Hymn – Traditional – Amazing Grace

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“Amazing Grace” is one of the many beautiful hymns known throughout the world today. This traditional song contains beautiful lyrics and an inspiring melody. It’s a staple of both sacred, and secular music. You can hear it in many musical settings. From your local church to the town’s sports arena.

English clergyman John Newton wrote the lyrics for “Amazing Grace” in 1772. He wrote the hymn for his prayer group that met weekly. It was Newton’s goal to write a different Christian hymn for every meeting. The English poet published many of the hymns in 1779 but they did not immediately spark interest.

Throughout its history, “Amazing Grace” has had different musical settings. American composer William Walker published the version most popular today. He combined the lyrics of Amazing Grace with the hymn tune “New Britain”. It received widespread acclaim, particularly among churches in the south.

Over time the piece has become well known outside of religious settings. “Amazing Grace” has appeared in films, television, and radio. Many singers and musicians in popular music have recorded the song. It is a staple in American pop culture, often performed during sports games and other venues.

To learn how to play "Amazing Grace" on guitar, consider the full course offered at The Woodshed® Classical Guitar Program. It offers insight into musical phrasing, technique, chords, and more. 


Here are the original lyrics written by John Newton:

Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound) That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear, The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;

’Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.

The lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease,

I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine;

But god, who called me here below, Will be for ever mine.

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Allen Mathews

Hi, I’m Allen Mathews. 

I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s. Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well. I struggled with excess tension. My music sounded forced. And my hands and body were often sore. I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward. Then, over the next decade, I studied with two other stellar teachers – one focused on the technical movements, and one on the musical (he was a concert pianist). In time, I came to discover a new set of formulas and movements. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully.
Click here for a sample formula.

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