A Guitar Christmas, Gary Hoey, Deck the Halls

Ho Ho Hoey!

Gary made a name for himself with his Ho Ho Hoey Christmas recordings. I have to say I had mixed feelings on Mr. Hoey in his early days. As great a player as he is, he never truly inspired me the way Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai and other players did. I didn’t find him as original or unique.

Over the years I have come to really like and respect his playing. He is a great studio guitarist/composer and has carved a serious niche for himself. He writes for NASCAR, MLB and other high-caliber entertainment genres.

He is also featured on many videos. I was lucky enough to have one of my songs, “Sunny & 70,” follow one of his on a surf movie a few years ago, “Sea Level Pressure.”

This version of Deck the Halls is in typical Hoey fashion. Takes a melody and adds his own spin to it. This piece is a little heavier than some of his others but worth a listen, Enjoy!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

Well it’s definitely that time already in the music teaching biz!

If you are like me, you know it is way too early for Christmas music, at least for listening. However, with student performances and CD recording projects coming up SOON it has been my experience that the day after Halloween needs to be the official start of practicing holiday music.

Gotta love the Frank Sinatra Christmas Songbook…has NOTHING to do with him other than the picture on the cover.


For those looking for music I strongly recommend the FJH series of Methods and Xmas books. I’ve been using them for 7 plus years now. Their books are a bit more contemporary than the ol’ standards. My students laugh cause I know what page every song is on….they test me but they never trick me.

Tips on practicing for the holidays…

-Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Pick one or two songs with arrangements at your skill level. Learn those and then dive into another. If you start too many at one time you might burn out and lose your steam.

-Practice at least one song you play the notes or tab and a couple with just chords. People love to sing their favorites this time of the year and you can strum away and accompany them.

-Have fun!! Making music with others is a blast. Be confident, but, don’t take it too seriously!

BONUS TIP: Unless you are really comfortable sight-reading make copies of the songs you intend to play and leave the book at home! If you have the book people WILL start to browse and make requests which can be an uncomfortable situation for beginners.

Good luck with the guitar this holiday season!

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Guitar for your holiday events