to the dm11 sound with the arpeggio but this time we're borrowing from an F Major 7 shape. Unlike the use of the C major arpeggio over the d minor, this phrasing includes the m3 (15th fret "F" on the 4th string) giving it a more distinct minor sound. Because the m3 is included, you could dwell on this note grouping for a longer period of time over the d minor.

I hope you enjoyed this first lesson. I look forward to meeting and getting to know all of you! Until next time...

Video Subtitles / Captions


Comments

Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


Manzo 99Manzo 99 replied

great work, in this chris is the bass just doing what you do with the tele?

debartdebart replied

Awesome!

siegbsiegb replied

It pleases my ears-good stuff!

gone workingone workin replied

Groovy writ large. Welcome. Great lesson and great production.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Sounds great Chris! Welcome!

tammy7689tammy7689 replied

welcome chris...awesome lesson

J.artmanJ.artman replied

Awesome lesson Chris! Welcome to Jamplay!

joel13joel13 replied

Chirs, please tell me you do live sessions...

Chris.LiepeChris.Liepe replied

Joel13- Hopefully will be starting Live Q&A in January. See you there!

nessanessa replied

SWEEEET! Welcome, Chris!

jboothjbooth replied

Great lesson Chris, WELCOME!

Songs with Chris Liepe

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Chris Liepe is an amazingly versatile player and teacher. With a background that includes professional recording and mixing, piano playing and guitar Chris brings a unique perspective to his lessons.



Carol Of The BellsLesson 1

Carol Of The Bells

Ladies and gentlemen of JamPlay, we are proud to introduce a new instructor by the name of Chris Liepe. Chris has masterfully crafted a wicked rendition of "Carol Of The Bells" for this lesson. Here he...

Length: 25:00 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Where Did You Sleep Last NightLesson 2

Where Did You Sleep Last Night

Chris brings his ingenuity to this lesson on the American folk song called "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" Also known as "Black Girl" or "In The Pines," this song provides a great opportunity to add...

Length: 26:06 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Heartbreak HotelLesson 3

Heartbreak Hotel

Chris Liepe teaches both the original version of "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis as well as his own improvised version.

Length: 65:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Love SomeoneLesson 4

Love Someone

Chris Liepe brings forward this monster lesson on his original song entitled "Love Someone."

Length: 73:18 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Inside OutLesson 5

Inside Out

Chris Liepe teaches the EVE 6 song "Inside Out." Here, Chris demonstrates every aspect of the song.

Length: 93:59 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
At Least We're DreamingLesson 6

At Least We're Dreaming

Chris presents an explosive and extensive lesson on the EVE 6 song entitled "At Least We're Dreaming." Here Chris covers the main guitar parts as well as the additional overdubs. Also included is an acoustic...

Length: 54:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Here's To The NightLesson 7

Here's To The Night

Chris Liepe breaks down "Here's To The Night" by Eve 6. Here, Chris uses the acoustic guitar to replace the orchestral sequencing featured in the original recording of the song.

Length: 57:06 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Little Drummer BoyLesson 8

Little Drummer Boy

Imagine the music stylings of Switchfoot, Queen, and Audioslave all wrapped up into a timeless holiday favorite.

Length: 68:28 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
You've Got Another Thing Comin'Lesson 9

You've Got Another Thing Comin'

Chris Liepe breaks down this classic Judas Priest song.

Length: 61:01 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Breaking The LawLesson 10

Breaking The Law

Chris Liepe teaches a classic Judas Priest song entitled "Breaking The Law." Chris introduces this very catchy song in a way that is perfect for beginners. If it's your favorite song and you already know...

Length: 39:17 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
I Hate Everything About YouLesson 11

I Hate Everything About You

Welcome to Chris Liepe's demonstration of "I Hate Everything About You" by Three Days Grace! This is a fantastic beginner song that introduces drop D tuning.

Length: 43:14 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Long Way DownLesson 12

Long Way Down

Chris Liepe takes an in depth look at the song "Long Way Down" by the Goo Goo Dolls. This song is a great example of how to write simple, powerful, guitar-driven songs like those that were very popular...

Length: 53:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Living After MidnightLesson 13

Living After Midnight

Chris Liepe demonstrates this fantastic 80's rock song entitled "Living After Midnight" by Judas Priest. This song has some great entry level information for anyone who is looking to step up his/her rock...

Length: 34:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
How You Remind MeLesson 14

How You Remind Me

Chris Liepe teaches the classic Nickelback song "How You Remind Me" from their 2001 album entitled Silver Side Up.

Length: 35:58 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
1,2,3,4Lesson 15

1,2,3,4

Chris Liepe teaches this acoustic Plain White T's song simply titled "1,2,3,4". This is a simple song, however it offers a great opportunity to work with a second acoustic player to add layers and character...

Length: 37:03 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Hip To Be SquareLesson 16

Hip To Be Square

Welcome to Chris Liepe's rendition of the song "Hip To Be Square" by Huey Lewis and the News! Chris utilizes this song to show how playing sax lines on guitar can result in a rockin' guitar solo. Enjoy!

Length: 51:50 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
YouLesson 17

You

The song "You" by the artist Candlebox was released in 1994 and presents some very catchy rhythm parts as well as a wicked guitar solo that will allow a beginner player to get a taste of some intermediate...

Length: 56:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Let it Go - FrozenLesson 18

Let it Go - Frozen

Chris Liepe has created a very unique guitar rendition of the song "Let it Go" from the movie Frozen. This offers a great look into the world of adapting guitar like sounds into a song that was never originally...

Length: 47:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
America the BeautifulLesson 19

America the Beautiful

What happens when you combine a beautiful, classic melody with modern guitar tone and technique? You get Chris Liepe's version of America the Beautiful! Join Chris as he shares his unique, delay driven...

Length: 28:55 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Chris Liepe

About Chris Liepe View Full Biography Chris Liepe was born on September 17th, 1981 in Portland OR. His first instrument was piano which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. He became fans of such groups as Soundgarden, Collective Soul and U2 inspiring him to start singing, songwriting and helping others in their musical endeavors with teaching, co-writing and album production.

Having moved to Colorado with his family, he began gigging, recording and teaching in a number of music stores as well as out of his apartment until deciding to pursue music full time. He moved to Denver, CO to complete a Bachelors in Music Technology and was then hired on by Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me. He also wrote for and played on numerous independent albums and hundreds of radio/TV commercials.

Wanting to get back to his favorite State in the world (Colorado) and feeling the urge to 'go freelance', Chris moved to Greeley, CO and opened his own recording and teaching studio. He continues to write and produce music for artists and agencies and is happy to be among the proud JamPlay.com instructors.

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