Adapting Lessons for a Large Worship Band

Have more than a 5-piece band on your typical sunday?

Here are three main approaches to adapting Worship Artistry lessons.

Divide and Conquer

While you might be able to play all the parts yourself, dividing the parts up can not only lighten the learning load but also fatten up the sound.

Two keyboardists? Let one take the pads while the second takes the piano or that sweet synth hook. Two lead guitarists? Take turns with the lead and let the second either accent the rhythm part with overdriven simple strums.

I love having all the main parts for a song but there is something really beautiful about being able to relax into a chorus or verse with a really simple part.

Play Between the Parts

Often a recording will have three or four electric guitars on it but when I break each one down, only one is out front and the rest are doing something you can't really hear once it's all put together. These tracks have the purpose of filling out the sound and they happen "between" the main parts.

Often it's just an 8th note down strum on a single note or it's a heavily delayed tremolo part in the high range. The key is that it fills a different frequency range than the other instruments and doesn't distract from the main part.

Double What's Already There

One of the reasons I rarely teach an extra electric guitar part is that it would just be adapting the acoustic guitar part to the electric guitar. You don't need me to do that! If the acoustic is capoed, do the same thing and hit those ringing open chords. If you've got two keyboards and there is a hook that stands out like on Made Alive, try doubling it with a different sound or playing the octave.

All the major bones of the song are in every lesson. It's up to you to put a little more flesh on them. Don't be afraid to experiment. 


Jason Houtsma is the co-founder and guitar teacher at Worship Artistry, where he is helping musicians of every level answer the call to worship with passion and confidence. Jason has been leading worship and writing music since he was 15 years old and currently serves as Worship Pastor for Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA. He is husband to Alli and father to Bjorn and Asher.

Adapting Lessons for a Large Worship Band

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