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God is at the center of Christian worship music, not the singer, or any of the people playing the instruments. It’s all about God, not the guitarists. And this is a big reason why there are no guitar solos in Christian worship music. This music is not about showing off our skills and what we can do on the guitar (etc.). It’s about giving praise and Glorifying God.


Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another #shorts post.

One thing I know I haven’t mentioned about myself is that I play guitar. Well, “play” is being a little generous. Might be more accurate to say I “make noises with the guitar.” But I enjoy the guitar and it’s my favorite musical instrument. I want to get better at it, and am trying to do so.

Despite my skill level, last month I was given the opportunity to join a Christian band. After praying on it, I took the opportunity. As of this writing, I’ve already gone to the first band practice and played guitar. It was fun, and it’s great to experience new things like playing in a band with others. Never done that before.

But as I learned the songs before the first rehearsal, I had a realization about worship music and what it is. An epiphany about how worship music is different from other music, and how people playing worship music play differently than secular musicians.

And that gave me the idea for today’s topic. How do we play worship music, and what does it mean to play worship music??

Keeping it Simple, for the LORD

I like me some secular music, and it’s what I listen to most of the time. Unlike some Christians, I don’t See it as inherently evil just because it wasn’t written to Glorify God, and the musicians don’t care about Glorifying God. If the lyrics are innocent love songs or songs about a guys dog, I don’t see any problem with that. The problem is that a lot of secular music is not innocent. So much of it is incredibly sexual, violent, or glorifies drug use. It’s true that we need to be careful about what we listen to.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I was not familiar with Christian music. So as I started learning the songs to prepare for my first rehearsal, I listened to those songs over and over. Right away I noticed that Christian worship songs are simple, made of easy chord progressions. Sometimes the same chord progression is used for both the verses and the solos. So Christian worship music is simple and easy to play … good for me!!

But at some point I realized … there are no guitar solos in Christian worship music!! And I had an idea why.

Christian music is different from secular music; I don’t mean in the way it sounds. The two sound pretty much the same, even if Christian worship music is simpler. What I mean is they’re different as far as why these songs were written. Christian worship music is meant for Glorifying and worshiping God, something a secular musician doesn’t care about.

God is at the center of Christian worship music, not the singer, or any of the people playing the instruments. It’s all about God, not the guitarists. And this is a big reason why there are no guitar solos in Christian worship music. This music is not about showing off our skills and what we can do on the guitar (etc.). It’s about giving praise and Glorifying God.

If a worship guitarist bursts out into crazy guitar solo, they’re drawing the attention to themselves when it should be placed on God.

When I went to the first practice, our bandleader (who plays the bass) said, “There’s a whole lot of stuff I could do on the bass. But I don’t do it. I keep it simple, because we [the guitar and bass] are only here as complements to the band’s sound.”

He was saying that he’s not going to show off his skills on the bass while we perform the songs, because that’s not what this band is about. What he said was exactly what I had been thinking the week before as I got ready for our first band practice. When I hear a repetition of something that’s been on my mind either in church, in a Christian book, or even in conversation with another Christian, I see that as confirmation from the Holy Spirit of whatever I was thinking about. That’s the Holy Spirit telling telling me, “yes, that’s correct what you’re thinking.”

This band is about Evangelizing to the public outside of the church, so the singers need to be loud and clear on top of the mix. The attention needs to be on what they are singing, because that’s how we’ll Evangelize, and Glorify God through this music.

Before I joined the band he told me, “We want worshipers, not musicians. We want people who have a heart for worship and want to worship God with their instruments. We don’t need musicians.” This is why I was able to join the band at my skill level on guitar: My skill level is unrelated to having a heart for worship. Those are two different matters.

This band is not the music ministry in a church that plays during the service, we plan to perform in public. That’s our Evangelism. It’s a joy and an honor to play my guitar for the LORD. But I need to be careful to always remember that I’m playing guitar for the LORD and not for myself. I’m not doing it to look cool, I’m doing it as part of a team, and the team’s purpose is to Evangelize the public and Glorify God.

So for anyone who has the privilege of being able to play Christian worship music, we must remember the original purpose of this music. Our job is to Glorify God, not ourselves. And playing worship music is a team activity, not a solo activity.

That’s one reason you don’t hear guitar solos in worship music, even though I’ve seen guitarists in church and known they could play a great solo if they wanted to. But they don’t ever do it, because that’s not the point and the music isn’t about them, or me. It’s about God, and that’s why we play.

Besides, there’s very little silence in Christian worship music because the songs are designed so the church can sing the whole way through. Guitar solos and so on create periods of silence when the worshipers in church would have nothing to say.

In the same way I don’t see anything inherently wrong with secular music, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with guitar solos either. I like listening to a great guitarist play a great solo; it’s cool. And I hope one day I can get to the level where I can play guitar solos too. But even if I get to that point, I’m going to keep it out of worship music, because that’s not where it belongs.

Just a few things to think about for me and everyone else Blessed to be able to Glorify God through music.

That’s it for #shorts #18. Stay tuned for more #shorts all this month.


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Until next time, be strong and do good!

Your new best friend in Christ,

99:9

<<<EXALT THE LORD OUR GOD AND WORSHIP AT HIS HOLY HILL; FOR THE LORD OUR GOD IS HOLY>>>


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2 comments on “#shorts Part 18 — How to Guitar for God

  1. Harry Thodi says:

    Well explained.
    All the best as you play in your band!

    Like

    1. 99:9 says:

      Thanks!! God bless.

      Like

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