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Style of Modern Worship Guitar

Modern church/worship music pulls from all sorts of genres. You'll hear a lot of Rock/Pop influence, some Punk riffs, and even the Nashville Country sound from time to time. As guitar playing has become more prominent in the church and more instrumentalists step up to lead their congregation, the culmination of these genres has created a recognizable and specific style of guitar playing. This series deals with concepts and techniques and sounds that make up the style of modern worship guitar. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this type of playing is the way that simple parts with specific effects are layered together to form very atmospheric and layered soundscapes. We'll not only look at the playing, but we'll dissect tones and patches to provide the tools necessary to create that modern worship guitar playing sound. We also deal with typical roles that each guitarist might assume in a band setting so that all the pieces to the puzzle fit the way the need to... So the band moves as one unit, and the music is tight and textured!

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Learn how to produce the sounds that have made modern church/worship music what it is today. Look at the styles of Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, Third Day, Lincoln Brewster and more!

Lessons in this Series:

Lesson 1

Modern Worship Guitar Introduction

Produce the sounds that have made modern church/worship music what it is today. Learn how to craft minimalist guitar sounds, find your place in the mix of other instrumentalists, and dial in your tone and effects! Look at the styles of Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, Third Day, Lincoln Brewster...

Length: 4:35 Difficulty: 0.5 Member Only
Lesson 2

Role of the Acoustic, Part 1

We all must know our place in the band. We must know how to play for the good of the whole. By being a "backbone player," you'll create an unstoppable tightness that will allow each instrument to perfectly fill their role in the sound!

Length: 12:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Member Only
Lesson 3

Role of the Acoustic, Part 2

Here, we take a look at the rest of the "CAGED" keys and discuss more ways to fluidly move between basic chords in a progression while maintaining that 'backbone' acoustic rhythm style.

Length: 15:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Member Only
Lesson 4

CAGED & Capos

Learn to think of each of the standard "CAGED" keys as positions rather than groups of chords tied to a specific key. Tie these positions to the number system, and you're golden!

Length: 15:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 5

Mini Chords & Leads, Block 1

Simple leads and tasty rhythm playing are often built from two string repeating phrases that loosely follow the chord progression of a worship song. We'll look at 3 blocks in total. Start with block 1 and see how you can relate it back to some worship songs you know.

Length: 6:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Member Only
Lesson 6

Mini Chords & Leads, Block 2

Move up the neck and tap into more range and an even more familiar sound. Combine blocks 1 and 2 for variety. Keep the rhythms slow and simple, add some effects, and you're off!

Length: 9:02 Difficulty: 2.0 Member Only
Lesson 7

Mini Chords & Leads, Block 3

We move to an even higher register in this lesson. There are nearly infinite possibilities when you expand on the concepts of forming little block positions around common chord progressions. Let your creativity soar!

Length: 8:25 Difficulty: 0.0 Member Only
Lesson 8

Effects Primer

Learn how to dial in reverb and delay effects for that signature dreamy, minimalistic sound. Get actual knob settings and perspective on when and how to use certain effects.

Length: 12:18 Difficulty: 0.0 Member Only
Lesson 9

Let Delay Do the Work

Dissect the playing and effects in this simple, arpeggio line with a 1/8D delay. Practice this Hillsong United-inspired part with the other guitars, or by itself with the included backing track.

Length: 8:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Member Only
Lesson 10

Texture in the Background

Turn up the FX a little more, warm up that picking hand and get ready to add some serious texture to the mix! Don't go too crazy though! You still want to be listening to what the rest of your band is doing so you all gel!

Length: 8:07 Difficulty: 0.0 Member Only
Lesson 11

Texture in the Foreground

If there was a guitar solo in this mix, this would be it, I suppose. This is the most 'out front' part and has the greatest sense of melody. Played with the other two parts, it completes this sound environment nicely! Have fun!

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 12

Give Your Rhythm Guitar Space

With three guitars all playing rhythm parts, you have to know that what you are playing compliments what the other guys are doing. This first part looks at intentional, simple rhythm playing that fills its own space in the mix.

Length: 6:13 Difficulty: 1.5 Member Only
Lesson 13

Melody & Counter Rhythm

There's an element of lead guitar playing in this part, but in many ways, it is the counter rhythm to the part learned in the last lesson. Listen to how the two electric parts push and pull at each other, particularly in the "B" section.

Length: 5:52 Difficulty: 2.0 Member Only
Lesson 14

Space, Pocket & Three Guitars

...And then there's the acoustic. As with the two electric guitar parts, pay careful attention to how the intentional strum pattern fills its own unique corner in the overall mix. Take this example and apply it to any chord progression you choose!

Length: 4:19 Difficulty: 0.0 Member Only
Lesson 15

Close the Wah & Play the Riff

When it is layered among the other guitar tracks, this line almost sounds like any other standard rhythm part, but it's not! It is a moving riff that, though dry, uses a static wah sound to lay back in the mix.

Length: 5:19 Difficulty: 1.5 Member Only
Lesson 16

Overdrive & Simple Ideas

It's the refrain of this series: simple, catchy and well placed lines that work in harmony with each other make this world go 'round. In this lesson, we literally provide harmony to the line from the previous lesson, even though it doesn't move with it.

Length: 5:45 Difficulty: 1.5 Member Only
Lesson 17

Be the Rhythm

The acoustic guitar propels the groove forward in this example. Practice being precise with your strum patterns and be very conscious of how you are strumming in relation to the other instruments.

Length: 3:06 Difficulty: 1.5 Member Only
Lesson 18

Electric Rhythm Foundation

With a progressive sounding track like this, you need that chunky rhythm foundation. Strategically adding quirks and taste to this part, while listening to the other parts is going to make everything a bit more interesting.

Length: 7:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Member Only
Lesson 19

Dotted Delay and Rhythm Guitar

Crank up the delay and get in the groove. Let the revolving rhythm of the delay carry you as you sneak in tasty morsels between the repeats. Have fun!

Length: 7:37 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 20

And Finally... A Guitar Solo

Yes! Now we get to learn a full guitar solo in the style of one of the greatest guitar players to contribute to modern worship guitar. Learn a concrete example of developing a theme, inserting licks, and returning to a modified version of your theme.

Length: 10:58 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
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