In this acoustic guitar tutorial of House of the Lord by Phil Wickham, you'll learn how to play the intro lick, the chords, and the easiest strum pattern. This song has an unusual timing; however, once you learn how to follow the chart, you'll be able to play along easily. You'll have a choice of different capo options, but we'll focus on using the G chord family for this lesson.
You also learn how to play the intro lick within the chords, and you'll learn how to play the electric guitar part.
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House of the Lord, also known as There's Joy in the House of the Lord, is a worship song written by Jonathan Smith, and Phil Wickham. It was released in 2021 on the label, Phil Wickham.
This song is an upbeat worship song about the joy that's in the house of the Lord, most likely referring to the gathered church. The song begins with a call to worship and moves into an expression of praise.
The first verse starts with identifying the object of the church's worship:
We worship the God who was
We worship the God who is
We worship the God who
Evermore will be
From there the chorus affirms the joy of believers, and their loud proclamation:
There’s joy in the house of the Lord
There’s joy in the house
Of the Lord today
And we won’t be quiet
We shout out Your praise
There’s Joy in the house of the Lord
Our God is surely in this place
And we won’t be quiet
We shout out Your praise
The second verse speaks of the ways in which God is victorious, by illustrating some of the miracles of God in the Bible:
He opened the prison doors
He parted the raging sea
Our God He holds the victory
The third as fourth verses describes more attributes of God, both in His nature as well as what he did for us as God. This set of verses ends with the core of the Gospel in Christ's work on the cross:
We sing to the God who heals
We sing to the God who saves
We sing to the God who always
Makes a way
'Cause He hung upon that Cross
Then He rose up from that grave
My God’s still rolling stones away
Next, the bridge of the song looks at the affect of the Gospel on believers and parallels the change of before and after someone is redeemed. Most of the language here is metaphorical and is referring to the spiritual state of a believer, not the literal circumstances of a believer.
We were the beggars
Now we’re royalty
We were the prisoners
Now we’re running free
We are forgiven accepted
Redeemed by His grace
Let the house of the Lord sing praise
Finally, the song wraps up with a few more choruses to re-emphasize them main themes of the song. This is a great song to help begin a worship service.
Today we're covering house of the Lord and there's a lot going on with this song. So I'm excited to show you all the different pieces and how they work together. To play the song, we'll cover your left hand, different chords you can use, as well as different capo positions.
We'll also cover the intro lick that you heard in the video lesson, as well as the secondary guitar lick. We'll also cover your right hand and the best strum pattern that will help you to play some of the offbeats that you can hear in the song.
The chart is a little different that normal in this song. It's not something you see everyday. So let's go ahead and take a look at the chart and get a feel for the song as a whole.
There are some unique markings in this worship chord chart that indicate some off-beats that will come into play when we cover strum patterns. The great thing about the Nashville Number System, is that even if you've never heard a song before, but you understand what these symbols mean, you'll be able to play it exactly correctly.
By the way, you can check out any worship guitar courses if you'd like more info about chord families or capos.
For this lesson, we'll use capo 3, and the the G chord family. This will put us in they key of B flat. B flat is the same thing as an A sharp. However, you could also put a capo on the first fret and play using the A chord family.
If you have two guitars playing this song, one of you could play capo 1, and one of you could play capo 3.
As far as tempo, it's not particularly fast. The tricky part about this song is the Rhythm and the syncopation of some of the beats.
Now, let's talk about the G chord family chords. The G chord is what you normally play for G. As you play other chords, there is a trick that will help you switch quickly. I'll just keep my bottom two fingers in place for the D for instance. That create a Dsus chord, which is totally fine to play.
Also, a C2 chord will have those fingers in the same place to make it easy to switch from G to D to C2.
The E minor chord in this song that happens really quickly. You can play an E minor if you want; however, you can play a G/E chord which is a G chord with an E in the base note.
This chord will replace an E minor and make it quicker. So feel free to use that any time if there's an E minor.
especially if it happens quickly or if the song's fast and
You'll also see an A Minor chord at the end of the song and one in one of the verses. Sometimes you may want to keep your pinky in place just like all the other chords, which would turn it into an A minor seven.
For your right hand, the best thing to do to start out strumming with the song, using downstrokes. You'll be playing eighth notes, and that's going to help you time some of these weird syncopated rhythms.
As you strum down, count one, two, three, four, and strum twice for each number.
Also, loosen up your wrist so you can go to decent speed. And at the beginning of the song you can see there's a full measure of G. Anytime you have a full measure, just count out the four beats.
The next measure will have a greater than symbol, which means to come into the second chord an eighth note earlier than you would normally. So hang out with three beats on that first chord, and then switch to the D chord on the "and" of the third beat.
This type of rhythm happens a couple times and the intro, including a chord switch from C to D.
We'll talk more specifically about the intro and how to play The lick in a minute. But as far as what's happening with the odd rhythm, now you know what to do.
The verse has no little marks that mean to to jump in an eighth note early. You have two full measures of the G chord, then you'll see G for two beats and E minor for one beat, and a D for one beat. So all you're doing here is just counting and lining up your cords as you're counting so that G will move into an E minor and then D quickly.
The chorus is more straight forward, but the turn around is where you see the little mark again where you start jumping in on the off beat instead of the downbeat.
So if we look at the rest of the song, all you're really doing is trying to figure out when you're playing on the downbeat or you're playing on the off beat, notated with the mark.
Also, the chorus starts with a diamond which means to just strum it once and let it ring out, like a whole note. At the end of that chorus, there is a choke, or stop, on the third beat.
To review, the easiest thing to do with your right hand is just focus on down strums. And then, once you get the feel of the song, your hand can also add in some up strums to add more dynamics to your playing.
Now let's talk about the intro link. This is the fun part of the song, and it identifies the song right away. I'm playing the lick within the chord. This is a great option. If you only have an acoustic guitar and not a full band to play all the different parts of the song.
So what I'm doing is starting with the G chord. I'm not worried about my pinky because I'm not strumming all the way down. I'm also taking my pointer off.
And this might seem a little odd, but I'm using my middle finger to also mute out my fifth string. So I have a nice bass note to complement what's coming next with the lick. I'll start with the pinky on the third string, which is the lead note for the lick.
I'm using my pointer finger to go back to the "two" or the second fret. You'll play that twice and then back to the pinky. I have a d as a bass note, so I don't need my G anymore (just for this) and I'm really focusing on my pointer finger as the bass note.
The next lead note, is a G open, and I'm playing a C as the bass note. You could play the traditional C shape or just take your pointer off, if you want to open up the string, which is normally what I do.
Be careful not to strum all the way down. I'm just focusing on the bass note and the lead note. If you accidentally hit the second string, that's okay. It will still fit in.
Now, let's take a look at the electric guitar part. That sounds like this.So the way to start this is with middle finger on the third fret of the second string and then right above it will be your pointer, or index finger, to start a back and forth on the third string second fret.
You'll move from second to fourth, and then you're going to place the middle finger on the third fret of the second string. With your right hand, you're really just using your thumb, hinging at the first joint. This is a flat picking method.
This is different than strumming. You're not really using your wrist; you're just zeroing in on a string with plucks with your thumb.
As you pluck, always go down, then up. You're not having two downs in a row or two ups in a row. It's just a constant back and forth with your thumb. And because the rhythm happens in triplets, it may feel a little odd.
Give yourself time with this technique. Now, the pointer will play the third fret of the second string. Skip that third string, since we don't need it. Then your middle finger, relative to Capo, is the fourth fret, and then you can play the fifth with your ring finger.
You'll play the same pattern, for this worship song, House of the Lord. And, note that it's just those two things back and forth.
So far, we've covered your left hand positions, including all the chords. We also covered the intro part as well as the electric guitar lick. Finally, we covered your right hand and strumming techniques.
The only other reminder before we end is to experiment with different capo positions. If you're using a capo on the first fret, then you can use the A chord family. These chord strums will complement the big chord changes. So this is a great technique if you just want to fill out the song or you have two guitars playing at the same time.
Now you have all you need to get started and challenge you in different ways with the song, House of the Lord by Phil Wickham.