What Child Is This – guitar chords, melody with tabs, and fingerstyle arrangement

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 you can use for this song, sheet music for the melody including tabs, and finally look at a fingerstyle arrangement.

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

The guitar chords you can use for What Child Is This are A minor, G/B, C MajorG MajorE minorF Major, and E Major. You can click on the chords with links to learn different ways of playing that chord.

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.

What Child Is This guitar chords

Here are some other resources on chords:

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.

What Child Is This tablature and chords

What Child Is This lyrics

Verse 1:
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!

Verse 2:
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)

Verse 3:
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.

What Child Is This fingerstyle guitar arrangement

If you like this style of playing, check out this post to learn how to connect a melody and chords on guitar.

Get the free guitar practice guide here!

Want to learn more songs? Check out the sheet music with guitar tabs resource on this site.

All the best,


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