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The first time I ever saw a chord chart was when I played piano at church.
The worship leader knew I played piano, but up until that point, I had only ever played classical music.
It was super daunting, but I realized that playing from chord charts was a lot easier than I thought.
And better — it’s super fun!
The idea of playing in church might be scary for you. But with a little bit of knowledge you’ll see how easy it can be.
This lesson will walk you through 3 easy worship songs for the piano.
This lesson will assume you know a little bit about chording, while still taking things slow.
If you’re brand new to playing chords, make sure you watch this lesson first to learn how to play a major and minor chord on ANY key on the piano.
Or, to get a much more in-depth understanding of chords and why they’re so great, sign up for our FREE Chord Hacks series.
I love this song, because it combines the traditional familiarity of Amazing Grace with a modern twist.
This version is in the key of C, so there are no black notes to worry about.
But when you look at the chart, you’ll notice something immediately:
What are all those slashes?
Those are called slash chords. They look a lot more daunting than they are.
Let’s use F/C as an example.
The letter on the left of the slash tells you what chord to play with your right-hand. So in this case, you’ll play an F chord.
The letter on the right of the slash tells you what note to play with your left-hand. In this case, a C.
So you’ll play an F chord in your right hand with a C note in the left. It looks like this:
That’s true for ALL slash chords.
Just remember, the left-hand letter is the right-hand chord, and vice versa.
This is one of the most requested worship songs I get, which is awesome because it’s also a great song for beginners.
Straight away you’ll notice that there’s a slash chord, but that’s ok! You know how to play them now.
But there is another type of chord that is super common in worship music that you might not have seen before.
It’s that Dsus4.
It looks a bit scary, and you might have seen it before and thought, ”Oh, I’ll just play the D chord and forget about the sus4.”
That’s totally fine, but a sus chord is easy to learn and adds a different character to the chord.
The “sus” is short for suspended. The name comes from really old music so it’s not worth going into here, but what this chord means is that we’re substituting the 3rd for a 4th.
So what does that look like?
Well, a D chord has the notes D-F#-A. The D is the 1, the F# is the 3, and the A is the 5.
Substituting the 3rd for the 4th means that we would swap the F# for a G, because G is 4 notes up from D!
So it looks like this:
It sounds really unfinished, which is why most sus chords resolve to the major chord immediately after.
You can see that happens in 10,000 Reasons because the chord immediately after the Dsus4 is a D.
You can learn more about the different types of sus chords in this lesson.
The final song for this lesson is a classic, but it can be a bit tricky because of the time signature.
The previous two songs have been in 4/4, which is the most common time signature.
But Great Are You Lord is in 6/8. This means it has a little swing to it, because you’ll be counting to 6 in each measure instead of 4.
I find the easiest way to deal with this is to listen to the song first and get a really good sense of the rhythm.
You’ll also find lots of sus chords in this song. But no problem, right?
And finally, there is one other type of chord that we haven’t seen before, the minor 7th chord.
If this prospect is completely new to you, don’t worry. You don’t have to play the 7th if you don’t want, you would be fine just playing the B minor chord.
If you would like to learn more about 7th chords make sure you watch that lesson linked above.
And if you want to add the 7th in this song, there’s an easy way that I prefer.
That is to put the 7th note below the root note. So for the B minor chord it will look like this:
You can see I have the regular notes of the B minor chord, B-D-F#.
The 7th note of the B minor scale is an A, so I’ve just added that below the B because it’s more comfortable for me and my small hands.
There are only 3 chords in this song which makes it perfect to experiment with and play around with the different types of chords.
As you can see, it only takes a little bit of chord knowledge (and bravery) to play piano in church.
Modern worship songs are not complicated, and the most common chord types you can expect to find are the ones we’ve covered in this lesson.
These 3 songs are easy worship songs that are fantastic to practice at home, and they give you a really good sense of how to read worship chord charts.
If you’d like to explore worship piano more, we have an entire course designed to teach you how to play piano in church.
It’s a 10-lesson, step-by-step course that will walk you through all the skills you’ll need, so you can feel confident joining a worship team.
You can learn more here:
I hope you enjoy learning these songs, and happy practicing!
* FREE VIDEO SERIES *
Learning chords is a great way to improve your piano skills without any music theory. And Lisa Witt’s “Chord Hacks” series will show you how to play the most popular chords, so you can play many of your favorite songs on the piano!
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