Over the last few decades, churches have started to move away from the traditional organ music of years past. One reason for this might be due to the short supply of organists. Instead, modern music has become the new normal for worship services.
If you’re looking to learn some new praise songs, you’ve come to the right place. This will give you an excellent starting point to build your catalog of playable songs.
“Here I Am To Worship” by Tim Hughes
The song Here I Am To Worship is a perfect praise song for beginners especially. This song features 3 different chords (C, G, F/C) and has a fairly basic strumming pattern.
There are some more complex versions available to learn. Some of these will have more chords involved with the song, adding a different harmonic context. Ultimately, it’s up to you which version you learn, as any can be great for praise.
A great thing about simple song structures like this is that it is a great platform for singing. Whether it’s just you or with a group, this is an easy song to follow along with.
One thing to note while playing this song, you’ll need to accent the downstroke on beats 1 and 3. This will help to correctly convey the pulse of the song.
“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsong United
Hillsong United is a praise group formed by Australia’s Hillsong Church. Since the late 1990s, this group has been making waves in the worship music world.
If you’re hip to modern praise music, you’re likely familiar with Oceans (Where Feet May Fail). You can learn this quite easily and bring it to your worship group with just a little bit of practice.
For the most part, this song only features 5 different chords, most of which are easy open chords. This song does utilize a B minor barre chord, which can be tricky if you’ve never played a barre chord.
One thing that might help with chord transitions (particularly the B minor to the A), is to utilize a pivot. Your barring index finger (for the B minor) will be in the right location to play the A. If you can manage to play the A with one finger, you’ll greatly reduce your transition time between the chords.
“Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury
Cory Asbury is a popular worship musician who is actually a pastor at a church in Michigan. His song Reckless Love is most definitely one of the most popular songs in his catalog.
You can learn Reckless Love with relatively little effort if you are familiar with your open chords. This song utilizes an E minor, D, Cadd9, and G.
A quick side note about these chords is that they are transposed one-half-step above the recording. This is to provide easy accessibility to what would otherwise require quite a bit of barre chords (or detuned guitar).
Don’t worry too much about the Cadd9. It is essentially fingered similarly to G, with the index and middle fingers each shifted one string over. You’ll also have your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the B string.
However, you can sub in a regular C chord if you’re uncomfortable playing Cadd9. You’re encouraged to try playing Cadd9 though, as it does have a rich, open texture.
“Way Maker” by Leeland
The song Way Maker is a fairly popular song amongst worship groups. While Osinachi Kalu was the first to write the song, this entry focuses on the Leeland version.
Leeland is a popular Christian band that has been around since 2004. Since their introduction to the praise music scene, Leeland has consistently been at the forefront amongst many other artists.
This version of Way Maker consists of several easy chords. These consist of Dsus2, G, Asus, B minor 7, and D/F#. Don’t worry if some of these chords sound tricky to you (they’re not).
A great hack to playing this song is to incorporate a pivot point amongst all of the chords. You can do this by determining whether or not each chord shares any of the same fingers.
Upon doing this, you’ll notice that the 3rd fret of the B string is played in every chord. You can actually leave your ring finger on this note throughout the chord pattern. This will reduce wasted energy, improve chord changes, and make your life a little easier.
One side note about this version, these chords are transposed 1 whole step below the recording. To sing it at the actual key, you can easily do so by using a capo at the 2nd fret. Similarly, you can transpose it to any key you wish using this method.
“Even When It Hurts” by Hillsong United
Here’s another track from the worship group Hillsong United. This song has a valiant and uplifting feeling, which is sure to be a hit with any praise group.
You can learn this song relatively quickly if you know your open chords. It has a very familiar chord pattern that is used throughout much popular music. Chances are, you’ve probably played a similar variation to this song’s chord pattern.
For the most part, this song features the chords of A minor, F, C, and G. It does variate a bit throughout, featuring E minor and D minor. However, you’ll be able to easily play these chords, even if you’re not familiar with them.
“O Come To The Altar” by Elevation Worship
Elevation Worship is a group from North Carolina that regularly hosts praise services. Aside from that, the group is a well-known touring act.
If you’d like to add an Elevation Worship song to your worship services, this song is an excellent choice. O Come To The Altar can be played relatively easily using a few common open-shaped guitar chords.
You can alternatively spice up your arrangement using different chord voicings. However, it is suggested you at least try the basic chords first. This will allow you to transpose it easily when using a capo.
“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” by Matt Redman
Matt Redman became extremely popular for his praise song 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord). In fact, the song went on to win 2 Grammy awards. You’re likely familiar with it if you’ve been into praise music for the last decade.
This song can be easily added to your praise team’s catalog. It features a very common chord progression that is played with open chords. You’ll need to at least know C, G, D/F#, and E minor.
Again, like most of these songs, you can easily transpose the song by using a capo. This is helpful to accommodate vocal ranges.
“Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin
The song Good Good Father was originally written and performed by the band Housefires. It has gone on to spread like wildfire, enjoying many covers and renditions. Chris Tomlin’s arrangement has become popular in its own right.
This version will focus on Chris Tomlin’s arrangement. You’ll need a capo on the 2nd fret. The chords you’ll need to know for this song include G, Gsus, C, D, E minor, and A minor.
One thing to note is that this song has a rhythm of 6/8 time. This has a slightly different feel than 4/4 time, which is what most popular songs have.
“Graves Into Gardens” by Elevation Worship, Brandon Lake
Here’s another track that was made famous by Elevation Worship. The version by Brandon Lake is equally as popular and can make a great addition to your praise song list.
This song is a little more involved on the chord side of things. However, you’ll be able to master it with a little bit of practice. All of the chords are relatively simple and consist of shapes you likely already know.
A few things to note, this version is transposed 2 steps lower than the recording. To play it in the original key, place a capo on the 4th fret. 6/8 time is also featured in this song, as opposed to the common 4/4 time.
“What A Beautiful Name” by Hillsong Worship
Looking to add more praise songs from the Hillsong Worship group? What A Beautiful Name is an excellent choice that is easy to play.
This song consists of a few chords that you’re likely familiar with. The biggest issue you may face is the use of the B minor barre chord. However, if you know your barre chords, this likely won’t be an issue at all.
“How Great Is Our God” by Chris Tomlin
Here’s another excellent Chris Tomlin song to add to your worship song list. This song has a very slow feel that allows for singers to really shine.
How Great Is Our God features 5 different chords. Each of these chords is likely to be in your knowledge of known chords, so it should come easily.
Take your time with the timing of each chord, especially during the verses. Each chord hangs on for two measures before transitioning to the next. This can feel like each chord has double the amount of time that you’re used to.
“What Child Is This?” by Chris Tomlin ft. All Sons And Daughters
You’ll no doubt be singing Christmas songs in your worship services when the time comes. A very easy classic you can add to your praise team’s song list is What Child Is This?
This arrangement is based on the collaboration between Chris Tomlin and All Sons And Daughters. It features open chords that are fairly common in the key of G.
Quick note, if you’d like to play it in the original key, you’ll need a capo at the 1st fret. Similarly, you can transpose it to any key you wish using the same method.
“House Of The Lord” by Phil Wickham
Phil Wickham’s House Of The Lord is an excellent song for a beginner to learn. It’s also a great choice for a praise team that works with a live band. The instrumentation is relatively simple, allowing the singers to shine.
This version is transposed 1 1/2 steps below what the originally recorded version sounds like. However, you can easily transpose it to the original key by placing a capo at the 3rd fret. The chord shapes stay the same regardless of whether you use a capo or not.
“Joy To The World (Joyful, Joyful)” by Phil Wickham
Here’s another Phil Wickham arrangement, this time of the classic Christmas song Joy To The World. This version is ideal if you’re looking for something semi-traditional yet embracing a modern feel.
To play this song, you’ll need a capo on the 1st fret of the guitar. You’ll be playing open chords based on the key of C for this song.
This track has a unique rhythm to it which gives a very upbeat feeling to the song. It breathes a breath of fresh air into the old traditional hymn. Keeping your picking hand consistent will be key, but with practice, should come easily.
“The Father’s House” by Cory Asbury
Another great song from Cory Asbury to add to your worship services is The Father’s House. This is a relatively easy song to play and can be modified to fit your vocal range.
To play this song, you’ll need a capo on the 3rd fret. The chords involved include G, C, E minor, D, and G/B.
Don’t worry too much about the G/B, it’s pretty easy to play. It’s essentially a G chord without the note on the low E string.
Again, you can easily transpose this song to any key if you find that it doesn’t fit your vocal range. The chord shapes remain the same, so once you learn it, you can play it in any key.
“God Of Revival” by Bethel Music
Bethel Music is a popular worship group that has been releasing praise songs since 2001. Their song catalog can be a wonderful addition to any worship service.
The song God Of Revival is one of these tracks and can be played fairly simply. You’ll need to know open chords such as C, F, G, A minor, G/B, and C/E. Do not fret about the last two chords, as they are very simple in concept.
As mentioned previously, G/B is essentially G minus the root. C/E is essentially a C major chord, with the low E string ringing out. Yes, really.
To play this song in the original recorded version’s key, you’ll need a capo on the 1st fret. However, without a capo, it might be more appropriate for most vocal ranges.
“Endless Alleluia” by Bethel Music, Cory Asbury
Here’s another song from Bethel Music that can be an excellent song for your praise team. This song really highlights a singer’s falsetto. Popular Christian artist Cory Asbury also has a version of this, which is pretty much the same song compositionally.
To accommodate for this falsetto, this version of the song is transposed 1 step lower than the original. However, placing a capo at the 2nd fret will allow you to play along with the actual recording.
“How Great Is Your Love” by Phil Wickham
How Great Is Your Love is a massively popular song for worship and has been covered by countless groups. For the purpose of this list, we will focus on Phil Wickham’s version.
This track is very easy to play, consisting of only 4 different chords. You’ll need to know how to play C, F, G, and A minor.
Tempo-wise, this song is in 4/4 time and features a fairly straightforward strumming pattern. You’ll want to vary and play with your dynamics when singing, however. For instance, leaving a strummed chord to resonate during the chorus can add a great effect.
Overall, How Great Is Your Love is a great choice to add to your congregation’s worship service. If you have a band, this song will be elevated to great heights. It’s still a great song to play as a solo musician as well.
“Shout To The Lord” by Hillsong Worship
If for some reason this massively popular Hillsong Worship song isn’t in your song list, be sure to learn it. Shout To The Lord is a true staple within the praise music world.
It was released in 1994 and helped pave the way for contemporary music to be accepted in a congregational setting. This may seem like a surprise, but much of Christianity was still very rooted in traditionalism at the time.
Shout To The Lord is very easy to play, with a gentle tempo that can allow for a congregational singalong. The chords you’ll need to know for this song include G, E minor 7, Cadd9, and D/F#.
Even though it is a fairly old song by today’s standard, it is sure to quickly become a favorite. You might even wish to release your own rendition someday.
“Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship
Here’s another well-known praise song by the famous group Hillsong Worship. Who You Say I Am has spaces for some very glorious vocal applications. If you have an excellent vocalist in your praise group, this may quickly become their go-to song.
This track is pretty straightforward and features common open chords that you’ve likely come across before on your guitar journey. These chords include G, C, E minor, D, and D/F#.
You can easily transpose this song with the use of a capo. It may make the song more approachable for those who do not have a large vocal range.
“Come Alive (Dry Bones)” by Lauren Daigle
Another popular song you can add to your list of praise songs is Lauren Daigle’s Come Alive (Dry Bones). This is a song that has been covered by many different groups. Hillsong Worship has its own version of it as well.
To play this song, you’ll need to know the open chords A minor, F, D minor, G, and C. It’s a fairly straightforward song overall.
Come Alive (Dry Bones) can be a great showcase for someone who has an excellent vocal range. A great voice can really help to propel the beautiful message portrayed in the lyrics.
“Raise A Hallelujah” by Bethel Music
Looking for a song to add to your praise song list that features a duet? Be sure to learn Bethel Music’s Raise A Hallelujah. This song can be perfect for groups that have an excellent vocal team.
Overall, Raise A Hallelujah is a very easy song and consists of only 4 different chords. You’ll need to know G, C, D, and E minor. Each of these chords is well within the common-chord wheelhouse, making this easy to learn.
Raise A Hallelujah can be an especially great choice if you have a worship band. The song really comes alive with extra instrumentation accompanying the duet.
“Lead Me To The Cross” by Brooke Fraser
Here’s another excellent song that can really showcase a great singer. Lead Me To The Cross is a pretty popular track and has been covered by many groups including Hillsong United.
To play this song, you’ll need to know the chords E minor, D, C, G, A minor, and D/F#. The strumming pattern is also fairly simple, though it does have some tricky chord changes. Be sure to listen to the recording to get the timing right.
“Alive” by Hillsong Young & Free
Another popular song to come from the Hillsong Church’s praise groups is Alive. This track was released by their youth group. As such, it has a very modern pop music feel and sound.
Alive is an excellent choice to set the tone for a worship service. You’re bound to put people in a good mood with this one. Plus, it’s very straightforward and simply consistent throughout the entire song.
There are only 4 different chords you need to know to play this one. These include D/F#, G, B minor, and A. You’ll want to spend most of your time working the strumming pattern to make sure you have the proper accents.
“Nailed To The Cross” by Rush Of Fools
If you’re looking for something simple, but a little more involved on the guitar, try learning Nailed To The Cross. This song was released by Rush Of Fools, who became quite popular and enjoyed radio play across the U.S.
To play this song, you’ll need to place a capo at the 7th fret. The song’s chord shapes are probably very familiar to you. These chords include C/G, G, E minor, D, C, and D/F#.
Be sure to listen to the recording to make sure you have your timing right. Also, if the song is too high to sing with, consider transposing it to a lower key. You can do this by moving the capo lower to suit your needs.
“Because He Lives” by Bill & Gloria Gaither
The song Because He Lives by husband and wife duo Bill and Gloria Gaither is an extremely famous song. This song has gone on to be covered by countless musicians and groups over the years. It’s also a perfect song to add to your worship service.
You’ve likely heard this song before, as it has many traditional country music elements. This song is quite easy to play, with only 3 different chords you need to know. These include G, C, and D.
Due to the simplicity of this song, you can add a little bit of extra ornamentation wherever necessary. You might also want to listen to the recording to get the traditional strumming pattern down.
“Cornerstone” by Hillsong Worship
Here is another very popular song that was released by Hillsong Worship. This is an anthemic song that is sure to strike into the hearts of your congregation during worship.
Cornerstone is pretty easy to play, consisting of only 5 different chord shapes. These include C, F, A minor, G, and C/E. There are some different sections throughout the song that you’ll need to wrap your head around.
You’ll also need to get used to the chord changes in this song. Quite often throughout, you’ll notice that the chord changes on the 3rd beat of the measure. It might feel weird at first, but this gives the song its iconic sound.
“Great Are You Lord” by All Sons And Daughters
If you’re a beginner looking to get into playing worship music, consider learning Great Are You Lord. This track by All Sons And Daughters is pretty popular and you may be somewhat familiar with it.
You’ll need a capo on the 2nd fret to play this in the original key of the recorded song. Overall, this is a very simple song to play and you only need to know 4 different chords. These consist of G, C, D, and E minor.
Great Are You Lord does have a slightly different rhythmic feel, which can be tricky if you’re a beginner. This is because the song is in 6/8 time as opposed to 4/4 time found in most pop songs. Put in a little practice and it will become second nature.
“Amazing Grace” – Traditional Hymn
No matter what type of worship service you’re holding, Amazing Grace is a song that will always resonate. The lyrics are beautifully written and most people can identify with them. Plus, it is a very familiar song that many people know.
Believe it or not, Amazing Grace can be arranged to have a more modern feel and sound. This can really spice up the (already great) traditional sound that Amazing Grace is known for.
There are only 4 chords you need to know to play this song. Once you know these, you can use a capo to transpose it to the key that works best for you.
“What A Friend We Have In Jesus” – Traditional Hymn
What A Friend We Have In Jesus is another very popular hymn that can be given a modern treatment. Hymns such as these can be a great bridging point for someone used to traditional worship services.
This song is very easy to play, consisting of only C, F, and G. You’re free to transpose it to your desired key using a capo.
“Abide With Me” – Traditional Hymn
Abide With Me is yet another famous hymn that has been traditionally sung for many, many years. Despite its traditional sound, you can arrange it for the guitar quite easily.
You’ll want to carry the melody with your voice, using the guitar strictly as accompaniment. This is because the original composition is would be hard to play and sing at the same time.
“Rattle!” by Elevation Worship
This song is another popular track by Elevation Worship. It can be played in both standard tuning and Drop-D. It’s fairly simple both ways, so experiment with which works best for you.
This song consists of only 5 chords. These include D, G, A, B minor 7, and D/F#. You can easily transpose the song with a capo to fit your vocal range.
“I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash
This isn’t a traditional praise song but is often included in setlists. Consider adding it to yours, as it can really get your congregation motivated. It’s especially great for beginners.
There is a spot of difficulty around the bridge. However, the song is very basic and repetitious throughout its entirety.
Easy Worship Songs On Guitar For Christians, Final Thoughts
Worship songs for the most part are relatively simple to play. Once you’ve learned a few, you likely know the chords needed for many others. This is a great benefit for those looking to bulk up their song list for worship services.
These songs aren’t meant to be flashy by any means. They are written to serve one purpose, which they do quite well.
Last Updated on February 10, 2022.
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