by Danny | 8:18 pm

I’ve loved Hillsong’s worship music for so many years.

They’re just amazing.

And Brooke Ligertwood has written some great songs in the 10 years and more with Hillsong, and solo.

Honey in the Rock is (currently) one of her latest big hits, and I enjoy playing it on piano a lot and worshiping God in this song.


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So in this article, I’d like to show you how to play Honey in the Rock by Brooke Ligertwood on piano, and I’m including a link to a YouTube video that I’ve made also!

With that being said, let’s get right into it, starting with the basics.

The Basics

It’s always important to start with the groundwork, and that doesn’t have to take long!

This song, at least the popular live version, is in the key of D, so that’s what we’ll look at today.

The key of D has two sharps, and they are: F, C.

The notes of the D major scale, then, are D E F# G A B C# D.

In the video below, I play through the scale and all the chords, so if you want to see how to play it hands together, please feel free to check that out!

It’s very, very important to play through the scale for the key that you’re in before you start practicing a song.

That way, you know where you can play and where you can’t play.

So please do us both a favor and make sure you play through the scale at least a few times before you dive into practicing the song; it also helps warm up your fingers!

But again, if you’re playing it in the key of C for example, then just play through the C major scale and make sure you’re comfortable with that.

Here’s my YouTube video so you can see how to play the scale!

And that pretty much covers the basics, so let’s move on to the chords!

The Chords

Before we look closer at the chords, it’s also important to understand the scale interval numbers and how they go with the chords.

For example, if I say the I chord or the V chord or vi chord, etc.

If you don’t understand that concept, it’s a good idea to understand that and get a good feel for it!

There are 5 chords in this song, and one of them you only play one single time!

Those chords are D Major, G Major, A Major, B minor, and C Major.

In interval numbers, or Nashville numbers or whatever, those chords are the I, IV, V vi, and bVII (flat seven).

The C major chord, or the bVII, only happens once in the song, at the very end of the bridge before it transitions back into the chorus again.

And that chord is actually not in the key of D major, because C is supposed to be sharp!

So it gives a cool feel.

How To Play The Chords

I have a certain technique that I’ve developed through countless hours and many years of piano practice.

And if you want to really have a full grasp of my technique, I’d strongly encourage you to buy my book where I explain it and lay it all out.

But I think the smartest way to play the chords is to (mostly) play three notes with the left hand and three notes with the right hand.

I should say mostly because it definitely changes sometimes.

The technique I love for the left hand is an octave with a 5th in the middle.

For a clear explanation that you can also see, check out the video!

For the right hand, I love to usually keep my hand on a root position triad.

I do have to shift the position at least a little bit, but I usually keep my right hand there and change notes in the middle.

It’s a great way to not have to constantly be moving both hands.

So you’ll need to shift certain notes, but the position doesn’t change majorly, and it sounds amazing with the left hand because the left hand does the moving and the right hand adds the sugar and spice on top.

The Rhythm

Rhythm is a hard thing to teach.

But let me break it down for you how I think about rhythm.

My formula is this:

  • Hit all notes together
  • Do some right hand work
  • Arpeggiate the left hand (play the notes separately from bottom to top) before you switch chords

Make sense?

I hope so!

But if not, let me explain more.

This “formula” isn’t engraved in stone and you don’t need to and shouldn’t follow it for every single chord, every single time.

But most of the time this is what I do.

When you play a chord, the first thing you should do is play all the notes at the same time, both right hand and left hand.

After that, I think it’s usually best to do some work with the right hand.

This can be just playing the chord plain and simple, or super complicated improv; you get to choose!

Lastly, it’s important that before you change to a new chord, you play the left hand again.

But playing all the notes at the same time is often a bit much in my opinion.

So I suggest playing the notes separately, from bottom to top, or left to right.

You can also choose when you do this, as there are quite a few options from beats 2 to 4.

Again, you can see this concept in action if you watch the video, but these are the basics.

Rhythm is not only a hard thing to teach, but it can be difficult to get a feel for it.

So if it’s not something you have a feel for yet, the honest truth is that you just need to spend time working through it, practicing, going through it as much as you need to and having fun of course!

In Conclusion

And that, my friends, is how to play Honey in the Rock by Brooke Ligertwood on piano!

I hope that this has been very helpful for you and that you got some good nuggets from this article and from the video!

And if you want to take your piano playing in worship to an amazing level, I’d highly recommend for you to purchase my book, Basic to Amazing Worship Piano.

I know that it will help you out greatly.

It talks about the left hand, right hand, what sounds great and what doesn’t… and gives you an absolutely amazing trick for improvisation that’s fail-proof.

I seriously think the book is worth it just for the section on improv.

How To Play Honey in the Rock by Brooke Ligertwood on Piano


If you have any questions or comments please write them in the comments section below and I’ll be so happy to hear from you and help you in any way that I can!

And since I’m also an avid coffee lover and coffee blogger, I can’t really end this article without recommending my favorite coffee to you!

If you’re interested…

So with that, God bless and happy practicing!


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