Using Praise and Worship CD’s to Learn Songs

Wouldn’t it be great if you could figure out your favorite worship songs all by yourself, and not have to rely on tabs or sheet music to figure them out?  You can do this by learning to play by ear.  Playing by ear is the ability to play a piece of music by simply listening to it repeatedly. .Many musicians began their education this way; they would pick up their instrument and began playing an easy melody from a well-known song, slowly picking out the notes as they went along. It’s not that hard to do. In this article, I’m going to give you some tips to get you started playing by ear using Praise and worship CDs.

Before you begin you want to first get a CD player.  Make sure it has decent stop and pause controls, because you’ll need them. It’s possible to do it with iTunes or something similar, but trust me, it’s much harder to do on iTunes, because the controls are very hard to use.  The CD player is a good way to learn songs because you can simply play the music over and over until you finally get each part of the song you are learning to play

Next you should have a way to write down your discoveries. Get some tab paper, a sharp pencil, a good eraser and you’re ready to go!

You may have a song in mind that you want to learn.  It is not that difficult learn new songs. To start out choose a song that is easy.  As you get more comfortable gradually build up your ability you can tackle more difficult pieces. If you’re determined to learn and you’re motivated, you can learn everything you need to know even in a short time.

It is a good idea to memorize the songs you learn.  If you have a good memory, learning to play Worship Songs will be easier. Memorization is very important when it comes to playing Worship Songs because you need to memorize the chords notes and words of the Worship Songs.

Here are four steps you can take to learn a worship song using a CD and CD Player


I recommend that you listen to the piece of music that you’re working on many times without trying to figure it out. All you need to do at this time is listen to the song.  And once you listen to it once, you need to listen to the song again. It will make your task simpler by “burning” the sounds into your brain.

As you listen you will start to identify the different parts of the song.  Listen for the verse, Listen for the chorus. Listen for the bridge and intro.  Identify the song structure.  If the song structure goes like this: verse-chorus-verse-chorus. Then you basically have two different parts to learn, the verse and the chorus.  Usually each part will have a specific chord pattern. This pattern usually repeats itself.


Take a moment to transcribe the lyrics to the song.  Place each line of the lyric on its own line.  Then you can label each part.  Label them Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Intro.  What you will discover is that each verse will have different word but the chorus part will repeat its word.


To learn the chords, figure out the bass line first without worrying about the chords. For the majority of songs the bass note will be the root of the chord.  This is helpful because you can easily see what key the song is in. Once that’s done, you can apply some theory to help get the right chords. Figuring out chords this way is kind of like playing Hangman with notes. Once you’ve found a few notes, the picture will become clearer.  Add to this your knowledge of chords will help solve the rest of the puzzle for you.

Here is an example: What if you hear the bass player play and E, and you hear a G somewhere in the rest of the chord? If you understand music theory and how chords are constructed, you can start to build the notes for the key.

Em = E G B

C = C E G

Both of these chords are similar as they both have the E and G notes. Now test both of these chords while playing along with the song and decide it they will work.

Now all you do is test both chords against the one in the song, and decide if you’ve guessed right. This isn’t an exact science, but it will definitely help you get to the finish line.  As you get figure out each chord write them down on your notepad.


Learn the rhythm of the song.  See if you can determine the beat by tapping your foot.

Finding the beat to a song is usually the easiest part, since most people “feel” the beat and don’t have to do to much thinking to come up with an right rhythm for a song. But for the rhythmically challenged just by knowing that there are basically two meters available –4/4 (four beats per measure) meter and ¾ (3 beat per measure).

In a song the first beat of a measure will be emphasized.  That means it will be stronger in dynamic than the other beats.  In the 4/4 time it would sound like this ONE,two,three,four.  Now take out your lyrics and try to identify where the ONE beat falls in the words to the lyrics.  Next assign the appropriate chord to that beat.

Using a CD Player can be very useful in learning new worship and praise songs.  The Player will allow you to Stop, Pause, Rewind and Fast Forward Through each part or the song.


John is also author of the book “Building a House of Worship”. The book was written as a guide to Christian church worship leaders to better minister to the people they serve as they use their gift of music. Get the worship and praise album "Called to Worship". Go to Get Free Worship Music.

Leave a Reply

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