On Top of Old Smokey free kids sheet music with easy guitar tabs, and now with an easy Middle-C version for beginner piano also! The silly and fun kids' song, "On Top of Spaghetti," uses this tune. I loved singing it when I was a kid! Somehow the words seemed incredibly clever in those long-ago days...
The lyrics of "On Top of Spaghetti" are under copyright, so I can't give you free sheet music which includes those words, but you can still enjoy a video (one among many on Youtube!) regaling the adventure of the sneeze-propelled meatball:
Here is what the free kids sheet music looks like with its easy guitar tabs:
I like this song best in the key of C. Even though the F chord is not a favorite of beginner guitar players, they need the practice. If you use G7 instead of G, the three chords line up nicely and require little shifting, a neat thing to point out to your students if they haven't done this before.
Even "little" chords, the three-string chords, can be used in this song. Playing a 3-string F chord is not too intimidating, especially when the C and G7 are so easy. (See my Big Guitar Chords page, which talks about 3-string chords.)
Another neat thing to try is mixing the melody, or parts of the melody, with chord strumming. (This is easiest, I think, in the key of C.)
Thus, the song goes "On TOP of Old SMO- (strum-strum) - KEY (strum strum, STRUM strum) all COV-ered with SNOW (strum strum, STRUM strum strum, STRUM strum)" etc. My favorite strum pattern for this 3-beat song, however, is a "BASS strum strum".
If you play this melody in the key of D, it makes a good example for your student of how some songs are much easier to play in second position - using finger 1 in the 2nd fret, finger 2 in the 3rd fret, etc.
Here is the piano version for Middle C area note-readers:
You may notice 3 things:
This song LOOKS so easy. But it isn't! That's because of all the skips. Take it slow and focus on the notereading.
My favorite video of the tune for this free kids sheet music is a rather out-of-focus rendition of "On Top of SPAGHETTI:"
Do you have a story or a question about teaching guitar? Do you think it is a hard instrument for beginners, or easy? What have been your challenges?
Please note that all comments are moderated, and will not appear until I have approved them. Also, IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR MUSIC THAT IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, YOUR REQUEST WILL BE IGNORED. That's pretty much any music written in the last 75 years...