Virtually every church has some sort of worship team/band these days – sometimes a different team (or teams) for each different venue or age group. In the old days, all you needed was an organist who could double on piano for weddings and you were set. No longer. As the need for worship team members has grown, many of the willing folks stepping in to serve on said teams are under-prepared to handle the demands being made on them by tricky arrangements and discerning/demanding worship directors. So how to train up these up-and-coming musicians?
Musicademy, a UK-based company, has developed a line of resources aimed specifically at today’s worship team players, Intermediate Electric Worship Guitar, one of their latest releases, is a four-DVD set offering 10 hours of lessons designed to give worship team guitarists a thorough grounding in modern worship techniques and styles, using well-known worship songs such as “Mighty to Save” and “In Christ Alone” as a base. Andy Chamberlain, a veteran of a number of UK worship bands, leads the student through a sequential series of lessons with a great emphasis on practical application. Although the set is billed as intermediate guitar, those that know the basics should be able to jump right in at the beginning. (In fact, the first few lessons assume very little background.) The pace picks up as the lessons progress throughout the various discs, hitting both lead and rhythm guitar playing, and interspersing small doses of music theory along the way.
As with anything, what you get out of these lessons depends on what you put into them. Although the face-to-face interaction and individual correction offered by a live teacher isn’t there, the ability to “rewind” an individual lesson again and again has definite advantages. The discs make good use of multi-camera angles, as well as various forms of graphic support, including chord and fretboard diagrams. One of the real values of these discs is the “quick tips” discussion that pops up every few lessons. Chamberlain offers everything from tips on what type of guitar to use in different situations, to tone possibilities, to tricks for memorizing note names on the fretboard. All in all, an excellent library of material for the price of a few live lessons.