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Praise & Worship: Guitar Series for Beginners – Part 2

Updated on August 29, 2014
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Chords, chords, there are so many chords to learn.

Did you know that there are four moveable shapes that you can utilize to play any basic major or minor chord! Isn't that awesome!?! This opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

So what are we waiting for!?! Let's get started!!

Encouraging scripture for this lesson

Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. – Psalm 150:1-6

Assumptions

This lesson assumes that you are fluent in guitar fundamentals such as proper hand posturing and beginning guitar techniques. Starting off with these fundamentals ensures that you don’t pick up bad habits along the way. It’s always good to start off with the fundamentals before proceeding to more advanced techniques.

Do a search on the Internet for keywords such as “beginning guitar”, “beginning guitar hand posture”, “beginning guitar proper techniques”, “beginning guitar bad habits to avoid”


Part 1 of the series can be found here.

Challenges you will face as a guitarist

If you’ve ever been on a worship team, one thing that is inevitable, the worship leader will distribute new music with unfamiliar chords. Here are a few things you may experience:

  1. You know most of the chords but some are unfamiliar to you.
  2. You discover that the unfamiliar chord(s) are difficult to smoothly transition into.
  3. There just isn’t enough time before practice to learn the chord(s) proficiently.

Root Notes

I highly recommend memorizing the root notes on the E and A strings (first 12 frets). Once these have been committed to memory, you will easily be able to take advantage of the barre chords that we will be covering in this lesson. Below, I’ve included a handy chart that you can use for reference.

Got to love barre chords!

One of the great challenges of playing guitar is learning the various chords shapes that a song may require. Some of the chords, like F, can really be a challenge for guitarists. This is especially true when trying to smoothly change from one chord to another. The great thing about barre chords is they are totally moveable. So basically, if you learn a barre chord shape, you can use that shape to play many chords – just by sliding that shape up and down the neck of the guitar.

Barre Chords

How it all Works

Let’s look at an example of how to utilize a barre chord by playing a G chord. By studying the “Root Note”, in the chart above, we see that the G root note is on the 3 fret of the E string (low). In this example, we’re going to use the E form barre shape to play the G chord.

So if we hold this same shape and move it down to the 5th fret we have an A chord. Guess what!?! If we move the same shape down to the 7th fret we have a B chord and so on…

We can repeat this as well with the other barre chord shapes.

Acoustic Guitar vs Electric Guitar

The same theory, in this tutorial, applies to both acoustic and electric guitar. Barre chords, in most cases, are easier to play on electric guitar.

My Practice Routine

One of my goals, as a guitarist, is to be able to smoothly transition between all 4 barre chord shapes. This really opens up the door to many possibilities. The beautiful thing about barre chords is that it brings a new dynamic to the music you’re playing. For example, If I’m playing electric, I don’t have play the same chords (high up on the neck) that the acoustic might be playing. You’ll now be able to fully utilize the entire neck.

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