The Little Drummer Boy

Christmas song
First published in 1941
Words by the American composer Katherine Kennicott Davis

First lines in the song:
Come, they told me pa-rum pum pum pum
Our newborn King to see, pa-rum pum pum pum


The Little Drummer Boy guitar tab and notes (pdf)

tabs tabs & notes


The Little Drummer Boy instrumental guitar (mp3)

The Little Drummer Boy - guitar tab and notes

“The Little Drummer Boy” is a well-known Christmas carol, it is also known as “Carol of the Drum”. The lyrics is written by Katherine Kennicott Davis.

The Little Drummer Boy (full accompaniment)

"The Little Drummer Boy" for guitar with full accompaniment. Free download in pdf-file and audio.

The Little Drummer Boy guitar accompaniment

The Little Drummer Boy (only melody)

"The Little Drummer Boy" tablature for guitar. This version doesn't include notes, se pdf versions above for notes.

The Little Drummer Boy tabs

Tips on how to learn this song

Notice the structure, which to some extent is AABBCC, meaning the bars 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 has most resemblances with each other. The key is C major, but one exception is the B flat note in bar 15. What makes this melody relatively easy to learn is the fact that only two strings are involved (the song can be transposed to the higher strings, see the full accompaniment version above). One of the challenges is to vary the slow and faster tempo throughout the song.

The Little Drummer Boy (Drop D)

"The Little Drummer Boy" in Drop D tuning (DADGBE). Free download in pdf-file.

The Little Drummer Boy (Drop D)

Key, time, tuning and tempo

Information about "The Little Drummer Boy" considering musical key, time signature, tuning and bpm.

Key signature music symbol


The (tab) version of The Little Drummer Boy is played in the key of C.

Time signature music symbol

Time signature

The song is played in 4/4 tempo (counted one, two, three, four for each measure).

Tuning overview


The song is normally played in standard tuning (EADGBE).

BPM symbol and numbers

Tempo (BPM)

The tempo in beats per minute is 120 for the presented version.

Tags: Drop D tuning