Learning to Play Contemporary Christian Music on Guitar
Today we explore CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) hit song “Breathe” by Michael W Smith. Contemporary Christian Music and occasionally “inspirational music” is a genre of modern music which is lyrically focused on matters concerned with the Christian faith.
From Wikipedia - Today, the term is typically used to refer to the Nashville Tennessee – based pop, rock, and worship Christian music industry, currently represented by artists such as Mercy Me, Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, Third Day, Matthew West, Toby Mac, Chris Tomlin and Michael W. Smith. The industry is represented in Billboard Magazines “ Top Christian Albums” and “Hot Christian Songs” charts, and by Radio and Records magazines Christian AC ( Adult Contemporary ) Christian CHR ( Contemporary Hit Radio), Christian Rock and Inspirational ( INSPO) airplay charts, as well as the iTunes Stores “ Christian & Gospel genre.
However, not all modern music which lyrically identifies with Christianity is part of the Nashville Contemporary Christian Music industry. Alternative genres such as punk, hardcore, heavy metal, and hip hop groups deal explicitly with issues of faith but are not normally not considered Contemporary Christian Music.
Also, several mainstream artists such as The Byrds, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Elvis Presley, Kanye West, Creed, The Frey, Evanescence, Lifehouse, U2, the rapper DMX have dealt with Christian themes in their work but are not part of the Christian Contemporary Music industry.
The pdf sheet music for Breathe is in standard lead sheet format. This means 3 parts. On top of music stave paper is Chord Changes for guitar and piano. Then the melody. Then finally the lyrics written below. The mp3 of the melody for those whom want to sing or play melody on their instrument along with pdf file with standard music notation and also guitar tab and guitar chord diagrams with best fingerings is at the bottom of this post.
I currently have a few students whom perform in churches in Sacramento, Vallejo, Benicia, Walnut Creek and San Ramon that want to incorporate jazz chords with Christian music. In other words not just basic minor and major 7th chords but upper extensions such as 9ths, 11ths and 13ths and altered chords meaning sharp and flat fifths and ninth chords. These jazz formations turn heads and I fill bring in the essence of giving that sweet melody and lyrics of praise and worship to His glory.
Please stay tuned to upcoming lessons also for beginners on enhancing Christian music as well as all levels of guitar performance.
I highly recommend downloading this arrangement and take it to your Pastor or church worship team leader. I guarantee they will enjoy this arrangement. God Bless.