my God, my guitar, and me

I led worship today for the first time all alone on the stage with my guitar. I have done this previously with the piano, but there is something really difficult about doing it on the guitar. For me specifically, it is just much harder. I don't have the same guitar skills as piano skills. I play guitar every week nowadays, but being entirely exposed for my playing for an entire service is new territory for me. I definitely practiced a lot more this week than usual.

I tried to model "Singalong" by Phil Wickham, because he does the whole CD in a live setting with only a guitar. I used some of his set list, because I really liked how things went together. I also decided to tune my guitar a half step down, because I found out it is a technique he uses. It works well, because it allows the guitar to sound a little deeper, as well as makes the strings a little easier to press down. I also was careful in the keys I played in, choosing keys that allow the full guitar strum to ring, and used the cut capo to help me do this.

Here is the set list. ( remember, the guitar was tuned down to Eb, but I will refer to them as in standard tuning)

Our God Saves - Paul Baloche

I used my capo on capo 2 every string except the low E string. This means I can play in "d" fingering, but have a low string ringing out on the "1" chord. It is kinda like drop D tuning, but the chords are fingered in standard tuning, and the D/F# chord is possible. (the capo makes it E/G#, a chord I really have trouble playing without a capo)

Cannons - Phil Wickham

key of G, no Capo (although I do play it with the open capo at capo 3 sometimes to give me the g drone)

Nothing but the blood
It is well with my soul
come thou fount
public domain

all in key of E, cut capo on capo 2. this gives a nice full chord drone, and helps with many finger picking options.

Shout to the North - delirious?
key of E
slide the e shape up the neck to the 5th, and 7th frets for a unique sound

All in all, it was a good service, with some real pressure on me to come through. I guess I like the challenge! Why don't you give it a try... for a week. I wouldn't recommend this every Sunday. It would get kinds boring, and sound like a simple coffee house artist. I also found that using hymns made it much more intimate. Only do it for one week.

It was a blast!


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