Amazing Grace Guitar Chords – this tutorial teaches you how to play amazing grace on the guitar. Perfect guitar lesson for beginners.
‘Amazing Grace’ is one of those songs that is a rite of passage to learn. Everyone has heard it. Everyone knows it. So for guitar players of all levels, learning how to strum the chords of the tune is a natural song to want to master. Few songs are as emotionally charged as Amazing Grace, and with such a far-reaching history, the classic is as interesting to learn about as it is to listen to and learn to play on guitar. With only three chords, Amazing Grace is the ideal song to strum around a campfire, with a singer, or anywhere deep-rooted music is appreciated.
Amazing Grace Guitar Chords
Before embarking on learning how to play the song on the guitar, you will need to master three chords: G, D, and A7. For beginners, this is the perfect classic tune to learn as three chords is not a huge amount to learn. Practice each chord until you get that perfect pitch. Once you have the finger positioning and placement on the frets mastered, move on to switching between the chords; this is the hardest part as, ultimately, you will want to be able to do this swiftly so the chords flow into one another, rather than having abrupt changes or pauses.
Amazing Grace Verses
Verse 1 features all three chords and follows the strumming pattern of D, G, D, A7, D, G, D, A7 and D. Verse 2 also uses all three chords and alternates from A7, D, G, D, A7 D. Verse 3 starts with D, G, D, D, A7, D, G, D, D, A7, D. The song plays the verses in succession and then repeats verse 1 after the 3rd is done: D, G, D, A7, D, G, D, A7, D.
The song is in 3/4 time and is played in the key of G. The song’s slow melody lends itself well to beginners who can switch between chords a little on the slower side without it being too obvious. As you practice more and play a little faster, you will gain finger independence and will be able to move fluently between the chords.
Strumming Amazing Grace
To strum the song, use your thumb and fingers by plucking the bass note with your thumb and strumming the upper strings with your fingertips. This style is known as ‘bass-strum style’. When you are playing the bass notes, don’t pluck too hard, and when it comes to strumming the upper strings, just brush them gently.
Online Learning Resources
For video instruction on how to play the infamous hymn, there are numerous Youtube videos you can watch and also many online guitar playing sites that feature the classic in their lessons.
John Newton’s Personal History
Amazing Grace is undoubtedly one of the best known Christian hymns. Written in 1772 by John Newton, the poem relates the struggles of a man trying to find faith while surviving life’s challenges.
John Newton did not have an easy start at life. After the passing of his mother from Tuberculosis, he lived with his mother’s friends, the Catlett’s. This family would become his touch point as he would later marry the daughter, Mary.
After stints on slave ships, Newton’s tendency was to chip away at the faith of others. He narrowly escaped death and disease many times, but it was not until he fell ill with malaria and was at the mercy of a slaver’s mistress that he referred to himself as ‘a wretch’ and started to find his way out of his state of religious confusion.
After escaping being swept overboard during a raging storm, he credited the grace of god for his survival. After returning home and wedding Mary Catlett in 1750, he had a new lease on life and started to treat the sailors and slaves abroad his ships with religious tolerance, kindness, and decency.
Newton Reaches Spiritual Certainty
After suffering a stroke and being unable to return to sea, Newton worked in a port Customs Office and started to explore Christianity more thoroughly. He was ordained in 1764 and after meeting the poet William Cowper, also a born-again Christian, the spiritual backbone for what would become one of the most famous hymns was formed.
The Poem Becomes a Hymn
The poem became a hymn around 1832 when it was set to the hymnal tune of ‘New Britain’. Amazing Grace has been sung as a spiritual testament to the battle of conscience that seizes many of us. Through trials and tribulations, many people find their spiritual identity, and John Newton exemplifies this perfectly. From a spiritually-confused individual to a man ordained later in life, he faced numerous challenges and brushes with death.
For anyone who has ever truly been lost, it is an amazing thing to feel found. For those who have found spiritual guidance and deliverance, the timeless hymn brings tears to many eyes. While many don’t know the background of this piece, most of us have heard it sung and played in a number of ways, by a number of people, and on a number of musical instruments. Anyone wanting to learn the classics on guitar should include the song in their play list. Not only is it a timeless piece of music that most can appreciate, it is an ideal song for beginners to master as it only includes three chords and can be played at a nice soft and slow speed. Amazing Grace has a far-reaching and rich history as complex as its author’s spiritual journey.