Sleigh Ride

Tis the season once again. I love Christmas! This is one of the tunes from my Christmas CD "Christmas... At Last". This is the song "Sleigh Ride". I do it in a pretty heavy way (must of been a fast sleigh!) It is mostly picking, with a few hammer-ons and pull-offs notated. It is broken into sections rather than measures, so try to learn one section at a time. The first entire line is repeated, and the repeat measure signs in the second line tell you to repeat the previous lick. The last lick is a series of hammer-ons and pull-offs and has a right hand tap on the 12th fret. I only used the right hand tap because it seemed like the best way to get that note and keep it all sounding fluid.

Since I tabbed it out with no rhythm notation, you will have to know the tune, or click below to hear how it goes. (Remember, the audio file is just a low fidelity sound sample, so it doesn't sound as good as the CD, but will let you hear the melody). I usually use alternate picking for most stuff, but there are a couple of small sweeps in this melody. Like the 6th, 7th and 8th notes. But use your best judgment on what works for you.

MP3 - "Sleigh Ride" Excerpt

It is always fun doing a standard tune your own way. You have to try to come up with something that keeps the integrity of the original melody intact, but also try and add some of yourself to it. I chose to do the Christmas songs on the CD in different ways, but always hopefully making it sound like me!

Monty Colvin (From the Galactic Cowboys) is playing bass on this one, and it was a fairly distorted driving bass tone - very "In your face", so I had to shape the guitar sound around that. The solo section on this one had to be real aggressive since it broke down to just drums and Monty's playing leading into the solo. Try to think in textures as you are recording tunes. One of the things that I try to teach students is to really learn to "hear" the whole tune, not just the guitar part. That way you can put in what fits the "feel" of the song and make the whole greater than the sum of it's parts.
So enjoy this one, and have a Merry Christmas!


Jeff Scheetz is an instrumental rock/blues guitarist based in Kansas City, Missouri, with multiple CDs to his credit.

His Christmas/Holiday project is entitled "Christmas... At Last".

Jeff Scheetz