Modern Worship Guitar Techniques

Learn the skills and techniques for creating slick modern worship sounds.

Walk into many churches on a Sunday morning, and you’ll hear people singing along to the atmospheric sound of modern worship music, a stylized mix of rock/pop, some punk influences, and even the Nashville country sound from time to time. Guitar is one of the most recognizable features of this uniquely textured sound, and the modern worship guitarist is a key player.

This course is a comprehensive overview of the skills and techniques you’ll need to create the tight and textured sound of modern worship guitar. The topics include the roles of acoustic and electric guitar, the CAGED system, layered effects, guitar textures, melody and counter rhythm, and lead guitar. Instructor Chris Liepe will walk you through a proven process of creating the sounds that have made modern church/worship music what it is today and have you cloning the styles of Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, Third Day, Lincoln Brewster, and more.

Learn how to apply the concepts and techniques that make this unique sound and have your band moving as one unit. Learn more or start the course with membership

Course Details
20 Lessons
2 Hour+ Runtime
Tabs (gpx, pdf)
Playalong Tracks
HD+ Video
90 day guarantee
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Stream online, plus all other courses with membership.

The JamPlay Learning System

Like every JamPlay course, Style of Modern Worship Guitar features world-class instruction and a dynamic learning system to help you succeed quickly.

It's not just videos, and not just downloads. You'll get:

  • Interactive tabs, notation, and fretboard
  • JamTracks for play along practice
  • Ask-a-teacher functionality
  • Speed up, slow down and loop the video
  • Bookmark exact moments in the lesson
  • Note-taking feature
  • 4k video with multiple camera angles
  • Track progress with the progress report
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This is a full, 2+ hour course featuring 20 step-by-step lessons with full supplemental content.

4k & 1080p

Course filmed with 6 cameras and stream in awesome 4k video quality and downloadable in 1080p.

Interactive Tabs

Tabs powered by Soundslice, the powerful interactive tab software, working natively in your browser.


Download and play along with custom JamTracks to lock in the concepts. Own them for life.

Tabs & GPX

Download all tabs and notation in PDF and Guitar Pro formats. Download and own them for life!


Must-know worship techniques

  • CAGED system
  • Playing with a capo
  • Simple progressions
  • Melody and counter rhythm

Your Role

Versatility of the worship guitarist

  • Acoustic guitar
  • Electric guitar
  • Rhythm guitar
  • Lead guitar


Layering effects to create this uniquely textured sound

  • Reverb
  • Delay
  • Overdrive
  • Wah

Meet Chris Liepe

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 through teaching, co-writing, and album production.

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.

Modern Worship Guitar Techniques

A Step-By-Step Guide

The guitar player in a modern worship band often carries the weight of creating the distinct textures churchgoers enjoy most in their worship and singing. This course will walk you through the skills you’ll need to create this uniquely blended sound. Learn the tips and tricks that modern worship guitar players use to keep their worship music sounding tight and inspiring.

This course offers 20 lessons covering 2+ hours of material in step-by-step, digestible presentation.

Lessons in this Course

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