How to Play Worship Songs on Guitar

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How to Play Worship Songs on Guitar

publication date: Jan 17, 2023

Playing worship songs on the guitar is one of the most effective ways of leading others in worship and connecting with God. This blog post will walk you through the fundamentals as well as advanced strategies for playing worship songs on guitar. We’ll cover some basic guitar techniques, playing worship songs on guitar, and a few advanced techniques.


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Basic Worship Guitar Techniques

how to play worship songs on guitarBefore you start playing worship songs, it’s important to learn some basic guitar techniques. Chords are one of the most important things to learn. Chords are the foundation of many songs and are played by simultaneously pressing down multiple strings on the guitar.


Most people think chords exist separately; however, they actually work together in what I like to call “Chord Families.” As you progress through a chord family, you’ll learn how to best switch from one chord to another.


As you gain confidence in playing chords, you can progress to more advanced chords such as bar chords, which I cover in the advanced course.


The next step is to create strum patterns to give your chord progressions a sense of rhythm and flow. Strum patterns are associated with the time signature of a song. For instance, common time, also knows as 4/4 time will call for a particular strum pattern. 6/8 time will call for totally different strum pattern.


Fingerpicking is a more advanced technique, but it can certainly add depth to your playing. It involves plucking the strings with your fingers and often involves alternating between the thumb and fingers to play the bass and melody lines of a song at the same time.


One advanced fingerpicking technique is called hybrid picking (using a pick and your fingers together). You will be able to create more intricate and nuanced arrangements of worship songs if you master these fingerpicking techniques.


Playing Worship Songs on Guitar

You can begin learning popular worship songs once you have a basic understanding of chords, strumming, and fingerpicking. "Amazing Grace," "Oceans," and "10,000 Reasons" are some popular worship songs to learn; however you can browse the site for hundreds of other worship songs.


To play worship songs on guitar, you must first learn the chords and strumming patterns. To get a feel for the tempo and timing, practice playing along with a metronome or a recording of the song. Most of the charts on this song are exact roadmaps of the recording.


These free resources will show you the song's chords and strumming patterns. If you’re a beginner, it's also a good idea to practice the chords and strumming patterns separately before combining them. This will allow you to become more comfortable with the song and confidently lead worship.


Tips for leading worship on guitar:

Leading worship with guitar can be a powerful and rewarding experience. Here are some pointers to help you lead worship on guitar:


Practice, practice, and more practice! The more you practice playing worship songs, the more at ease and self-assured you will become. Start with easy worship songs and give yourself plenty of time to progress to more difficult songs, such as those that use fingerpicking.


Get familiar with the lyrics and message of the song you're playing; this will help you connect with the song's meaning and convey it to the congregation. Anytime I learn a new worship song, I always listen to a few times before I work on it. Let the song and its meaning sink in a little first.


Be aware of the song's dynamics and experiment with appropriate volume and intensity. Don’t forget to maintain proper posture by keeping your shoulders relaxed and your hands and fingers in the proper playing position.


If you’re practicing stage presence, use the space around you, move around, and use your body language to convey the song's message. Most importantly, lead worship from the heart, using the song to help connect the congregation to God.


Advanced Techniques for Worship Guitar


As you gain confidence in playing worship songs on guitar, you can begin to incorporate more advanced techniques. Adding melody to your chords is one technique. This can be accomplished by playing single notes between strums or by employing a technique known as "melodic strumming."


Fingerpicking can also be used to create more intricate and nuanced worship song arrangements. Adding melody to chords is a technique that can improve the depth and expression of your playing. Playing single notes in between strums is one way to add melody to chords. This is accomplished by plucking the strings with your fingers or a pick.


Another method is "melodic strumming," which entails playing specific strings in a specific order to create a melody. To add melody to chords, practice playing the melody and chords together, as well as experimenting with different melodies and chord progressions to find the best fit.


How to play worship songs with fingerpicking:


Fingerpicking is a technique for adding depth and nuance to your playing. To play worship songs with fingerpicking, you must first learn specific fingerpicking patterns for each song. Fingerpicking patterns can be found online or in guitar instruction books.


Another option is to experiment with different note combinations to create your own fingerpicking patterns. When you're ready to play a worship song with fingerpicking, practice the fingerpicking pattern as well as the chords together.


Tips for creating your own worship guitar arrangements:

Creating your own worship song guitar arrangements is a great way to put your own spin on a song and make it more meaningful to you and your congregation. Here are some pointers for creating your own worship guitar arrangements:


Listen to the original version of the song and study its structure; this will help you understand how the song works and which elements you can change.


Experiment with different chord progressions and melodies until you find one that fits the song and that you can play comfortably.


Incorporate different techniques, such as fingerpicking or adding melody to chords, to give your arrangement a distinct flavor. To get a feel for the timing and tempo of your arrangement, play it with a metronome or a recording of the song.


Share your arrangement with others and gather feedback to help you improve it and make it more effective for leading worship.



In conclusion, playing worship songs on the guitar is an effective way to lead others in worship and connect with God. We've gone over the fundamentals of guitar technique, such as chords, strumming patterns, and fingerpicking.


We also covered how to play popular worship songs as well as advanced techniques like adding melody to chords, fingerpicking, and making your own worship guitar arrangements.


We've covered a lot of ground in this post, but remember that learning to play worship songs on guitar takes time and practice. The most important thing to remember is to start with the basics and gradually improve your skills.


Continue to practice and experiment with new techniques, and you will be able to play worship songs with ease. Remember that the most important aspect of being a musician is to continue learning and growing.