Creating Worship Intros with Little Information

Simple Worship Intros on the Piano

The leader points at you and asks you to play an intro. No big deal right? What if it’s a new song and you don’t know the melody? Then, you look down and all you have is a chord/lyric sheet that does not tell you much information. YIKES!!! Here are a few tricks to help you on your way.

Video Transcription
Hello everybody, Wade McNutt here, Piano Chops. We have a little question uh, from, uh, email, and I, I wanted to do a video blog to talk about it. It's a great question. Uh, and this is from Cheryle.

She said, I'm not very comfortable playing worship songs; playing Hymns from a hymnal is no problem. When I'm asked to help in the contemporary service, all I'm given is text with chords, which is very common, um, no melody, or actual lead sheet. The biggest stumbling block is playing an introduction to each song. I don't know most of the songs and there is no melody to give an idea for an intro and there's not, uh, no time to listen, uh, on Youtube when I'm asked to play at the last minute. Any ideas providing generic introductions to help singers get started?

Absolutely. So, um, first of all Cheryle, you are not alone. This is uh, happened to everybody. Um, the first thing I want you to, to remember, is to, to not make it too difficult. Alright? Sometimes we overthink things as musicians, I do the same thing. Um, but, think about what a guitar player would do. Ya know, they'll, they'll choose a guitar..uh..chord on the guitar and just kind of strum. So, that's one of the big tricks is to vamp. Alright? It's called vamping.

So, let's say whatever the first chord of the song, where the singer's gonna start singing, play that chord over and over again. So, using the song "How Great is Our God", uh, I'll just use the, uh, chord G, cause that's where the singer's gonna start, and you can just vamp. As long as you want to. It even sounds good if someone's, maybe someone's speaking or praying, staying on that one chord is fine. Now, to you it might seem monotonous, you know, over and over and over again, but really its, it's exactly what uh, will, work for the song. And then they can come in whenever they want to. Say the, the prayer ends, amen.

(singing) How Great is Our God.

Right? Boom. You can start singing at any point. So that's a very, very easy, simple thing to do. Find one chord, vamp it.

Um, the next thing, it's still vamping, but we're gonna, we're gonna vamp a chord progression now. So, just take whatever the first chord progression is that we're gonna uh, sing during the song, and play that. Play it over and over again. You don't have to have the melody, you don't have to have any of that. You can just play the chord. So, for this song, it's two G's. To E minor. To C. D. Back to G. And you can just keep doing this progression over and over again. Again, someone praying, talking, whatever you need to do. If you know, uh, how to do some of the fancy stuff that I teach, like, uh, the fills, you throw some of that stuff in too, but keep it simple. And then whenever everybody's ready, the singer just comes in.

(singing) Great is our God, sing with me How Great.

Right on. Ok, so just take a chord, chord progression, um, and that will get you going. Now, this is uh, the, the next thing is a little more advanced. Um, cause you, you gotta be able to use your ear just a little bit to pick out, to pick out a melody. But maybe you can pick out, maybe just three notes. So, so maybe you're, you're trying to figure this out.

(singing) How great our God...

Let's just use these three notes. Let's create an intro from it. Ok? So, again, you'll have to be, it's a little more advanced, you'll have to be a little faster to, to do this, but let's see what I can do with just three notes. Throw in a fill. Ok, so, it does not have to be complicated, just has to be enough to give the, um, the key of the song to the singer, for them to know, um, kinda what, where their starting note is. And most of the time that can be accomplished by just playing, uh, one chord over and over again.

Alright, so, simple, little simple way to do an introduction, um, maybe things that you've already been doing, so, use that. Uh, I hope it helps you out, um, and especially you know, all the, all the players that are, they're new to this, new to just playing with chords and lyrics. And maybe you have some other ideas and different things that have helped you. Please leave a comment below. Let's, ya know, help the community and uh, let's keep moving forward.

God bless yall. Hope this was a great lesson. Uh, eye-opening for uh, for uh, moving forward in your journey. We will talk to you later. Buh-bye.

13 Comments on “Creating Worship Intros with Little Information”

  1. Thank you for addressing this subject! I needed a way to get started in accompanying Christian Contemporary songs, and had no idea where to begin. This is a great help!

  2. This is the type of stuff we need! It’s nice to have a song mapped out and some suggestions for “Going Pro” with it, but having the tools to put the pieces together is the STUFF!
    It’s like Lego blocks. Having a drawing of how to re-create something already ‘charted’ is nice, but being able to take your own stack of Legos and put them together into something unique to you is really satisfying.
    I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s really great that you do both types of videos: Play-alongs and skill/chop builders.

  3. Thank you for your Awesome Great music notes… And videos… I am so Happy for your helping me to play chords…. God bless you …

  4. Brilliant. It’s hard to find clear, straight forward techniques like this without the tutor suddenly getting too complicated, Thanks very much for staying within reach!

    1. You are very welcome. Please let me know if you think of any other good topics and I’ll put it down for future blogs. -wade

  5. Lord know how much I needed this! I have been playing guitar for a bit now and have been given several new instruments to start on. It is quite hard when we have no instructor but our mission is to serve God. I recently saw your tutorial on Thy Will and loved it. I started checking out your site and blog and finally know where I need to be. I am certainly looking forward to more blogs, tutorials and tips! God bless you and your family and may you continue to lead us on our mission.

  6. Apart from watching online is it possible you send the video for download
    Or maybe through wattsup

  7. Thanks Wade for your simple straight forward way you instruct. I play by ear and have been for fifty years, but its good to look at your simple beginners instruction as well as advance, I always pick up something that I have forgotten or take for granted..

    God Bless you in your ministry!!

    Keep Up the good work!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *