Acoustic Guitar Worship

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You can use an external pre-amp, DI, or acoustic processor. This is a no brainer but you would be surprised how often a guitar can get out of tune.

And when your guitar is out of tune, everyone knows. Tune your guitar before and after each song if your able and not causing a distraction. You can use a clip on guitar tuner or a floor tuner but whatever your flavor, just make sure your staying in tune. Strumming is an absolutely crucial key in acoustic rhythm and dynamics. It may take you practicing everyday, but it will be well worth your time.


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Listen to the songs your going to be playing for dominate rhythms and use those in your playing as well. Those are both bad ideas. If your using strings without a coating, change them at minimum once a month. Worship guitar lesson — Substitute chords in C.

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Worship bass lesson — In Christ Alone. Im looking for the ideal balanced guitar that sounds warm, punchy with good strong but not overpowering muddy bass and clear strong distinct trebles and a good punchy midrange. Yep, great question, and I think something a lot of guitarists have pondered, but yes very difficult to answer. If it was just one guitar I would look for something that balances well between strumming and finger picking. One of the biggest factors in that are the overall tone woods you use.

Maple is very bright and so great for strumming and cedar is very warm so good for finger picking.

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Rosewood adds depth, which is why many classic guitars combine well known recipe wood combos. Body size and depth too makes a difference. If you have a smaller or less experienced band you may want a thicker tone to drive the groove and keep everyone in check. There is definitely a movement from piano driven worship, to guitar driven worship.

One area that I encourage young guitar playing worship leaders to grow in is to listen to the drum lines in music. Listening to different styles of music and focusing on the percussive aspects will help you to develop strum patters that can really add to the overall feel of a song. What goes right along with that is the ability to create a more sensitive and intimate atmosphere in worship by learning to fingerpick.

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Soft strumming and plucking the strings, with your fingers or with a pick, can drastically change the dynamic of worship. Having a variety of strum patterns and rhythms in your arsenal, allows you to have a wide dynamic range without using any effects. Most people find it very easy to worship, while playing the guitar. This is the main thing you need to learn when beginning to lead worship with your acoustic.


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  • Use it in your personal devotional time, as well as, in preparation for leading your congregation. Find time to just play your guitar and worship for no other reason than to focus on the Lord. When my twin boys were little, they would not stay in their room at bedtime.

    Unless we posted a guard at the door, the kids would be running around upstairs; so, I had to sit at the top of the stairs until they went to sleep. After sitting there for several nights, I started to bring my acoustic to the top of the stairs and just worship God as I sat vigil. A couple of things happened during those years. I had some amazing worship times with the Lord and the boys actually stayed in bed because they could hear me right outside their room.

    Tim is an awesome bass player and Jon is a great drummer. I often wonder if the time that I spent worshiping the Lord on my guitar outside of their room in those early years had any impact on them. A Few Pitfalls Unless you have a game plan, it can be difficult to lead a band while playing the guitar. Unlike leading from the keyboard, playing guitar requires the use of both hands; therefore, hand signals can become very difficult.

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    You need to establish good communication, especially with your keyboard player. Transition between songs can be a little more difficult for a guitar player, especially for those who have not been playing very long and have yet to add the more difficult chords to your list of tools.

    Depending on the key you are playing in, or what key you are wanting to transition to, means knowing or learning chords that can be difficult, especially for the young player.

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    Keyboard players have the ability to play melody and harmony lines simultaneously, while this is virtually impossible for the guitarist. The last pitfall that I want to address is that there will be times where you will need to lead a song that was written for piano or is written in a key that is hard to play in. These issues take a little more time to resolve, but this is where building a TEAM comes in.

    As a leader you have to know what your gift is and what you can and cannot do.

    Leading Worship on Acoustic Guitar | Technologies for Worship Magazine

    Your choice is to either rearrange these songs or have your keyboard player be the lead instrument. What I have attempted to do here, is to address the pros and cons of leading on the acoustic guitar. These things have to work together to be an effective guitar playing worship leader. Processing this will be slightly different depending on your circumstance. Are you a guitar player, becoming a worship leader, or a worship leader becoming a guitar player? I played in several semi-professional bands in Upstate New York as a teenager and even played and sang at the same time, but this is vastly different from leading worship.

    As a worship leader, you have to be constantly aware of the band around you, the vocal team, and most importantly, the congregation. Then there is the scenario where you have been a worship leader and are working on your guitar skills. Here you have a much harder road, because you are working on skill level issues and your focus will be on the technical aspects of your playing until you get some years under your belt.