We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogging to bring you this public service announcement.  Apologies in advance to my five followers that this will not at all be related to any prior blog topics.  But to be fair, I did warn that this blog would be about both Nothing & Everything, so I’m really just exploring the space…

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As an Electric Player on a Modern Worship Team, you have a lot of ground to cover.  Now it hasn’t always been this way.  It wasn’t that long ago that most worship songs were driven far more by piano or keys or acoustic.  But no longer my friend!…  The Electrics today are front & center more often than not.  And knowing your heart as a servant, I can safely assume that you want to deliver.

But what you may not realize is that this might mean you have to adjust your approach as a musician.  If you’re a Lead Electric, you might have an amazing ability to solo all over a Blues Scale in E.  Or if you’re a Rhythm Electric, you might have a mastery of every Bar Chord, Jazz Chord, & Power Chord that ever existed.  Sadly, you can have all of these fantastic skills and still leave a major hole in the sonic landscape of your worship team.  So what am I talking about?…

THE HOOKS MAN!… You gotta give’em THE HOOKS!…


So what exactly am I talking about here?  What is a HOOK?…

The HOOKS are those iconic parts in any given song that are instantly recognizable.  Think the opening seconds of Sweet Child O’Mine…  You only need to hear 3 or 4 notes in that intro & you know exactly what song it is.  Moreover, it probably recalls some memory or memories that bring forth some sense of nostalgia… depending on your age that is…  THAT is an epic HOOK!…

Now imagine what would happen if during the GN’R’s reunion tour, Slash sauntered on-stage when he’s supposed to kick off that song and instead, he played something that fit more on a John Coltrane album…  Okay, actually that would be pretty cool… At least for a bit…  But his band mates would likely be pretty upset… I mean Axl has incited riots over lesser things… And what about the ticket paying fans?…  They paid for Sweet Child O’Mine…  Not Slash exploring more free form styles…


So let’s bring this home to our present setting…  Why would it be important for an Electric player to know their Hooks backwards & forwards?  Well, in most cases, your band mates are counting on that Hook as a cue for what they’re attempting to play.  Cuing off of a well known, highly visible Hook is easier for most musicians than trying to count the meters out & hit the right timing on their own.

But its not just about your Mates…  The congregation is cuing off of you as well.  If you grew up in a traditional church without a Worship Leader or Band (like I did), you may recall that the pianist or organist always led off each hymn with a few bars of the Refrain (think Chorus) before plowing into Verse 1.  Why’d they do that?  Well for one, it established the tone, key, & rhythm of the hymn.  This was important with no WL leading the way.  But more than that, the Refrain, even just instrumentally, was instantly recognizable to your regular churchgoer.  That made it immensely easier for the congregation to all get on track together without any further prompting.

The Hooks of an Electric Guitar in Modern Worship can serve the very same function for our congregations.  Anyone who’s been to more than one church service in the last 6 years can instantly recognize the intro to Our God.  And after just a few bars, they know that water is about to turn into wine.

And this is not just about the Lead guys either… The Rhythm guys have Hooks that are just as necessary for everything sound right.  Some recent examples I’ve run across…  Unstoppable God and In God We Trust both have some out of the box Rhythm Hooks that are completely necessary in the previously mentioned sonic landscape.


So as you’re listening to the worship set for your next week on team, ask yourself… What Hooks will the Worship Leader be expecting to hear?  Will my band mates be expecting to hear?  Will the congregation be expecting to hear?  Then learn those parts…  Electric Tutorials are posted in Planning Center to help…  Or just shoot me a line if you’re having trouble figuring it all out.

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