Worship Chord Progressions

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Learn To Play Contemporary Worship Guitar Chord Progressions!

If you listen to contemporary church music you will probably notice that there are certain chord progressions that are used quite often. In this lesson we will be taking a look at two of those progressions. The first progression is a 14541 progression in the key of G major. I will show you two different ways to play this progression so that you have some options when choosing which chord voicings to use. The second progression is a 1564 progression in the key of E major. This is probably the most common progression in this style of modern church music. I have supplied you with the TAB, notation and chord diagrams for each progression.

Let’s take a look at the 14541 chord progression. We are in the key of G major so the 1 chord is a G major, the 4 chord is a C major and the 5 chord is a D major. If you are not familiar with the open chord shapes take some time to learn the chords by going through the chord diagrams that I have given you. The 14541 progression would end up being G major, C major, D major, C major and back to G major. The strumming pattern that I used for this progression is pretty typical of the contemporary praise style. Check out the TAB for the strumming details.

Now instead of playing regular open chords for this 14541 progression I went ahead and gave you some less common chord shapes for the G, C and D chords that you can use to play the progression. These chords use mostly just the top four strings for a completely different and lighter sound. Again, if you are not familiar with the shapes just check out the chord diagrams or TAB.

The next progression that we are going to learn is a 1564 progression in the key of E major. In the key of E major the 1 chord is E major, the 5 chord is a B major, the 6 chord is a C# minor and the 4 chord is an A major. The 1564 progression in the key of E major would be E major, B major, C# minor and A major. Check out the chord diagrams and the TAB if you do not know the shapes for the chords that we are using.

Play around with these progressions and start to try to memorize what they sound like and how the chords flow. If you work on this you will start to recognize these progressions in some of the church music that you are learning or just listening to.

If you have any questions about this or any other lessons feel free to email me by clicking on the “Ask Nate” button. Have fun!

Contemporary Worship Guitar Progressions

This Lesson Has 16 Comments

  • Nick says:

    hey what are you using to make the soud like that. i have a mega distortion pedal . can i make theis sound with that? please reply

  • Felicitas P. Calicdan says:

    this lessons has two different g Majors

    • Maria says:

      I always have a hard time wrtiing my own songs on my piano without making the music sound familiar to the people. My only tip is to be creative and play around. I also have a hard time memorizing the notes of the song, or I keeping thinking that I’m incapable of wrtiing a simple song, but I don’t give up. I want to thank you for showing these videos because they are very helpful!

  • Ustaknow says:

    Yes, putting out these resolving progressions like this is great Nate. (Great way to “start” writing a song, too.)

    For me, what makes the last Key of E, 1, 5, 6, 4 progression is the syncopated rhythm you use… it’s the melody, so to speak.

    And, it can be the same Progression, with different rhythm (or Key) to change it and the chord voicing can be changed too — pending how one feels they can change chords more quickly, e.g., for “me” in this, I use Open A, other, etc.

    That G on the lower 4 strings is a tough one, — I do not practice forming chords with my pinky in that D-shape coming off of any preceding chord shape… very nice tone though (as long as it’s not “lost” in the mix anyway?…, acoustic solo maybe).

    In general, great insights Nate. The Cadd9… I had forgotten about…, so to speak, calling it something else referring to some none theory label…, and so it goes! :)

    As always, –take care.

    • Hyun says:

      thank you, thank you, thank you, so, so, so, much!!!!!!! iv been wanting to learn to coopsme a song that’s the reason why i started playing piano. this is a great video because i’m a beginner at piano and it’s so basic and easy. thank you!!!!

  • Paulette says:

    Hey Nate! I love your teaching, really happy I found you! I am worship leader in our church, I play and sing every week, having to concentrate on so many things as leader is a challenge at times, so the more I can feel totally confident in my playing the more I can dedicate to singing the song. I’ve been playing for around 8 years but tend to revert back to open chords while playing on Sundays as I have them really etched in my memory and can’t afford to make the wrong sound, so am excited about getting those barr chords down pat too. Thanks heaps! ps I love how you cover everything for every possible style!
    Good one!

  • Christian says:

    How do you keep from muting the first string with that G major on the fifth fret? Even with my long, skinny fingers I can’t help but mute it with my pinky

    • Christian says:

      I’m sorry I mean D major on the fifth fret

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  • Gbenga says:

    Helloo Nate,i love ur teaching the way u put and guide people through guitar lesson.keep on the good work.There are some question i want to ask.(1)How can i play RHYTHMS when music is going(2)how to read the guitar note TAB from the neck to the bottom(3)how can my fingers be free and speed on the fretboad and how to hold the pick without jumping to any other strings, with the technique of a leadguitar generally.Have been playing guitar for long now, since 2008 now.i do try to play it in church but i loose confidence and fill fear to play the little one i know.pls Nate i need ur help,i want to be bold and show me the guitar techniques.pls send me the full reply and video clips to my email,thx and God bless.

  • Phil says:

    THe diagram for C major has the high notes on the 7th fret instead of the 8th fret

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