In this acoustic guitar tutorial of "Run to the Father" by Cody Carnes, you'll learn how to play the chord progression and strum pattern. This song uses G chord family chords with the capo on the 5th fret, which puts it in the key of C. You can also play it with C chords and no capo. Here is more info if you're new to the Nashville Number System!
This is a great worship song for a beginner. Check out the free charts!
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The worship song Run to the Father was written by Cody Carnes, Matt Maher, and Ran Jackson and was released in 2020 on the label Sparrow Records.
Run to the Father has the themes of God's grace, love, mercy, trust, and surrender. Some of the scripture verses used for this song include: Matthew 11:28-30, Luke 15:17-20, and Psalm 40:11-16.
Let's look at the lyrics of this song to see how it flows:
I’ve carried a burden
For too long on my own
I wasn’t created
To bear it alone
I hear Your invitation
To let it all go
I see it now
I’m laying it down
I know that I need You
The verses talk about recognizing the weight that we carry and the need for surrendering that to God. This realization establishes our need for Him. From here, we move into the chorus:
I run to the Father
I fall into grace
I’m done with the hiding
No reason to wait
My heart needs a surgeon
My soul needs a friend
So I’ll run to the Father
Again and again
And again and again
Here is the answer to our need: running to the Father. This picture reminds me of the prodigal son in the Bible. He saw his need and ran back to the father, because He knew he would be accepted. Here, we move into the next verses:
You saw my condition
Had a plan from the start
Your Son for redemption
The price for my heart
I don’t have a context
For that kind of love
I don’t understand
I can’t comprehend
All I know is I need You
These verses speak to God's point of view and his providential plan of salvation. There is also a response of amazement and a return to our need for God, which again, sets up the chorus. The bridge happens later in the song:
My heart has been in Your sights
Long before my first breath
Running into Your arms
Is running to life from death
I feel this rush deep in my chest
Your mercy is calling out
Just as I am You pull me in
I know I need You now
After the bridge, the song returns to the choruses again.
Today we're covering this song Run to the Father and the good news about today's lesson is that it's pretty easy. If you're fairly new to guitar, you should be okay with this song. This strum pattern is a little bit different, which will cover, and we will of course cover all the chord shapes that you can use. So let's go ahead and jump in.
We will use a caoo on the 5th using the G in this lesson using the G chord family. The song is actually in the key of C, so we'll cover C chords as well if you want to experiment with that and try out those chords
You can see as far as the chart itself that the song flows pretty well, and there are not a lot of tricky symbols. In fact a lot of the the intro and the verses are even the same thing: G to A minor, then E minor to C. It's a pretty simple progression that repeats a lot.
There are also a few diamonds in this song, which means to just strum it and let it ring out for that measure.
Again, this song being in 6/8 and is 68 beats per minute. It's not super fast. But the strum pattern is a little bit different than some of your other common time or 4/4 time songs. So we'll cover your right hand in just a minute.
But for now, let's go ahead and jump into your chord shapes and make sure that you know how to play everything that you need for this worship song, Run to the Father.
Anytime you have a song in the key of C, you can use a capo on the 5th fret and G chord family chords. This is the easiest option.
The progression starts with a normal G chord. When you switch to A minor, the best thing here, is just to lift your fingers off and jump and land into an A Minor. E minor is really easy from A minor. You just take those two fingers that are already there and pop them up.
You can also use the chord G/E in place of an Em. However in this case, it might be harder to switch to that, and the E minor actually sounds pretty good in this progression. So that's up to you, but I prefer using an Em.
After E minor is a C chord again, so you can just use your regular C chord. If you want to use a C2 you can also play that instead.
Just note, that as you play these chords, your right hand won't necessarily play every single string strumming up. It's really a laid back song It's actually piano driven. It's not guitar driven, so you're not going to lean into the chords really hard.
You're really going to stay in the middle fo the strings when you strum. So with that in mind you can you can play with these chords a little bit. So for instance, with the C chord, you can try taking your pointer off.
For your Am chord, try using an A Minor 7, which is the chord without your ring finger.
You can also play an E minor 7 by taking your ring finger off. So you can experiment with that type of thing on your own. Just try out taking off different the fingers that I just mentioned and see what you like and see what kind of sound you like.
If it's just you and a guitar, it might help to to spruce up the chords a little bit.
Later in the chart, you'll see a G/B a little bit in the bridge. Anytime you see a slash chord like that, you can just play the first chord that you see, which would be a G in this case.
That wraps up the chords using a capo on the 5th fret.
As far as your C chords, let's jump to the C chord family and take a look at those chords in case you want to practice them.
For the C chord, just use the traditional C shape. The D Minor chord will also be the traditional Dm shape. Nothing surprising here! However there are lots of different ways to play an F chord.
I'm going to assume that you're kind of new and starting out. In that case, the easiest way to play an F chord is to start with a C chord and just move the top two fingers down one string, so you'll have three in a row.
It's even okay if you hit that open E string as well. That's the easiest way to play F, even though it's not technically the right way to play a full F chord. If you don't know that yet, don't worry about it! I cover it in my Intermediate Course.
If you see a C/E chord, just play a C chord with an E as the bass note. This chord might actually be a little bit easier, because you get to play every string.
Now, let's talk now about your right hand and how to strum through this song, Run to the Father. The intro of this song uses diamonds. That means to strum a measure and let it ring out like a whole note. In this case, strum once, and count to six before moving on.
Make sure to play softly and keep it really pulled back. You don't want to overdo it or over-strum.
As far as a strum pattern with your right hand, it's going to sound like this: down (rest) up down up; down (rest) up down up.
That's will give you that rhythm of 6/8, which is a back and forth motion.
This strum pattern will accent some of those off beats as well. Note that each progression covers a full measure, so if you want to split a measure between two chords, just strum half of it for one chord and then the other half for the 2nd chord. Try this anytime you see two chords in a box on the chord chart. For example, you'll see an Em to D in the verse that will share a measure.
Also, remember to focus you attention on the middle strings. I'm not playing full strums.
Again today was a pretty simple lesson, but you should now have everything you need with your left hand a few different options with the capo and then how to strum with your right hand. Having fun playing Run to the Father chords!