Messiah College

Workshop for the Christian Guitarist


Attendees are encouraged to bring their guitars to the workshop to play along with what is being presented. However, it is fine if you would like to just observe and jot notes for yourself on the handouts that we will give you.



Unplugged: The Acoustic Guitar at its Best

  • alternate chord voicing and fingerings
  • finger picking: from accompaniment to complete solos
  • finger agility, power, endurance and accuracy with relaxed confidence
  • fundamentals of soloing and improvisation
  • awesome strumming with less effort
  • putting music theory into practical use

Randall Zwally - Director of Guitar Studies at Messiah College (Intermediate to Advanced Sessions)

Erik Schlosser - Music Educator, Manheim TWP HS,

(Beginner Sessions)

Grab that Electric Guitar - We're Goin' In!

  • Improving your improvisation and soloing
  • Sounds you will need (essential pedals)
  • Muting technique(s) for contemporary strumming
  • Power chords - to be or not to be
  • Time awareness
  • What you will be doing, most of the time!
  • understanding chord progressions & interval shape recognition

Jay Umble – Jazz/Electric Guitar Instructor at Messiah College


Staying Focused & Confident When Playing in Public

  • Talking Your Way Through Stage Fright
  • Projecting Positive Energy
  • Breaking the Nervousness Cycle
  • Creative Visualization
  • Philosophical Considerations

Guitar Care and Maintenance

  • Humidity's effect on your guitar and how to deal with it
  • Selecting the right string gauge for you + string care
  • Adjusting your guitar's truss rod/string height
  • Fret height & care: How it affects your playing
  • Maintaining your fingerboard & bridge
  • Your guitar's components & why they function the way they do

Rob Zwally - Stringed Instrument Repair Specialist

Rob Zwally will be available through the day to examine your instruments and give suggestions and estimates on repair and customizing at no charge

Communicating with the Rest of the Band

  • What is everyone's role in the worship team?
  • Speaking the language of the drummer, bass player, and keyboardist
  • Supporting the vocalists (and making them sound good!)
  • Collaborating with another guitar player in creative ways
  • Locking in with the groove of the rhythm section
  • Varying the texture of your playing to make the whole band sound great

Erik Schlosser - Music Educator, Manheim TWP HS