Easy Christian Songs To Play On Guitar: The Top 9

There are an infinite amount of easy Christian songs to play on guitar, and we’ve put together a top ten list of some of our favourites right here for you to learn!

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In this free lesson you will learn…

  • 10 easy Christian songs to play on guitar
  • How to use a Calypso strumming pattern
  • The importance of memorization in Christian music
  • Why the C# diminished and A7 chords are related

Music & Fellowship

One of the most beautiful and strong parts of any kind of spiritual fellowship or gathering is sharing music.

  • It can be a powerful and exciting experience to join your voice and guitar with others.
  • It can also be a bit intimidating however, if you’re a beginner without a pile of easy Christian songs to play on guitar.
  • There are thousands of worship-related songs to choose from, and every church or spiritual group tends to develop a certain core group of songs.

It’s wonderful to play those songs frequently, because everyone can learn the words more easily and participate.

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

You can add your guitar and voice to the group and expand your community’s musical vocabulary with these easy Christian songs to play on guitar.

You can draw from genres like Gospel, Folk, Liturgical, and even Rock music to perform them in different ways.

These songs are all pretty simple to learn and memorize, and they’re all lovely, so let’s get started!

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

#1 Easy Christian Songs To Play On Guitar: Curtis Mayfield – “People Get Ready”

As easy Christian songs to play on guitar go, this one is a great anthem for raising spiritual consciousness.

“People Get Ready” is on everyone’s Top 25 Songs of All Time list, and it’s probably Mayfield’s best-known song.

If you’re not familiar with him, this little Curtis Mayfield Wikipedia blurb doesn’t tell the whole story, but it’s a place to start.

You can play this song in the key of D or the key of C. We’ll start with the key of D because it sounds just a little bit sweeter.

D (xx0232)

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

Bm (xx4432)

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

G (320003)

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

F#m (xx4222)

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

Here’s the “People Get Ready” chord chart. You might notice that it doesn’t have an F#m in it. This is because this chord is considered optional in this song.

If you’d like to include the F#m, it goes in as the first chord in the last line of the verse.

Instead of

D Bm G D

You’ll be playing this:

F#m Bm G D

The recording of “People Get Ready” has a key change in it, shifting all the chords, but that is absolutely not necessary, and you can ignore it until you’re ready.

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

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#2 Easy Christian Songs To Play On Guitar: “This Train” (Traditional)

One of the best performers of easy Christian songs to play on guitar is Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Here she is performing “This Train” below:

If this is your first encounter with Sister Rosetta Tharpe, we strongly recommend this introductory video.

“This Train” is a traditional song, so with every performance you encounter, you can expect a little personal variation in the lyrics. The structure, however is always basically the same.

You can play it in the key of D, using these chords.

D (xx0232)

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

A7 (x02020)

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

G (320003)

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

G7 (320001)

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

D7 (xx0212)

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

Remember, the seventh chords are always optional. If you’d like to keep it simple, you can just stay on the D and G chords, but those seventh chords always lead your ear nicely to the next chord.

  • Here is one version of “This Train” for you to use to learn the song.
  • Once you’re familiar with it, you can always use a capo to change keys, and adapt your version to include the verses that you like best from other people’s performances.
  • In the folk tradition, the singers are often invited to make up their own verses.

This is a great way to bring people together when you are playing this song in a group!

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

Pro-Tip: Sister Rosetta Tharpe used a lot of fingerpicking techniques to make up her style of playing.

If you are interested in applying this technique to to your easy Christian songs to play on guitar, check out this lesson:

Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons – 5 Ways to Sound Amazing

#3 Easy Christian Songs To Play On Guitar: “Amazing Grace” (Traditional)

This is an absolutely necessary part of your set of easy Christian songs to play on guitar.

Buckle up folks, because here comes Aretha.

And yes, you can get a witness.

We’ve told the story elsewhere of the ironic background of the author of “Amazing Grace,” so for now, let’s just focus on the fact that this song gets right to the heart of everything.

This is one of the most powerful easy Christian songs to play on guitar.

You can play this song in the key of G with these chords.

G (320003)

G7 (320001)

C (x32010)

Em (022000)

D (xx0232)

Here’s a complete chord chart with lyrics for “Amazing Grace.”

  • This song is in 3/4 time, meaning there are three beats per measure instead of four.
  • It’s more difficult to play three beats a measure than four, because it’s a little less intuitive.

You can overcome this awkwardness quickly by counting and strumming One two three One two three, making the strum on the first count stronger and louder than the other two.

This type of time signature sounds much like a Waltz, for reference.

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

#4 Easy Christian Songs To Play On Guitar: Anne Murray – “Put Your Hand In the Hand”

This song was one of the many easy Christian songs to play on guitar that began appearing in masses and church services in the last third of the 20th century.

“Put Your Hand In the Hand” was not just a great worship song; it was also a pop hit and got a lot of radio play in the early 1970s.

With this handful of chords, you’ll be able to play this tune in the key of G.

G (320003)

D7 (xx0212)

Am (x02210)

Dm (xx0231)

C (x32010)

E7 (020100)

A7 (x02020)

Here’s a complete chord and lyric chart for “Put Your Hand In the Hand.”

  • Note that it has a C# diminished chord, which can and should be easily replaced by an A7 chord.
  • C# diminished and A7 share three notes (C#, E & G), making it a common chord substitution.
  • The best part of this song (especially Anne Murray’s version) is that killer drumbeat.

It adds just a little bit of funk to the arrangement.

You can imitate that groove by playing this rhythm over two measures (eight beats):

Down, Down-Up, Down, _-Up, _-Up, _-Up, Down

Remember to keep your strumming hand in constant down-up motion, hitting the strings as indicated, and you’ll have your funky strum ready to go.

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

#5 Easy Christian Songs To Play On Guitar: The Doobie Brothers – “Jesus Is Just Alright”

Alright, alright, we know what you’re thinking.

The Doobie Brothers is not the band name most likely to generate awesome and easy Christian songs to play on guitar – But check out this great tune!

If it’s any consolation, the song was actually written by Arthur Reid Reynolds and first recorded in 1966.

  • The Byrds (folk interpreters of all kinds of gospel tunes) got hold of it in 1969, and that version sparked plenty of other covers, including this one.
  • This song appeared on the Doobie Brothers’ 1972 album Toulouse Street.

This song is in the key of A minor, and you can play it with these four chords.

Am (x02210)

Em (022000)

E7 (020100)

D7 (xx0212)

Here’s perhaps more information than you need, but it is a complete chord and lyric chart for “Jesus Is Just Alright” with a little tab for the cool riff at the beginning.

There’s an E7#9 and an F9 in the chart, but you can use the E7 chord in both places.

The E7#9 is what gives the song that crunchy sound at the end of the fast verse.

easy-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

Pro-Tip: Having trouble deciphering tablature, or other guitar music?

It can seem like trying to decode several different languages at once, but we have a simple and helpful guide for you!

Reading Guitar Music: The Ultimate Guide

The Byrds – “Turn, Turn, Turn”

The Byrds have been great interpreters of easy Christian songs to play on guitar for 50 years, adapting everything from The Louvin Brothers to Pete Seeger.

Pete Seeger adapted these words from Ecclesiastes in the late 1950s, and recorded it as a folk song first in 1959.

The Byrds picked it up in 1965 and turned it into an international hit.

You’ll play this timeless and lovely song in the key of A, using these three chords.

A (x02220)

D (xx0232)

E (022100)

This is a “list” song, so although the list of things that there is a time for is long, it will be easy to memorize with the help of this chord and lyric chart for “Turn Turn Turn.”

One interesting thing about the rhythm for this song is that you can use a calypso strum either at regular speed, a la Pete Seeger, or you can use it at double speed, like Roger McGuinn does for The Byrds.

The calypso strum is versatile enough for most of your easy Christian songs to play on guitar, and it goes like this:

Down, Down-Up*, -Up, Down-Up

easy-christian-songs-chords

#6 Easy Christian Songs To Play On Guitar: Robinson – “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

Your favorite hymns are also easy Christian songs to play on guitar!

This one is just so pretty, and here is Chris Tomlin’s version.

This hymn is sung everywhere, and it’s a truly timeless melody that sounds wonderful and comforting when accompanied by the guitar.

You can play it with a capo wherever it is comfortable to sing, but we’ll use these four chords to play in the key of G.

To get a quick refresher or introduction to how to use the capo, check out this lesson:

How to Use a Capo in 3 Easy Steps

G (320003)

D (xx0232)

C (x32010)

Em (022000)

Some modern interpretations of this song are played in 4/4, but traditionally, this song is played in 3/4 time. This causes some quick chord changes!

Here is a chord and lyric sheet for “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” that shows you when to change the chords along with the lyrics.

easy-christian-guitar-songs-to-play

#7 Easy Christian Songs To Play On Guitar: Ray Charles – “Oh Happy Day”

This song was also a radio hit in the 1970s with the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Joan Baez, Glen Campbell, and Elvis Presley also recorded their own interpretations, but Ray Charles has a warm and joyful version right here:

The Edwin Hawkins singers initially adapted this 18th century Philip Doddridge hymn in 1968, and it reached #2 and #4 on the UK and US charts, respectively.

It’s another of the mainstream and popular easy Christian songs to play on guitar, and you’ll play it in the key of G with these chords.

G (320003)

C (x32010)

E7 (020100)

Am7 (x02010)

D (xx0232)

Here’s a chord and lyrics chart for “Oh Happy Day,”

  • This song is repetitive enough that you and your many backing singers will quickly have it memorized.
  • The song is bouncy and joyful without moving very fast, which means one thing: sixteenth-note strumming!
  • For every beat, you’ll strum down-up-down-up, essentially moving your strumming arm twice as fast as you’re used to.

This is a great way to get your easy Christian songs to play on guitar chugging along at a good pace.

easy-christian-guitar-songs-lesson

Download our lead guitar cheat-sheet to make things easier

It can be disorientating for guitarists to understand which scales work with which keys.

With this in mind, we created a cheat-sheet; a key and scale-finder that you can use again and again.

#8 Easy Christian Songs To Play On Guitar: “This Little Light of Mine” (Traditional)

One of the most popular easy Christian songs to play on guitar, “This Little Light of Mine” is a great way to include everybody in a group singalong!

Listen here:

There are any number of verses to this song, and in a group sing, people can even make up their own verses.

It was written in the 1920s and has been sung many different ways ever since.

You can play this song easily in the key of G. Here are the chords.

G (320003)

G7 (320001)

C (x32010)

Em (022000)

Am (x02210)

D (xx0232)

Here is a chord and lyrics chart to get your started on “This Little Light of Mine.”

This is one of many easy Christian songs to play on guitar that can be performed at your own pace.

As a folk song, it’s suitable for making up specific verses for the whole group to relate to.

easy-christian-guitar-songs-tutorial

#9 Easy Christian Songs To Play On Guitar: “O Come All Ye Faithful” (Variously Attributed)

Nobody really knows who wrote “O Come All Ye Faithful,” but this is a really cute version:

It’s a Christmas carol (obviously), but it’s also a beautiful and uplifting song that you can use in your library of easy Christian songs to play on guitar any time of year..

You can play this in the key of G, using almost the same chords as “This Little Light of Mine!”

G (320003)

D (xx0232)

Em (022000)

A (x02220)

C (x32010)

Here is a chord chart and lyric sheet for “O Come All Ye Faithful,”  that you can include in either your book of church group songs or Christmas carols.

You can also start with the G chord and see if you can figure out the chords yourself!

These easy Christian songs to play on guitar are great ear training practice, even if you don’t get all the way through.

beginner-christian-songs-to-play-on-guitar

The Best Way to Learn is to Teach!

Now that you’ve got a little collection of easy Christian songs to play on guitar, play often enough that you can do it without looking at the chord chart.

The next step is to teach it to others. It’s such a great way to share the joy!

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