I have been a contemporary worship leader for 3 years.  My position was a contract one and the contract has expired.  Because of financial cutbacks,the church is now using all volunteer leaders and musicians.  I have been interviewing at a few churches that are interested in me.  The thing is they want to to more of a mix of "semi-contempory" and traditional.  I would like to be able to keep some of the hymns but would like to update them.  I have been out of the loop on what is available as updated hymns.  can someone give me hymns that have been updated to mor of a contemporary style to play with guitar.

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Learn the melody and then strum along, sounding out what chords you need (typically a lot less than most arrangements with written chords). Voila! Any hymn can thus be guitarised. That way you can focus on finding the ones where the words fit your needs rather than having to rely on whatever set you can find where someone else has done the groundwork.

Also, I think you have to be a bit cautious with modernising the words. One I've come across this year is Rend Collective's rendering of "Be Thou My Vision" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQNczm45GyY). It sounds fantastic but I'm not entirely convinced by the changes to the lyrics: "you are my vision" sounds somehow less passionate and expressive of purposeful desire than "be thou my vision". The kind of congregation that wants to include hymns my be inclined to agree.

Most western music can be rendered in most western styles, whether country, rock, metal, classical, jazz or blues/gospel.

Which genre do you want to use to "update" the hymns?

A lot of hymns can be re-modeled by reducing the chord complexity and finding a more recent rhythm that will fit with the tune. Be Thou My Vision and Amazing Grace are good examples of hymns that have received this treatment, both being covered in styles from hard rock through C&W to folk. Some hymns also work well with a funk or reggae feel, however you may find that people wanting 'traditional' hymns are more concerned that they *feel* traditional, rather than just having the right words in a new arrangement.

Just stay away from U2 sounds and all will be well.




Tommy Walker has just put out a new CD of updated or "modernized" hymns titled "Generation Hymns Live."



I think there is also some YouTube videos promoting the CD ... check it out!


Prasie the Lord!


We're introducing one of his songs this month as a matter of fact. Not one of the hymns though.

Here are a few we have used:

Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King - Gateway Worship

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) - Chris Tomlin

How Great Is Our God with How Great Thou Art- Tomlin's arrangement

Glorious Day- Mark Hall and Michael Bleeker (This is a moderinized version of "One Day")

O For A Thousand Tongues- David Crowder Band (Gateway Worship also has a good arrangement)

Jesus Paid It All- Performed by Kristian Stanfill

Center by Charlie Hall ends with Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

We Fall Down with My Jesus, I Love Thee - Tomlin's Arrangement

Cornerstone- Hillsong  (Moderinized Arrangement of "The Solid Rock") Video is our praise team singing "Cornerstone"  http://youtu.be/CRR4I4tX9FY

And don't forget many modern songs are in fact based upon the hymn style, although usually with a chorus.  Look at anything written by Graham Kendrick, Stuart Townend, or Keith and Christine Getty and you will find many modern 'hymns'. 


Indeed, even Matt Redman's '10,000 reasons' is nothing too radical for many people used to a hymn tradition.    

I agree with Martyn on this point and I think his recommendations are great. These people write in a hymn-ish way, and after you cover some of their songs you'll find that you can start to think "hymn" too! :)

Jesus paid it all Capo 4 in B with a Low 5 string BASS... Awesome.

I don't know if it's Lou Fellingham herself or Phatfish, but Lou seems to have been singing a couple of updated hymns recently.  First it was To God be the Glory (this arrangement I actually quite like) and then I heard her on BBC Songs of Praise the other week singing another, which I can't remember the name of, but I do remember not liking it.

Google a band called "Ascend the Hill"  They also have an album of updated Hymns.  Their version of "The Love Of God" is awesome.


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