Community Question Thread

Ask and you shall be answered.

I get some great questions from our members via email, but when I answer an email that only benefits one person.  I'd like to move my discussions out in public so we can all contribute to the conversation.

If you've got a question, ask it in the comments section and I (and hopefully others) will answer.  It can be about almost anything: guitar technique, gear, worship leading, Thai cooking, whatever.  The only rule is you have to be nice and if you like someone's comment or had the same question, give them an "Amen!".  Go.  

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

Community Question Thread

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I love this!-- Gear Question

What's more important in a pedal: features or simplicity?

Wow. Great question...

It's going to be different for different people. For example, I have an Earthquaker Devices Dispatch Master. It's a combination delay and reverb. (You can check it out here:

It's just 4 knobs and the delay and reverb interact really well together. It doesn't have tap tempo or modulation effects but I LOVE the simplicity. On the other hand, when I was playing out more and experimenting with my guitar, a simple delay/reverb like this might not have offered the features I needed.

The Boss Gigadelay has a ton of features but in my opinion it lacks "personality".

It's really all about your preference. You have to play a lot of gear and decide what's most important to you.

Individual Pedals vs. All-In-On Board

Along the line of pedals... why do you prefer individual pedals for each effect over an all-in-one multi effects board like a Boss GT 100 or Line 6 HD 500X? It seems like you should be able to get pretty much any effect you want out of one of those boards, right? I get that they're more expensive than a couple of pedals, but by the time you buy 3 or 4 pedals, you could have bought a multi effect unit.

For me

it's about the level of control. I like to see the knobs, feel the change under my fingers. I totally get why people dig the modelers and love having presets but I'd rather just save my money up to get the the gear the modelers are modeling. It's totally a personal preference though.

Dry Effects

Most of the units I have been around or used can't always produce the overdrive sounds I want. I've been around guys who have made theirs sound pretty good with a multi effects, but at the end of the day I don't think you can beat using 2 or 3 overdrives or boost running into a tube amp.

individual pedals vs all in one board

The nice thing about using a multi effects board in a church setting is you do not have the stage noise by going from your board to your pa system. Also it is nice not having to carry and set up a amp every week. The multi board is much more compact of a set up. The HD500x from line 6 is more than most people will ever need.

You can make that one big purchase...

but what happened with me is,

1.) I couldn't afford to spend $500 at any one time in the last 7 years. In those years, I've been in college, I've been married, and I've had two wonderful kids. Each time I bought a pedal, I could afford that individual pedal. I couldn't have afforded a one-time, $5-600 multi-effects board. I don't regret it because...

2.) I like being able to control each individual effect, especially with delay. I have a used POD xtL that I got last year for cheap, and if I were to use it for my delays in a live worship set, let's just say it wouldn't be very straight forward. The only thing I could change on any given preset's delay is the time using the tap tempo function. With my DD20, however, I have 4 presets that I've configured beforehand right at my fingertips (or should I say toes?) You have a lot more freedom to adjust each effect on-the-fly.

Simplicity & Features....

I would offer neither. Both of those are important; however, excellence in construction is more important than either. Buy a very well made and engineered pedal and then buy for your personal preference as to simplicity or features. And that touches on where this string went as to multi-effects vs.individual pedals. I started on a $400 mfx rig. Couldn't get the sound I wanted; so, I decided to upgrade. The question became: do I buy a more elaborate mfx pedal or build the board with the pedals that I want. Because the latter would be so much more expensive, I spent $1,000 on a new and improved mfx and it was better, BUT, it still didn't deliver the flexibility I wanted. I wound up spending way more than that to get the board I needed....but, it took most of what I was earning on music in a 9 month period. has been well worth it. To me.

hey jason got 2 or more questions

hey jason got 2 or more questions about lead guitar in worship songs.

1. what is used more in worship songs single coil pickups or humbucker pickups?
2. what is better to having a great amp or pedels?
3.if i have to buy a preamp, do you mind telling me where to put it on my pedelbroard?
4. what is better in pedels, to have the same brand or to have different brands?
5. the last question is it a bad idea to have the power connection for the pedels on the pedelbroard?



Great questions. Thanks for bringing them here!

1. I would say single coils are used more often but they aren't necessary. They just have a "lighter" sound to them. I played lead guitar in worship for years with my Les Paul which has hum buckers and it sounded great!

2. I go amp every time. Everything you play comes through it so you can have the greatest pedals in the world but played through a lousy amp they won't give you the tone you want.

3. Your amp should have a preamp built in. The preamp is just what you run your guitar into.

4. Having the same brand doesn't matter but having a good brand does. It's worth it to save for what you really want.

5. Not at all. I have a Hot Stone rigged up under my board.

thanks jason

what amp would you recommend? (my max is $150). and then with the pedels would it just be better for me to get one of those multi-effect sets like the boss me-75 or me-80?

thanks for your help!



i'm just playing here at my house so i don't need any thing amazing just somthing descent.

and with the guitar would it be a good thing for me to get a guitar that has both kinds of pickups?

One of my students

has this amp and I've been really impressed with the tone. :

It has a number of amp models and effects built in so if you are just using it at home it will have everything you need. Check out the video in the link to give you an idea.

ok thanks

that sounds like the best option, and then what volume pedel would you recommend?

I'll tell you this

This is the one I wish I bought:

is there

one you would recommend thats in the $60-80 range?


ok thank you

ok thank you, y'all have been such a help, if it wasn't for y'all i would have quit trying to learn guitar.
thank you again, may God bless y'all and y'alls ministry.



Ever. Quit.

We're here for you.




???????????????? what does m and n mean?????????


Now you're really confusing me :)

i was

trying to put emoji faces on it but it wouldn't show on the comment, but yeah that was funny, all though don't think that's what he ment.

We'll have to

work those into the commenting structure :)

m and n?

it was a new to this thread

Mistakes are welcome

We all make them and it's worth a good laugh :)

Acoustic Guitar Sound

Hi Jason,

A couple of questions for you (which may be dumb) but what kind of strings do
you use on your acoustic guitars? Gauge?

Second, any advice for connecting the acoustic guitar through the PA system?
Our tech guy likes to be able to control my volume as sometimes I really get
into it (louder) and other times softly. What is the best way to control that
sounds (i.e. How to or if I should use the tone knobs...preamp etc.

We are a small church and have a PA system.

Also, you mentioned the Boss Bass EQ. What kind of settings do you use?

Thanks for all your awesome work!


No dumb questions here.

I use Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor bronze 12 gauge. They last and keep their tone longer than any strings I've ever used. They are a little more expensive but super worth it in my opinion.

You can get them pretty cheap here:

You could look into a compressor. I've been meaning to try it myself and am bring the SP compressor to church on Sunday to try it out. I'll let you know how it goes.

My Bass eq pedal settings are as follows It will depend on your guitar if they work for you but the general shape of the sliders should be similar (these are approximate): 50=-5 120=0 400=-10 500=-15 800=-3 4.5=0 10k=-5

You may also want to try...


Dropping in my 2 pennies worth here... You may also want to try Martin Phosphor Bronze SP strings. I use the custom lights on my acoustic. I love them, they are inexpensive last VERY long, look great (the B and E strings are coated so they are gold in color) and the sound is exemplary.

The people at my church who were using the same strings as Jason have switched to the Martin SP's and love them.

The gauges on these are .011 - .052

late to the party...again!

I use D'Addario extra lights....string preference is as individual as, well, individuals are. I love 'em and use 'em on both my electric and acoustic. As a worship leader, I put money in the budget to pay for new strings (drum sticks, guitar picks, pre-amp batteries, etc.) and really ask the players to change 'em every month. It is a pain - since none of us have a guitar tech, right - but, especially for the acoustic, it keeps it sounding bright.

Older discussion, but . . .

...I've also been experimenting with strings. I prefer 12-53s, as they are not too light, but light enough that the fingering and action are nice. I have 13-56s on my Samick Dreadnought, and I find it harder to play bar chords on that guitar than I do my Ovation or Gibson. I tried the Elixir Nanoweb PBs on the Spruce/Nato Samick, and it was very bright, what I would call pianistic. Didn't care for the sound at all. I switched to the Martin SP 13-56s, and that helped with the "jangly" sound, but that guitar is still pretty bright, as is my Ovation, on which I currently have Gibson Masterbuilt Premium PB 12-53s. Those same strings came on my new Gibson Hummingbird EC. I've had it about a month, and I really like it. The weight/balance/playability are better than any guitar I've ever tried.

I've also used D'adario EXP-16s and Adamas 1818 12-53 PBs on the Ovation. Both are nice strings that have a good balance of warmth and treble to my ears. I now have a couple sets of Dean Markley Helix HD 12-53s arriving this week. I've read good things about them, and decided to give them a try. I prefer my guitar to be warm but not muddy on the bass side, and the trebles to not be too bold. Still haven't locked into a preferred string ... yet.


In-Ear Monitors

Hey Jason,

Can you recommend any in-ear monitors? Our church has sets of Shure 425 right now, but am in the market for my own pair.

- I listen at high volumes
- Play Lead

Any thoughts?

In Ear Monitors

Hey John! If you're going to upgrade from the universal fit shure in ears, I'd suggest you make the jump to custom molds. I use 1964 ears, and you really can't go wrong with any of the models they offer. The V2 Dual drivers would make a massive difference, and having them custom molded to your ears will let you listen at lower volumes, still giving you a great sound and saving your hearing:) I personally use the Quads because the added low end is great for drummers and bass players.

I second this. 1964 Ears are

I second this. 1964 Ears are local for me and I purchased the V3s and they work great for acoustic and electric guitar but after the ear molds and monitors your looking at about $550. Money well spent though.

Has the world wide web taken over guitar lessons?

Hey Jason,

First, thanks a lot for all your hard work. Your site has helped me out a ton. I guess I have two questions.

1. I'm having a difficult time finding a good dedicated guitar teacher like yourself that actually wants to teach and I feel like that has a lot to do with the information you can find on the internet for free or at an incredible value like your site. Any recommendations to be able to fill the guitar teacher void? I would even try guitar lessons by Skype at this point.

2. I've always hoped that someday this site would build its own forum type site. Any future plans for such a community? I know there is a lot of them out there but I don't know of any that incorporate this great music AND great people willing to help out others.


Guitar teachers are a funny breed.

1. In my experience most are guitar players looking to make some cash on the side. I've always told people I'm a teacher who happens to be decent at guitar. I still keep a very limited number of private students and have done some via skype. It can be a good option depending on your goals. If you'd like to explore that, shoot me an email using the "contact us" link in the footer to see if that would be a good fit.

2. The Green Room is the first step for us on that. We hope the community engages here and think a forum would be the next logical step if they do so jumping in these comment sections!

Email sent

Hopefully it made it




Being a new member to I was surprised there was not a forum. I have dropped another guitar teaching website in order to be here. When I compared to the other site I found the teaching methods here helped me better than the previous website. If I were to say to add something to worship artistry that the other site is doing would be a forum.

This is kind of the first step for us

We weren't really sure how much everyone would engage and there is nothing sadder looking than a forum without activity. This little experiment is definitely moving the forum idea forward. In the meantime, post here and we'll be on it.


Forums would be a definite rounding out of the total package here. is nice but anytime "P&W" gets mentioned, there is plenty of trolling comments to deal with and gear talk: P&W on facebook is cool but very limited for on-going discussion.

I think forums would boom this site.

Thanks for everything your team does!

Goto lead ideas

I find as I grow as a guitarist and learn new ideas for lead, I play that same idea for every song until I learn something new again. I've done it with power chords, triads, and octave lines. I was wondering if you could just kind of guide me in the direction of some other ideas that I should have in my arsenal for when there is a limited time to think up dynamic lead parts to a song . Things like tremolo picking, swells or even just licks that will most often work. Thank you very much!

Some of my go-to's

Volume swells with only a few notes of the chord, moving rhythm riffs inside the pentatonic and major scales, tremolo picking (I'm doing a 101 lesson on tremolo picking this week) are all good options. You can also check out the Riffing for The Weekend posts in the Green Room for some individual riff ideas and I'll keep them coming.


That's awesome, thank you very much. I had one other question. I've been having a hard time mastering delay. Mostly in knowing which delay to use when. For example, when to use quarter notes vs eighth notes or triplets. Or when to use more repeats and higher mix, etc. I know there aren't really any set rules on it, but when would you personally use certain delays?
Thanks again.

Delay Rules of Thumb

There is usually no right or wrong with delay and most of the fun comes from playing around with the knobs and dials but here are some basic guidelines that I use.

Volume Swells = Quarter notes for 1 or 2 measures

Driving rhythm = 8th notes for 1 measure

Ambient Tremelo picking = 8th note delay with a soaking reverb

If it sounds like U2 = 1 or 2 loud dotted eighth note repeats

The other thing I would mention is I rarely use it in a way that really stands out. I like my delays to quietly resonate in the background for most tunes and then crank it really extremely for ambient stuff. Does that help?

Emails from Africa

Hey Jason

I've sent you a couple of emails lately about questions that I would've liked answered but I haven't received any replies yet...I'm not sure if they are getting through to you...I hope you see this one.

Video picture quality options

Hey man, I really enjoy what this site has to offer...its content is quite unique. I have one difficulty when watching the video lessons, it takes a while to load since its in HD and therefore retards the learning process which is kinda frustrating :-) So I just wanted to know if there is any possibility that ya'll will, whether now or in the near future, allow us to be able to choose the picture quality that we would like to view the lesson in eg. HD, 720p 480p 360p etc this will help a lot. This is just a suggestion, any response would be welcomed. Thank you and keep up the good work!

That is a great suggestion

We want the site to be available to as many folks as possible but we also want to make sure we are delivering high quality. I'll look into it with our developers and see if that is an option.




Jason - I found your post on capo's very helpful. How about one on metronomes? Also, which one do you use in the instructional videos?

Good strumming technique has always been problematic for me & I've been working on that aspect of my playing in conjunction with your lessons. I recently upgraded my Matrix to a Korg metronome for this purpose. Yet, the Korg lacks some of the timing nuances I hear coming out of the metronome you are using. Seems musical timing can get fairly complicated.

Your site is by far the best I have come across for guitar instruction, and to top it off, all for the glory of the Lord. Keep up the good work. It is a blessing.


I use a Boss Dr. Beat DB-90

but it's pretty pricey. Tama makes one that's very similar for about half the price but it's still expensive. If you've got a smart phone I use Pro Metronome in my private lessons and the paid version is only a couple bucks. It's not as user friendly as the solid state ones but it's very customizable and has tap tempo.

The main thing you want to be able to do is subdivide the beat and accent the ones you want. For example, I often set mine to accent the first beat of the measure, have my quarter notes the loudest and 8th notes at a lower volume. When I'm doing the half speed loops, I bring in the 16th notes a little lower than the eighth and quarters.

Dr. Beat:


Metronome Apps

Hey David...
The metronome Jason uses is by far one of the best on the market, but as he mentioned, perhaps a little pricey. I found a decent alternative for those times when I need a fill in but couldn't have my DB-90... it's an APP for my phone/ipad called "Tempo" by Frozen Ape. (I give the maker because there are a few called "tempo". It has all the different beat subdivisions & more...even a "setlist" feature where you could load song tempos in order and click between them in a worship service, etc. All for just a couple of bucks. :)


For the follow-up Groove Man : ) . I read your post too late and bit the bullet and ordered the DB-90.
Yes it is a little pricey (my birthday $$$), but it can do a lot. Still, expensive gear is no excuse for
just plain old elbow grease in the practice room. I'll check-out the app. Cheers.


having fun learning my way around the site and enjoying 101 so far :) PRAISE GOD

beginner here too

God is really working through jason and the team, so thankful that God sent me to this site.

Tap tempo?

Since you talked about metronomes and tap tempo. What do you use tap tempo for? I have a metronome app on my iPad and not sure what's the idea behind tap tempo.

Tap tempo

Reads the speed you are tapping to. For every song I tap in the quarter notes and then subdivide from there. It's really helpful when you want to get a part up to speed because you can start slow and build up to it.

Tap tempo

Thanks for the feedback.

Rhythm lessons

Can Rhythm parts be played on electric or acoustic as presented in lessons? I noticed on the Great I Am that the rhythm was listed under electric and it sounded awesome to add electric rhythm to the electric lead vs playing my acoustic since we only have 1 bass, 1 electric and me usually on acoustic.

That was one of our earliest lessons!

I think there are only 2 I did that with because I wasn't quite sure how to go with that. After reviewing that video I think I'll reshoot it with the acoustic in the usual format. Look for it this week!

...I'm stuck!

I'm pretty much a self taught acoustic rhythm player... I would say I haven't mastered it by any means, but I can pick up most songs and run with them! And if I can't I come here to get some ideas ;) I would love to learn electric, and the worship leader would love for me too as well since we have 2 acoustics playing rhythm at the moment. but I'm struggling with the switch... I feel like idk where to start when it comes to playing my electric. So to the actual point of all that I have 2 questions:

1)What are the basics I need to learn for electric? For example playing rhythm I learned chord formations and strumming patterns

2)how do I apply the basics to different songs? I know one thing that would help me is to learn some different scales but I struggle with making the scales musical... I can go up and down the scale but I don't know how to apply it to a song.

And last, I have a very nice Gibson L6S with a Marshal AVT 150H and a Line 6 POD XT LIVE pedal but it doesn't do me much good because I don't know how to get a good tone out of this stuff! Not to mention my Electric has a 6 position selector for the pickups which can be intimidating to know which one to use for what? Do I use the neck or the bridge pickup or single or double coil? The combinations are pretty extensive with this guitar! I guess that's more than 2 questions but any direction would be greatly appreciated cuz I have no idea where to start!

Oh I just want to help you so much!!!


The key to playing lead is to take baby steps. Just because you are great at rhythm playing doesn't mean you get an automatic upgrade to lead. Start with some basic skills like these:

Learn some easy songs like these from our "Ease Into Leads" collection:

Once you've got a few songs under your belt you'll start to get a feel for it and you can build.

Tone is all about keeping it simple to start. Choose one pickup position (combo of neck and bridge is a great all around tone) Get yourself a decent light overdrive tone, add a little delay and off you go.

We also have a 4 part blog series on "How to Think Like a Lead Guitarist" but I would start with the steps above first.

You got this.

I have felt your pain!

Hey Flyboy,

About 6 years ago we lost both electric guitar players and my worship leader asked me to pick up electric. I was well versed on the acoustic but not so much on the electric so I know where you are coming from.

You have a great setup but for now it is overkill...kind of like giving a kid who just passed his driver's test a lamborghini.

First thing I would do is take the Line 6 out of the loop. DON'T throw it away just don't worry about using it for now. Did your amp come with a foot switch? If so use that.

Your amp has effects and distortion and clean channels that can be selected via your footswitch. Start learning your amp and the distortions you get from your amp. Play with those to find what you like and don't like. It won't be a perfect match to every song but that is OK. For now you are learning, your pedal board is great but if you don't know what you like or need it will be next to impossible to program the pedal board to get the sounds you want out of it.

Scales are important but patterns are your friend too. Now we are pretty hard and fast about playing the songs we do the way the artists recorded them. Our belief is that we should honor the creator of the song and do it the way they did. That does not leave a lot of room for improvising BUT it will help you learn how leads are designed and how they fit into a song. So whenever you can try working from that perspective.

Don't make yourself crazy. At the beginning focus on the lead parts of songs that are an obvious starter to a song. What I mean by that is if the part repeats often or starts the song out, learn it exactly the was it is played. Make that your focus, the rest will not be missed providing the people hear the song the way they are used to hearing song that comes to mind is "Like A Lion".

I would also start with everything on your guitar in the middle. Volume, selector and tone all in the middle. This will give you a place of balance that you can then tweak as you progress. By doing this you also will not be overpowering the mix. Single or double coil for me has more to do with what the other guy is playing. We routinely have two electric guitars, two of the other guitar players own only one guitar so if I'm playing that weekend and the guitar they are playing is a humbucker, I'll bring my Tele. If the other guy is playing a strat I'll bring my Les Paul. It balances the sound out. The single coil has a tendency to be a bit more treble sounding and cut through the mix. The humbuckers generally have more boost and low end and chunk. But having two guitars that sonically are bringing the same sound dimensions to the party tends to muddy things up.

If you haven't done it already have your guitar setup done. If you don't know how to do it yourself take it somewhere to have it done. A setup should include checking the neck for straightness, for any high frets, that the action is comfortable to play up and down the entire length of the neck and that the intonation is correct (that last one is possibly the most important). The intonation simply means that your guitar is playing in tune all the way up the neck, and it is one of the most overlooked thing on every electric guitar.

I LOVE WORSHIP ARTISTRY!!! YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT SITE... they will teach you a ton! I have also found "Fretboard Logic" to be exactly what I was looking for to make the advance from scales to leads! you can find them here

I still use them when I feel like my leads are becoming predictable and ... well... BORING... lol they give me new ideas or just different ways to do the old stuff.

If you are on FB feel free to message me Joe Król cut and paste my name exactly like it is, (my son is out there too and the only difference is the little tick mark in my last name) message me your email and we can talk all you want!

Lastly download a program called audacity this will let you open the mp3 of the song you are trying to learn the lead for and slow it down without changing the key so you can lock the notes in you want. If the song you are trying to learn is on Worship Artistry you don't have to do this because they have it in different speeds, but for the songs they don't have this tool is great and it's FREE!!!

I hope that helps some again feel free to hit me up on FB.


Lead with 3 Things

Flyboy - I know where you're coming from.

First - I'm a self-taught acoustic player as well. Good news is your not afraid to ask questions. Keep asking. I'm constantly asking tips and tricks from more experienced players.

Now - to your question(s). I would say focus on 3 things.

1. Octaves / basic note locations around the fretboard - This is hands down how I contribute the most as a lead player. If you can learn how to play even just single or triads (see the 101 section), you will be able to add dynamics to your worship band. There are many songs where I've just played 3 notes over and over.

2. Tone - make it simple. Play around with the selector and see what your ears like. Here's an added bonus - since you have a Line 6, you can go over to and check out their custom tones. I've literally found hundreds of tones for Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, Lincoln Brewster and more. All you have to do is download them. Youtube is your friend here on the how to specifics.

3. Finger picking / Arpeggios - this is what sets you a apart as a lead guitar. Going back to my 3 note song, it was an arpeggio. Sounds lame, but without the song feels empty.

Overall - hang in there & keep learning!


So maybe this isn't going to be as bad as it seems

I'll be honest, I have had my electric guitar for quite some time and i have picked it up and played a few things mostly power chords and a couple licks like from the song "from the inside out". But honestly it was just really intimidating so most of the time my electric stayed in its case and I stuck to what I was comfortable with and that's my acoustic!!! And I play a few things on my acoustic that aren't completely rhythm liken"beautiful things" by gungor. All that to say you all have kinda put electric into perspective for me I wish I would have posted my questions on here a long time ago.

Thanks and God bless!
You will probably be hearing more from me soon!

My two cents

I, too, have felt your pain....EVERYTHING that's been said above - I'm late to the party, as usual - is great advice. I would add this: Don't give up on scales or the patterns that develop out of them on the guitar. How to say this, hmm, the diatonic scale (the one with all 7 of the adjacent natural notes in each key) is great. BUT, like you've discovered it is hard to learn to use in lead because there are two tones in each key that don't work well unless one knows how to construct the lead line vis a vis the chord it is being played over. (Plus, you have to know how to link them.) Enter the pentatonic scale...especially in contemporary music genres. Pentatonics are the full scale with the two "difficult" notes removed (4 & 7 major; 2 & 6 minor). So, they are both relatively easy to memorize and to apply. BUT***warning***warning****warning use them as a starting point and a stepping stone. Their ease of use CAN make us lazy as lead players or lead us into repetitive use of patterns that, ultimately, make us lazy AND boring. (When I was learning the scales and patterns I learned both the diatonic and pentatonic scale simultaneously. I felt like it helped me see the difference and how to put it all back together ultimately.) Even Ingwie Malmsteen said that he had to move past pentatonic eventually because he, of all people, got bored with his playing. Playing lead is in one way like playing quarterback int NFL, as you grow as a lead player, the process "slows down" for you. hear things at a "glance" that used to slip by you or took you a while to recognize. So, eventually, you can easily see when and where to put back in that 4th or 7th. The process just takes "...time, time, time...." filled with various practice approaches. Every lead player walks the path variously is both unavoidable and VERY rewarding. I know this is wordy...I sincerely apologize...but, I hope I've been helpful.

Time, Time, TIME!!!

I feel ya flyboy. I made the same switch about 3 years ago. I was a self taught acoustic player who was asked to make the switch. The good thing is, your already a guitar player. The bad thing is, you know what it takes to be a guitar player. Time, time, time! It took about a year and a half before I felt even remotely comfortable with an electric. 1,000 live mistakes later, and I have disappeared as just another band member. Trust me, there will come a day when it's easier than acoustic!!

I would agree with the comments already thrown at you as far as process. Start with just the guitar and the amp. Another thing that helped me alot in that setup was the idea of taking the natural progression of the song and playing it as a one note transition on only one string. In other words, if the progression is G,C,Em,D play the progression all on only your G or B string. As you begin to get comfortable with sliding up and down the neck, you can start adding in some other notes, some hammer ons and some string bends. Next thing you know, you can naturally start to feel "where" the progression is headed and you will be able to start moving around the neck and across different strings to add a little riff to maybe the first note of the transition. I spent a lot of time doing that over music the first year.

This is definitely the place to be for this sort of thing though. Most of my lead lines started with Jason (he's sort of a stud) and I am now beginning to be able to incorporate my own ideas with the templates he puts up. I think one of the most important things for an electric player is developing your ear. That's why I think Jason's intro to song videos are so important, don't skip them. He talks a lot about what he thinks an electric player is trying to communicate in the song or what style he is trying to create. Spend time listening to guitar players whose style you like and try to emulate their patterns. After all, we all have a pattern. It's just varying levels of complexity.

In regards to your pedal, I would recommend finding one or two decent sounding presets, then learning what effects are turned on. If you haven't yet try they have a bunch of user created patches you can download. I found some cool stuff in there. After that, there are a ton of great youtube videos where you can find reviews for different guitar pedals. If you area using an effect with reverb, watch a couple reverb reviews, even if it's not exactly your pedal and you can begin to understand how that effect in particular influences your sound. All the knobs can be intimidating, but once you get an idea of how the effect manipulates your tone, then you can begin to see through the noise so to speak and decide what you want to change.

I'd also consider the idea of telling you to consider the idea of a couple stompboxes. I started with a very similar multipedal, but ultimately went to separate pedals after about 6 months. It's tough to dial in those pedals with so many options. They seem like a great idea, but I never could make it sound very good. I ended up with a line 6 delay, a paisley O.D. I bought stupid cheap (like under $100) and a TC reverb. Plus, I just bought my first Earth Quaker (thanks Jason, like I needed ANOTHER reason to spend guitar money!!) but I am not real good at using it yet. Simple made a huge difference for me. If your worrying about effects while playing, you have to many effects. That's my new motto!! I was able to get all my individual pedals for just a little more than what I sold my multi for so it worked out great. Kind of a drastic idea, but something to consider.

I say all that to say, don't be downtrodden. There's hope!! If I can learn electric, anybody can. Something else I'd throw out there is the idea of making it part of your daily prayer time. I prayed often that the Lord would show me who to listen to and who to emulate at first. I always tried to focus my efforts on the electric to the idea of making it an instrument of worship instead of a new hobby. At the end of the day, that's really what it's all about for us anyways, right? That we would exalt His name and make His renown known in our church as we come together in praising His great name! I honestly believe it made a difference. I am better guitar player in a worship set than I ever am practicing at home. It makes no sense to me and I've never figured it out, but all I know is that, while our advice to you is good, the Lord who called and saved you can make you better than you ever hope to be if you seek His plan for you, yes even in guitar playing.

My book is now complete, and my soapbox is put away... Hope something in here helps and encourages you! Be blessed


This was supposed to be a response to Flyboy... my bad. I can play guitar... computers, not so much

Key of Eb

Could you do a post on how I fell in love with the Key of Eb? Our worship music leader likes to use the key of Eb songs. This is probably mostly due to he is a piano player. I usually end using a capo on the first fret and play in D. I have also tried playing on the sixth fret and use bar chords around the middle of the neck.

I've have yet to fall in love with Eb

It's more like being in an arranged marriage. I think I can learn to love it. I'll try some things and post what I come up with. Great thought!


Actually although we don't play in Eb very often I am liking it because I found something that works very well totally by accident.

My worship leader asked me to make up a chart for "You Make Me brave", I just purchased a 12 string that as a rule I keep tuned a half step down. I was being lazy and instead of reaching for my trusty six string and a capo, I took out my 12 string and just played it open, as if it was in E.

It gave a very cool dynamic to the song, being lower than usual, and when we do it on Sunday for the rest of the songs I'll just capo up. The other thing is the likelihood is every other guitar will be playing capoed up, you will be holding up the bottom end with beautiful open chords.

Hope that helps

Half step down

Thanks for the hint. i will be sure to try this out.

Church worship CDs, royalties, songwriters etc

So the church worship team wants to record some original songs and put songs on itunes, sell cd's etc. Sounds like fun, a lot of work and complicated when you start asking questions about songwriter contracts, % of sales to church etc, licensing. Any advice or resources you can point to to help navigate the troubled world of music sales etc.


It is a lot of fun

and a lot of work but it doesn't have to be that complicated. If you are doing original songs, writers can protect themselves by creating a publishing entity in their own name. If they want to make it official that can go through BMI. Unless you are going to sell 50,000 albums though, I would stay away from giving points to writers on record sales. If the church is paying for it they should get all the cash that comes in. I've had songs on a number of church records and have never expected a dime. If you make a church CD that covers it's cost you are usually doing great.

It's not a bad idea to have something in writing though. Maybe something where if sales reach a certain point they you start giving points. Either way, you need to be clear about who owns the actual songs.

I would love to hear other thoughts...


Thanks for your feedback. I agree with you 100% and I don't expect a dime because that is not why I play on the worship team....but there are other opinions and as you said it might be good to get some sort of agreement up front.

Yep it's fun and can get expensive...

Our church has produced 5 cd's and I have been on three of them, one leading a song I wrote. On average the production costs were about $5,000 or a bit over. A lot of that cost is in studio time and remixing, overdubs corrections and mastering.

This cost included 1,000 cd's and we have hundreds of each left. I do not believe we have ever broken even, let alone made money on them. So the thought of percentages was always pretty moot. I retained all of the rights to my song and can do with it what I please.

The process was fun, a lot of work, educational, and something I would do again happily but would not make it a mission. More of an ancillary thing we are doing. We also recorded several of the albums live.

Best advice, have fun and don't worry about royalties until you have to.


Key Changes


I am a lead guitarist from a small church in QLD Australia, I am very much learning as I am going and have used many of your lessons since subscribing last year. I am finding that our singing team changes the key a lot on the recorded songs, so I am wondering if you have access to the sheet music in other keys in your songs and could perhaps include some options in the sheet music section. I am obviously able to transpose I know, but if this resource exists I know that myself and my team would benefit greatly from it.

Yours in Christ
Jordan Visser

We are

working on a partnership that will allow charts to be downloaded in different keys, but for the moment we have to stick with the master. Think of it as "an opportunity" to hone your transposing skills :)

glass half full

ever the positive spin man! You need to change your handle to Mr. Sunshine!! :)

The WALL of Introductions!!!!!

I know introductions on websites has been done but I think most of us would agree what Jason is doing is unique and pretty special for us god loving guitar players(and drummers :). I think it would be pretty cool to see how far his work has spread and maybe make a local connection. I saw Africa in an earlier post. That's pretty impressive!

The wall

El Dorado, Kansas

I'm from

Bellingham. Washington. About as far Pacific Northwest as you can get without hitting Canada.


Springfield, MO here.



New Zealand


are winning :)

Transplant, but at home....

Greenville, SC (NW corner of the state, close to the NC line).

Orlando, FL

Native Texan, but God moved us to Orlando and can't be happier to be here!


Yes Cleveland Ohio...


London England

Mountainhome, PA

Mountainhome, PA


Sedalia, Missouri know, the city in the state to which no one knows where it is....yeah that's me


Yeah all the way up north in Europe :)

MIxing multi FX pedal into mix

My question is for the sound engineers. I have a Line 6 HD300 (should have gone the HD500 but might wait for the firehawk?!) and I am starting to get some nice tones that I like. The way I use it is I create a tone for a song then when I am using it that week, I just add it into my pedal.

My question is, what is the best way to mix my pedal into the FOH. I have a decent knowledge on mixing and related. I want to make it so that whenever I go to a different tone, the sound guy doesn't have to do much because the new tone would fix up the volume differential (we have one awesome guy who has to run the computer and sound desk.)

I have thought about setting up a clean tone and setting the levels right for that then working off that for the rest of my tones in regards to volume. Is this a good way or is there a better way.

Hope someone can help.

I would love to hear some other thoughts on this

but I think you've got the right idea. Usually with overdrive you want a little bit of a boost and if you're going into a solo you want another bump. If you think of your settings in relationship to the part you play in the song you should be fine. I'd also shy away from dramatic changes in volume so your sound guy can rest easy you're not going to take any huge jumps out of the mix.

Multi FX in the mix

I have a RP500. What I've found works (found the recommendations looking around online for going direct to PA) is to do about as you have described. I have a bank of patches that I work with, so I'll try to get them all pretty close in terms of volume (some I had to boost the volume to get in line with others depending on what's active). Then I set the expression pedal to run volume on all of them so I can tweak easily. I usually don't have anyone running sound, so I have to be able to adjust myself. I've found this works well and leaves me enough room to boost or cut back as needed by using the expression pedal and volume knob.

That won't work well if you need the expression pedal for other effects, but I'm willing to sacrifice that in order to better control volume. I hope to eventually get an external volume pedal to free up the expression pedal.

Experienced Sound Techs Are Priceless Here

Good question Ryan.

I have a HD500x too and am always worried how much the POD knobs have rotated when I'm setting up. Sometimes it goes from 10 o'clock to 5. I would constantly fidget with my pod, changing tones until I found one that sounded as good in my ears compared to my home studio.

In short it's not easy. Trust your sound guy on this. Our Worship Ministry Band members always remind one another that the sound guy will make the necessary changes on the fly to get the house mix right.

That being said, I would talk to your sound guy about his techniques. In conversations with mine, I found out he puts a decent compressor on most of the channels as not to blow anyone's ears. It's things like this that make sense why you are cranked to full volume but can't hear nothing.

To sum it up - make friends with the sound guy.

Hope this is helpful.


Same Volume on the amp

Make all patches with the same volume on the amp in each patch. As an example, I almost always use the VOX AC-30 amp model. I crank the volume all the way within the patch (not the gain, the amp master volume in the patch!). Then I set the Master Volume on the POD (the physical knob itself) to about halfway. This makes it fairly easy to use the POD Master Volume to adjust my settings in rehearsal. I also try to use one standard patch for most songs, unless it's just an effect particular song or a song that I need to combine turning effects on/off at the same time with one footswitch (Only King Forever comes to mind). This is easier to do using the POD in pedalboard mode.

Typically I find I need to come up a bit using the MV, or I'll ask the sound guy to boost the gain a touch on the board - especially if the sound just feels weaker than it should. Really keep in mind that just because you can't hear yourself in the monitor, which should be fixed, you could still be plenty loud in the house mix.

I've also found that using a 1/4" out into a DI box is better than using a single XLR. This is likely because the XLRs are at mic level, but play around with which works best for you. No patches or pedals are going to sound the same at your house as they do in rehearsal, so definitely save your settings during rehearsal. If I get back home, and the sound is different, I tend to adjust the speaker volume vice changing my patch from rehearsal.

Pedalboard to PA

I'm new to the site and new to playing guitar in our church's worship service. I prefer to play through my tube amp, however, the setup at our church requires connecting directly into the PA system. I have been borrowing a line 6 POD, but I would like to use my own pedals. What is the best way to accomplish this? A DI box? Active vs. passive. Any suggestions?



DI box is probably your best bet. We recently got a couple of LiveWire passive boxes (the $30 variety) that are working well for light usage. For heavy usage, the ProCo DB-1 has worked well for some people I know.

check out the torpedo CAB

The torpedo CAB is a power amp/cab simulator in stomp box form. It does not include the preamp though, so you need to use it with a pedal type preamp or even a POD with cab simulation disabled. There are some videos just with a dirt box in front of it and it still sounds great. You put your delay/modulation/reverb pedals after the torpedo.

Metronome Apps

+1 on the Tempo app by Frozen Ape. Inexpensive and loaded with features.


Strymon Mobius

I'm curious if anyone is using the strymon mobius and if they feel this pedal is all you need to cover a chorus pedal and/or a flanger pedal? Maybe on of the draw backs being you can't have them both on at the same time but curious if you still use the pedals the mobius covers?

Reverse delay

Hi, I was wondering if you ever use reverse delay and if you have any tips on making it sound good?
Thank you

I discuss it briefly in the DD-20 review

You can watch it here:

Outside of that I just always say play with the knobs a lot and trust your ears :)

Keeping tempo

One of my struggles when playing with the church band is keeping tempo. I have a hard time hearing the tempo or the beat of the song during practice. During practice it is just piano guitar and vocals, so I'm tryig to keep tempo with the piano. We do not use drums during practice, which I find iteasier to keep the tempo to drums. Been at this over a year now and it is discouraging and frustrating. I can keep tempo with songs here and with other sources. What are your suggestions or tips on hearing and keeping tempo.

Try to find and follow the

Try to find and follow the more obvious beats of the song. I kind of think of them as "mountain peaks" poking out above the forest, giving you landmarks to use for orientation. Listen for the accents, the strong and weak parts of the beat, how the rhythm follows and supports the vocal line, etc.

Practice following rhythm as often as you can by tapping on things around you while listening to music that you really love: in the car, in the shower, at your desk, eating breakfast, etc. (Note: some people may get very, very upset by this. Use caution.)

But seriously, internalizing as many forms and variations of rhythm as you can will prove to be very useful as you go.

At our church it is usually the lead rhythm guitar (we've had as many as four or so playing at one time) or the piano that sets and keeps the tempo, and everyone else follows. Even the drums follow along (we typically use one or two djembes, but sometimes I'll break out my marching snare with brushes for the guy who loves to play percussion). Granted we're a small 20-odd member house church that meets pretty much exclusively in living rooms, so our standard practices aren't exactly standard. But the following the rhythm thing still applies.

Thinking about that, try watching the hands of your piano player if possible. That's how we often keep track of each other if we have 3 or 4 guitars going at once, by watching and matching the strum pattern of the lead rhythm player. We also use this for chord sequences if someone doesn't know the song and we don't have printouts for it (this sometimes happens if we spontaneously shift into an unplanned song or chorus under the Holy Spirit's direction).

Our songs are hardly ever rehearsed out or played anywhere close to any recorded version. It's all pretty much song familiarity mixed with a healthy dose of improvisation. We also play anywhere from 3-5 songs continuously for an hour or two without stopping, going from one to the next and maybe even back over previous choruses again. People may drop in or out or even change instruments partway through. So following along has been a learned skill for me for the past couple of years.

Knowing the songs well on your own also helps tremendously. When I plan out a set list for a service, I'll often track down MP3's of the songs that I'm going to be leading, and I'll make a playlist of those songs on my phone to listen to on repeat for a while. Even if it plays while I'm sleeping, it really helps get the structures and melodies and harmonies into my system. This method really helps me feel prepared well ahead of time.

I don't know exactly what level of leadership you currently have in your worship team or how you guys function, but sometimes I'll even use my rhythm playing (even if I'm mainly supporting another leader) to "push" myself a little in the "mix" to establish a stronger sense of the tempo/timing/rhythm for the other people if it gets a little lost. I play mostly acoustic guitar with our team, but I'm known for playing kind of "aggressively" (with a strong percussive feel that has definite rhythmic contours), and this is helpful once in a while to help keep everything tied together. It's not like I'm bulldozing over them by suddenly being louder or anything. It's just a gentle "push" with my strumming for a minute or so that digs in a little more and gives the others something to grab onto. Then usually once they all find the groove again, I can back off and let it ride for a while again. Plus, that "boost" that everybody feels when it all falls in together can be pretty encouraging and inspiring, even for the congregation. Usually that's one of those moments when everybody looks around at each other with a huge grin on our faces, like, "Yep, that feels awesome!"

Although with that said, that may not work in other situations where my relationship with the other musicians isn't the same, and the way that our worship team functions, the song leadership at any particular moment may get handed off around the room to different people in a fluid and dynamic way. So it really depends on the context.

Overall, the best way to help your team out is to communicate honestly about anything you may have trouble with, and see if maybe somebody else can adjust what they're doing or if they might have an idea to help.

Blessings, my friend. I hope some of this helps!


I really appreciate you taking the time writing some stuff out. I will take some of your advice and put it to work. I have always thought of listening to the songs prior to practice and church to get the feel for the song. After reading your response I will definitely get into the habit of listening to them first.

A couple thoughts

I'll quickly second what JMorris said and emphasize his point of having the guitar playing more driving and percussively. I do the same in my current setting and it gives a rhythm for everyone else to fall into.

I would talk to your pianist about it and have them help you map the rhythm. If they are playing rhythmically it should help you and if they are following the melody rather than holding down a strong rhythm pattern it might make more sense for them to follow you. I've found while playing with a pianist who is used to being the leader, they can play in ways that are darn near impossible to follow (especially without drums). You may both have to make adjustments to make it work so invest some time in locking in together.

Transitions between different keys and meters?

Hey, just a thought: I'd like to hear what any of you think about mixing meters (3/4, 6/8, 4/4, 7/4!, etc.) and/or keys within a single worship set list. The way that our church usually goes about it varies widely from one worship leader to another, but I like to mix in a few twists to keep it interesting without losing the focus or being distracting. (It's obvious that I'm a musician, isn't it?)

I try to plan out my set lists like a sort-of narrative, taking into account the general feel/mood/lyrical content/musical "color" of each song, arranging them into a "story arc" with a beginning, middle, and end. That's where it gets kind of tricky sometimes when songs are in various different keys and/or meters. So making decisions about going from one song to the next often has to consider those factors also.

The way that we do worship is in a continuous way without much vocal coaching beyond singing the first few words of the first line of the song section that we are moving to next (if that makes sense). So this means that we don't typically stop between songs, so I've learned ways to shift tempo/meter/key in a fluid manner to keep everything moving smoothly.

We also don't have or use a projector or any kind of video screen, so unless the leader that day or evening took the time to make printouts for everyone (or if it's a standard song that most everyone knows already), there isn't a visual way to help guide everybody. We also use the written song structure only as a starting point, with a LOT of freedom to move around and swap or repeat song sections as the Holy Spirit directs.

It may sound stressful, but seriously we have plenty of fun together in worship! Many times we end up at the end of worship either in a sweet, reflective mood or in joyful dancing. I've really enjoyed these past couple of years with my spiritual family.

So yeah, I'd just like to hear everyone else's take on song transitions and how choices are made for inclusion in the set list. For me I mainly try to keep songs within a step in either direction on the circle of fifths so that the jump in key is as minimal as possible. Either that or I'll transpose songs to fit better ahead of time.


I for one

usually just end songs for a clean break but I have led in environments like you are talking about and I would usually just have one of the instruments start the transition and let everyone else follow after a few bars. I tend to like switching keys and time signatures to keep things sounding fresh. I find that all one key, while good for transitions tends to become somewhat torturous after awhile.

is a

line out jack on a amp is that where you can send the signal back out of the amp and into the next set of effects?


Line out

Will send the tone out and usually into a soundboard or another speaker. You could use a it for effects but if you don't have a line back in (an effects loop) you will just be sending your sound to nowhere.

ok so it is

not for to send back to the pedalboard?

so can i just do all my pedals and then go to the amp?


Jason Sings?

For the past year I figured your voice sucked since you never sing on the instructional videos. You just sort of say the words as you teach us. I just heard you sing on Be Thou My Vision and was I in for a shock! Great pipes bro.

Thanks for all the encouragement to play well.

It's my policy

To never sing in the lesson videos. I've had to work very hard to be a passable singer but guitar is second nature so I would just rather focus on that. Besides, Chris Tomlin and I do NOT share the same range.

Song issue

Not sure if its my computer or not. The song "This I Believe" is not playing the 1/4 and 3/4 rhythm loops. It keeps defaulting me to the full tempo loop.

Types of chords

Does anyone know of some different sets of chords other than power chords and open chords that I could google and learn?


Types of chords

You could google chord inversions or learn the CAGED system.

You could also

google "chord dictionary" and go from there. Jason has also posted a few small lessons on this site devoted to answering your question. I'll put them here for you:

Personally I've learned a lot and really broadened my chord vocabulary through just learning many of the songs on this site. Thanks to Jason's teaching, I've grown in my playing and leading more than I expected.

Keep at it. You'll get there!

When transposing a song runs the lead guitar part off of the...


First of all, this site is a life saver when I see a new song on the setlist a few days before rehearsal. This has become my first stop to find help, and it's so nice when I find it and I don't have to dissect some effects-laden lead by ear.

That being said, what are your recommendations for when the key of the song is lowered and it takes the lead part off of the fretboard? On Man of Sorrows, we're shifting from F to D, so that makes that low lead a little tricky.

My first thought was to take everything up an octave, but that particular lead would result in some odd fingerings.

My solution for now is to take an extra guitar with me that is tuned down so that I can play it as if it was still in F, but I'm a little worried that the tone might be wonky or that the tuning won't hold up for very long.

I'm playing though a Line6 POD, so I'm tempted to see if there is a pitch shifting effect that would just move the tone down for me from standard tuning - is there such a thing?

They do make

pitch shifting effects pedals that do what you're asking. Just a quick Google search turned up a few for consideration:

DigiTech The Drop and Whammy DT
Morpheus DropTune
Boss GP-10
Electro-Harmonix Pitch Fork

Apparently the POD doesn't have a patch that allows for polyphonic pitch shifting, so it looks you might have to get an external pedal if you want to go that route.

This is what you need


can you do a greenroom leason that is a over/review of a fender jazzmaster?



Know anyone

Who would send me one to try?

new song

Hey I am new here and was wondering about new songs. Can you put something together for Shout Hosanna by Kristian Stanfill?

That song....

is so much fun to play!


OK, my worship leader wants me to learn a song that uses a Wah effect so my new pedal was delivered today. Any suggestions as to the best way to learn how to use it?

I like to keep it

in front of the amp and overdrive. It softens the effect and helps it blend a little more.


Hi Jason,
I have been using worship artistry for a few months now to learn the rhythm and lead for multiple songs that my schools praise band does. I have been wanting to learn piano for a long time and have never been able to get into it other ways. Do you by any chance have an idea of when piano lessons will be available on Worship Artistry?

I will be posting

an interview with our new keyboard teacher Ryan King in the coming week. You can will be able to sign up to be notified from there. It's coming very soon.

Pedalboard Direct? Say What?

Does anyone run their pedalboard direct to FOH? I have an audition next week and the church doesn't use amps. I can't imagine that's going to sound good based on the job I've heard the sound man do in the past. Curious if anyone has experience with this?

I was thinking about buying a new pedal but maybe I should buy a pod hd 500. Not really interested in letting my amp sit at home either. Any ideas?

If you're going to go direct

I would suggest some kind of modeler. Pedals direct to a soundboard generally do not sound good. Another thing you could look at is building your own amp isolation box. That way you can still mic your amp with the sound issue.

I was actually really impressed with the pod hd500x for church application. Like you, I'm a real amp guy but for convenience I can see he value of the pod. If you do pick up a pod, it would be awesome if you would do so through this link. It just helps us get the attention of gear companies which in turn gives us more access to reviewing gear and what not. I also just love Zzounds. They are awesome.

Speaker Simulator?

After looking around, I'm looking at going the speaker simulator route. Mesa Boogie puts out one that's $300. Still allows me to use my gear and headphones for practice. I may need a new link. :) Anyone have experience with these?

speaker simulator

I have a Mesa Boogie Cab's awesome! A line out and a headphone jack for my tube amp! And it serves as a load box. We use it at our church -- where we don't allow any electric instruments to add to volume on stage, so the load box functionality is key. I highly recommend it.

You might read some commentary on the web about how as a "resistive" load its not as good as a "reactive" load, but that's way overblown. Also some claim that the headphone output is weak. Just use it with good headphones! I use mine with Sony MDVR6 headphones -- when I first plugged in my reaction was "I never knew my BadCat Cub III could sound this good!" No matter what gear you're playing with, the Mesa Boogie can fill your need. And it will not degrade your tone.


Thanks for the reply! I think I will give it a go.

Got this Today

I should have bought one of these a long time ago. I would have never purchased the isolation box for my cab. I run mine into a small mixer to play along with tunes and its plenty loud enough. Worth the $299 for sure.


I will be playing Christ the Lord is Risen Today in the key of Bb. I decided to capo on the second fret to play in the key of A. In the key of Bb it call for Cm7 and a Gm7. I transpose these to Bm7 and F#m7. Can I still play the bar chord version of these chords from the capo? If so I would be playing Cm7 and Gm7 from the original key of the song.

Tips on playing with an 000 or OM size guitar

Hi Jason,
I have a Martin OM-21 that looks a lot like your guitar. When you play it always sounds great! I have noticed that if I am doing heaving strumming it does not sound that great. I might not be good enough yet to strum fast and lightly? I almost bought a Taylor 210e Deluxe dreadnought just because I thought it sounded better on songs like David Crowder's I am. But I just watched you doing the 16th strum on Because He Lives and you don't seem to need a dreadnought to make it sound so good. Can you give us some tips for playing smaller body guitars? Holding the pick - you mentioned loosely Is the angle important? What kind of strings (brand and size) do you use? What kind of picks do you use? Do you change based on song? Do certain strum patterns sound better? Are you not always strumming all the strings? Dampening?

Does your Martin have electronics? I don't see a cord coming out of it on your videos.

Have a Wonderful Easter! Thanks for all your teaching! I love learning from you and this website and at same time being able to praise God this way.

You should be able to get good tone from that OM

The main thing with your pick technique is you want the pick to glide over the top of the strings and that comes from a looser grip. If you dig in too far, the strings will resist more and you'll get a choppier tone.

I use Elixir nano web phosphor bronze strings. They are a little expensive but the tone lasts forever. You can pick some up here:

These are the picks I like. They are have the right amount of flex to strum well while still allowing me to dig in for lead work. I use the oranges (60mm)

My guitar does have electronics but I don't use them for the videos. I like the natural sound of the mic.

You can also check out this lesson on strumming mechanics for more detail:

Thanks Jason !!!

I really appreciate you responding. I watched the lessons again and I'll try the orange picks and holding them lighter. I will try some of those strings next time I put a new set on too. Thanks!! :-)

It is working

I have been doing what you suggested and it is working. I am getting great tone while strumming my OM (000) size guitar. Thanks!

That's awesome!

Glad I could help.

String gauge

Do you use the extra light .010 - .047 ? That is the one that came up when I clicked on the link. Thanks!

I use

the 12 gauge.

Thanks !!!

Thanks Jason !!!

Looking at a new guitar?

Hey Jason,
First off, I would just like to thank you for this site! You have some incredible ideas for songs that I love to use. Thanks for all you do!

So now to the real question: I started playing guitar about 6 1/2 or so years ago and I've just used my grandpa's no-name guitar that he gave me. I'll be heading off to college in the fall and majoring in Music Performance, so I feel that it might be time to step up my game guitar wise. Do you have any recommendations of high quality acoustic guitars that maybe aren't too expensive? I'm thinking something under $1000 definitely, because I don't even have that right now, but I'm hoping I may get some graduation money. :) Thanks!

Hey Kayla!

A few guitar brands that play above their price range are The Loar, Breedlove and Larrivee. Be sure to check out this post for tips on what to look for:


Thanks! This should really help me out in knowing what to look for. Now to get to Guitar Center... :)

Staying on the click!

When strumming I seem to have very little issue staying on the click but now that I'm getting into lead electric i find it difficult to tell if I am on the click. I.e. Arpeggio picking ! I can't grasp the concept any help is well appreciated. Thanks!!

Try picking

with a motion similar to strumming. You want your parts to groove in the same way your strum does. You are probably trying to be too precise.


hey jason what guitar picks do you use?

I use

the orange version of these:

can you

send me just the name of them. my ipad won't go to zzounds.



Hi Jason,

Any plans to do Dara Maclean's "Blameless" anytime soon? We're doing it for our summer camp & I could do with some help on the lead part & any solo acoustic ideas.

Superb website.

God bless

Thanks Joe.

If you wouldn't mind making an official song request in the footer of the page it would guarantee it makes it into our licensing Q. Thanks!

never mind

figured it out

Settings for Boss ME 50? That are good for using at church

Hey everyone,
I've got a Boss ME-50 multi effects pedal. I've had it for a while, but I've never been able to get a sound that I'm happy with for use in church or at a conference(large auditorium). I'm not very knowledgable with pedals, and appreciated the videos from this site- but Just wondering if anyone has any good patch settings that I'm able to emulate? Basically would love a clean sound, a lead sound, a distortion sound for more chord chugging sound, if anyone can help,or any other sound you think might be helpful for church. I'd appreciate it!! Thanks!!

Acoustic tone

I play both bass and acoustic in our church, and we all go direct to the PA to keep the noise down in the pit, I am using the new Line 6 Firehawk, and wondering if you have any advice on any subtle effects, reverb, delay, compression etc. to get a richer fuller sound from the acoustic (Taylor 314ce), without sounding overly "processed".


following and love that version

just emailed the band; they

just emailed the band; they seem like pretty responsive fellows - will let you know if i get anything.

Amp questions

So I just recently acquired a VHT 12/20 RT and love it. However I lose my punch and tube overdrive the minute it's closeted and I plug my cable into the snake set up we have ran. The closet is about 100ft back from the stage where we play. If I go straight from my guitar into my board into the amp it sounds great. I can manipulate the drive with my volume knob on the guitar and everything. I think it has to do with the amount of run between the stage and where the amp sits. We also have our snake ran from my board into a DI box out through an XLR into another DI where the mic and my a instrument cable connects everything together. I know that's confusing. Any ideas so I can regain the awesomeness that is my amp? If any further info is needed let me know and I"ll try and explain a bit better!

I love this site btw. great stuff!


That is a lot of cable. Have you tried a buffer? I use this one from JHS and it works great.


I have a couple boss pedals in my chain which I'm told have buffers built in. I also have a Soul Food with the dip switch set to buffered output. I'm running a VP Jr and am looking to have either T1M or JHS mod it for me to eliminate the dreaded tone loss. I don't have a designated buffer but I'm redoing my board (eliminating a couple pedals) so maybe I'll look into one to mount underneath.


I've looked into those but unfortunately they're a bit on the pricey side for what I can afford. Update however our youth pastor built me an iso cab so now I can run a 18ft cable and get connected....this mornings service was much better!

Site Like Worship Artistry for "Secular" Music?


I'm happy to google this stuff on my own (and have!) but I wanted to see what other sites people use for guitar lessons with other songs that are not meant for corporate worship.

Thanks for reading!


I have just been using YouTube until I found this site. I would watch the video over and over, write down the tabbing and then memorize the part from that and occasionally add in a little of my own stuff. Warning: IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO DO ALL THAT. I have searched the web a long time for a better thing to do and could never find it. I even considered starting a website much like this to help others out. But then I found this. I just hope Jason and the team keep putting songs out there for us! :-)

Oh don't you worry

We'll keep them coming. Can't wait to make our keyboard and bass lessons live. They are looking awesome!

I'm really not aware of one that focuses on songs

The most difficult thing about a site like this is the licensing piece. Part of what makes us special is that we stream the songs legally and that's a ton of work on the backend. It's no surprise that there isn't much on the secular side. Sorry to not be of more help but I'm guessing that's part of the reason.

yeah, that makes sense;

yeah, that makes sense; thanks for the reply, and keep 'em coming! it looks like i'll just have to learn on the worship side and carry what i learn to the dark side :)

Secular music instruction

Look at It's not free, but they have good lessons and a good selection of secular songs.

Song Instruction Sites

For Country:
For Rock:

Both are run by very good guitarists, cost $9.95 per month, and have very good variety.

Secular Music

For rock and pop-rock, Great guy, excellent player and teacher. He has a free offering and a $10 per month offering. VERY good library of songs to learn and a really solid "learn to play the guitar" segment.

For country, He doesn't have a free offering, but, he has an excellent library with excellent variety between songs that are fairly easy to play and those that are very complicated. He also offers a segment on learning to play guitar.

Passion-You are worthy of my praise *Help

I'm hoping someone has had to learn the opening to this song? I can hear what its supposed to be but for the life of me I can't figure it out. My first Sunday on lead electric guitar and this is the very first song I get. Great song, just not much in the way of tutorials. Thanks so much!


I figured it out. :)

Changing settings live

Up until recently I've been playing electric in church through a modeler/effects unit into PA. Easy to set a preset or 2 for each song and just cycle through for the set. Now I'm using an amp (sounds better) and still using the unit for effects but want to move into pedals. Dumb question: how do you change settings on your amp and pedals between songs, especially without being able to soundcheck (i.e. memorize settings?), especially when transitions are sometimes very quick, especially when songs require very different sounds? Related question: why do I never see guitarists hunched over tweaking pedals during a set? Great site, btw; thanks!

Know your tools and practice

I do occasionally have to "hunch over" and turn knobs in between songs in a set. I get a feel for what I need with each tool for the upcoming set in my practice time through the week and can usually come up with a setting for each that will carry me through the set just turning on and off pedals. My delay pedal is the one that needs the most frequent tweaking during sets due to the tempo differences between the songs.

Hunching over pedal board

Although most of us that play in churches and a few that gig professionally have to "hunch over their board" in order to make changes mid-song, most guitarists - though, definitely not all - that play for a living don't have to do so. The reason is the pedals that give "voice" to the guitar are placed on a drawer shelf and rack mounted. The pedals are then run into a digital interface which is, in turn, connected to a pedal that looks like four or five rows and four or five columns of buttons. This pedal sits at the guitarists feet and each of the buttons controls a parameter through the digital interface and to a pedal. Before the performance, the guitarist will decide what parameters he needs for all of the songs in the set list. He then links one of the buttons to an element of the "voice" he is trying to create. Each button will control one parameter. The buttons are labeled and the guitarist plays the set without hunching over.

Jesus Culture Songs?

Hey Jason,

I noticed I can't seem to find any Jesus Culture songs that used to be on here. No need to go into details, but they are gone right? Just making sure I'm not missing them somewhere.

Jesus Culture

I use Amazon Music app and have noticed that previous J.C songs that were on my play list have been removed by Amazon. A licensing thing probably

We temporarily pulled Jesus Culture

They switched publishing companies so we pulled them down while we get the licensing squared away. They will be back shortly. Thanks for your understanding.

Lincoln Brewster's RV5 settings.

I got an RV5 in order to try to capture Lincoln Brewster's rich, overdriven with reverb sound as found in his intro and solo's in Surrender.

Any ideas what his settings for the RV5 would be? Most importantly, what is the reverb type? (Hall, Plate, Spring?) I've been trying to tinker with it, but I've never sound anything that I can say, "Yep! That's it!"

Thanks ahead of time.

Miraculum Delay

Jason, with Miraculum's delay, what do you have your time set to in ms?

The CAGED system for Lead Playing

Jason, Your 101 section is great, would you explain what the all-important CAGED System is or what this is all about. how to apply this I have heard that the CAGED System is the key to being able use the whole fret board and if you're getting into the art of lead playing, this will move your student's ahead by light years. Respectfully Thomas P.

The CAGED system for Lead Playing

After posting this and doing some searching I found this video on youtube and I believe this is worth sharing or using..

Respectfully, Thomas

Thanks Thomas

I am familiar with the CAGED idea though I've often found it not as useful as learning the same thing through the modes. I'm trying to figure out the best way to lay both out in the same lesson so everyone can see how they are related.

Check this out:

I go into quite a bit of detail on it.

beginner guide

Hi - I am a total beginner acoustic guitarist. Is there an easy way to find the beginner acoustic songs on your site? I love your lessons, but spend a lot of time trying to find songs I can attempt or are just a little bit challenging. thanks :)

Hi Kathryn!

Glad you are enjoying the site. We are working on putting together an actual beginner track but in the meantime you can check out the collections link here:

Collections like "Four Chords and the Truth", "Easy Pickin's" and "Simple Strummers" are great places to start.


I try to use the chord numbering system as much as possible to remember songs, but is there a better way to do it so that it sticks? There are songs such as Paul Baloche's "Our God Saves" and "Hosanna" that were fairly easy to commit to memory, while others that I'm working on like "Your Name" and "How Great is the Love" have been more of a struggle. Some songs just seem to be easier for me to remember. The thing is, I don't want to just memorize words and chords, I want to understand how they fit together. Any pointers? (edited)


The best thing you can do

is play a lot. Helpful, I know. The more you play the more your ear will tell you what the next chord is. I always make chords available available to my players but I generally know songs well enough that my ear tells me how the chords should change. One thing you can do is take some of the common guitar keys and practice common chord progressions in each so you can get a sense of how the chords sound.

Thank you

for that tip, Jason. I'm getting better, and have gotten a lot better over the past few years, but I still have bumps in the road from time to time. Right now I'm using your videos to learn PB's "God of Wonders". Love that song!

The D chord

I noticed in most of your tutorials when you use the D chord somewhere up the neck, you always bar it. I'm having a hard time making the E string ring true. I always default to the standard fingering sans bar. I know it makes that 2 fret stretch to the octave easier. I practice it constantly but when Sunday morning rolls around, I go right back to my comfort zone. Any tips?


The key to barring well

is to make sure you are pressing down from above your finger, not pulling from behind the neck. It's kind of hard to explain in a comment but you want your biggest knuckle to be over your bar, wedging your finger flat. If you look at my pointer finger in this video you can see what I'm talking about.

Wasn't sure where to put this . . .

I've been browsing through the collections, and you have a lot of great lessons. That's a lot of recording and mixing time. I'm sure others have said it, but thanks for putting out a first-class product that helps us be better players and worshipers.

I get the sense you like Paul Baloche, too, given "God of Wonders" was your first lesson, and you have quite a nice collection of his songs in the lessons. (Kathryn Scott's "At the Foot of the Cross" is a wonderful song, too.) We're about to add "Your Name" to our repertoire at church. Paul has a lot of great songs, and studying/practicing many of them has helped my guitar proficiency to improve greatly. Still don't have the timing on "God of Wonders" quite right, but I'm getting there.


It's a privilege to do it.

Thanks for dropping a line and I'll check out that other Baloche song as well. We have a link in the footer for requesting a song so you can always fill one out to be sure it gets in our licensing Q


... missed the link. Thanks for the heads up.

Me again . . .

Sorry, but I wanted to drop a song suggestion in the box: Paul Baloche's "No Eye Has Seen" from his 1992 debut project "He is Faithful". I've been spending a fair bit of time lately working on some of his older songs, and this one is quite nice. Paul himself has made learning his songs much easier through the many CDs, how-to videos and chord charts he's published, but he didn't start doing that until the early 2000s.

Transposing sheet music

Hi I first want to say I praise God for your site. I play lead in our praise team at my local Church and use your stuff almost every week for the praise team music. But at the beginning of time to start sitting down our pianist will play some Hymns wile people get seated how can I transpose this sheet music into lead licks.
Thanks again and May God Bless you and your website.
Johnny Elliott

Hymns can be really tricky when played traditionally

because there is basically a chord change on every note. I would focus on either following the melody line or laying down some quiet ambient work in the background. You could just sit that part out, as well. The first thing I ask myself with any song is "What does the guitar add to this tune"? Sometimes the answer is "nothing" so I choose to just back out.

Thoughts on DI boxes?

All of the acoustics and the bass on our team use amps plugged into the house PA system, but I'm the only one that lugs my amp to and from church. I do use it at home, plus we had a break-in a few years ago, and several thousand dollars of guitar equipment were removed from the sanctuary. I'm not about to leave my amp unattended, even though it wasn't particularly expensive.

The church does have a DI box I could use for my acoustic in place of the amp. What do you folks think of that, vs. having an amp on stage? Advantages/disadvantages? One disadvantage I can see is that I'd only hear my guitar in the house, and not from behind me, as it is now.

I was actually really impressed with that POD HD500X

Gives you decent sound with lots of options while keeping your stage volume low. It's not for everybody I think it's a big win for the church musician. Check it out here:

Thanks . . .

...for the link, Jason

Electric and No Acoustic

We're a band of an occasional bassist, a keyboardist, a cajon player, 2 singers plus me also singing and playing acoustic.

I've been pondering breaking out my e-guitar instead of the acoustic. But I'm totally self-taught. I've gotten ok at acoustic, but I'm still very new at electric.

Do you think it makes sense to lead with an electric (U2 gets away with it occasionally, right? I mean, does Bono ACTUALLY play anything when he's carrying around those acoustic guitars?)?

If yes:

1. Can it work without keys? Like, just me, bass and cajon?
2. Would it be reasonable to put a few tips into your e-guitar vids for those who lead exclusively with that instrument?

Depends on how strong the other players are

I often lead in a similar scenario and I can tell you the acoustic guitar is a better fit when I need to be the one driving the rhythm, but electric works well as long as I have a solid bass and drummer I can trust to hold the pocket together,

As far as needing a keyboard player it's not necessary but it sure helps. Maybe get some folks taking some Worship Artistry keyboard lessons when they release in the fall?

Worth buying a new pup for my acoustic-electric?

I have a Takamine EG523SC jumbo acoustic-electric which is a mid-level(~$625 new) guitar. Sounds great unplugged and is a great deal for the price, but plugged it sounds very trebly unless you EQ it just right. I feel like the plugged in sound is not the best representation of the unplugged tone.

I was playing with a buddy today who has an L.R. Baggs Anthem pup on his high-end(~$2500) Gibson. It sounded FANTASTIC.

I was wondering if installing a new, potentially higher-end pup would make a significant difference for my mid-level guitar, or if his really just sounded so amazing because its such a better guitar and the pup wasn't making much of a difference.

Is it worth installing a new pup? Are the ones that come stock on a mid-level guitar typically of decent quality?

Thanks so much!!

Replied on your email but thought others could benefit.

Pickups can definitely make a big difference but it’s kind of a bummer you can’t try them with your own guitar before you make a purchase. They will reflect the character of your guitar so if your guitar sounds good, the better pickup will be a benefit. Another option may be to try out an EQ pedal and see if you can get a better tone out of that. I actually use a Boss Bass EQ pedal live and it’s amazing the difference it makes.

Can't remember the name to this song!

I once heard this song at my church but now i can't remember the name to it. Its so frustrating! Here is a link to a Youtube video from my church. Please tell me the name if you know this song. Thanks!

"You Raise Me Up"

Asked Ryan King and he told me it was "You Raise Me Up". Maybe you can do this song for style swap or hymn refresh.

"You Raise Me Up"

Asked Ryan King and he told me it was "You Raise Me Up". Maybe you can do this song for style swap or hymn refresh.

Ryan is

Awesome. Can't wait to feature him on the site.

I don't understand

why people use in-ears like IEMS. What are they used for? Isn't all the music supposed to be projected toward the audience?

What a musician needs to hear while they are playing

is different than what the congregation needs to hear. For example, your bass player may want the volume of the kick drum and his bass to be much higher than the guitars and keys, but that's not really appropriate for the congregation. Whether you use IEM's or stage monitors, you almost always hear something different than the front of house mix.

Whats the difference

the IEMS and normal ear phones like beats (not the headphones) and apple?

Guitar Lessons

Do you do lessons over skype?

Listing of Skill Lessons

Is there anywhere on the site which lists all the (guitar) skill lessons? I ask because I was watching the lesson on "Hybrid Picking" and it said that I should first watch the "Finger Picking" and the "Alternate Picking" lessons. I found the "Finger Picking" lesson in multiple collections, but I couldn't find the "Alternate Picking" lesson anywhere. I looked through every collection in the "101 Lessons" page and never found it. I finally watched it by guessing the URL based on the URLs for all the other skill lessons. :-)

I like the collections, but I would love a page that listed ALL the skill lessons so I could see what I have done and what I haven't.

Thanks again for making available such a wonderful resource for Jesus' kingdom.

Way to use your ingenuity!

Somehow that lesson wasn't a part of the skill set collection. Our fault. We are actually redesigning much of our site to feature all the instruments so we will definitely have a View All tab put in. Thanks for the input and I'm sorry we made it so hard on you!

Hey, Jason,

I saw this video on Youtube. Its pretty cool. tell me what u think.

That is amazing.

Those guys need to keep outdoing themselves in their videos and then they do. By the time they were driving through the guitars I had a huge grin on my face. Thanks for sharing!

What type

of video format do you use for worshipartistry?

We use


Can you

please send me the chord diagrams for Here I am to Worship in the key of D. Thanks.

I know

the chords for Here I am to Worship in D. I just don't know how to play them. For example, in your lesson you have the song in the key of E. There is an E chord. The E chord would correspond with the D chord. But there is also an E5/g#. How would I play that E5/g# in D?

All the chords correspond

So if you use the transposing chart in the How To Transpose lesson or check out this blog post here: you can easily swap them all.

E F#m E/G# A B C#m B/D# E becomes D Em D/F# G A Bm A/C# D

Make sense?

I think

so now. For chords like B/D# and E/G# I thought that the /d# and /G# stayed the same. I was trying to look for a D/G# and A/D# all this time! I always thought the bass note was part of the type of chord the chord was. Thanks!

Do u

Have a chord chart for the song Awesome(My god is) by charles jenkins? Thanks


But you can request it from the "Request a song" link in the footer of this page.

Jason Houtsma

And Damian Kulash, brothers separated at birth?

He would be

the better-looking and more talented one. :)

Who is

Damian Kulash?

He's the lead singer

of OK Go. He posted a pretty awesome music video and we were chatting about it earlier. I had to look it up too.

I looked it up

Its pretty epic. I heard he had to take a day of stunt driving lessons before. Did u see the rube goldberg machine?

Is it just me

or were the guitars kind of out of tune?

Will there

be piano and bass lessons for the guitar lessons that are already there? like Here I am to Worship, Mighty to Save, God of wonders, Our God.... or will they only be released along with the new song lessons?

What do

you mean by "back filling the library" :)

What program

is Ryan using on his ipad? When hes playing he presses different things on his screen on his ipad to switch sounds. Is that program only available for iOS?

My Savior My God

You have a great lesson on this song. I just want to point out that Aaron Shust actually slides the capo the second fret and plays in the key of C for the 3rd verse and the rest of the song. Here is the link to the video i found this from:

This website is such a blessing for me anad for everyone else who make use of this wonderful resource.

Great work Mr.Houtsma!

Thanks Roy

That's pretty cool. I like that move, especially while playing by yourself. Lower tones always give a song more drive.


What kind of keyboard does your keyboard instructor use?

For the lessons... I use a

For the lessons... I use a Roland RD700sx primarily.

On stage... anything from a Korg Triton, Roland Fantom, Yamaha s90, and Akai MPK88. All of these are used as controllers. All of my sounds are generated from my computer.

type of keyboard

Was that the keyboard you were using in your Tutorial on "Spirit of the Living God"? Also re: use of your ipad, what software do you use?... primarily 1 software, or several?... etc... Thanks for the great instructionals... now if I can only get my keyboardist to consider learning from them! lol I'm just a guitarist.

How do you generate the

How do you generate the sounds from your computer

ipad program

In some of your song lessons, you say ur using "Omnisphere." Are you refering to a specific sound on your piano, or is that the software you are using?

Do you

think you can start a collection in which you give lessons on playing songs by ear or playing by ear in general?(My mom has been nagging for me to learn to play by ear because she sees others doing it) Thanks.

Hey, Mr. Houtsma, I'm a 15

Hey, Mr. Houtsma, I'm a 15 year old playing guitar at our really small church. I mean really small. Its really new. So far, it only has about, 5 families. I'm the only one who knows how to play an instrument. There are younger kids who are just starting different instruments. There is one girl who is 18 and she teaches the kids "Choir" the songs and leads them on Sunday. I usually play along with the guitar. Sometimes I feel unappreciated by everbody else. She's asked me a couple times to stop playing for a couple sundays. I don't know if I have done anything wrong. I am really thinking of not playing anymore. Do you have any advice? Has this happend to you before?

Way to Go!

I'm proud of you man! You've stepped up to meet a need for your church body AND you've tied in to Worship Artistry to build your skill. Keep up your prayer and relationship with Jesus and you will go far :)
As far as feeling unappreciated by others goes - get used to it. You have to play for Jesus only and know, without any doubt in your heart and mind, that He is pleased anytime you bring your best for Him. The final outcome - how it sounds, or how YOU think it sounds, really doesn't matter. He will take what you bring and use it for His glory.
Some helpful suggestions are to talk to the children's leader to see what she is thinking when she asks you to stop playing. Perhaps she planned an acapella song or two for that morning and didn't tell you. Perhaps some of the kids don't sing loud enough and she fears they won't be heard over your guitar. It could be a number of things but you'll never know until you ask. Then you can work with her to tighten the group. Be confident in your gifting and calling so you don't get derailed by a bump or two in the road. You can work out some agreeable solution with her if you just talk and communicate.
A wise mentor taught me to record myself playing at least every 3 months so I can hear what I actually sound like instead of going around believing what I think I sound like is good enough. I still do that and it helps me catch any bad habits that might be sneaking in or weaknesses that appear in the new technique I'm trying to get proficient at. When all is said and done though, don't give up. You have an amazing future ahead and I'm excited for you! Let us know how it goes.

This is a phenomenal reply

I second everything in it, especially the part about talking to the other leader. Communication is so key in any musical environment. I would also encourage that if she gives you constructive critique that you take it as a challenge rather than an insult. We work hard to improve all the time and knowing our weak points gives us something to focus on.

And I too am proud of you. Way to put yourself out there. Keep it up!

Piano Music

Hey Jason and gang! Wanted to let you know that the worship team I am a part of is totally psyched out about the full band stuff. We really appreciate the work you guys are doing. :-) That being said, I was wondering if you guys could (& would) put the lyrics to the piano music. Our team is going to try to learn "Even So Come" by Chris Tomlin. I showed our keyboard player the music and she said, "uh...are the words not on it?" I told her no and told her that I would request it. She is going to write it all out if it isn't possible for you guys to do that. It would just really help for her to learn her part if the words were on the page. Let me know if this is possible.

Thanks guys!

Thanks for the input...

As of right now we don't have plans to do that but the chord charts could help in that department. does she read those?


She can read them (she has written her own parts for other songs on the guitar sheets we give her). She has 6 kids at this point and just really doesn't have time to do that. Sob story, I know, right? Haha. I would do it but I know too little about keyboard to help out in that way. The chord charts will definitely help. I will see what she can do with that. I hope you eventually put the words on it :)

Another Request

I think this would be specifically for Jason only. I am not very knowledgeable on guitar theory at all (I promise I am working on that) so it is really hard for me to follow what you are doing in your lead guitar videos unless you tab it out. I figure this will be a lot of work, but I was hoping you could tab out the solo that you play for "Everlasting God" by Lincoln Brewster? Also, I love times where you have "Bonus Content" and stuff like that. It really helps to spice up the song if we want to play it a little bit different. However, I have noticed that you typically do not have a loop for the stuff that you put in the bonus content. Can you put loops of that stuff going forward please? The loops really help me learn the part, especially the 1/2 & the 3/4 features.

I know I have like a ton of requests, and I just want to say this: I love this site man, I really do. Just trying to make it more awesome if I can and to help me be the best guitar player I can be. Please consider these features! :) I really appreciate you all. Thanks!

I'll take a look at that solo

It's a brutal one but I do my best to tab out everything new. Crazy to think that was one of my first lessons. I'll try and get it up soon. As far as the bonus content, we will be more consistent on the bonus content going forward now that we are doing the full band arrangements.

Double Thanks!

Thanks so much Jason, I really appreciate it man. I have noticed that on some of the earlier lessons you "fly" through some easy (easy to you) parts and it takes some time to figure out what you are doing. I really like that you seem to take it slower in the more recent lessons. Thanks again Jason, I am looking forward to learning that solo! :)

Well, I've been leading

Well, I've been leading worship in my Youth Group for about a year now and am really worried about some of the kids in the group. We aren't that big of a church and have about 30 in there. I try to focus on just being there before the One who the praises rise to. However, I've been noticing a lot of giggling and talking when I lead. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong. I've also been feeling kind of burnt out. I don't know how to get that spark back in there. I absolutely love being in His presence, but just don't feel the same feelings I did when I first started. Any tips as to what I can do to get it back. Thanks!

Not an uncommon thing

Leading can be draining. We have to keep in mind that our service is worship and even though it doesn't always feel amazing and inspiring following through on your commitment is just as much an offering. That being said, if you find yourself overcommitted it's not unhealthy to create boundaries.

just my humble opinion :)

well I understand the challenges faced by a worship leader. In my church our youth don't have the talking-to-each-other problem, but i feel the atmosphere is kinda passive, like not many are really "into" it like raising their hands or being expressive etc.

You could bring this to the attention of the worship director and of course spend time with God just connecting with Him, feeding on His promises and let that overflow from you during worship. God sees your heart. Keep on interceding and praying for your youth!! Sorry my comment comes a month later, hope your service is doing well now.

hymn refresh

Hey do you think you could do the song "You Raise Me Up" as a hymn refresh or a style swap? Thank you

I'll track it down

And give it a shot


I think you guys should start a series on playing by ear, i'm guessing thats how you teach the original parts to the song. (at least close to original:) )


You Raie Me Up would be a pretty good song to do.

Song recommendation

I would like to recommend this song called "A Love Song for a Savior" by Jars of Clay. It's a pretty classic song that a lot people would be familiar with.

Pretty amateur

but i hope you enjoy.

correct link:

Come Thou Font animation

I made an animation complimenting Come Thou Font.

Hope you enjoy!

Music stands

Should music stands be used during worship? I kind of feel that when our team uses the stands, there is a physical barrier between us and the congregation and does not allow us to fully worship without being glued to the chord charts. Any opinion on this guys? :)

I'm not against music stands

Personally I prefer to memorize the songs but I also understand that the folks on my team don't have near as much dedicated time to focus on the weekly set as I do. This is a good thought provoker. I think I'll highlight it for the rest of the community to offer thoughts.

Rotating Members

Jason, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on band lineup...particularly if you use the same core group of players every week.

At our church, our production team leaders tend to uphold an "inclusion" mentality when it comes to serving. This includes, FOH mixers, band members, lighting etc. I do like the fact that it spreads the responsibility across more people (most are volunteers) so that people don't get too burned out. It's a blessing we have some many willing to participate.

Our main worship band each week consists of drums, bass, electric, acoustic, synth, "praise team" (usually three singers), and piano/lead vocal (our worship director). Personally, I am on rotation for electric guitar roughly once a month...and FOH mixer once a month.

The problem I run into as a player and church attender, is that the band is constantly changing. I may only play with the same core rhythm section a few times a year. It's difficult to build a strong musical foundation.

This is really a discussion for our members to consider, but I would be curious how others organize their players.


Hey man, read your post and I think it's tremendously thought provoking. I go to a smaller church (roughly 30-40 regular attendees) and we don't have an abundance of musicians to rotate. We don't have special lighting either. We have a keyboardist, drummer, 2 acoustic guitar players, and I play electric. The 2 acoustic players sing, and we also have one additional singer. We don't really have a replacement for any of us. We have talked about integrating new people alot though if the "need" every arose. Our concern was and is always band "chemistry". I play really well with the current drummer and he knows my style well too. We can look at each other and just know what to do next. Our songs could (and probably would) sound drastically different (maybe worse) if we changed him out with someone else that doesn't share that chemistry with me. At the same time, we do want to be inclusive to new musicians or even seasoned musicians but who are new to our group. We do have a lot of kids who are aspiring musicians so we will be looking for ways to accomplish some type of rotation/integration. I think what we may end up doing is having multiple bands with set people in each one so that each band can set a practice time that works for all of them and can figure out their own sound and can figure out some chemistry. It's definitely a tough task but one that is nice to have. Better too many musicians with hearts for God than not enough, right? :) Hopefully other people see this and share their insights. I look forward to other responses! Hope this helps.

overwhelmed organs

I have a keyboard that is really made for home use. Im not sure what organs to use. I would just like to know out of these organs, which would work best. Thank you. Im sorry if the list is too long.

Cool! organ
Cool! Rotor organ
Jazz organ
Rock organ
Purple organ?
Click organ
Bright organ
Theater organ
16'+4' organ
Chapel organ
Church organ
Reed organ
Drawbar organ
detuned drawbar organ
60s drawbar organ
70s drawbar organ
16'+2'2/3 organ
organ bass
Cheezy organ
Percussive organ
70s percussive organ
detuned percussive organ
Light organ
Slow rotary
Fast rotary
notre dame
organ flute
Tremolo organ flute
Puff organ
tango organ

It's very dependent on the song.

Whenever Ryan teaches a keyboard lesson he includes the tone. Sounds sometimes match in name only so you really have to use your ears to make your decision.

I meant

For the song "Overwhelmed". But your right, thanks.

What this site offers

Why does this site not have a section for vocalists? I I have a degree as an instrumentalist so it would be helpful to have a few vocal tips here and there.

We do have plans for it

But it's not like awesome internet teachers grow on trees...

Miracles still happen!!!

Sorry for the late response. We are going to start instrument specific threads cause this one has gotten kind of put of hand. I use elixir 12 gauge phosphor bronze on my acoustic and d'addario 10 gauge on my electric.

I Believe!!

Thanks Jason! I too am a user of the .010 gauge d'addario and the elixir 12's. Kindred spirits :)

Pickups on Gibson Les Paul

Hi Jason, What pickups do you have on your Gibson Studio Les Paul? I'm looking for one.

I've got the ones that came stock

with the Les Paul Studios in 1997. You might have to do a little internet digging to find out

Strings revisited

A few months ago I mentioned I was trying out different strings on my Gibson Hummingbird EC. I have typically used 12-53 gauge. Just before Christmas I installed a set of Elixir Nanoweb HD 13-53, which replace the usual 12-16-24 high strings with 13-17-25. The extra .001 on the treble strings does make a difference in how they feel. I'm trying to be patient, but these strings just seem to have something missing for me. When I first installed them, they seemed really bright, but settled in after a few days. But there is still something about their tone that hasn't clicked with me. Paul Baloche is a big fan of Elixir strings, and I know you like them, Jason. When I listen to Paul's videos or the ones here on WA, the tone sounds good. Maybe they're just not the best for my Spruce/Mahogany Gibson.

How often do most of you change strings? I usually go about 6 weeks, with playing about 30-60 minutes a day. I've seen people claim they keep Elixirs on their guitars for months. I don't think I'm going to last that long. I have several other sets of strings I want to try, including DR Rare PB 12-54, Ernie Ball Earthwood PB 12-54, and Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze 12-54. So far, the strings that have sounded best on my Gibson have been D'Addario EJ16 PB 12-53. There are just so many different choices out there, and I'm just trying to find the tone that sounds best to me. I was told by a more experienced guitar player that what sounds great to the guitarist may not sound the best to the audience. What do you folks think of that?

I change mine

every time a break one but it happens so rarely. For me, Elixirs are way too bright when I first put them on but once they settle in they keep enough life that I don't need to change them often. I also think you're right about guitar "accepting" certain strings. My guitar has a very warm and even response whereas a spruce and mahogany will have a different tone. I've been using Elixirs for over 15 years now so I'm not sure what else is really out there at the moment.

The choices available . . .

are staggering. From all of the reading I've done, it's obvious many people have their clear favorites when it comes to strings. One brand that keeps popping up in discussions is Thomastik-Infeld, particularly the SB112 12-54 bronze. I've seen many discussions where people rave over those strings, but at $20+ per set, I'm hesitant to try that experiment. I've stocked up on several different styles I want to try. That should take me well into summer.