West Suffolk Vineyard Church Beginners Guitar Course



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West Suffolk Vineyard Church

Beginners Guitar Course

May/June 2013


Content of the Course
Lesson 1

Why are we here?

Guitar basics

D & G chords

Songs: Holy, holy

Blessed be the name of the Lord



Lesson 2

Revise lesson 1 songs

Strum patterns

Em & C chords

Songs: Unchanging

How great is our God



Lesson 3

Revise lesson 2 songs

Transposing

A & Bm chords

Songs: Blessed be Your name

Be the centre



Lesson 4

Revise lesson 3 songs

Dynamics

Am chord


Songs: Unfailing love

Breathe


Lesson 5

Revise lesson 4 songs

Putting a set together

G/B chord

Songs: Draw me close

Here I am to worship


Lesson 6

Revise lesson 5 songs

Where do we go from here.

Lesson One


Why are we here?

Introduction


Welcome to the Beginners guitar course.
The purpose of this course is to teach you how to play guitar to lead worship in a small group or another worship environment.
If you are looking for a technically proficient guitar lesson then this is not it. Our purpose is to give you the confidence that you can play guitar as well and get you going. There are other places that will teach you to be more technically proficient than this course.

The techniques and chords that I teach here are things I have picked up over the last 10 years in order to make my worship leading much easier. I have learnt the hard way that playing the guitar can be easy.

Many people have done this course over the last 10 years.
I’ve seen what it takes to be good at this and the people that are, tend to have adopted some of these qualities;


  • they practice (even just a few minutes a day)

  • they love to worship

  • they don’t let inferiority get the better of them

  • they have a desire to serve others with this

  • they make mistakes

  • they enjoy it and make it fun

  • they never give up

Despite what is commonly thought, we always need more worship leaders in our church. There is always a space to serve somewhere.



Guitar Basics
The Guitar


The Strings



How to hold a guitar

How to hold a pick


There are many ways to hold a pick but you can find a useful guide in how to do this here http://www.wikihow.com/Hold-a-Pick

Chord diagrams

























































































































































D chord G Chord






Note: The chords you are learning are “cheat” chords. This generally means one or more of the fingers in the complete chord have been left out. The sound may not be as full as the complete chord, but it works, and means you will quickly be able to play several songs that we use in worship.



Strumming
We will spend some time on this next week, but it is very important that you keep a steady rhythm when you strum. The easiest way to do this is to begin by tapping one foot. Once you have established a rhythm, imagine that your strumming hand is attached to your foot by a piece of invisible string. Every time your foot hits the ground, strum downwards.


Practising
It is better to do 5 minutes every day than a long time once a week. The main reason is it will hurt your fingers less!
Practise strumming D, then G, then try switching between the 2. It is good to be able to change chords without looking at where your fingers are going, so try changing chords with your eyes closed.
The more you practise, the better you will be become…………..

Holy, Holy

D

       

Holy, Holy, Holy

G

       


Is the Lord God Almighty and

D G


        

The whole earth is full of His glory

D

       



Holy, Holy, Holy

G

       



Is the Lord God Almighty and

D G


        

The whole earth is full of His glory

D G

        



Hallelujah, hallelujah

D G


        

Hallelujah, hallelujah




























































































































































D chord G chord


Blessed be the name of the Lord
D

          

Blessed be the name of the Lord (4x)

G

      



For He is our rock,

G D


          

He is our rock, He is the Lord

G

      



For He is our rock,

G D

          

He is our rock, He is the Lord

D

          

Jesus reigns on high in all the earth (4x)

G

    



The universe

G D


         

Is in the hands of the Lord

G

    



The universe

G D


         

Is in the hands of the Lord
































































































































































D chord G chord


Lesson Two
Strum Patterns

Strumming is the way we strike the strings of the guitar.


Basics:

  1. Make sure you strum directly over the sound hole.

  2. Make sure all the strings are ringing clearly

  3. Be careful not to strum too hard, as this often causes strings to rattle, which produces an undesirable sound
  4. Be careful not to strum too quietly as this will produce a “wimpy” sound. Your pick should be striking the strings with a relatively firm, even strum.


  5. The bilk of the strumming motion should come from a rotation of the wrist, rather than from the forearm. Be sure to keep your wrist relaxed when playing.

Varying the strum pattern:

Downstrokes are indicated by . To begin with, we will play everything with downstrokes only so we can concentrate on the rhythm. However as you become more confident, you can start to use upstrokes .
Examples:
   

Count: 1 2 3 4


Upstrums are counted on the “and”
Eg     

Count 1 2 and 3 4


Make sure the volume of your upstrums and downstrums are equal

How to play clear chords


  1. Check your fingers. If your fingers are not "seasoned", you will tend to press your chords lightly because the harder you press, the more painful your fingers will feel. Feel the tip of your left hand fingers. Are they soft? If they are, that means your fingers are still not seasoned. With more playing, your finger tips will become calloused (hardened). When this happens, you will find it easier and less painful to press down each chord that you play, thus achieving a clear sound.

    2. Arch your fingers! This is another common mistake made by beginners. When you play any chord for that matter, you need to arch your fingers in such a way that it only presses the string it's supposed to press, and not accidentally touch others.

    3. Place your fingers near the frets! If your finger is closer to the fret, it will require less strength to press the string down.




How to ease finger soreness


  1. Check the action on your guitar


  2. Get the right strings

  3. Gradually build up your calluses

  4. Press the strings down only as much as you have to

  5. Numb the pain

  6. Persevere

New Chords for this week





























































Em chord




























































C chord

Notice how this note is on the same string and the same fret as the other chords? Its to make life easier in changing chords.



How Great is Our God
G Em

             

The splendour of a king, clothed in majesty

C

           



Let all the earth rejoice, all the earth rejoice

G Em


               

He wraps Himself in light, and darkness tries to hide

C

           



And trembles at His voice, trembles at His voice
G



How great is our God, sing with me

Em
How great is our God, all will see

C D G
How great, how great, is our God.

G Em

              



From age to age He stands, and time is in His hands

C

            


Beginning and the end, beginning and the end

G Em


           

The godhead three in one, Father, Spirit, Son,

C

         



The lion and the lamb, lion and the lamb

Chorus x 2

G Em


           

Name above all names, worthy of our praise



C D G

          



My heart will sing how great is our God























































































































































































































D chord G chord Em chord





























































C chord

Unchanging


G C

             

Great is Your faithfulness, great is Your faithfulness

D C G


           

You never change, You never fail O God


G C

             

True are Your promises, true are Your promises

D C G


          

You never change, You never fail O God


Em G C Em

              



So we raise up holy hands to praise the Holy One

C D G

         



Who was and is and is to come

Em G C Em

              



So we raise up holy hands to praise the Holy One

C D G

         



Who was and is and is to come

G C


             

Wide is Your love and grace, wide is Your love and grace

D C G

           



You never change, You never fail O God

G C


             

Wide is Your love and grace, wide is Your love and grace


D C G

          

You never change, You never fail O God

Em G C Em

              



So we raise up holy hands to praise the Holy One

C D G

         



Who was and is and is to come

Em G C Em

              



So we raise up holy hands to praise the Holy One

C D G

         



Who was and is and is to come
Em G C D

        

You were, You are, You will always be

Em G C D

        

You were, You are, You will always be






















































































































































































































D chord G chord Em chord
































































C chord
Lesson Three


Guitars 3: transposition
Transposing = changing a song from 1 key to another.

This is useful because: - it makes songs easier to sing



  • it makes songs easier to play

The easiest way to do this is by using a capo. A capo is a clamp that you can use on different frets of the guitar to change the pitch of the open strings. Remember in the first lesson we talked about the frets. As you follow a note down the frets, it goes up ½ a tone each time

e.g.

E A D G B E


A

D

G

C

F

B

E

A

C

F

C

F

Bb

D

G

C

F

B

D

G

D

G

C

E

A

F

F


G

G

A


By using a capo, we change the chord sound, but we keep the chord shape the same.

If we put a capo on fret 1 (actually just before it) – the chords shape is still a G shape, but the chord sound is G















CAPO

S in effect, the capo is like a new “nut” (the nut is where the strings meet the head of the guitar).
If this all sounds very complicated, don’t worry! There are chord transpose websites that can do the job for you, that will transpose everything for you, and you can always experiment with songs by trying it using the chords shapes you have, but with the capo in a different place to help with pitch.

New Chords



The first chord we are learning is A





























































i.e.


The second is Bm (but if you find this too tricky, you can always play a D instead)































































Blessed be Your name
G D

    

Blessed be Your name

Em C


       

In the land that is plentiful

G D

      



Where the streams of abundance flow

C

     



Blessed be Your name.

G D


    

Blessed be Your name

Em C

       



When I’m found in the desert place

G D


       

Though I walk through the wilderness

C

     



Blessed be Your name

G D Em C


           

Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise

G D Em C

           

When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say
G D

       



Blessed be the name of the Lord

Em C


    

Blessed be Your name

G D


       

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Em D C

        



Blessed be Your glorious name

G D


    

Blessed be Your name

Em C

        



when the sun’s shining down on me

G D


      

When the world’s all as it should be

C

     



Blessed be Your name.

G D


    

Blessed be Your name

Em C

      



On the road marked with suffering

G D


       

Though there’s pain in the offering

C

     



Blessed be Your name

Chorus

G D Em D

        

You give and take away, You give and take away

G D Em C


         

My heart will choose to say blessed be Your name



Be the Centre

D

   



Jesus, be the centre

A G D


        

Be my source, be my light, Jesus

D

   



Jesus, be the centre

A G D


        

Be my hope, be my song, Jesus


A D

     



Be the fire in my heart

A D

     



Be the wind in these sails
A Bm A G D

         



Be the reason that I live, Jesus, Jesus
D

     



Jesus, be my vision

A G D


        

Be my path, be my guide Jesus

D

     



Jesus, be my vision

A G D


        

Be my path, be my guide Jesus





















































































































































































































































D chord A chord G chord Bm chord



Lesson Four
Dynamics

This is not, as a member of my family thought, the way you move around when you play – although if you feel the urge to make a few power slides……..!


Dynamics are the way you play the song to give it some “light and shade”. This is down to the way you interpret the song. There may be a particular part that you want to emphasise by playing it more loudly/softly than the rest of the song.
Some things to think about:

  • Does the song have a chorus? If so you may want to build into this i.e. get louder

.

  • Are you repeating part of the song? If so you may want to play it quietly the first time then get louder. A good example of this is “You were, You are, You will always be” from Unchanging. If you just belt it out 4 times, everyone will be exhausted!!




  • Changing the way you are strumming can also alter the dynamics. You might play a single chord, rather than strumming all the time. Or if you’re really brave, how about singing but not playing?




  • Always think about the word of the song. Sometimes the dynamics are self=explanatory.

Next time you’re in church, try and spot the dynamics that the worship leader is using for a particular song. Would you have done it that way? If not, why not? Ask them why they chose to play it that way.

OR

Listen to a worship cd and get some ideas off that.


Chords

Our new chord for this week is Am


















































































Unfailing Love
G C

           

We wait in hope for You, our shelter and our truth

G C


         

You are always faithful to Your word

G C

             



Consume our hearts and minds, be the author of this life

G C

        

Your kingdom come, Your will be done

G

       



In these times of doubt and sorrow

C

        



People need a hope to cling to

G C


          

Your love is an anchor in the storms of life


   

Forever faithful


G C G

       



Un filing love, You never let us down

Am C


    

Your promise is alive
Em G C

          

When coloured dreams fade to grey (unfailing love)

Em G C


         

When the night crowds out the day (unfailing love)

Em G C










































































     

When there’s no words left to say

Em G Am

    



God’s love remains

Am chord


Breathe
G C G C

         

This is the air I breathe, This is the air I breathe

G D Em D C Em D

        

Your holy presence living in me

G C G C

         



This is my daily bread, This is my daily bread

G D Em D C Em D

        

Your very word spoken to me

G D Em D C Em D

        

And I I’m desperate for You

G D Em D C Em D

         

And I I’m lost without You






















































































































































































































D chord G chord Em chord




























































C chord
Lesson Five


Putting a set together
“Leading people into worship is like climbing a mountain.” So when we put a set together, we have to start off gradually – a gentle stroll in the foothills – where we are not demanding too great a response, then build up to the more intimate songs.
Worship can be divided into 5 phases:
Phase 1: the call to worship

Start with a song that declares truth about God. Remember that some people come ready to worship, while others have all kinds of stuff that would make an intimates song at the start of a service /kinship difficult to sing.

e.g. Come now is the time to worship, Unfailing love
Phase 2: engagement in worship

This may still be up tempo – phase 1 and phase 2 overlap. Hopefully people are starting to sense the presence of God.

e.g. Strengh will rise, Unchanging

Phase 3: expression of worship

At this point the worship begins to become more intimate as we reflect on who God is and what He has done for us. A song about the Cross works well here. The songs may become slower and quieter.

e.g. Sweetly broken, All who are weak

Phase 4: God draws near

This is more intimate again. The words may be an expression of our longing to meet with Jesus

e.g. Draw me close, Bring me back
Phase 5:generosity in worship

This is the place where we give ourselves to God.

e.g. Be the centre, Everything.
NB there is overlap between the different phases. Remember other factors like the mood of the worshippers may also influence the set.
Starting Out


  • Pray about your song choice. Is there a particular song you’ve been humming all week? Maybe God wants you to use that. Or perhaps you have a particular theme in mind e.g. love, forgiveness, that you build your set around.




  • It may be helpful to think of songs as being beginning/up tempo, middle and end/intimate. Make a list of songs in each category that you feel comfortable playing.




  • Think about how you are going to start and end each song. If it helps, hum as you play the introduction so you pitch the song correctly.




  • Make a note of the songs chosen on a Sunday to give you ideas for a set.




  • Don’t be over-ambitious! To start with, three songs are plenty – you can always repeat them or space them out with prayers or a simple chord sequence in between. Try and choose one song from each of the three groups above.




  • Think about how you can link your songs together.




  • Ask your kinship worship leader for constructive criticism – maybe one thing you could work on - and for support. He/she was a beginner once!

Remember God loves us because of who we are, not what we do. He sees your heart for worship and delights in that. We all make mistakes, so don’t beat yourself up about the chord you miss. Every worship leader in th church has at least one horror story!

Practical Exercise

Look through the songs we have learned. Which type of song do you think each one is?




Beginning

Middle

End






























































































































What about these songs?

Be lifted up

Fall afresh

Faithful One

I love Your presence

More than a friend

Light of the world

Over all the earth

NB there is no right or wrong answer to this. You’ll learn what works in your kinship and what doesn’t. Ground your set choice in prayer and it will be fine!
Chord

G/B adds a little variety to songs with a G chord in.














































































Draw me close

G C D G


     

Draw me close to You, never let me go

D C Em C

         

I lay it all down again, to hear Ypu say that I’m Your friend

G C D G


     

You are my desire, no-one else will do

D C

    



Cause nothing else could take Your place

Em

      



To feel the warmth of Your embrace

G C D G C D

       

Help me find the way, bring me back to You.

G D C G D C D

          



You’re all I want, You’re all I’ve ever needed

G D C


   

You’re all I want

D G C G C



       

Help me know You are near





















































































































































































































D chord G chord Em chord






























































C chord


Here I am to worship (capo 2 (E))
D A Em G

       

Light of the world You stepped down into darkness

D A G


       

Opened my eyes let me see

D A Em

       



Beauty that made this heart adore You

D A G


    

Hope of a life spent with You


D A

       



Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down

D G


      

Here am I to say that You’re my God

D A


       

You’re altogether lovely, altogether worthy

D G

         


Altogether wonderful to me
D A Em

       

King of all days, O so highly exalted

D A G


       

Glorious in Heaven above

D A Em

       



Humbly You came to the earth You created

D A G


     

All for love’s sake became poor


Chorus
A D G

       

And I’ll never know how much it cost

A D G


        

To see my sin upon that cross


Appendix one
Description of the parts of the guitar

1. The Headstock is the focal point of the tuning system, headstocks come in two distinctive designs. The square headstock has three tuners on either side, whilst Fender style instruments have all six tuners on the left.

2. Tuner


There are six tuners—one for each string. They are used in guitar tuning to tune strings to their proper pitch. Each tuner consists of a nut and cog to tighten or slacken the string. Also known as machine heads.

3. Nut


The nut keeps the strings in position as they leave the head, by way of six small grooves. If you own an expensive guitar the nut will probably be made of ivory. If you’re a conservationist or just an economist it’ll be plastic.

4. Frets are wire inserts which mark the points on the neck where you pass each string to make different notes. They are normally made of nickel alloy, hammered home.


5. Fretboard


Generally made of rosewood, the fretboard is glued to the neck. It’s usually decorated with tortoise shell or plastic inlays which help you to see where you are on the fretboard.

6. Strings are the lifeblood of the instrument, and a poor or worn set can make even the most talented player sound bad. Generally constructed from alloy, strings very in thickness from the bottom (the thickest) to the top (thinnest). The three bass strings are wound to give them depth, whilst their skinny counterparts are simply tensioned alloy wire. Strings are measured by gaugethe lower the number, the thinner the string. Its important to select a set suitable for your guitar, whether electric or acoustic. The two arent generally interchangeable.

7. Pick Guard

Located next to the sound hole (on acoustic guitars) or pick-ups (on electric guitars) the pickguard protects the main body of the instrument from pectrum scratches and finger marks.

8. Soundboard


The acoustic guitar soundboard is the top piece of wood on the main body. The sound hole is cut into it.

9. Pick-ups


Pick-ups transmit the string sound from the guitar to the amplifier by way of an electric lead. In reality, pick-ups are no more than miniature Microphones. You can in fact talk into a guitar pick-up and your voice will be broadcast through the amp.

10. Bridge


Acoustic and electric guitar bridges come in all shapes and sizes, but their purpose is the same. They adjust the pitch, harmonics and string height. The classic set-up is the retaining tailpiece, and individual bridge, which is adjustable on electric models as you can see below in the guitar diagram. Modern acoustic and many electric guitars have a one-piece bridge set-up, which eliminates the separate tailpiece. The bridge on a acoustic guitar is slightly offset to achieve perfect harmonics, whilst the electric counterpart has a series of independent mechanisms, one for each string. These are adjusted with a small screwdriver, until the pitch is correct.

11. Volume and Tone Control

Once your guitar is plugged in, and you have turned your amp on, you will be able to adjust volume and tone by the collection of knobs generally positioned to the right side of the bridge.








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