There’s a running joke that I often hear (mostly from friends) which goes something along the lines of, “to be a worship leader, you only need to know 4 chords on the guitar”. If I’m honest, like many jokes it’s funny because it’s true! You don’t necessarily need to be a classically trained musician with grade-8 music theory and perfect pitch in order to lead worship (if you did, I certainly wouldn’t make the cut).
However as a guitarist, I actually love finding out new chords.
Whenever I’m around musicians, I’ll be watching how they play and trying to spot any interesting chords that they use. I’ll often take a note and then try them out at home. It’s also fun when you’re playing your instrument and hit a wrong note, but accidentally stumble across a new chord that sounds pretty good!
Since I first started playing guitar, one of my favourite things to do has been to go through songbooks and to pick out new worship songs that I want to learn. I’ll often start by learning the chords, then the lyrics and then simply spend time worshipping God with those songs. Some of the most helpful songbooks feature guitar chord diagrams (small pictures that teach you exactly how to position your fingers on a guitar fretboard in order to play a chord).
I’ve recently been working on a resource for anyone that’s interested in guitar. Guitar Chords is a document featuring a selection of chords that I use most regularly within worship. The first page shows you exactly how to read chord diagrams so anyone can learn. The following pages feature basic guitar chords, advanced guitar chords and there’s also a capo conversion chart so you can learn how to use a capo in order to transpose into any key.
Lastly, do check out our Soundcloud page where you can listen to 3 home-grown worship songs that we’ve recently introduced at church. Or check out our Spotify page where you can hear a wider selection songs that we use on Sundays.