Tag Archives: Guitar

Guitar Music for the 4th of July

Fireworks

If you are a guitarist and are looking for music to celebrate Independence Day this July 4th, here is a patriotic song that became popular during the American Revolutionary War.

The words and music were both composed by America’s first prolific composer, William Billings (1746–1800). Billings lived in Boston and made his living as a tanner. He was part of an effort in Protestant churches in America to help congregations learn to sing well. He composed over 100 songs and taught in a “singing school” in his church.

The first verse and tune of the hymn “Chester” were published by Billings in The New England Psalm Singer (1770). The remaining verses were added during the war and published in The Singing Master’s Assistant (1778).

CHESTER

Let tyrants shake their iron rod,
And Slav’ry clank her galling chains,
We fear them not, we trust in God,
New England’s God forever reigns.

Howe and Burgoyne and Clinton too,
With Prescot and Cornwallis join’d,
Together plot our Overthrow,
In one Infernal league combin’d.

When God inspir’d us for the fight,
Their ranks were broke, their lines were forc’d,
Their ships were Shatter’d in our sight,
Or swiftly driven from our Coast.

The Foe comes on with haughty Stride;
Our troops advance with martial noise,
Their Vet’rans flee before our Youth,
And Gen’rals yield to beardless Boys.

What grateful Off’ring shall we bring?
What shall we render to the Lord?
Loud Halleluiahs let us Sing,
And praise His name on ev’ry Chord.

Download a transcription of the tune CHESTER for classical guitar (PDF sheet music).

Download a transcription of the national anthem (The Star Spangled Banner) for classical guitar (PDF sheet music).

More music for classical guitar

Remembering J. S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”

— J. S. Bach (March 21, 1685 to July 28, 1750)

Johann Sebastian Bach represents the culmination and apex of music in the Baroque era (1600–1750). He composed in almost every form of music known to his day with the exception of opera. He was known for his abilities as a teacher and for his expertise in organ construction and repair. He was much less known for his ability as a composer. He was a family man, a devout believer in Christ, a renowned organist and keyboard player, and a dedicated church musician, who despite the ridicule of some employers and little recognition for his achievements during his lifetime, continued to serve and produce music for the enjoyment of mankind and the glory of God.

Click here to download free sheet music (PDF) of music by Bach arranged for classical guitar

Click here for more music for classical guitar, including hymns, Christmas music, Wedding music, and student pieces.

Guitar Hymns for Easter Sunday

It’s almost Easter Sunday. If you play classical guitar and are looking for music, here are some suggestions. Click on the hymn title to view or download the free sheet music (PDF).

Hymns for Easter

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Christ the Lord Is Risen Today (EASTER HYMN)
Crown Him With Many Crowns
I Know That My Redeemer Lives
Look Ye Saints, the Sight Is Glorious
Low in the Grave He Lay
The Head That Once Was Crowned With Thorns
Thine Is the Glory

You are welcome to copy and share these hymns with friends and fellow guitarists. You can use them for accompanying congregational singing (classical guitar works especially well for a sunrise service), playing prelude or offertory music, or simply playing for your own enjoyment.  Please copy the full page with the website address and the “Used by Permission” notice at the bottom (see Permissions).

For additional music, check out:

Hymns for Good Friday

Hymns for Classical Guitar
Christmas Music for Classical Guitar
Wedding Music for Classical Guitar
More Music for Classical Guitar

Guitar Hymns for Good Friday

I’m looking forward to playing classical guitar this Easter Weekend. Here are some of the hymns I will be playing during the prelude of our Good Friday Service.  Click on the hymn title to view or download the free (PDF) sheet music.

Hymns for Good Friday

Abide with Me
Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed
Go to Dark Gethsemane
Man of Sorrows! What a Name
O Sacred Head Now Wounded
There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood
What Wondrous Love Is This
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

You are welcome to copy and share these hymns with friends and fellow guitarists. You can use them for accompanying congregational singing, playing prelude or offertory music, or simply playing for your own enjoyment.  Please copy the full page with the website address and the “Used by Permission” notice at the bottom (see Permissions).

If you live in the Southwest Florida area, come join us for the service.

For additional music, check out:

Hymns for Classical Guitar
Christmas Music for Classical Guitar
Wedding Music for Classical Guitar
More Music for Classical Guitar

Cherished Hymns for Guitar

Announcing a new album: a collection of favorite hymns for classical guitar.

Cherished Hymns for Guitar

The great hymns of the faith are a treasure for the church.  They unite our voices in worship today to the voices of saints of old.  Early in the 1980s I began transcribing hymns for classical guitar. I played them for my own enjoyment and for preludes at church. When I began serving my first church leading music in worship, I used the transcriptions to accompany our singing. Since that time I have transcribed hundreds of hymn tunes. This album includes some of my favorite and cherished hymns.

Click here to download free sheet music (PDF) of these hymns arranged for classical guitar.

Click here for more hymns arranged for classical guitar; and here for additional music for classical guitar, including music by Bach, Christmas music, Wedding music, and student pieces.

The Star Spangled Banner

USA Flag
National Anthem

Oh, say, can you see,
By the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed
At the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars,
Through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night
That our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free
And the home of the brave?

Words by Francis Scott Key (1779–1834)
Music attributed by John Stafford Smith (1750–1836)

Download free PDF sheet music of the national anthem for classical guitar

More music for Classical Guitar

Wedding Music for Guitar

I admit that I am somewhat biased, but the most beautiful music at a wedding is music played on classical guitar. These are some of the songs I have transcribed for guitar and played at weddings:

Canon in D by Pachelbel
Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (from Cantata 147) by Bach
Ode to Joy (from Symphony 9, Opus 125) by Beethoven
Bridal Chorus (“Here Comes the Bride”) by Wagner
Wedding March (from Opus 61) by Mendelssohn

Download free (PDF) sheet music for these songs here.

Westside Baptist Church
Westside Baptist Church (former location) in Omaha, Nebraska

Learn this music and next time you are asked to play at a wedding, you will be ready.

You are welcome to copy and share this music with friends and fellow guitar enthusiasts. Please copy the full page with the website address and the “Used by Permission” notice at the bottom (see Permissions).

For additional music, including music by Bach, Christmas music, and more visit: Music for Classical Guitar

And Can It Be?

Amazing Love

And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou my God shouldst die for me?

‘Tis mystery all, the Immortal dies:
Who can explore this strange design?
In vain the first born seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine.
‘Tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above.
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
‘Tis mercy all! Immense and free!
For O my God it found out me.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown through Christ my own.

Words by Charles Wesley (1707–1788)

Download a transcription of this hymn for classical guitar (PDF sheet music) to the tune SAGINA.

More hymn tunes for classical guitar
More music for classical guitar

Hymn Tunes for Guitar

Guitar and Mountains

If you enjoy hymns and playing classical guitar, check out the growing online collection of free PDF downloads: Hymns for Classical Guitar. Several hymns have just been added:

O God Our Help in Ages Past  (ST ANNE)
Amazing Grace How Sweet the Sound  (NEW BRITAIN)
I Am Thine O Lord  (I AM THINE)
Sweet Hour of Prayer  (SWEET HOUR)
Abide with Me  (EVENTIDE)
Hallelujah Praise Jehovah  (RIPLEY)
Holy, Holy, Holy  (NICAEA)

You are welcome to copy and share these hymns with friends and fellow guitar enthusiasts. Please copy the full page with the website address and the “Used by Permission” notice at the bottom (see Permissions).

Find more music for classical guitar.

Music of Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was a church musician, organist, music director, avid coffee drinker, and one of the greatest composers of all time. He was also a devout Christian who sought to honor God through his music. He once said, “the aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” Many of his scores he signed with SDG (soli Deo Gloria) to the glory of God.

Bach lived from March 21, 1685 to July 28, 1750. In celebration of his birthday I have posted some of his music arranged for classical guitar. Download the free PDF sheet music and enjoy. One of my favorite is the chorale “Herr Gott dich loben alle wir” (Lord God, we all praise You). It is a wonderful setting by Bach of the tune OLD 100th, also known as the Doxology.