PHIL KEAGGY - Grammy nominated and seven-time Dove Award winner, is one of the world’s great guitar players and a pioneer in contemporary Christian music.
- July 16, 2016
- Guitar Lessons
There are a vast array of genres within the category of Christian Music. There’s everything from mainstream Contemporary Christian Music to Black Gospel. The Christian Music Industry has Blues, Bluegrass, Country, Southern Gospel, Rock, Metal and so on. Just about any secular brand of music is also represented within Christian music.
That’s good news!
You can find a style you love and be entertained, as well as ministered to. That’s double-dipping.
Christian Music for Guitar is just as vast. There’s everything from modern worship to awesome instrumentalist like the legendary Phil Keaggy.
Check Phil out on prolessons.com.
Though they might not be as celebrated as some secular guitarist, Christian music has some of the best players on Earth. Lincoln Brewster is a modern example of brilliant guitar work. Check his stuff out. Israel Houghton is another favorite. Forerunners like Glenn Kaiser, Will McFarlane of Blues Counsel, and if you want to go way back, Blind Willie Johnson and other great blues guitarist sang and played gospel on guitar.
Where Can I Find Christian Music For Guitar?
Some of this music can be found on iTunes or youtube for sure but many of these priceless recordings are out of print or maybe can be found on compilations. But, most are obscure and hard to get even from the artist. However, there are loads of charts for modern worship songs for guitar, and some companies like Worship Together make song books with TAB just for people like you.
If you’re not familiar with Tablature, you might want to do some study first on how to ready it, then try your favorite songs. There’s not much TAB out there in general for Christian Music for guitar. Most artists & bands don’t bother to have it done, so when you do find it, it’s a little sketchy and sometimes just wrong. You can find stuff like Skillet, Switchfoot, Newsboys, or Casting Crowns, but remember it’s a small market to begin with and there’s not as big a demand for the TAB.
Where Should I Start?
I’d start with modern worship since there’s a whole lot more of it available. If you’re interested in learning the songs to play at church on Sunday, just type the title in your search engine, and you’ll probably find a chord chart. You can also find tutorials for these songs on youtube and sometimes by the artist themselves. If you’re into finding more involved music and want to learn something fun, check out Lincoln Brewster’s “Reaching For You.” It’s got some great guitar work in it.
Paul Baloche’s “Everlasting God” is also very cool. Some of the modern worship songs have great guitar hooks in them. Songs like “Our God” by Chris Tomlin, “Mighty To Save” by Michael W. Smith, and check out the Relevant Worship, Bethel Worship, Planet Shakers, and Hillsong stuff.
There are some sweet guitar tones and sound coming from these young worship bands. If you’re into the heavier stuff, there’s everything from classic White Heart to Pillar, or Blood Good to Switchfoot, and lots more.
Should I Go to the Local Christian Bookstore?
LifeWay and others carry mostly the trending radio music and some specialty things, but you won’t find a big variety of Christian artist there. Hey, those days are over at Wal-Mart too. We remember when the CD rack at Wal-Mart was 2 or 3 rows long. Now, It’s down to half a row. They have the classics and the trending now artist, and that's it. Christian bookstores don’t even do that. You might find a book or two though from big groups like Casting Crowns or Third Day. There’s also some great music in these bands.They’ve been around a long while.
Big Daddy Weave has cool stuff too. Truth is, there’s a lot of great Christian Music for guitar, but it’s just not as easy to find as you think. Since the digital music age and social media generation have emerged, music is downloaded now onto your phone or device. So, today you’d simply save the gas on going to the bookstore, and just download the song and a chart online, and if you can listen to a tutorial from youtube or just learn the chords on the chart, you can at least strum along on guitar.
Playing the leads or getting the right tones for these guitar parts is another matter. But, the goal is to play Christian music on guitar. As you get better as a guitarist, you can easily explore with us the tones and even the guitar lead lines for great Christian songs from artists like Casting Crowns, Mercy Me, Matthew West, Pillar, Chris Tomlin and others. Prolessons.com will soon have this popular musicbroken down by the artists themselves so you can learn them right. That’s the Pro Lessons advantage.
Here’s the Deal
There’s some great, fun to play songs in the Christian Music genre. I get the notion that you may only want to play Christian songs on your guitar, and that’s great. However, like even great secular guitarist, they all got it from somewhere else. For example, when you hear Lincoln Brewster’s tunes, you can hear some of his influences like maybe Journey’s Neal Schon or Toto’s Steve Lukather. When you listen to Phil Keaggy, you can hear John Scoffield and others.
We’ve all been influenced by the greats, so don’t be afraid to listen to the guitarist who got us to where we are. Christian music for guitar may seem like a very specific niche, but there’s really a world full of great Christian music and fantastic musicians. Often, we’ve heard artist say, “Why does it even have to have the words Christian Music attached to it?” Why can’t it just be good music… period. Just pick up your guitar, find a song you like in the Christian Music list and start jamming. We’re all in this to grow and add value in whatever genre we are placed in.
Maybe you ready to take that next step in your musical journey as a guitarist. At Pro Lessons we have designed specific courses for every guitarist no matter their level of skill. Feel free to click the link below and find out how you can learn from the best guitarist in the business.