The Matrix & Memorizing Worship Songs

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oculos_morpheus-matrix“I’m trying to free your mind.”-Morpheus

In the last post we talked about the importance of memorizing worship songs for our times of worship. Simply put this allows us to have a more rewarding worship experience for ourselves, while at the same time creating a more rewarding worship experience for others.

This can be an intimidating proposition. Sure it’s doable to memorize songs scheduled for worship; what isn’t doable is creating the time to memorize those songs.

If you’re a singer looking for tips to memorizing lyrics to songs, I’m afraid I don’t have the answer for you. Not yet anyway. But if you are a musician looking to break free from the chain and shackle commonly called a music stand, then you are going to want to keep reading.


Remember the movie The Matrix? The first one? (The sequels don’t count.) There is a scene in that movie when the hero, Neo, sees the code of a virtual world while in that virtual world. The secrets of the world have been revealed to him and that gives him what appears to be super powers inside that world.


The secret to memorizing worship songs in a short amount of time is to see the code behind all the songs. When you see the code behind the songs, all the secrets of the songs are revealed and you start to develop musical super powers.


The reason this works is what psychologists call “chunking.” Chunking allows us to process large amounts of information by classifying them, or chunking them, into segments we can easily understand. What looked like complex, random occurrences becomes simple, thought-out patterns.

What is the code for worship music that gives you musical super powers? (Drum roll, please.)

The Nashville Number System.Nashville-iStock_XSmall

What the Neo’s computer code is to the Matrix is what the Nashville number system is to praise & worship music. It’s seeing the code in all the songs, having the secrets revealed, allowing you to have what other musicians will think are musical powers.

Being able to look at a chord chart to any worship song and to see the numbers behind the chords will allow you to learn songs faster, memorize songs easier, and transpose songs at will. Overtime, it will allow you to hear the chord changes in songs so if a song is sprung on you at the last minute, you can learn it by simply hearing it.

This will change your life.

Sometime in the near future–or not-so-near future, given my normal writing schedule–I’ll put together a collection of my favorite Nashville number system resources. Until then, keep sharp, and don’t be afraid of new ways of thinking about music.


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