What This Course is All About

Hi, my name's Harry Buerer, and I'm offering this course on playing hymns on the guitar. If you've never played the guitar before, and want to learn it in the context of playing hymns, then this is the course for you. If you already know how to play guitar and want to learn how to apply that knowledge to playing hymns, we have an alternate course: Hymns for Guitar Players, that assumes that you know guitar technique, and focuses on the theory. If you're just starting guitar, stick with us here.

Why hymns? Many churches are having success with a blended worship style in which guitars, drums, and other contemporary sounds are used, and older hymns are integrated into the worship. Unfortunately, hymnals don't typically have guitar chords written in, so it's not obvious what chords you should play. Also, the keys of songs in hymnals are selected for the benefit of the keyboard player, and it's often better for guitars to play it in a different key. We'll talk more about that. And, on the practical side, the hymns that we will use in this course are old enough that there won't be any copyright issues to worry about.

What this course will do is to teach you basic things about the guitar, like how to tune it, and different strumming or picking methods. Then we'll introduce you to hymns that use only two chords. We'll practice on those and then expand the vocabulary to 3 or 4 chords. Then we'll show you how to play in other keys using the primary chords in that key. We'll also spend some time showing you how to play by ear. I hope that you'll join us as we develop skill in playing guitar, and in learning how to play hymns.

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