Weekly Worship Workshop 7.18.13

I wanted to start by thanking everyone who came last Thursday for the first of our weekly gatherings. We discussed Psalm 95 and how it informed us on what worship is, why we worship, and how we worship. The conclusion was that we can meet God in the midst of our struggles through worshiping Him, and be at peace in a turbulent storm like in Psalm 57.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
till the storms of destruction pass by.
 I cry out to God Most High,
to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
 He will send from heaven and save me;
he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
 My soul is in the midst of lions; Till
     I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
     Whose tongues are sharp swords?
Be exalted, O. God, above the heavens!
     Let your glory be over all the earth!
They set a net for my steps;
     My soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
     But they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
My heart is steadfast, O God,
     my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
     Awake, my glory![b]
Awake, O harp and lyre!
     I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
     I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
     your faithfulness to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
     Let your glory be over all the earth!

Another psalm that echoes that is Psalm 27 which, after declaring that God is our salvation, concludes with these lines:

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
      be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!

I wanted to reflect on what we might be waiting on - where we need God to show up in our lives in a way that only He can do. We can know what we are waiting for, or what God has promised, yet to live as we have already received it is the challenge. I think when we sing a line like "True are Your promises" we are ministering to ourselves and reminding our own soul that God is faithful and good, even though circumstances and the spirit of the age point us to a different conclusion.

I came across an article by a worship leader and thinker who I follow named Zac Hicks which speaks about what worship is in the context of what we are hoping for. I hope you enjoy it too.


On the musical side, we discussed keys and how to determine what key a song might be in. We also discussed the Nashville Number System and how to transpose in your head quickly. This chart below shows the 5 main guitar keys with 6 chords in each key. The I column is the name of the key, and the chords that are in that key follow horizontally. So if the chord progression goes I V vi IV and you were in the key of C, the chords would be C G Am F. If you were in the key of G, the same progression would be G D Em C.

essential chord graph.png

Here are the simple versions of all the chords that you will find on that grid. 

essential chords.png

We also discussed strumming patterns and how they emulate drum beats. We talked about re-creating a simple, rock drum beat by playing a low note on beat 1 and 3 and the higher parts of the chord on beats 2 and 4.

I wanted to post a few links based on our discussions last night. The apps and websites we talked about were: 

Musictheory.net - The company who made this site also produced the apps Tenuto and Theory. The latter of the two is an IOS version of his music theory website. 

Garageband- If you have a Mac you'll have the desktop version already but the IOS version is really handy for making chord progression to practice along with, 

Loopy HD- This is a great looping app and you can record your voice or your guitar. 

Metronome- I didn't talk about this but I like this app for a basic metronome. 

Snark Tuner- I didn't mention this either but rather than using a smartphone tuner this clips to your head-stock and it alway good to go. It really is helpful when you capo a lot. 

Here is that scale chart we briefly discussed too.