How To Play Amazing Grace On Guitar

Amazing Grace Guitar Chords

How To Play Amazing Grace On Guitar

The good news: it is relatively easy to learn How To Play Amazing Grace On Guitar. All you need is three rather basic chords and then you’re good to go. Those chords are a G-Major, C-Major and a D-7. If you don’t know how to play them, please check out the Guitar Chordbank – you can sign-up for free, all you need to do is register an account. Once you’re signed-up you can navigate to the respective video tutorials to learn those chords within a couple of minutes. Just plug in your name and email into the form on the side of this page and you will get immediate access – for FREE, of course. Oh, and you will also get the Amazing Grace Guitar tab – or to be more precise, as sheet with the lyrics indicating the chord changes.

But actually, there are many ways to play this traditional tune, from rather conventional and “Beginner Guitar”-ish strumming patterns to earthy power chord versions and anything else in between. Also, you certainly don’t have to stick to the three chords I just mentioned. But let’s talk about that a little later.

In today’s guitar tutorial I will actually demonstrate three different ways to approach this tune. In the first part of the video, we just cover the basic Amazing Grace Guitar chord version. So, in other words, you just need the three chords we discussed and combine them with a simple strumming patter. Speaking of the strumming, for this tune – to make it sound good – I suggest you stick to a Waltz rhythm.

For those of you who took my Beginners Guitar Course, you already know how to do that. And for the rest, here is a quick synopsis of what I mean by that: you need to think of counts of 3 and put emphasis on the first count. I think when you watch the video below, you will understand what I’m talking about. But essentially, by hitting the strings a little harder and/or just playing the bass strings on the first count, this can be easily accomplished. Again, it should become clear as you watch the video tutorial below:

Alternative Amazing Grace Guitar Chords

As I previously alluded to, you can use a number of other chord sequences to play Amazing Grace. For instance, you may want to try this alternative:

D-Major (instead of a G-Major chord)
G-Major (instead of a C-Major chord)
A7 (instead of a D7 chord)

Again, you are certainly not limited to only one version. As a matter of fact, chances are that you will run into a number of other chord variations in guitar books, tabs or online that use different sets of chords. There is no wrong or right here, it’s all a matter of personal preference and, of course, which key you like to play the song in.

Alright, let’s recap real quickly. For the first version I just demonstrated in the video, keep in mind that we want to use counts of threes. In other words you would strum each chord at least 3 times (sometimes it’s six times or even nine times before you move on to the next one). Try to keep a steady rhythm and if you want to, you can accentuate the first strum of each chord a little bit more.

For the rock version of amazing grace I prefer to palm-mute the strings. But either way is fine, if you think the song sounds better with letting the strings ring, you can totally do that, too.

And for those of you who actually dare enough to try out an Amazing Grace guitar solo line, I demonstrated how you can use the Pentatonic Scale to accomplish that. But clearly, what you’ve just watches is just the most straight forward approach. Try to experiment a little bit, add an “in-between” note – or a couple of bends- here in there just as you like and make it your own version.

Lastly, if you struggle with any of the guitar chords we use in this song, please check out my Beginners Guitar Course. Not only will you learn these three chords, but many more along with over a dozen of other songs you can play on guitar.

 Godspeed!

Published date: November 16th, 2014 by Ulrich Peise

This article has 4 comments

  1. I think im screwed! Pastors wife, knows im trying to learn guitar on my own. Been trying over a year now and she gave me a little surprise of not giving up on playing solo in Church and a or else matter I haven’t figured out yet. She mentions it every time I show to church. So this Sunday im trying amazing Grace, and saying something like. She put me up to it I dont think im ready so y’all be honest! So we shall see. 
     Thanks for the tip here! 
       D

    • Nah, you will be fine. She wouldn’t bring that up to you if she didn’t have the confidence that you can do it. You will see. If there’s anything you struggle with specifically, let me know and I’d be happy to help.

  2. Ulrich, 
     I Laughingly over slept! I had a rough night, cats not ours in the yard and setting off driveway alarm, my nerves I couldn’t hardly sleep. So I took an otc sleep aid, Tylenol PM. And I overslept. My timing is not good, I know chords but im slow on the change and I admit I like say G chord and hold A&E on low not. E on high, I or I’ll chose 2 strings on E or C chord to speed up. Timing is everything I know I just seem to loose it. I could march in the army and sing cadence but its not the same as strumming. Im Trying a metronome from one recommendation. And Im not great with sheet music. Acoustic is what I got, wish I had money for others. 

  3. Oh also mrs pators wife never heard me play except on a harmonica 

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