Worship Music Notation: Full Score vs Sections

How notation is meant to support your learning.

At Worship Artistry, we break tutorials and notation down into sections rather than offer them as full music scores. That’s a very intentional choice. Here’s why we do it.

That’s what worship songs are! Worship songs are made up of individual sections that make up a whole. It allows the freedom to be flexible, to repeat choruses, skip bridges, and return to verses. If you’ve been raised on performing sheet music, where you have a start and finish, this can be disorienting. Please trust our 100+ years of cumulative worship leading and teaching experience when we tell you it’s far better to lean into the strength of the worship song format rather than shoe horn it into a classical paradigm. 

It’s easier to learn. Learning a song piece by piece is the way to master it. Your brain and hands can only handle so much at a time. Learning and practicing the intro until you’ve got it cold, and only then moving on, is far more effective than stumbling your way through a whole piece over and over. 

The method is the messageAt Worship Artistry, our goal is to help you become a confident player. The purpose of the notation is to help you learn and internalize the song. Laying out a full score offers you the option of binding yourself to the notation and once you’re stuck there, you’re likely to stay there. It might be easier at the moment, but it will limit you in the long run. We care about you too much to encourage that. Can you lead worship that way? Yes! Is it the most satisfying, joy-inducing and effective way. We don’t believe so!

Conclusion

We love you and want to equip you to lead worship in any environment. If that means reading your way through a whole score, good for you! Anybody who picks up their instrument to lead worship is good in our book and websites like Praise Charts can give you the tools to do that. However, when you’re ready to release yourself from the page, Worship Artistry is here to help you prepare the songs and develop your skills in a way that helps you express your heart through your hands. You can sign up for a free 21 day trial and get access to over 500 worship song tutorials for guitar, drums, bass, keyboard and vocals.

Jason Houtsma serves as Worship Pastor for Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA, Husband to Alli, Father to Bjorn and Asher, and guitar instructor for WorshipArtistry.com

Worship Music Notation: Full Score vs Sections

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