Last updated on November 17th, 2023
The song What Child Is This is a Christmas carol written by William Chatterton Dix which uses the same melody as Greensleeves. In this post, we’ll cover the guitar chords for this song, sheet music for the melody including tabs, and finally look at a fingerstyle arrangement.
Grab your guitar and let’s get started!
*Advanced Beginner Level
How to read the guitar chord charts
To clarify how to read the chord charts, the top horizontal line represents the high E string and the bottom horizontal line represents the low E string. The vertical lines separate each fret. The numbers in the blue dots tell you which fingers to use on the fretting hand.
For example, on the A minor chord, you use the:
- 1st finger on the 2nd string, 1st fret
- 2nd finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret
- 3rd finger on the 3rd string, 2nd fret
- Circles represent open strings
- X means to avoid the string
If needed, check out this link for more on how to read guitar notation symbols.
What Child Is This guitar chords
Try the following chords one at a time until you feel comfortable switching between them.
These chords will be written above the melody in the next section.
Here are some other resources on chords:
- What are the first chords you should learn on guitar?
- 6 tips to get better at switching between chords on guitar.
- How to play chord inversions on guitar
What Child Is This guitar tabs and chords
For the sheet music below, keep in mind that the chords and melody are meant to be played as separate parts. We’ll look at how to connect these parts later in the arrangement section of this post.
You can refer to this simple guide to understanding music symbols if needed.
By the way, you can get all the PDF’s of this song below.
What Child Is This lyrics
What Child is this, who laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ, the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading. (Chorus)
So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come, peasant, king to own Him.
The King of kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone Him. (Chorus)
Reference: What Child Is This. Hymnary.org
What Child Is This – guitar arrangement
In this section, we essentially put different parts together using a finger picking style method of playing. Note that, some new chords are added and changed to create the following arrangement.
The numbers near some notes on the top staff indicate which fingers to use on the fretting hand.
If you like this style of playing, check out this post to learn how to connect a melody and chords on guitar.
Want to learn more songs? Check out the sheet music with guitar tabs resource on this site.
All the best,
JG Music Lessons