How do you take a powerful worship song like Worthy Of It All by CeCe Winans and create an acoustic version that carries that power into a smaller space?
Jason teamed up with local worship pastors Uriah Garay and Ron Pai to do just that. Here's how they did it.
The Essential Pieces of Any Worship Song Arrangement
Every song comes down to 3 things: chord structure, rhythm and melody. With any song arrangement we have to decide which pieces of the band are going to carry what parts when. If you are a single instrument and have to think about how to do it all on your own, Worship Artistry's solo acoustic chapters have plenty of examples. Try this one. More instruments means more options so even a small team can create a dynamic worship song arrangement.
The Acoustic Arrangement for Worthy Of It All
Intro - For the intro we chose to preview the verse melody, move the rhythm with the piano and add some interest with the arpeggiated acoustic guitar half way through. This allowed us to do a double intro and help set the tone for the rest of the song.
Verse 1 - Acoustic guitar continues accenting the main chords while leaving the piano to add the passing chords. It keeps it moving but doesn't let it get too busy.
Chorus - While the intro used the verse melody, Jason adds a moving counter melody for the first chorus while the piano and vocal keep things simmering. It gives the song a slight lift while still leaving plenty of room to build.
Second Intro / Verse 2 - Time to bring in the second guitar. Ron's palm muted strumming brings a new energy and carries it through the verse while Uriah's vocal jumps the octave and distinguishes the second verse from the first. If there was no second acoustic, Jason would have switched to strumming.
Second Chorus - With all the instruments going, Ron's vocal harmony lifts the second chorus to a new level.
Instrumental - We drop down for the instrumental section to help us build up the bridge with Ron's strumming moving down to a single string, the piano once again previewing the bridge and Jason emphasizing half of the piano melody with a little variation to create some more interest.
Bridge - Uriah's vocal drops to the lower octave again and then builds to the higher octave with Ron's harmony joining him at the jump.
Third Chorus - As Jason's acoustic gutiar adds a high arpeggiated part in a range we haven't yet heard in the song, Uriah starts playing harder on the piano so the absence of the lower acoustic guitar isn't noticed.
Outro - Everybody drops and Uriah finishes out the rest of the way.
Final Thoughts on This Acoustic Version of Worthy Of It All
Any song can be arranged for any size band. It just takes some forethought and intention. If you want to see more acoustic versions of our over 600 worship song tutorial catalog please subscribe to the Worship Artistry YouTube Channel and if you want to grow your band in both size and confidence, be sure to give our Worship Artistry song tutorials a try.
And remember, investing in your worship team's skill and confidence will have more effect on your sound and experience than any piece of gear.