Style of Modern Worship Guitar

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Chris Liepe

Modern church/worship music pulls from all sorts of genres. You'll hear a lot of Rock/Pop influence, some Punk riffs, and even the Nashville Country sound from time to time. As guitar playing has become more prominent in the church and more instrumentalists step up to lead their congregation, the culmination of these genres has created a recognizable and specific style of guitar playing. This series deals with concepts and techniques and sounds that make up the style of modern worship guitar. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this type of playing is the way that simple parts with specific effects are layered together to form very atmospheric and layered soundscapes. We'll not only look at the playing, but we'll dissect tones and patches to provide the tools necessary to create that modern worship guitar playing sound. We also deal with typical roles that each guitarist might assume in a band setting so that all the pieces to the puzzle fit the way the need to... So the band moves as one unit, and the music is tight and textured!

20 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

96% Appoval

224 of 228 of our members have given this their approval.

Tabs & Info

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Full Course Breakdown

Learn how to produce the sounds that have made modern church/worship music what it is today. Look at the styles of Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, Third Day, Lincoln Brewster and more!


Modern Worship Guitar Introduction

Produce the sounds that have made modern church/worship music what it is today. Learn how to craft minimalist guitar sounds, find your place in the mix of other instrumentalists, and dial in your tone and effects! Look at the styles of Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, Third Day, Lincoln Brewster and more!

4:35 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Role of the Acoustic, Part 1

We all must know our place in the band. We must know how to play for the good of the whole. By being a "backbone player," you'll create an unstoppable tightness that will allow each instrument to perfectly fill their role in the sound!

12:46 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Role of the Acoustic, Part 2

Here, we take a look at the rest of the "CAGED" keys and discuss more ways to fluidly move between basic chords in a progression while maintaining that 'backbone' acoustic rhythm style.

15:46 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


CAGED & Capos

Learn to think of each of the standard "CAGED" keys as positions rather than groups of chords tied to a specific key. Tie these positions to the number system, and you're golden!

15:28 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Mini Chords & Leads, Block 1

Simple leads and tasty rhythm playing are often built from two string repeating phrases that loosely follow the chord progression of a worship song. We'll look at 3 blocks in total. Start with block 1 and see how you can relate it back to some worship songs you know.

6:38 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Mini Chords & Leads, Block 2

Move up the neck and tap into more range and an even more familiar sound. Combine blocks 1 and 2 for variety. Keep the rhythms slow and simple, add some effects, and you're off!

9:02 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Mini Chords & Leads, Block 3

We move to an even higher register in this lesson. There are nearly infinite possibilities when you expand on the concepts of forming little block positions around common chord progressions. Let your creativity soar!

8:25 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Effects Primer

Learn how to dial in reverb and delay effects for that signature dreamy, minimalistic sound. Get actual knob settings and perspective on when and how to use certain effects.

12:18 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Let Delay Do the Work

Dissect the playing and effects in this simple, arpeggio line with a 1/8D delay. Practice this Hillsong United-inspired part with the other guitars, or by itself with the included backing track.

8:08 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Texture in the Background

Turn up the FX a little more, warm up that picking hand and get ready to add some serious texture to the mix! Don't go too crazy though! You still want to be listening to what the rest of your band is doing so you all gel!

8:07 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Texture in the Foreground

If there was a guitar solo in this mix, this would be it, I suppose. This is the most 'out front' part and has the greatest sense of melody. Played with the other two parts, it completes this sound environment nicely! Have fun!

7:27 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Give Your Rhythm Guitar Space

With three guitars all playing rhythm parts, you have to know that what you are playing compliments what the other guys are doing. This first part looks at intentional, simple rhythm playing that fills its own space in the mix.

6:13 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Melody & Counter Rhythm

There's an element of lead guitar playing in this part, but in many ways, it is the counter rhythm to the part learned in the last lesson. Listen to how the two electric parts push and pull at each other, particularly in the "B" section.

5:52 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Space, Pocket & Three Guitars

...And then there's the acoustic. As with the two electric guitar parts, pay careful attention to how the intentional strum pattern fills its own unique corner in the overall mix. Take this example and apply it to any chord progression you choose!

4:19 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Close the Wah & Play the Riff

When it is layered among the other guitar tracks, this line almost sounds like any other standard rhythm part, but it's not! It is a moving riff that, though dry, uses a static wah sound to lay back in the mix.

5:19 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Overdrive & Simple Ideas

It's the refrain of this series: simple, catchy and well placed lines that work in harmony with each other make this world go 'round. In this lesson, we literally provide harmony to the line from the previous lesson, even though it doesn't move with it.

5:45 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Be the Rhythm

The acoustic guitar propels the groove forward in this example. Practice being precise with your strum patterns and be very conscious of how you are strumming in relation to the other instruments.

3:06 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Electric Rhythm Foundation

With a progressive sounding track like this, you need that chunky rhythm foundation. Strategically adding quirks and taste to this part, while listening to the other parts is going to make everything a bit more interesting.

7:20 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Dotted Delay and Rhythm Guitar

Crank up the delay and get in the groove. Let the revolving rhythm of the delay carry you as you sneak in tasty morsels between the repeats. Have fun!

7:37 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


And Finally... A Guitar Solo

Yes! Now we get to learn a full guitar solo in the style of one of the greatest guitar players to contribute to modern worship guitar. Learn a concrete example of developing a theme, inserting licks, and returning to a modified version of your theme.

10:58 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

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  • Greeley, CO
  • Playing since 1995
  • 312 lessons at JamPlay
Portland native Chris Liepe first played piano, which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. As a fan of bands like Soundgarden, Collective Soul, and U2, he was inspired to start singing, songwriting, and helping others in their musical endeavors.

After moving to Colorado with his family, Chris began gigging, recording, and teaching in a number of music stores and out of his apartment until he decided to pursue music full time. He completed his Bachelors in Music Technology and started working at Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician, and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists, including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me.

Chris Liepe owns and runs his own recording and teaching studio in Colorado. You might even hear his vocals featured in theme music for dozens of daily radio programs and commercial jingles airing around the country.
Reviews & Feedback 96/100 with 228 ratings

Love the sound of the modern chords and have used them in rote playing . Really good teaching and better understanding of my role as an acoustic player . Now "I' need to step up and learn application of Nashville Number concept . At 62 an s

Mike R

and Iiked the teacher


Trying to understand how all this is going to fit into worship music


Finding instruction in this genre is not easy and I'm looking forward to the series. The teacher is cool.


Chris Liepe is very easy to understand, and very likeable. LOVED the multiple angle presentation. Super easy to understand what to expect from the series, and where to find other video references to help prepare for the series.


God bless you Chris! Amazing lessons for someone like me wanting to learn more.


God bless you, brother.


Great overview and explanation!


Great teacher


Great teacher, at least so far.


He talks in easy to understand terms.


I just really like the way that Chris teaches. His lessons seem to progress in a more logical and easily understandable format.


I'm happy you guys offered this course. I like the teacher.he is very thorough. Congrats to Jamplay


I like this instructor and he teaches exactly what I need....Thanks


I play in church, and I feel like this will help me learn different strums. Just what I wanted. Thank You.


i think there is something wrong with the video it cant be watched


I would have marked all three! Well done!


yes yes yes


Lots of useful practical info directly related to what I need it for


Please do more


Since I am a member of a church worship team, I can totally relate to what Chris says here about what to expect for those who are wanting to be a part of one. I can see too, that I need to do some of the pre-requesites first that he recommend


Teacher, you are awesome!!! I'm brazilian and i saw your demonstration on youtube.


These are all awesome lessons! Thanks Chris


This is exactly what I needed…..great instructor and teaching.

Guitar Tracks

This is very interesting! A good way to be a one man bang blending many tracks, thats what I need to learn to lead a Church worship service!


Very enjoyable series


Very well said as far as layers and textures to worship guitar. Kind of confirmed and gave words to how I already felt. Thanks!