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As the style and content of typical worship music continues to change, it can be a challenge for church musicians to move smoothly from one type of music to another. Repertoire may be displayed using traditional methods (fully-notated, such as classical music or SATB hymnals), a melody with chord symbols (a.k.a., a “lead sheet”), or simply a series of chords (with no melody shown at all). 

MSW understands that not all musicians are comfortable transitioning from one format to the next. But worship leaders and musicians can offer an improved worship experience to their congregation if they develop greater skills in all musical styles.

To help nurture such growth, MSW is developing a series of educational handouts intended to help musicians bridge the gap between different styles of music and various forms of notation.

Please take advantage of these FREE MATERIALS and, if you find them helpful, please tell your musical friends about these resources, too. Thank you!

NOW AVAILABLE - Download (updt 09-2015)

Not certain what chord symbols mean or don’t know for sure which notes are in a given chord symbol? This handout clearly lays out the rules of chord symbol usage with both text-based explanations and musical examples. It can be valuable resource not just to performers, but to composers and arrangers as well.

NOW AVAILABLE - Download (updt 09-2015)

When learning more about jazz harmonies, it can be helpful to understand how chord symbols that look very different may actually be closely related. Such an understanding can help a keyboardist, guitarist, or composer/arranger find voicings for harmonies they might not realize they already know (instead of having to learn a completely new series of voicings).

NOW AVAILABLE - Download (updt 01-2016)

Want to develop numerous voicings to represent common ii – V7 – I progressions often found in jazz lead sheets and chord charts? This handout takes a very common voicing format (the “Drop 2” chord) and runs it through the twelve Major keys in all inversions. In addition to helping a keyboardist learn a lot of voicings for chord symbols, this handout is great for learning voice-leading concepts as one harmony moves to the next.


Please take a moment to let us know how these materials are helping you grow. What are your specific needs? What other kinds of materials could you benefit from? Taking time to answer these questions, having your questions answered, and by sharing your thoughts - you can will help us help others. We thank you for your feedback - simply use the form below or contact Russell Schmidt at

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Contact us

P.O. Box 72408
Phoenix, AZ 85050

Phone: (480) 575-1303

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Music Serving the Word is an outreach of MSW Ministries is a 501 (c) 3 organization 

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