Playing the Acoustic Guitar Rhythmically and Melodically

When you lead worship from the acoustic guitar, it can oftentimes be helpful for your congregation if you accent the melody in addition to playing the rhythm. If you’re with a large band, this isn’t such a big deal. But if you’re by yourself or with a small team, and leading a song the congregation isn’t totally familiar with, it can help people sing with confidence if they can hear where the melody is. Here’s an example:

6 thoughts on “Playing the Acoustic Guitar Rhythmically and Melodically”

  1. Great post Jamie. I’m a regular reader and fellow guitar-based leader. Completely agree with tryingto introduce melody with rythmn as a tool for assisting congregation involvement. I think sometimes it also helps is break out of standard progressions and bring something fresh. If we are making to express something old in a new/fresh way, it can help people sing/consider lyrics afresh and release people In praise. Keep up the good work. God bless.

  2. Great vid. This is off-topic of Guitars, but I’d like to add one thing to this concept of showing the melody clearly. I think a great way to help the congregation catch the melody is to
    1) Put ALL singers on melody for a time (AKA no harmony).
    2) Have the sound guy mix lead vocal to reflect your leadership. Even to boost it up a little more than usual during a new song I think is a good idea for the clarifying reasons you mentioned.

    Clear and precise melody is so often overlooked – and if we’re going to lead congregational songs, WE MUST HAVE IT. Thanks for bringing this up you are spot on.

  3. My comment is not related to this post in particular. I just wanted to drop a note to let you know that I regularly read, and appreciate, your blog. I’m a worship leader at a Bible church in Houston, and resonate with your gospel-centered approach to worship ministry, and look forward to your new posts. Not sure how many people tell you they’re reading, so I thought I’d let you know that even though I haven’t commented until now, I benefit regularly from your writing. Keep up the good work, brother.



    1. Kyle,

      Thanks so much for your encouragement! I’m so glad you’re reading and that the stuff on here is helpful to you. Thanks for your ministry to the people of your church and for your faithfulness to the Gospel.


  4. Thanks Jamie,

    “You Alone Can Rescue” will now be stuck in my head until Sunday. Not a bad one to get stuck though. Well shared.


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