Last month we had a really interesting request asking if we would post up the strumming patterns to some well known worship songs. So I’ve chosen 20 popular songs s at random that I hope people will find helpful. Some of these are covered in our Guitar SongLearner series (available on DVD or as individual downloads) and we also have 35 sample patterns and some in-depth lessons on how to find the right strumming pattern to any song within our Intermediate Acoustic DVDs.
I’ve listed these in kind of box format that shows the song over a single bar in a 16th note format. So the key is to count 1 E & A, 2 E & A, 3 E & A, 4 E & A over the song and crucially KEEP YOUR HAND MOVING at all times. Naturally your hand should strum down on the numbers or beats (1234), the &’s and then the up beats should always link to the E’s and A’s. If you find this difficult to work through on paper then again I’d recommend either our Song Learner series DVDs or Intermediate Acoustic DVDs as its much easier to see it on video than in an article.
I’ve tried to pick the patterns from either the original album version or a fairly stock version of each song but of course, there are many versions of each song, and even within each version there will be some room to change up the strumming pattern and still fit the groove.
Do realise that while each strumming pattern will work for the song on its own, if your drummer, or indeed your band is playing a different groove (consciously or unconsciously!) then it may not entirely fit. The key is to make sure the main accents in the rhythm of the melody are reflected in the strumming pattern.
So here’s the first of the 20 which I’ve taken from some of the top listed CCLI songs such in churches in both the UK and North America. If you want any more do make suggestions, but please don’t make them too obscure (ideally send a youtube link to the song in question). We’ll be uploading a new strumming pattern every couple of days.
Mighty to Save – Reuben Morgan & Ben Fielding
This is based on the Michael W Smith version. Most versions of this are pretty similar, the key here is to try to keep the pattern consistent for the entire song.
We don’t have a Song Learner lesson for Mighty to Save but it is one of the tracks on our DVD Worship Backing Band Practice Tracks for Musicians. With this DVD you get 54 worship songs where you can remove any one instrument (i.e. guitar) from the mix and play along with the pro band. Its really easy to use with on-screen chords and words and together with this strumming pattern should really help you get to grips with the song.