I have been playing around (not playing) guitar for about 10 years off and on.

I can play A G C2 D E and Eminor pretty well, C a little, No way F works, a version of Bforget what it really is called.

Take too long to switch between chords.

I know the answer is practice more.

Here is the issue. Our smaller church suddenly is going to find itself without musicians. Have about 2 months.

We sing everything from hymns to some modern stuff (?) like Amazing grace my chains are gone.

I have been looking into open tuning where you can barre every major chord, and minor is only 2 fingers.

Which is really easy with 4 strings, sound ok too.

Maybe a little harder to play things like G/B but could just play the B.

Even looking at only using 43-5 strings, cigar box guitars use 3 or 4 and read about some using 5 as they find it easier to barre.

Any thoughts or help greatly appreciated.


Views: 696

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Been practising, went back to regular tuning.

If I had to do it with no previous experience and short notice like 1 month I would go with the Low E tuned to D F# A D octave higher. and put the strings in the middle. All major chords are a simple barre, and minors are a simple shape. It couldeasily allow you to play many songs especially f you have someone who can put the chords on the words (My wife is good at it, she strings and I strum till she says to change it, then we try the other chords in that key signature)

Good that you're working on it. I would suggest that you continue to spend that time on regular tuning. One can waste a lot of time working on and learning alternate tunings and yet they aren't universal enough to work for everything.

Absolutely.  Don't mess with alternative tunings until you've mastered regular tuning and chord changes.

Hello Cliff,

I just recently was in the same boat--except i never played guitar.  Tried it last summer and didn't get anywhere, but our last worship leader stepped down around Christmas and we needed a guitar player.  Learn this as a new guitarist----the capo is your best friend!  There are still some songs the congregation did regularly that I can't do, but many are now available with a capo or getting the singers to change keys.  See if the songs you've been doing in F can be moved to G or play it in D and use capo3.  If you can't do a normal C chord then stick to the C2 that you know and very few will be able to tell.  If you have a keyboard player get them to emphasize the E that you're not playing.  Small congregations know your predicament and will more than likely be very understanding of the situation and quite forgiving when you make mistakes. 

Very true, sometimes they can be to forgiving and the worship team can be more of a distraction to worship! LOl

I feel i can add something relevant to this topic. About 5 years ago i learned to play guitar (i already could play a few other instruments though) within a month i was leading music with it. My advice if this is a possible option to you....


1.) Like others have said, learn  G,C,D,Em,A, and Am. You can do just about any song with a capo with those chords.

2.) If you have the option, play the guitar during service unplugged. Sit in the back and practice doing rhythms and switching from chords as transition speed with come with practice.

3.) The toughest chord for most will be C and F (C is a simpler form of F but is usually the most difficult to learn playing in the Key of G)

4.) Listen to youtube videos and just play with them in simple up and down patterns. Dont worry about picking certain strings and stuff just yet, that will come!

5.) Have some fun.



Thanks everyone. Been practising for a while now, callouses are developed and I can do slow songs, just more practice and I can get the speed down for faster songs.

Everything everyone is saying is good. Here's my advice as a player of 28 years and a teacher of 17 years:

  • Practice everyday - for at least 10 minutes...but build that up as it will build up your endurance for playing a 20 minute worship set.
  • find a local teacher to coach you - there are likely many technique things you are doing wrong that are adding difficulty to you rplaying
  • stick with standard tuning until you have a solid grasp of it. alternate tunings are great for specific sounds/moods but not as useful as standard for all around playing.
  • The capo is gong to be your best friend for a while learn basic chords in the keys of G & D to start and use a capo to facilitate other keys

Capo/Transposition Guide

No Capo:   G     Am    C    D    Em

Capo II:      A     Bm    D    E    F#m

Capo III:     Bb   Cm    Eb  F    Gm

Capo IV:     B     C#m  E    F#  G#m

Capo V:      C     Dm    F    G    Am

No Capo:    D    Em    G     A     Bm

Capo I:        Eb  Fm    Ab   Bb   Cm

Capo II:       E   F#m    A     B    C#m

Capo III:      F    Gm    Bb    C    Dm

This will cover most of the keys you'll need to play in to cover worship songs. Key is the first chord in the series. All are showing I IIm IV V VIm - about all the chords you'll need for worship.

Note: the roman numeral following the word capo indicates which fret you place the capo and then play the same chord forms as "no capo" to achieve the other keys.

for those not familiar with roman numerals:

I = 1

II - 2

III = 3

IV = 4

V = 5

Hope that helps

Oh - and I have some downloads on my site that may help you along. Help yourself at http://www.stevedemott.com/music-instruction/


A guitar teacher seems to not be an option as I live over an hour to a decent size place, and there does not seem to be one around here.

can you find one that will travel to you? It usually costs a little more, but can be very convenient. You'd be surprised how far some of these guys will travel for a student. Some teachers also do Skype lessons. I'd do a little research and see. May not pan out, but i it does it will pay off. You will progress exponentially faster with a good teacher than on your own.

Heard you can play G/B istead of Bminor when in the Key of G, that seems much easier.


© 2022       Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service