For all of you who love to lead worship or have your personal worship times… My September Website of the month is Ultimate-Guitar.com
Ultimate-Guitar.com are dedicated to helping musicians of all abilities play their favourite songs through a range of helpful features. Plus find songs long forgotten or hot off the press. The spectrum of genres is impressive from heavy metal to country, Bethel to your grandmother’s favourite old hymns.
I’ve used this site (and App) for years as my primary source of finding cords for songs I mainly want to use to worship.
The main features I love are
- The fact I can transpose the cords to find a more comfortable key for me to play and sing in
- You can listen/watch the song (using YouTube insert) into the same screen so I can play along at the same time. This helps me learn to play a new song in the way the artist plays.
- Some song tabs have “Simplify” option as well as Transpose to make it easier for beginners.
- Save your favourite song tabs in your own “My Tabs” area so you can look down that list quickly to pick out possible songs for your worship set. (and then quickly add them to a “Playlist”
- Create your personalised playlists – I use this a lot for the different worship “events” I’m leading – and you can send a copy to others in your worship group.
- Autoscroll – so you don’t have to keep trying to move the screen up while keeping your strumming going…
- You can print out the music (with or without cords, details) if you prefer to have a paper copy.
- I do like how there are many versions of the songs regular people like you and I have added. Some are great at simplifying cord patterns less gifted players (like me) can use to still be able to play a song.
- There are options/ tabs for most band instruments so your whole group can play together without having to find or create their own version.
- Great teaching tips to help improve your playing
- Request tabs – if a song you love isn’t here, or it’s brand new, then you can ask the UG community to create a tab.
Other great feature’s
- I somehow managed to get a “pro” account without paying. I think it was during a special event. But it means I can add my version of a song, or send in suggestions of changes for other published versions.
- Find tabs to songs playing on your Spotify by connecting your streaming service account.
- Chord diagrams to help beginners know where to place their fingers to learn new cords…
- The metadata at the top of every song (Artist, Difficulty level, Tuning configuration, Capo, Key and Tab author) for easy reference.
- Tonebridge – get this add-on app to activate the original sound.
- Pro has a great feature on the “Official” tabs of “Backing Track”. These give you all the tracks by instrument which you can mute or change the volume of so you can play along with the band.
More features to check out
Articles – as expected news about the bands, articles and blogs about musicians, a question of the day, interviews, feature articles about various topics, head’s up on new releases.
Forums – grouped into several topics – Hot Discussions; Just Joined; Requests; Instruments; Music and Misc. If you’re trying to learn a particular instrument, then the forum for that specific piece can be quite helpful.
Wiki – there are 14 categories here to help you navigate the articles and other information to give more hints and insights into how to play your favourite songs.
How I use Ultimate-Guitar.com
I admit I don’t use a lot of the site regularly because I don’t have the time.
But when I want to have my own worship time, or need to prepare for a worship time I’m leading then this is my go-to place to prayerfully inspire me for songs to include.
When a song feels right, I add it to a playlist.
Once I feel I’ve got enough songs for the time I go through them and put them into a rough order. If I’m playing with others, then I send them a link to the playlist or pull out the songs from my hard copy folder. (yes I do like to use paper copies especially if it’s just me playing).
If it’s a personal worship time, it’s nice to simply click through and not get lost in my paper file which takes time…
So there you go, my quick guide to this passionate music site helping novices and gifted musicians alike.
If you have another website/ App that you use to help you lead worship – please let me know. I have another site I’ll feature early next year but would love to hear your suggestions too.