What Christmas Means To Me

Stevie Wonder’s 1967 classic Christmas hit “What Christmas Means To Me” demonstrates what a beast Jamerson was in the lower fret positions. It is also a good example of how Jamerson would sometimes stretch the left hand beyond the standard 3-fret fingering span discussed in the previous post while still only using fingers 1, 2, and 4. For example check out the main riff at the key change transcribed below:

What Xmas Means in Db

Here Jamerson likely plays the ascending Db arpeggio by stretching over a four-fret span to grab the Ab on the G string. From here the stretching continues between fret 1 and 4: from the Ab on fret 1 to the syncopated Gb’s on fret 4 and then back to fret 1 for the Bb on the A string. By using this fingering, not only is Jamerson able to stay in this lower fret position, he is able to maintain the right-hand feel of the string crossings used over the main riff in C. Compare the string crossings of the Db example above with the riff in C transcribed below.

What Xmas Means in C

We won’t do a play-by-play for the whole tune, but see if you can spot other instances where similar left-hand stretching may be used. I hope you enjoy the full transcription! Much more to come in the new year.

WHAT CHRISTMAS MEANS TO ME – Transcription (Standard Notation)


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