Acoustic Worship - stripped down and up close

Posted by Les Ellison  ·  Be the first to comment

Acoustic worship is the new Christian music genre that gets you back to what it’s all about. Creating a deeply personal experience, acoustic worship leads you from the mass impact of large scale arena worship to the quiet spaces where God connects with worshippers one-to-one.

Relying on the lyrics and musicianship of the singers and songwriters, acoustic worship offers an authentic experience of connection between worshippers as they look to connect with the object of their worship. No less passionate and heartfelt than arena scale worship, acoustic worship lifts the heart and calms the soul with words of praise and sounds of reassurance.

Back to the acoustic heart of worship

Recorded in studios or small, intimate venues worship music 'unplugged' is attracting the big names in worship music and opening the door to new Christian artists. Acoustic worship brings together established performers and brands with new-comers and solo artists like no other music genre.

The minimal technical investment of acoustic music lets relatively unresourced new comers succeed on their musical talent and motivation alone. New artists get to rub acoustic-label CD cases with big vision music ministries such as Bethel Church, Redding and Hillsong. 

A spin off of the acoustic revolution are the chord and lyric sheets for acoustic versions of Bethel Church, Hillsong, Jesus Culture and Worship Central songs. With these, almost any church musician or performer has at least the hope of reproducing something close to the original.

Big vision music ministry gets back to basics

Recognising the appeal of worship music unplugged, established Christian musicians incuding Kari Jobe and mainstream singer/songwriters with global church followings are getting their acoustic acts together and changing the sound of worship music.

Bethel Music's new acoustic offerings include ‘The Loft Sessions’ and ‘Love Came Down’, with worship leaders Brian and Jenn Johnson. Hillsong launched their un-plugged ‘Hillsong Chapel’ series with the CD and DVD ‘Yahweh’ featuring an acoustic version of their worship standard ‘Hosanna’.

Perhaps the most influential feature of acoustic worship will be that almost anyone can join in at some level and get creative.Without the need for expensive kit and financial backing, new singer/songwriters can compose, perform and make recordings for a market that might well give them an opening.

Opportunities for new creative acoustic talent

Supporting the future of new acoustic worship musicians, established names such as Paul Baloche (‘Open the eyes of my heart, Lord’) and resource publications such as Musicacademy provide easy to follow courses and instruction in guitar and leadership for acoustic worship.

Stripped down and up close, acoustic worship music promises a more authentic experience of Christians coming together to express themselves in words and music, and finding a deeper relationship with themselves and with their God.

As more and more unplugged worship recordings make an impact on the Christian music charts, so more and more recording labels will look to sign up the next generation of worship music writers and performers.

For song wordsmiths, un-plugged worship gives them a better chance to be heard. The future is bright for new Christian talent and Christians looking for a new, authentic voice in worship music as a wider range of more poetic and imaginative lyrics find their way into Sunday worship.

Quick Guide to Acoustic and Unplugged Worship

What is it?

  • Intimate and personal worship recorded in smaller venues and with acoustic instruments.
  • Shared worship but with more focus on the relationship between God and the individual.
  • Lyrics and musical arrangements for a more contemplative and expressive listening.

What will it do for me?

  • Help to deepen your sense of worship and connection with the God of your worship.
  • Give a new sense of worship in relationship with God and with other worshippers as individuals.
  • Create a personal worship space at home, on a journey, or set the mood for a small group.

Over to You

At you can find a truly interactive Christian community helping you find all you need to live, learn and grow your faith.
In recent years, the market in live worship recording has been led by Mega-church and large scale worship ‘brands’ such as Bethel Church, Hillsong, Worship Central, Soul Survivor and Spring Harvest.

  • How have these large scale events and recordings impacted on your church based and personal worship, have you experienced this from the live event or from the recording?
  • Have you listened to the un-plugged versions of any of your favourite big event worship songs, and did that experience change anything for you?

Tell us. Post your ideas, views and tips – beautiful, bizarre and brilliant at

20th February

February 20th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison

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