What Every Worship Leader Needs To Know About Electric Guitar (Part 3)

  • Written By 
  • Shalon Palmer

Today we wrap up our run down of the essential things you NEED to know about electric guitar in order to effectively lead electric guitar players.  Why are we talking about this?  If you’re leading a band or worship team, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the electric guitar and what it has potential to do for your set.

If you’re just jumping into this series, I encourage you to read part 1 and part 2 first. I gave a crucial and very important 1st step in part 1 and then shared some tips and tricks in part 2.

Also, It’s important for you to understand that no way is this list exhaustive. In this series I’m sharing the biggest things that I’ve encountered in my years of ministry. If you have more advice for us (especially since this post finishes up the series), share them with us in the comments!

So I’ve been talking to everyone involved in your worship team who ISN’T an electric guitar player. More importantly, worship leaders or anyone calling the shots for the worship team. Guitarists, feel free to listen in and share your input.  Today’s post is a long needed therapy session between guitarists and worship leaders!


When I was just playing music full-time (and not running a website) I would play at a different church every week or so. Many times I would get invited to just come play electric guitar and not bring a band with me.

Too often, the scenario played out much like this:

Typically I’m not given any direction beforehand.  I’m not told if there’s another guitar player, what parts to learn, etc.  If there is another guitar player, his actions usually state loud and clear that I’m on his turf. He thens finds it necessary to mark his territory and solo over everything I play.  And there’s usually serious tension over who’s playing what parts.

Because of this ongoing battle between the other guitar player and I, the band suffered. Eventually I had to start asking questions and getting this settled before I showed up. Which is the leaders job.

Even though you may not be traveling or bringing in other guitar players, all of the same ingredients are there.  I’ve seen even the most humble of guys have controversy over who is playing what parts.

The point I’m making is this: As the leader, you HAVE to give direction to your guitar players. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve showed up to rehearsal having learned the exact same parts as the other guitarist because we weren’t told what to learn.  A lot of good that does the band. Whether you know it or not, there is an unspoken battle between your guitar players and it’s up to you to quench it.

Don’t let that battle even start. How do you do that? Assign parts to them. In my experience, simply saying “you play lead, and you play rhythm” isn’t enough.

Many times both parts are lead parts, or both parts are rhythm parts. Not to mention everyone wants to play lead!  So much so that guitarists sometimes feel offended when they are told to play rhythm. It’s like you’re telling them that the other guy is better. Which you and I may know isn’t true, but that’s how they feel.

That’s the main reason why we’ve labeled the guitar parts in our tutorials “Electric 1” and “Electric 2.”  I passionately believe that the best and easiest way to assign parts to your guitar players is through WorshipOnline. See for yourself in this demo. They are shown exactly what to play and there is no confusion.

You also don’t have to spend time listening through and designating parts to the song each week.  Which can be tough, especially if you aren’t a guitarist.  We do it for you.  So don’t let tension rise up on your guitar players, assign them parts!

Speaking as a guitarist, help us out!  Give us a little direction.  Whether you do this with Worship Online or not, I can’t stress enough how important it is!

Have you ever had conflict between guitar players? If so, do you have any advice for us on how to resolve it? Leave a comment below!

Want to stay connected with us and our community? Sign up to get our blog posts via email! And you can also get access to our FREE 5 part video series on How Today’s Top Worship Guitarist Are Using Effects Pedals!

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