Guitar Tutorial: "Show Us Christ" from Sovereign Grace Music

I had the pleasure back in December to work with Sovereign Grace Ministries on filming some guitar tutorial videos for a handful of their songs. I've appreciated so much what they've been doing in creating gospel saturated, biblically rich, and musically compelling, congregational songs for the church to sing and it was an honor to be a part of the project. These tutorials are geared towards acoustic players and give you options for how to play if you are in a variety of circumstances, i.e. just acoustic to playing acoustic in a band setting. We cover things like chord voicings, capos, fingerpicking, strumming, timing, etc.. Hopefully you'll find them useful!

"Show Us Christ" is one of my favorite songs from SGM (I explain why in the video) and, musically, Bob Kauflin did a uniquely beautiful job playing this on piano. As guitarists, it can be frustrating to try and take such a beautiful arrangement on piano and translate it convincingly to the guitar. We just don't have the same range as the piano. But! With a few changes we can model it after what Bob played so beautifully while making it sound at home on the guitar. I show you a finger picking solution for just that with some chord voicing ideas.* Also, I offer some tips for going from fingerpicking to strumming and/or what choices (including not playing!) you might make if you were playing with a piano player here and in a band. Check it out: *I came up with a solution to play the intro exactly like the piano but it involves right hand, plucked harmonics. It can be done but its not necessarily what you want to be focusing on while you're leading the song! When I'm leading a song I try to minimize the ways in which I could potentially train wreck it by doing something too fancy or distracting :).

Worship God 2013 Homework - CAGED Chord Sequence

I thought it might be helpful to offer some homework, or ideas for practice, for the guitarists who sat in on the guitar sessions from Worship God 2013. Here are some ideas to keep you moving forward: CAGED Chord Sequence

The first goal with this is to be able to recognize, memorize and have at the tip of your fingertips the CAGED chord sequence for (ultimately) any key. Again, CAGED represents the main chord shapes that make up most of the shapes we play anywhere on the guitar AND it is also the order that chord voicings move up the neck (the C shape of C, then the A shape of C, then the G shape of C, etc. - you can refer to the packet for diagrams), and therefore a great guide to capo-ing throughout the neck. This is useful for acoustic and electric players and lays the foundation for some deeper things down the road with this way of thinking through the guitar neck.

We'll start basic and move on to more difficult things:

-Start with the key of C and make sure you can move to the A, G, E, and D shapes of C up the neck. Try to memorize where they are. Look at it. Say the names if that helps. You can use a capo but ultimately if you can do it without a capo, even better.

-Then try the other keys represented in the CAGED sequence, i.e. the key of A. Play the A shape of A, then find the G shape, the E shape and so on. Also do this for the keys of G, E, and D.

-Once you have the CAGED chord sequence down for the keys C, A, G, E and D, you are ready to try the rest of the keys. Start with the ones you might play in a lot like: Bb, Eb, F, and B. These can be trickier but, trust me, really worth working out. Eventually, you should be able to do this for all 12 keys.

C, G, D, A, E, B, Gb or F#, Db, Ab, Eb, Bb and F.

You never know what chart or key you'll be asked to play. When you're playing with a vocalist or serving a congregation at church, your flexibility in being able to play/capo with open voicings for any key will really help out. More on that later!

Good practice and improvement is just consistency over time. Don't get discouraged! Do what you can. You might master this in 8 hours but I can guarantee you it won't be 8 hours in one day. Take it slow and steady and it will sink in over time. Pick one thing and work on it, consistently, in little chunks over a long period of time. Seriously, if you're crazy busy, even just 5 minutes a couple times a week for months can really work wonders (of course you can do more though!)

Listen to Bob Kauflin's message from the conferences this year for some inspiration to be Faithful to grow!

Let me know if you have any questions and keep practicing!



P.S. Audio from the main sessions from Worship God 2013 - East