Take Your Acoustic Guitar Playing To The Next Level (Podcast Ep. 30)

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In this episode, I have Brad May of AcousticWorshiper.com on the show to tell us how to improve as acoustic guitar players.

Here are some main points of our conversation!

Resources that help you improve as an acoustic Guitar worship leader

Brad has some great resources on his site such as the Chord Substitution Cheat Sheet, Memorizing Worship Songs ebook, and Learning the Language of Guitar Chords.

There’s also a great blog where Brad explores various topics about acoustic guitar, worship leading, and more.

Many Worship Leaders Forget They Should Improve As Musicians Too

We talked about the all-too-common notion that, as a worship leader, you don’t need to improve your acoustic guitar playing.

Many worship leaders picked up an acoustic guitar almost by default. And years later, they are still playing open chords or using a capo and playing every song in G.

But as a worship-leader-slash-guitarist, we shouldn’t forget that we are also musicians. And part of being a musician is practice and improvement.

It’s easy to give yourself a “pass” when you’re leading worship. I mean, you have enough to think about, from singing to lyrics to song arrangements to reading the room.

But Brad suggests that once you pick up that acoustic guitar, you’re a musician who needs to bring your skill level beyond the basic. That means learning different chord shapes, moving up the neck for different positions and voicings, and learning alternate strum patterns.

There’s a lot to learn, but it’s all part of bringing your best and playing with excellence for God.

How To Improve More Quickly

If Brad were mentoring a newer guitar player, he would tell them to listen to the other players in the group. Determine where you should and shouldn’t play. Decide whether there should be a lick here or another rhythm there.

Your job is to blend in with the rest of the band and make everyone sound better, including yourself.

Follow THe Guitar Greats

Listen to great guitarists. Find YouTube videos and watch the different chords and strum patterns they are using.

Brad had some great suggestions for artists to follow:

Also check out Phil Keaggy, Warren Barfield, Steven Curtis Chapman on the Acoustic Worshiper website.

#1 Tip To Improve On Guitar

The number one tip to improve at acoustic guitar — or any skill — is consistent practice. There’s just no way around it.

Even if it’s 15-20 minutes a day, you’re going to improve and the results will be dramatic. The consistency is what helps your brain to rewire itself to better perform the skill.

Playing an hour or even three hours every couple weeks just isn’t enough to cement those skills in your brain and build muscle memory.

What Gear Should You Use?

Brad uses:

Tim plays a Taylor 810ce acoustic guitar. Shop Taylor guitars on Amazon.

Yamaha is a great budget brand that has good guitars with onboard pickups.

Note: When you purchase from these links, I might be compensated.

Connect with Brad

Learn To Lead Worship Better

Are you looking for a resource that will help you get started leading worship or improving your skills?

Check out the book “Learn To Lead Worship In 14 Days.” It’s a step-by-step, day-by-day handbook that can launch your worship leading journey in as little as two weeks.

>>  Get this valuable resource by clicking here.

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Featured Image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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