Christian Guitar Practice – Pray First
The exciting difference between just practicing the guitar and using it as a tool for worshipping an Awesome God is that our purpose and focus shifts.
It’s no longer just you learning to play the guitar. When you as God to help you, He can give you insights and help. You can use the guitar as a tool to worship Him. It helps to continue to ask Him for His help whenever you’re playing the instrument.
In my guitar studio there were countless times when a student was having difficulties and I just said, ‘"Help him Lord.’" They always immediately played better. Then I’d always say ‘"Thank you Lord."
The first step as a Christian musician is to pray. Try to use your practice as a time of worship. It’s a matter of where your heart is focused. It says in Scripture, if we seek Him with all of our hearts we will find Him. (For the rest of the article click the ‘More’ link below.).
Sit with Good Posture
Find a chair with no arms to sit in. You may want to cross a leg or use a little footstool to help elevate the guitar. Find a playing position that allows you to sit with good posture.
Warm up Your Fingers
Warm-up with either chord changes or some exercises like the C Scale – Guitar Scales. When you start playing a new song it’s good to break it up into easy steps.
First concentrate on the left-hand chord changes. When the changes are smooth, add the strumming or finger-picking patterns. If the right-hand patterns are new, you may want to practice them without chord changes.
Sing And Play The Song
Try the song with the chords and strumming or finger-picking patterns. It’s easier to start at a slower tempo. Try to keep an even tempo. Remember to relax your face and shoulders.
Isolate Problem Spots
If there is a particular chord change or area that is hard for you, stop and ask God to help you. Try isolating that section and play it at least 20 times.
I had lessons with Pepe Romero and he suggested to make it a goal of playing a passage 50 times perfectly. This means if you’re at #49 and make a mistake, start at #1 again.
One way to practice a chord change is changing to just one or two fingers of the chord first. You can see this on Worship Guitar Class Volume One of my DVD series. For example, between D and G you can change to one finger of the G chord, then two fingers of a G Chord, then to all three fingers.
Play The Guitar For Others
As you get comfortable playing, don’t forget to also get comfortable playing for others. I heard a wonderful story about one of the little students using my videos. His mother shared with us that in the evenings her 11 year old son would often stay, "Daddy, let’s worship God together." Then he would play one of the songs he had learned.
He sent me a card telling me that his Pastor had invited him to join the Worship Team at church! His Pastor couldn’t believe that Andrew had learned with just the videos. His mom added a note in the card of what a joy it was for her to see how much he loved God and to see how well he was playing.
Hope this helps you…