Around the globe, 27 thousand people subscribe to the youtube account, Jedimindless. The account has garnered more than 17.8 million video views since its creation in 2006. Created by twin brothers Graham and Daniel Choo when they were 22 years old, that’s about an average of around seven thousand views every day!
If you’re expecting to find star wars videos, you will be sorely disappointed. Unlike its’ name suggests, the account hosts to Christian songs and instructional videos by Graham and Daniel Choo.
The Singaporean twins have been playing the guitar for almost two decades. Without any formal lessons in music and their instrument whatsoever, Graham and Daniel use the technique of playing by ear, where they listen to songs and reproduce the music from scratch.
Their videos are catered toward aspiring guitarists who are enthusiastic to learn Christian music. A blog was even set up to act as a platform to host accompanying tabs and chord sheets, as well as to actively interact with their readers. Readers can even request the brothers to play their song of choice!
YMI interviewed the Daniel and Graham in an attempt to understand more about them and their work. Read on to find out more about the brothers!
YMI: Who taught you the guitar and how long did both of you actually take to learn it?
D: Our eldest brother taught us how to play the guitar when we were 10, we quickly picked up the basics and went on to learn more complex skills by listening to songs and trying to recreate what we hear. We used to play a game where he would play a chord in the dark, and we would have to shout what chord he was playing — that was a lot of fun! It probably took us a few months to be able to play a tune, and another two years to be confident to play in our church’s worship band.
YMI: What prompted the setting up of the youtube account and blog?
D: In 2006, I was part of my church band. I wanted to do more for God, so I prayed to Him. Being a musician, I knew that one problem every musician faced was figuring out a song, especially if there were no chords available or if the song was a new one. I searched Youtube for instructional videos on Christian songs to see what chords others were using, and whether it differed from what I was playing. It was then that I realized that there were not many of these videos, and some of the chords being used just sounded wrong. Thus, I set up the account so that I could be blessing to people all over the world who wanted to learn Christian songs for their personal worship or in their groups. I also thought that this would challenge me to further improve my skill as a guitarist by learning new songs.
G: I supported my brother’s videos by starting the blog as a platform to host these videos. We then added tabs and chord sheets to complement them. We also started accepting requests from our listeners and interact with them actively.
YMI: How does a musical instrument help both of you in your personal worship and prayer?
D: During times of trials and certain situations, I would begin to think of songs and just feel like praising God. It is at this moment that I would just pick up my guitar, and sing my heart out to God. It has also given me many unforgettable experiences, one of which was of me leading my cell group in worship.
G: It gives me the ability to express myself artistically to better respond to God. Moreover, when learning songs that are rich lyrically, musically and spiritually, I better understand what God has done for me and has enabled my worship experienced to be enriched with more praise.
YMI: God has clearly given both of you the ability to touch lives through music and to educate others, so what words of encouragement can you give to others who are looking to do the same?
D: God has blessed each of us in our own different ways. For some, it’s teaching, for some preaching, for some it’s showing hospitality, and the list goes on. I believe God gives us these blessings not only for our own benefit, but also for the benefit of others. Verse 12 in 1 Corinthians shares about everyone of us having a role to play. For my brother and I, it’s blessing others through music. Our encouragement would be to find out what God has blessed you with, and to use it to further His kingdom. Try not to focus on the satisfaction and gratification when others recognize the contributions you have made, but on how God gets the glory through your humble service.
G: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Tim 4:12) God can use any believer no matter their age for His glory. Let’s continue to show and share with others what Christ has done with and for us. We only have a short time here on earth compared to eternity with Him.