Tricks to Playing Shout Beats

Sep 01, 2022

You’re gonna want to hear this… 


  Praise breaks have taken on a whole new life in the last few years. There are probably a few progressions you recognize because everyone is playing them! Back in the day, when I was going to college, shout beats were pretty much the same run over and over. And even that for some could seem very challenging. It seems there’s been a stigma connected to fast songs and how hard they are to play. If you agree, comment below.

If you’re over 30 you probably remember this…. When it’s time to play shout beats - walk the 1 to the 4. (Do you play by number?)

If I’m being really, real… I will admit to you that my praise break game has only gotten better in the last 5 years. That means I was 34 when I started taking it seriously. Some people would say that’s too old, but I don’t agree.

  1. You don’t have to do a whole lot - sometimes less is more.

  2. The hot new trend of 1 finger runs is a game changer.

  3. Mixing up a 3-4 easy shout progressions will make you sound like a pro.


Vamps have been a life saver for me - for many years. The simple progression of a 1 chord, 4/1 and 1(7) is so versatile. You’ll know this sound when you listen to 90’s  choir music. Songs like “He Made the Difference” (James Bignon), “Jesus Will Work It Out” (Dr. Charles G. Hayes) and “Battlefield” (Norman Hutchins) are all vamps. The real key to making faster songs sound polished is not as hard as you may think.


Here are some shout beat tricks you can start using immediately.

  1. Add the 1, 5, 7b in your left hand to whatever chord you’re playing in your right hand.

  2. Play the 1, 5, 1 in the right hand - in different octaves

Some people feel like practicing a super upbeat song is like trying to hang on to a runaway train. While that can feel like an accurate description, I can assure you that the way you think about fast songs is keeping you terrified! When you learn how to break songs like this down you’re going to be surprised at how quickly you can learn them.


Here are the keys to learning praise breaks.

  1. Remember that playing praise breaks is muscle memory. Once your muscles remember the pattern you’ll be able to play it.

  2. Slowing it down helps. Move your metronome down to 95bpm and practice the same trick. It may seem super slow but you want to get the notes right before you can play it faster.

  3. Now speed it way up. Now that your muscles have learned the progression, set your metronome to a tempo faster than the song. Once you’ve mastered it super fast the regular tempo will feel like a breeze.


LISTEN CLOSELY!!!  You can learn to play shout beats, praise breaks, and fast songs. I’ve given you all of the keys to get started here. It’s time for you to prove to yourself that you can do it  too!


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