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How to play "Last Christmas": For Beginners with Easy Note Sheets

You want to play "Last Christmas" but youare a beginner on your instrument? Or you want a nice Christmas song for your little students in music school?

Many students (and yes also a lot of children) want to play "Last Christmas" by Wham!. Since the melody is actually not that easy to play, we put together a step by step guide to having fun with this song.

It includes two versions: one very simplified and one with the original rhythm. Getting this melody stuck in your head is guaranteed!



Learn "Last Christmas" Step by Step

  1. Listen to song

  2. Play simplified version

  3. Check fingering and technique

  4. Listen to song again and compare rhythms

  5. Try the proper version

  6. Check rhythm

  7. Play to the original song


1. Listen to song

Your first step should be to listen to the original song. You can use this YouTube-Link for example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8gmARGvPlI


Even if you already know the song, listen again. What's important for this version here is only the chorus ("Last Christmas, I gave you my heart...").


Extra-Tip:

If you can sing along to the chorus without the music running it will improve your playing later!



2. Play simplified version

Download this simplified version for the song and get your instrument ready:


Last Christmas - Wham! Simple Sheet Music Free PDF


What is made simpler here?

First of all we only play the first two lines of the song. Then we made the rhythm simpler so it is easier for music beginners to play the song off the sheet. There are no dotted notes or single eighth notes anymore.


What's the first step?

Just try to play the notes, one after the other, so you know where they are on your instrument. The rhythm and correct note lengths can come right as the second step.



3. Check fingering and technique

After the first few rounds you should check if you play the notes the "smart way" check, where you should put your fingers, what changes make the most sense and which fingers to use in general.



4. Listen to song again and compare rhythms

Before you start practicing the "proper version" of the song, check again the original recording. What do you play different in terms of rhythm? Listening and comparing again improves your listening skills and make you more focused for the rhythm changes in the next version.



5. Try proper version

Download the "proper version" that has the real rhythms, as they are sung in the song:




What's the first step?

If you know the song very well and can maybe sing it correctly too, playing the right rhythm will be easier. Maybe you've even done it correctly with the "simplified version" before.

If you haven't and need some help from the notes, check the changed note values: Now there are some notes that are longer (dotted notes) or shorter (some that were quarters before are now eighths).



6. Check rhythm

Playing with a metronome and marking the beats might help you here too. Check fo yourself where are the "main beats" (1, 2, 3, 4), the pulse of the song. You know, the way you would clap along. Then be really sure that you keep the notes where they are.


What's most important?

Don't wait too long to play the next notes and don't play some of the notes too fast, just because they are eighth notes for example. Playing with a regular pulse (like the metronome) and keeping the tempo is what will make that song sound groovy!



7. Play to original song

A final step can be to play to the original tempo. Since the chorus appears many times during the song you can just let the song play and join in with the important parts. After all: you only know that you can really play a song if you can play it like the original. Or you make a version of your own. :-)




Sources and Links

Photo 1 from PAUPA

 

How can I find more music activities?

Find more ideas for music games, note sheets and useful printables on our website: https://www.paupa.org


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