Features of the Songbook
“Features of the Songbook,” Children’s Songbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 301–3
Metronome markings are given in the left corner above each song as a guideline for the tempo. The metronome measures beats per minute. For example, the marking below tells you that it is appropriate to sing the song between 56 and 72 beats per minute (one quarter note per beat).
If you do not have a metronome, use a watch or clock with a second hand. The second hand will measure 60 beats or seconds per minute. Use this rate as a point of reference. For example, if the marking is 120, you would figure two beats per second.
The purpose of an introduction to a song is to introduce or review the melody and give the beginning pitch. There are many ways to play an introduction. If the song is short, the entire song may be played. Playing the entire song as an introduction is especially appropriate for prayer songs. If the song is long, the first and last word phrases may be played. For each song, brackets indicating a suggested introduction are given above the melody line if the song does not have a written introduction.
Some fingering is suggested to show one possible way to reach melody notes and chords. The fingering numbers are generally to the left of and slightly below the notes. Fingering helps to locate the beginning hand position, shows when to change position, and also suggests ways to play difficult passages.
The songs in this book include chord symbols that you can use to harmonize the melodies of the songs. The chords indicated may not always correspond exactly with the written accompaniment, but they provide simplified harmony.
Letters representing standard chords are written above the accompaniment of most songs. Chord notation is helpful if you prefer to play the melody of a song with the right hand and chord with the left hand (see the chart on page 302).
If you are chording on a keyboard, play only the melody with your right hand and the chords with your left hand. Some electronic keyboards will allow you to play chords by pressing buttons provided for that purpose.
Play the same chord until a change is given. If a chord symbol appears in parentheses, the chord change is optional. If you are unfamiliar with any of the chords, you may wish to copy the chord chart so that you can place it next to a song you want to play.
If you are just learning to chord, you may want to play the following songs: “A Special Gift Is Kindness” (p. 145), “I Am Glad for Many Things” (p. 151), “Stand for the Right” (p. 159), and “I Pledge Myself to Love the Right” (p. 161).
This chart shows only the chords used in the songbook. All chords are major unless the chord letter is followed by an m (minor), dim (diminished), or aug (augmented). The augmented chords are grouped together at the bottom of the chart. The number 6 or 7 adds a note to the basic chord. Some of the chords are simplified, and this chord chart sometimes shows the inverted position of the chord that falls within the octave below middle C.
In a guitar chord diagram, the vertical lines represent strings, and the horizontal lines represent frets. The dots show where to place the fingers of the left hand.
When a number appears to the left of the diagram, the chord position begins on that fret. In this example, the position of the index finger is shown to be on the sixth fret down on the guitar.
An x above a string indicates that the guitarist should not sound that string while playing the chord. An o is an “open” string, one that is played but not fingered. A bar shows that one finger should hold down more than one string.
It is possible to play some songs in easier keys by transposing or by using a capo (a guitar attachment). For example, songs in the difficult key of F may be played more easily down one half step in the simpler key of E; songs in the key of B-flat may be transposed to A, and so on.
Although the chart shows the chords for keyboard and chord diagrams for guitar, the chord symbols can also be used for other instruments, such as the autoharp. Keep in mind that piano is the standard instrument for Primary.^ Back to top