If there’s one thing that we know, it’s that there is no shortage of Christian worship songs to play on the guitar, from timeless old classics that will never go out of style, to modern songs made by a new generation of contemporary musicians. There’s certainly no shortage of songs out there to pick from!
This is why we’ve put together a list of our top 35 worship songs on guitar that are guaranteed to be playable regardless of your skill level on the instrument. So, whether you are looking for your first song to learn, or you’re already a seasoned player looking for new songs to add to your repertoire, this list will have you covered. We’ve made sure to include both video lessons and tablature for each song.
- How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin
- Build My Life by Housefires
- Amazing Grace by Judy Collins
- Heart of Worship by Matt Redman
- Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus by George Duffield Jr.
- 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman
- Cornerstone by Hillsong Worship
- Holy Spirit by Bryan and Katie Torwalt
- You Are My King (Amazing Love) by Hillsong Worship
- Battle Hymn Of The Republic by Julia Ward Howe
- Broken Vessels by Hillsong
- Here I Am to Worship by Tim Hughes
- Who You Say I Am by Hillsong Worship
- What A Friend We Have In Jesus by Joseph Scriven
- Lord I Lift Your Name On High by MercyMe
- Come, Christians, Join To Sing by Christian Bateman
- Rock of Ages by Augustus Toplady
- I Sing The Mighty Power Of God by Isaac Watts
- Everlasting God by Lincoln Brewster
- Come to the altar by Elevation
- Come, Now Is the Time To Worship by Brian Doerksen
- For the Beauty Of The Earth by John Rutter
- Forever by Kari Jobe
- God of Wonders by Third Day
- Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here by Jesus Culture
- Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee by Henry J. Van Dyke
- Trading My Sorrows by Darrell Evans
- How Deep The Father’s Love for Us by Stuart Townend
- One Thing Remains by Jesus Culture
- How He Loves (Us) by John Mark McMillan
- I Could Sing of Your Love Forever – Delirious
- Jesus Loves Me by Chris Tomlin
- Leaning on The Everlasting Arms by Anthony Showalter
- Mighty to Save by Hillsong
- My Soul Sings by Cory Asbury
How Great is Our God by Chris Tomlin
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Starting big with one of the most popular worship songs around, featured as part of his 2004 album ‘Arriving’ which smashed its way straight to the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart. According to the CCLI’s top worship songs chart, it’s the fifth most popular worship song. So if you’re unsure of where to start, this song should be your first port of call.
We’ll be using the chords G, Em, C, and D for this song, just the regular chords work great or if your chordal vocabulary allows for it you can use the add9 on the C chord and the 7th on the Em. It uses a very straightforward strumming pattern of D-d-D-du, be sure to strum just a little bit harder on that first and third downstroke.
Build My Life by Housefires
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Housefires are a very active and prominent band in the worship song space. They have released five albums, all of which were recorded live, which is a great testament to their musical ability. This song was released twice, once as part of Housefires III which hit the number 42 spot on the US Christian charts, but then again as a solo single release from Pat Barrett which hit the number 4 spot on the same chart.
This is another pretty straightforward song that just uses simple strumming, although you will need 5 chords to play this song, which are as follows; G, C, Em, Am, and D. This is another song where you will want to pay attention to your stronger hits as you change chords and the more gentle ‘filler’ strums in the middle of the bars.
Amazing Grace by Judy Collins
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This is another classic that has seen many renditions by many artists over the years, originally written by John Newton as a worship song about the forgiving nature of God. Judy Collins’s rendition is a favorite amongst worship players for her touching vocal performance and deep, powerful atmosphere that permeates the production of the song.
With so many versions of this song around it can be difficult to pick just a single one, but as a beginner, you might want to try your hand at the 3 chord version which just uses the chords G, C, and D. Because the pace of the song is nice and slow the strumming pattern should pose no challenge for a beginner.
Heart of Worship by Matt Redman
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Matt Redman is a renowned Christian worship leader who is a wonderful musician to boot. With not only great songwriting skills, but his music also has a high level production to accompany it. He even has a Grammy Award to his name! Heart of Worship is a beautifully melodic song that details the importance and impact that worship has on Redman’s life.
No capo or anything is required for this song, with just four simple open chords which are D, A, G, and Em you have everything you need to play this song. The only thing you have to pay attention to is the individual verse and chorus as the order of the chords is slightly different.
Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus by George Duffield Jr.
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Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus is a powerful and motivating song that, if you perform to an audience, is sure to get them fired up. The vocal melody over the top has many versions, but the most popular is the George James Webb one.
You can play this song just using 3 simple chords which are A, D and E. If you have learned about suspended chords already you can also add the Esus chord to help the resolution of the chord progression before it returns to the 1 count.
10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman
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This song was actually a joint effort between songwriters Matt Redman and Swedish musician Jonas Myrin. It was extremely successful and after its initial release in 2012 as part of the album also titled ‘10,000 Reasons’. It went on to win 2 Grammy Awards in 2013 for both Best Contemporary Christian Music Song and Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance.
Played in the key of G which is all open, so no capo required this time. You’ll be playing the chords C, G, D/F#, and Em. For the D over F sharp chord, the easiest way to play this is by playing a regular open D chord and using your thumb to hit the F sharp on the second fret of the first string.
Cornerstone by Hillsong Worship
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Cornerstone, by Hillsong was originally released as an EP in 2012, which contained a live recording of the song where Dave Ware performed as the worship leader. Cornerstone was also the title track of the main studio album that came out the same year.
This one uses the chords C, F, Am, G, and finally a C/E. The overall arrangement of the song is quite lengthy, making learning this song more of a test of memory than of skill. But if you divide it up into the typical sections we associate with music composition such as chorus, verse, bridge, etc, and tackle them one at a time you can then stitch them together to make the complete song.
Holy Spirit by Bryan and Katie Torwalt
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Getting onto the more rock side of things now with Bryan & Katie Torwalt who are a Christian rock duo from California. To date, they have released 4 full studio albums and 3 EP’s which is quite an accomplishment for two people who only began in 2006.
This is a soft rock style song that uses soundscapes not dissimilar from acts like U2 where the electric guitars are drenched in effects including delay and reverb. If you have an amplifier and effects unit this is a great time to put it to work. If not, don’t worry! You can simply follow the chords on a clean tone or even an acoustic and it will still sound great.
You Are My King (Amazing Love) by Hillsong Worship
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This song was originally written by Billy James Foote and performed by the musical group Hillsong Worship which was released in 2002 for their fifth album. Foote wrote the song as a tribute to his love for God.
This song has been performed in a couple of different keys. For this example, we are using D, but if you needed to play this in E you can simply take the exact same chord progression and raise all the chords by a whole tone. The chords we’ll be using are D2, D/F sharp, A, and G.
Battle Hymn Of The Republic by Julia Ward Howe
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This is a song that has seen many iterations and renditions throughout the years, but it remains a staple of worship performances for its iconic and timeless message and delivery. The music was originally written by William Steffe and the lyrics by Julia Ward Howe. This song is also sometimes referred to as ‘Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory’.
Here you’ll just be using a simple strumming pattern outlining the open chords of G, D, and Am. A common strumming pattern for this is D-DU-UDU as long as you are comfortable with the tempo.
Broken Vessels by Hillsong
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Although we have already listed one version of Amazing Grace already, the fact is there are so many unique renditions and versions that we had to mention one more of them. Performed once again by the Hillsong musical group, this is technically a cover, but they do mix up the chord progression of the song quite a bit.
One of the more unique things about this song is the strumming pattern which is D-UDUD-UDUD-DU, which might look complicated at first but if you tap your foot along to the beat of the song you’ll soon ‘feel’ where that pattern sits in relation to the 1 2 3 4 count. Chord wise you’ll be using G, Em, D, and C.
Here I Am to Worship by Tim Hughes
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A very popular worship song in which the title really speaks for itself. This is a single released from Tim’s debut album of the same name. The song was so popular it was ranked at the number 1 worship song on the CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International) for two years in a row.
You’ll only need 3 chords here which are C, G, and F/C, and do ensure that for all but the G chord you’re keeping your first string muted as it’s not required for this song. The strumming pattern is a nice one to learn if you struggle with rhythm at all as it contains all downstrokes on each of the 1 2 3 4 counts with a quick upstroke right at the end before falling back to the 1.
Who You Say I Am by Hillsong Worship
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Another fantastic song performed by the Australian worship group superstars Hillsong Worship. This was written by Morgan and Ben Fielding and was released in 2018 as a single from their ‘There Is More’ album. There was originally a live version released but it was the studio version that garnered the most attention, even being nominated as the Top Christian Song at the Billboard Music Awards in 2019.
We’ll be using the chords C, F, Am, G, and a G/B which you can play by simply muting the lowest string, which in turn while holding your regular open G shape makes your lowest note a B on the second fret of the A string.
What A Friend We Have In Jesus by Joseph Scriven
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This is quite an old hymn originally written in 1855 by Joseph Scriven to comfort his mother who was living in a different country from him at that time. At first, it was published anonymously and wouldn’t be until 30 years had passed that he would finally receive writing credit for it. There are many versions of this song that have been made throughout the decades, and here we are over a century later still including it on an essential worship song list, a true testament to its timeless nature.
Because this was originally written on piano and contained a lot of chords, on guitar we generally play a slightly simpler version using the three chords C, F/C, G. You can also just use a simple folk strumming pattern for this which goes like D-D-DUDU.
Lord I Lift Your Name On High by MercyMe
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Originally written by Rick Found in 1989 while feeling contemplative during his morning devotion, he drew the comparison between redemption and the cycle of water which heavily influenced the lyrics. The song has gone on to become very popular and in the early 2000s the CCLI reported it as the single most popular worship song for a couple of years.
We have a few slightly more interesting chord voicings here, beginning with the G we then have Cadd9 (which you’ll notice is held very similarly to the G), and D over F sharp. We can use a very standard strumming pattern with 4 downstrokes for each beat with a quick upstroke before turning around to the 1 count again.
Come, Christians, Join To Sing by Christian Bateman
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A classic hymn originally written by Christian Batemen in the 1800s. It’s a plain and simple celebration song. It’s lyrically very upfront and non-cryptic in its delivery which also makes it extra effective if you ever have children present at the worship session.
The song is in the key of G using the chords G, D, and Am, but later on, it uses a common composing trick which is to simply modulate (raise the key) of a song by 1 whole tone (2 notes) to the key of A, and from there you play the same thing but using the chords A, E, and D.
Rock of Ages by Augustus Toplady
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This is a song that holds deep meaning for many Christians. It’s an older hymn that translates well to guitar, making it an ideal choice as a worship song. The original song had a quite complex structure with multiple different parts, but this version is simplified for easy strumming.
When we play this in the current day, we generally find songs that are more simple in structure to be more effective at relaying their message. So for this version we just use three chords which are G, Cadd9, and D over F sharp. The strumming pattern is the good old D-D-D-DU where that last upstroke sits on the & of the 4th beat.
I Sing The Mighty Power Of God by Isaac Watts
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This was originally written by Isaac Watts way back in the 1700s, originally this hymn was also referred to as ‘Praise for Creation and Providence’. But as it was somewhat aimed at children the name was changed to be a little easier to digest.
Here we need to use 5 chords which are C, F, G which are used throughout the majority of the song, then there’s also an A and D which is used sparingly throughout. Although there is a fingerpicked version available we recommend using a simple strummed pattern if you are a beginner.
Everlasting God by Lincoln Brewster
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Taking a break from the hymns of old and instead, we head to 2006 with the American Christian worship musician well known for taking his own modern spin on the idea of worship music. He’s a very successful and talented session musician who also is a pastor in the Bayside Church of California. This was released as a single from his 2006 album ‘Let the Praises Ring’ which charted at the number 2 spot on the US Christian Billboard Chart.
Obviously, the original used an electric guitar with some common rock techniques such as octaves and some simple lead guitar playing. For playing this as a solo acoustic piece we just ignore all of that and instead focus on outlining the chords that pass in the song using their easier ‘open’ positions.
Come to the altar by Elevation
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Heading up to the very modern day next with the American worship group Elevation, this is a single taken from their fifth album ‘Here as in Heaven’ and went on to peak at number 2 on the Hot Christian Songs Chart which is their highest position to date and was even able to hold that spot for a whopping 16 weeks.
For this song, you’ll need a capo on the fourth fret to make the chords easier to hold, if you don’t have one to hand it’s still possible to play but you will need to use the ‘barred’ versions of the chords instead. But this does use some more interesting guitar phrasing such as hammer-ons and pull-offs and can offer a nice reprieve from simply strumming chords all the time.
Come, Now Is the Time To Worship by Brian Doerksen
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Brian Doerksen is a prolific Christian singer-songwriter from Canada who played a large role as part of the Vineyard Music Group and is considered very influential in the Christian worship music space. He’s been involved in the production of over 35 full studio albums and all manner of other session work. So needless to say he’s quite a figure and well worth your time learning!
For this song, we’ll be using the chords D, Dsus, A, Em7, G, and Bm. The whole song is in 4/4 and you can use the strumming pattern DD-UU-DD-UU-DUDU which is quite easy once you’ve gotten used to it.
For the Beauty Of The Earth by John Rutter
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This is a particular take on a hymn originally written by Folliot S. Pierpoint. Sometimes the arrangement of hymns can become quite complex. To fully understand this it’s important to note that the first 4 stanzas of this music are set to the original written by Pierpoint. It essentially recounts his experience of feeling blessed and fortunate while looking over the beautiful countryside in Bath, England.
Lyrical complexity aside, in terms of what’s required of you as a guitarist it’s all much simpler! The song can be played in a couple of keys, the video tab details it in the key of D. But if you would like it a little higher in G you can use the chords G, D, C and Em.
Forever by Kari Jobe
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Another slightly more modern release, this song was written by Kari Jobe along with the Bethel Church. This is one of her more popular songs and was released as a promotional single in 2014 as part of her ‘Majestic’ album. It charted very well, hitting the number 2 spot on the US Christian Digital Singles chart, and was even certified gold (her first song ever to do so).
The song is easily transposed to different keys, but a common way to play this is in the key of A, and for that, we’ll be using the 5 chords, A, E, F sharp minor, D, and finally a B minor. The strumming pattern we can use goes like D-UDUD-UDUD-DU. Essentially your first, second, and fourth downstrokes line up with the first, second, and fourth beats of the 4/4 bar of music perfectly.
God of Wonders by Third Day
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This is another one that was originally written and released in 2000 as part of the compilation album ‘City on a Hill: Songs of Worship and Praise’. Since then it’s been covered by over 100 artists, a testament to its popularity. But probably the most popular version is from the Christian rock band Third Day which was released in 2003 from their ‘Offerings II: All I Have to Give’ album.
The song is in the key of Bb, and we’ll need to use a capo on the third fret of the guitar. We’ll be using the chords Ddus, C/B, Csus2. We’ll also be using a 2 part strumming pattern that repeats in sequence, the first part is D-D-D-DU, followed by DUD-D-DU.
Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here by Jesus Culture
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A fantastic rendition of the original written by Brian and Katie Torwalt, but for many, their first exposure to this track is from the Christian revivalist youth organization known as Jesus Culture who have a monstrously large catalog of music under their name. Many people prefer Jesus Culture’s arrangement of the track and use that as the primary base for their own renditions.
For this song, we’ll be using just four simple chords G, C, and Am and finally, a G/B which as we mentioned earlier we just lift our index finger up from that original G shape and mute that low E string, making our first note of the chord the second fret of the A string which is, of course, our B note.
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee by Henry J. Van Dyke
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The real name for this hymn is actually ‘The Hymn of Joy’, but most of us know it as the above title as it’s the opening line of the song and is what most people refer to it as these days. Originally written by Henry Van Dyke in 1907 and he said the song is simply a representation of the common Christian’s feelings and is a simply joyous expression of their love for the religion.
You’ll be primarily using all open and major chords for this song, which are D, A, G, C, and F. And you can also use a simple strumming pattern of D-DU-UDU or anything that you feel suits the tone and feel of the track.
Trading My Sorrows by Darrell Evans
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From the acclaimed and popular Christian songwriter who’s known for adopting that rock kind of vibe that you might associate with U2 or Bruce Springsteen and moving it into the Christian Rock Space. This is originally from his third album titled ‘Freedom’ but was also released as part of his 2002 studio compilation album which helped the song gain some additional traction.
Originally this song is played in the key of A and requires a capo on the second fret. But the provided video tab demonstrates this song in G which doesn’t require a capo. We’ll be using just 4 easy chords which are G, C2, Em, and D, then right at the end of the song, there’s just a very simple F barre chord played on the first fret.
How Deep The Father’s Love for Us by Stuart Townend
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A wonderful song from British Christian worship leader Stuart Townend who has a tremendous amount of musical releases under his belt and in June 2017 he was awarded the Cranmer Award for Worship for his substantial contributions to modern Christian worship music.
This is the first song on this list that will require you to play outside of 4/4. It’s actually played in 3/4. This is not to be mistaken with triplet timing, it will pass at the same pace as 4/4 but you will instead be counting as 1-2-3-1-2-3 which gives it a different kind of feel.
One Thing Remains by Jesus Culture
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This is a 2012 song written by Brian Johnson (not to be confused with AC/DC’s Brian Johnson), Jeremy Riddle, and Christa Black Giffel. It was released by Bethel Music under their youth-led group ‘Jesus Culture’ as part of their album ‘Come Away’. Jesus Culture’s version has become a favorite for worship players and is well worth taking your time to learn as it’s so simple to play.
Unlike some hymns on this list, One Thing Remains follows a little bit more of a traditional pop song structure with a clearly defined verse and chorus. You’ll be using the chords C, G, D, and then a little later in the song you’ll also use the Em. It also requires a capo on the fourth fret.
How He Loves (Us) by John Mark McMillan
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Released in 2005, this is part of the more modern and contemporary worship music space and was a single release from his second studio album titled ‘The Song Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down’. Despite being a solo release and not having the backing and promotion of a record label the song still performed very well and has even been covered by a number of notable artists.
We’ll be using a capo on the fourth fret of the guitar and playing the chords (in their open formats, but positioned by the capo) G, Em, D, and C. The strumming pattern you can use here is D-DUDU which immediately goes into the next down strum to welcome the next chord.
I Could Sing of Your Love Forever – Delirious
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This is a very popular contemporary Christian worship song from the group Delirious, not a solo single but was instead just a regular track on their album ‘Cutting Edge 2’. The main songwriter of the track, Martin Smith, has gone on record to say that the song wrote itself in about 5 minutes yet has gone on to be a staple of modern Christian worship music and has been covered by a great number of artists.
Here we’ll be using the chords E, F sharp minor, A2, Bus4, no capo is needed here and this can just be played in standard tuning. The strumming pattern for the song is DU-DUU-DU.
Jesus Loves Me by Chris Tomlin
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This was a track from Chris Tomlin’s tenth studio release titled Love Ran Red, before the release of the album Jesus Loves Me was released as a single to great critical acclaim, receiving 4-star feedback on many popular Christian music publications.
On this song, we’ll just be playing regular open chords from the G family. Which are G, Cadd9, Em7, D/F sharp which again is like a regular G, but you just mute that first string making your lowest note of the chord the B on the second fret of the second string.
Leaning on The Everlasting Arms by Anthony Showalter
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This is an old hymn from 1887 that was instrumentally written by Anthony J. Showalter, who was mainly responsible for the melody and instrumentation. Elisha Hoffman also helped to write the lyrics. He was inspired to write this after his former pupils had written to him detailing bad news of loved ones passing and he was writing back to them in consolation.
The song is in the key of A and you can make this comfortable to play by using a capo on the second fret and sticking around those open G shapes we are all intimately familiar with by now. We use the chords G, C/G, and Dadd9 which is played kind of like a C shape but you slide it up two frets.
Mighty to Save by Hillsong
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This was the title track from the album of the same name released in 2006. Written by Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan. It achieved moderate success and was nominated for ‘Song of the Year at the 40th GMA Dove Awards. It’s also been covered by several people throughout the years with renditions as recent as 2015.
We’ll be using the chords D, A, F sharp minor, and E for this song. It follows more of a traditional song structure so there are different parts for the verse, chorus, etc. But as long as you memorize these chords that’s enough to play the whole song.
My Soul Sings by Cory Asbury
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Here we have a fantastic song written by the popular worship pastor and songwriter who is also part of the Bethel Music collective, Cory Asbury. Throughout his career, he has garnered several awards including nominations for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance at the 2019 Grammy Music Awards.
The song is played in the key of A and just uses 4 easy chords which are played in 4/4 with each chord receiving 1 measure of music before moving on to the next, about as simple as it could possibly get! The chords used are A, Bm (barre) F sharp minor, and finally D.