You've heard the recommendation a million times: Worship leaders, memorize your music and get rid of your music stands.
And maybe you're on board. Maybe you want to do it but you're just not sure how. There's no doubt that it can be intimidating to memorize your music. What if you play the wrong chords? What if you completely blank out on a section of a song?
Well, memorizing your music isn't necessarily easy BUT it IS easier than people think. Worship leaders THINK it's hard and therefore, either talk themselves out of trying it, come up with excuses why it's not a good idea, or try it for a week or two and then give up.
I'll say it again: memorizing your music isn't easy BUT it IS easier than you think. There are just a few things you need to know to successfully memorize your worship music.
Here are 3 keys to memorizing your worship music:
1 | Look for patterns
This is the number one area where people get stuck in memorizing their worship music. It's not about memorizing each individual chord. You don't have to know that the chords to verse 1 are G, C, Em, D, G, C, Em, D, G, C, Em, D and that the chords to verse 2 are G, C, Em, D, G, C, Em, D, G, C, Em, D.
The key is to look for patterns. You'll quickly realize that that chord progression is just the same 4 chords over and over again. Not only that but verse 1 and 2 are the same so you really only need to memorize the pattern 1 time: G, C, Em, D. That's all you need to know for verse 1 and 2 - EASY!
2 | Start small
A lot worship leaders get discouraged when the try TOO MUCH at one time. When you first start memorizing your music, you're not going to be able to memorize 6 songs by Sunday. So, start small. Pick the one song in your set that is the easiest and memorize the patterns in that song.
3 | Understand that this is a skill that must be developed over time
In relation to number 2 - you need to build the skill of memorizing your music over time. It doesn't come instantly. Just like you wouldn't learn a crazy guitar riff your first week of playing guitar, don't start by memorizing complex songs. As you practice memorizing more and more, you'll get better and be able to do it faster.
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