The Elements Of A Great Worship Guitarist

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guitar-greatnessWhat separates the good worship guitarist from the great worship guitarist? The mastery of not just musicianship and technique, but also character and attitude. Here are some elements of a great worship guitarist.

Humility: This doesn’t mean a lack of confidence, or worse, false humility. This does mean you can take constructive criticism well. It means you are not afraid to admit your shortcomings. You know you have a lot to learn and you can learn from anyone. Furthermore, you are not personally offended when someone says to turn your volume down (I pray it doesn’t happen to you). Your primary motivation is to serve your worship ministry and church, not to showcase your own talent and amazing tone.

Dependability: From getting to practice on time to knowing your parts, your worship leader needs to be confident in every aspect of your playing and habits. This means you show up on time, your gear works, you consistently sound good, and you know your part. When a worship leader is looking at a set list for a worship service, they will feel the pressure of any “unknown factors” or “X Factors.” To be a great worship guitarist you must remove yourself from this list of X Factors. Starting now, create a reputation of being dependable and giving your worship ministry consistent quality not just in music, but also in attitude and habits.

Know where you fit in the grand scheme of things and in the grand scheme of things we’re not all that. A great worship guitarist knows how the guitar needs to work in worship music. Guitar isn’t everything. Use your guitar to complement the worship service and don’t let your ego convince you it should be more showcased than needed.

Technique: You may not be able to play Van Halen’s “Eruption” but that’s okay. What you can do is play the licks, riffs and signature solos that your worship leader throws at you. Maybe your need some time to practice it, look it up on youtube, find tab, etc., but when it comes to rehearsal time you can play the riff evenly, smoothly and clearly.

There are two things we can take away from this: First, a great guitarist in secular music looks a lot different from a great guitarist in worship ministry. Second, you are probably closer to being a “great worship guitarist” than you think.

Keep sharp,


P.S. This isn’t a complete list. If you think of some other elements, please share with us in the comments.

4 Responses to "The Elements Of A Great Worship Guitarist"
  1. rhoy pamparo says:

    good to see your posting again :)

    what a great short list but each is just as important as the other. if i were to add to this list, i would say, get into the Word/Bible deeper. too many guitarists shows up without even reading the Bible … sadly, I’m guilty of that!

  2. Larry says:

    I agree with being prepared. You can never practice too much for a particular part or song. Until you can play it smoothly with your eyes closed you aren’t ready. You should be to the point you can worship almost without thinking about what you are doing.

    I also think that knowing your place in the team/song is a huge point. The strengths of the team on a particular song could be the place where you DON’T play inasmuch as where you DO. Knowing how to embrace the song is HUGE!!!

    Good post!

  3. Jed says:

    Great ideas. Sorry for commenting late. I’m thinking about buy an amp and it is taking up more of my time than it should. Hope you can relate. :)

    Rhoy-I’m guilty of that too. The bible is how we know who and what we worship. Great thought.

    Larry-That is a great self test when going into practice or a worship set. “Do I know the parts well enough to get lost in worship and still sound good.” I may have to steal that.

  4. Ryan Crabb says:

    VOLUME… Remember it’s not about you.

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