In this acoustic guitar tutorial of "Christ Be Magnified" by Cody Carnes, you'll learn how to play easy variations of chords that will work well for switching quickly from one chord to another. This song has several quick switches. You'll also learn a strum pattern that will help you switch quickly without missing a beat.
For the bridge, we'll cover how to play the finger picking part, and finally, we'll cover the signature lick. You'll learn how to incorporate the intro lick into the chords as you play.
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This song has the general themes of exultation, singing, praise, and worship and is based of the scripture passages of Psalm 47:6-7, 1 Chronicles 16:23-25, and Philippians 2:9-11.
Let's take a look at the lyrics to see what the song is about. The first two verses are postulating what creation would exclaim.
Were creation suddenly articulate
With a thousand tongues
To lift one cry
Then from north to south
And east to west
We'd hear Christ be magnified
Were the whole earth
Echoing His eminence
His name would burst
From sea and sky
From rivers to the mountain tops
We'd hear Christ be magnified
From here, the pinnacle of the song invites the worshiper to join in with a Christ-centered praise chorus.
O Christ be magnified
Let His praise arise
Christ be magnified in me
O Christ be magnified
From the altar of my life
Christ be magnified in me
Verse 3 is similar to the first two voices, and once again leads in to a chorus of praise
When every creature
Finds its inmost melody
And every human heart
Its native cry
O then in one enraptured
Hymn of praise
We'll sing Christ be magnified
The bridge is bold proclamation of joining Christ in His suffering and also joining Him in the resurrection. From here, the song returns back into the chorus.
I won't be formed by feelings
I hold fast to what is true
If the cross brings transformation
Then I'll be crucified with You
'Cause death is just the doorway
Into resurrection life
And if I join You in Your suffering
Then I'll join You when You rise
And when You return in glory
With all the angels and the saints
My heart will still be singing
And my song will be the same
Today we're covering this song, Christ Be Magnified, and the key to this song is learning how to play what's called a "passing chord" all throughout the song. You'll see a passing cord that happens for just one beat of a measure and then it passes you on to the next measure. So it's really helpful to know what strum pattern will work. We will cover some tips on your chords and how to get into and out of passing chords really quickly. That will matter a lot with one beat passing cords.
So before we do that, let's take a look at the song as a whole and just see what's happening. This song is in the key of A so you can use the A chord family. To do so, just print out the a chord chart and follow along with the with the song. But what we're going to do is capo on the 2nd fret and use the G chord family instead of the A chord family. There are two reasons for this. First, it's easier to play. Most most people like G chords better than A chords. And the second reason is that it gives you a little bit of room if you need to back off the key or to go lower.
If you take your capo off, now it's lower. If the key is too high, you can take your capo off and just play regular G chords. Everything you'll learn will apply and it'll be in the keep G, which is a whole step lower than the key of A. Likewise if you need to move it up for a female vocal, each fret is a half step higher.
So, again, we will learn it using the G chord shapes. Looking at the chart, you can see what I was talking about with the passing chords. It happens all throughout the song.
The verses use full measure of each chord. So just a full strum pattern for each cord, and then in the chorus, intro, and the turnarounds, you’ll have passing chords. The Bridge of the song has full measures. However, the bridge drops a little bit musically and I'm going to show you a finger picking pattern that you can hear in the actual studio track. I'll show you how to play that as well at the end of our lesson.
So let's jump into how to play the guitar chords of this worship song. For the G chord, you can just use your normal G chord shape. For C, you can use C2 instead of a traditional C chord. The C2 chord looks like a G chord, but these two little fingers are moved down a string, each.
For your D chord, you can just keep the two fingers fingers the same as you would with the G or C2. Just start the strum on the D string. This is a Dsus chord. For your Em chord, you can play G/E anytime you see E minor. That way, we're keeping the little two notes consistent all the way through. And that's going to help when you switch in and out of chords quickly. l
Now the one chord you may need to experiment with to see what you want to do is the A minor chord. One trick you could do, is to play a G/A chord. This chord looks like G/E, but you're moving your pointer finger down and then starting the strum on your fifth string. That way you get the the bass note of an A and you get the consistency of your pinky and your ring fingers. Another option here is to play an A Minor or an A Minor 7, with the pinky on the third fret of the first string. . So if you keep your pinky there it gives you again a little bit of consistency.
If you prefer the full a minor sound instead, you could add your pinky to have it connect a little bit more sonically with C and G.
So if you look at the cord progression, it's G, A minor, C. If you play G/A instead, it's going to help you get a quickly into C2. So all I'm doing here is going from G/A into C2 by adding my middle finger into the C2. Now when you're on C2 you're going to play D as your passing chord. So again this helps too with that Dsus. It's just one strum.
You don't have to have the full D sound. You can just keep it here. From there, you're going into an E minor or G/E, it's just one finger. After that, you’ll wind up at the C chord. So that'll give you some options as you're switching in and out of chords.
Now, let's talk about your right hand and strumming. Playing the right strum pattern is key with passing chords. The easiest one for this song sounds like this.
Down down down, down up up down up down up. So found downs, three ups and then down up down up.
And once you have that strum pattern you can actually sub out that last down up down up at the end, which is worth one beat. That's where you would apply it to your passing cord so that you could actually turn that into just one big down strum.
Now, let's talk about the bridge because the song kind of breaks down and everything just drops musically a little bit. You’ll hear a lot of pads happening there, and then if you listen really carefully, you can hear a finger picking acoustic part over top of the pad.
So your Bridge chords are C, D, E minor and G/B. The picking patterns pretty easy. So start with your C shape. You don't need your the bottom half of the chord. Focus on the fifth string the fourth and the third. It's a simple back and forth pattern. So you'll play your C shape starting with the your thumb on the base note and you can use whatever whatever fingers you want here as you pick. . I like to hold my pick with my pointer and use my other fingers for finger picking. From there, I can just get right back to the pick to strum before or after the the picking pattern.
I'm used to doing that. So it's its second nature for me, but you definitely have to work on that because it feels odd. So just hold your pick like that and then we can get into this alternating pattern. All you're doing is here, is one two three four. So you're playing 16th notes of the measure by using a pattern of thumb and then your your middle with a string right below it on the fourth string, back to thumb, and then the other string that's higher.
After that, play the pattern again. That’s the only pattern throughout this bridge. For E minor and you're going do the same thing, but your thumb is going to be on the low base note. Your other fingers are still on the G and the D strings.
And then after E minor, we’ll go to a G/B. Just make sure you're just holding down the the B note. So you're on the fifth string a string on the second fret. And then you’re back to where you started on the C chord.
Later in the bridge, this worship song will start to swell and build throughout. So what you can do at that point is to start strumming. Start strumming eighth notes. And then when the song is built up, you can move back into your shrimp pattern.
Now let's talk about the intro lick. It's a pretty simple lick, and you'll hear electric guitar and piano play it over top of the intro chord and during the turnaround. Start with playing the second string open (your B string). And then play the third fret relative to Capo, without fretting it.
Finally, play the fourth fret to the second on your D string. That's all you have to play if you’re on electric guitar and the band is playing the chords. Also, the piano could also play this lick.
If you're the only person playing and you still want to incorporate that lick, you could either do so with finger picking or you can do so with your with your strum. Just think about the chords you're playing and how to accent those notes as you strum the chord. First strum, and end on the second string, open. That be the first melody note. From there, your ring finger can come down for the second note.
Next, you can play the third string open. Next, play the fourth fret on the next string up (fourth string). Finally, you’ll land at on the last note as part of your C chord shape. Doing this will help people recognize the signature lick of the song.
Now you have everything you need to play this song. You have the chords that will make it easy to switch. You have your strum pattern which will also make it easy to switch. We have also covered the bridge finger picking section, if you want to try that out, and, of course, we covered the intro lick. Check out the chord charts and have fun play the worship song, Christ Be Magnified.