If you're a guitarist or vocalist who loves gospel music, you're sure to be on the lookout for free resources like chords and lyrics. You'll be glad to know you can find what you need on the Internet. Quite a number of websites post chords and lyrics to public domain gospel songs that you can access for free.
Favorite Gospel Songs
Some traditional gospel hymns are so well-known and beloved that they seem to have played a role in defining the genre. Many of them originate from African-American spirituals and have been recorded by many artists. If you are in a gospel band, chances are good that you have played some of these songs, but if you haven't, you'll definitely want to check them out.
- Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen - This classic gospel tune is a testament to how faith can help people get through times of difficulty and trouble in their lives. One of its familiar refrains is "Oh Yes, Lord!"
- Oh Happy Day - This gospel version of a hymn that was written by Philip Doddridge in 1755 swings with an irresistible syncopated beat. When you play this one, you'll definitely want to sing along and tap your feet.
- We Shall Overcome - This deeply inspiring song got its start in the era of slavery in the United States. In the 1960s, the song became emblematic of the struggles of the Civil Rights movement.
- Go Down Moses - With roots going back prior to the Civil War, Go Down Moses is a stirring song about yearning for freedom from slavery. It draws on the book of Exodus from the Bible.
- He's Got the Whole World in His Hands - One of the most popular gospel songs of all time, He's Got the Whole World in His Hands is beloved by people of all ages. The song was written by Obie Philpot, a World War II veteran and Cherokee Indian.
- There Is a Balm in Gilead - This lovely song praises the balm that heals the wounds of suffering people and helps them endure trials in earthly life. While it is an African-American spiritual, its exact roots are unknown, but it's one of the best-loved gospel hymns of all time.
Collections of Gospel Songs
When it's time to mix it up with a grab bag full of great gospel tunes, you'll want to check out websites that offer you a good variety. Some of the chords on these sites rely on user interpretation while others remain true to the original versions.
Jericho Road Gospel Bluegrass Band
The Jericho Road Gospel Bluegrass Band has a page on their website devoted to guitar chords and lyrics of a great many gospel hymns that are in the public domain. From this page, you can access lyrics and chords for classic gospel tunes like Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.
You can also explore other good resources for guitarists such as a page that gives strum patterns for songs and a page from which you can download audio files to hear the tunes. On each page, the songs are arranged alphabetically. Click on a title for the information you want.
To the right of each song title, you'll find the word "info." Hover your mouse over the word to see whether the arrangement of that particular song is intended for novice or intermediate players. In the rightmost column, you can see what you'll get when you click on the song title, whether chords, tabs, or ukelele chords, all of which include lyrics.
If you're looking for a huge selection of gospel chords and lyrics, you'll definitely want to check out Gospel Songs. To navigate the site, use the menu at the top to find songs alphabetically by title. Click on a letter or a range of letters, and you'll find information for gospel hymns whose titles begin with that letter or letters.
If you click on A, you will be taken to a page where you can get chords and lyrics for Amazing Grace. If you click on EF, you can get chords and lyrics to Every Time I Feel the Spirit. On the home page, you will find a list of all the hymns offered by the site, and you can click on the appropriate letter on the top menu to access a particular hymn.
Country Gospel Song Lyrics
Country gospel is a blend of traditional gospel with Western style music and music from the Appalachian Mountains. If you love playing or singing tunes from this gospel subgenre, you'll want to explore Country Gospel Song Lyrics.
There are three ways you can search for songs. The first is to use the search box where you can type a song title or the name of an artist. You can also browse a list of songs, which is arranged alphabetically by title by scrolling down the page. If you like, you can browse artists' names which are arranged alphabetically on the left column of the page. If you're looking for Bringing in the Sheaves, you can search for it in the search box or by title. At the bottom of each song, you'll find a link to a key changing function so you can see chords for a song in different key signatures.
The Gospel Music Archive
At the Gospel Music Archive, you'll find a wealth of resources, including a terrific selection of gospel songs, complete with lyrics and guitar chords. The hymns are arranged alphabetically by title, and you can search in alphabetical ranges, A through G, H through M, N through R, S through U, and V through Z. If you were looking for In the Garden, you would click on the H through M range, then scroll down to click on the song title.
You'll also find plenty of tools at the Gospel Music Archive that will help you develop your skills as a musician. There's an interactive transposition wheel, a detailed chord chart, an introduction to music theory, and a tutorial on how to use a capo.
Guitarists can find a great deal of material on websites that offer advice and instruction in playing gospel music. You'll find helpful tools like free gospel guitar lessons and discussion forums that allow people to share tips with one another.
Learn Gospel Music
Learn Gospel Music is a treasure trove of information for people who love to play and sing gospel music. Guitarists will find a series of instructional videos on topics that range from how to play specific songs to tips on playing different kinds of gospel licks. You might enjoy exploring the discussion forums where people on various sub-forums talk about playing guitar and share chords and tabs to gospel tunes.
Learn to Pick
If you like country gospel music, you might want to check out the guitar lessons offered by Learn to Pick. Most of the lessons require payment, but there's a nice selection of free guitar lessons on video that you might enjoy. They cover topics like playing melodies by ear on a nine-note scale, how to play fill-in, and tips and tricks for playing music in different key signatures.
A Time Tested Genre
Gospel, part of the larger genre of Christian music, has its roots in African-American spirituals and was influenced in the early 1900s by jazz and blues. It's filled with heart and soul and has enjoyed an enthusiastic following for generations. As any gospel band member knows, this engaging style of worship music lends itself well to skillful guitar playing and singing. So find some great tunes for yourself or for your band, then play and sing to your heart's content.