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 23, 2016
- Guitar Lessons
Let’s begin by qualifying what we mean by “Top Worship Songs.” Songs of faith can embody many genres from Top 40 CCLI to Christian radio, to hymns (and some hymns are made modern, so you even cross genres).
It’s safe to say most worship songs are doable on an acoustic guitar. Maybe it requires a little creativity here and there, but it’s still possible.
In this article, we’re going to look at the top worship songs from CCLI, which is a go to place for churches around the world to license and use modern worship music in their churches. Let’s take a look.
Oh yeah, one more thing. While we discuss top worship songs to learn on guitar, this will be slightly technical, especially for the beginning player. So, if you would like to find out what all this means click here.
Top Worship Songs to Learn On Guitar
#10 “Oceans” by Hillsong
Here’s a very singer / songwriter tune that sounds super produced by these mega church bands, but it’s a simple top worship song. Ami /// G/B / C //// G //// F ////. That’s pretty much the chords . If you can manage the passing chord G/B for one beat to C, this one’s a piece of cake. The underlined chords above are a split bar. The beats are marked.
#9 “Mighty To Save” Michael W. Smith
This one is a good keys-driven song but works nicely on an acoustic. There’s a smooth electric guitar riff on Michael’s version that I was privileged to play with Michael for a couple of years. The Intro is D A F#mi Esus. Same for the verses till near the end and there’s a E/D back to D. The Chorus is A E D // A // F#mi // E//. Listen, you can download these charts from several resources online. If the key of A is too hard for you, either lower it to G or capo on 2 and play in A but with G shapes.
#8 “In Christ Alone” by the Getty’s
Coming in at #8 in the Top Worship Songs category is "In Christ Alone." We love this song. However, it’s a modern hymn and has irregular measures, and you just have to get a feel for it. There’s also a key change at the last verse. This one will challenge your rhythm skills. Put it in a key you can manage or use a capo.
#7 “Our God” by Chris Tomlin
This one is super easy to play and is a great choice when searching for top worship songs. There’s a nice guitar riff over the intro you can learn and then it’s just Emi // C // G Emi // C // G // Ami7 // D/A // Ami7 Dsus4 D. If you don’t know some of these chords, click here. We have great tutorials on these chords and their families. The chorus and bridge are just Emi C G D.
#6 “How Great Is Our God” by Chris Tomlin
With the exception of the end of the verse, this one is 4 chords over and over… Either play it in G or Capo 2 and play G shapes for A, but it’s simply, G Emi C // D/C // C for the verses and G Emi C D G for the Chorus and Bridge.
#5 “Holy Spirit” by Bryan and Katie Towart
“Holy Spirit” can be played very simply in D. I believe they do it in E and capo 2, and use an open voice D shape that is a little complicated, but you can learn to do it. However, you can simply play a standard D, G, Emi and you pretty much got this one. The bridge gets a little movement though. G // D/F# // Emi // D/F# // till you sustain a G and you go back to the chorus. That’s pretty much it.
#4 “This Is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham
Here’s a good G song you can incorporate the intro melody into if your smooth enough. 4 323 323 12356 are the notes of the G scale you play against the G chord. It’s another super simple G C D Emi tune. The end of the bridge has accents to get back into the chorus but you can manage it.
#3 “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman
You might have heard it from keys, but Matt plays it acoustic. Just skip all the instrumental stuff and strum, man. G D A Bmi G D A “Bless the Lord o my soul… O… my soul… worship His Holy Name… “ is how the verse starts…It’s a lot of fun and what an awesome melody. There’s a cool stop in the verses where usually the floor tom hits, but you can slap the body of your guitar, and that sounds pretty cool.
#2 “Lord I Need You” by Matt Maher
I believe I’ve seen a YouTube video of Matt doing this on piano and on an acoustic. It’s a modern take on the old hymn “Lord, I Need Thee.” This is another one of those songs that has a split bar of G /// C/ G. If you have trouble changing chords that fast, it might give you some trouble. There’s also the bridge part that is irregular. It’s a bar of 3 and then a bar of 4. It feels good but might cause you some timing issues. Just play along with Matt online and you’ll catch on. He’s probably in A or Bb? Just use a capo and use your G shapes.
#1 “One Thing Remains” by Jesus Culture
It doesn’t get any easier than this one. Don’t be confused about the key it’s in. It starts on a “4” or if you’re in the key of G, you’ll start on a “C.” The verses are simply C // G // D C // G // D over and over. The chorus is equally as simple. Emi // C // G // D // . Seems like the bridge offers a nice Ami7 to change it up. It goes… C // G // D // Ami7 // C // G // Dsus4 // D //. There are many, many more. These are just a few of our favorites, and with a capo or decent chord skills, you can play these songs with a little practice.
We’d recommend you purchase your favorite version of these top worship songs from iTunes and put them in a playlist on your phone. Workout to them, let them play at work, sleep to them, and get really familiar with the chord changes and rhythm patterns. Then strap on a guitar and use a capo if necessary. Download the correct chart and play along. It’s just math. If you can count to 4, you can do it. Have fun and don’t forget to Worship.
If you would like to learn these kinds of top worship songs on the guitar, then you might want to click on the link below. Also, if you are looking for easy worship songs to learn on guitar, click here. At Pro Lessons the professional guitar players that play these songs night in and night out will actually show you how they personally play these songs, along with a few of their own shortcuts and tricks to go along with it.