I’m always looking for fresh arrangements of hymns that I can use at my church. I especially like arrangements that make an old hymn feel new without ruining it. Sometimes a new melody can help accomplish this, while oftentimes a tweaked chord progression, changed “feel”, new chorus, or different interpretation can go a long way.
Here are some fresh arrangements I’ve stumbled across on YouTube that I’ve used recently:
Crown Him with Many Crowns (Enfield)
It’s not the greatest recording in the world, thanks to a camcorder mic, but I like how this arrangement brings a great energy and drive to this amazing hymn. The first three verses are in D and the last one modulates to E, which gets a little high. You might think about staying in D. If you really want a modulation at the end, maybe starting off the song in C and moving to D at the end is a good idea.
And Can it Be (Enfield)
Same band, same conference, same camcorder mic picking up tons of drums, but a good example of how a hymn can be freshly arranged without it being ruined. Again, the key they’ve chosen (G) is pretty high in some spots, so I would suggest moving it down to F. Not as nice for guitarists, but more preferable for the congregation. They’ve slowed it down quite a bit, so make sure you don’t let it drag too much.
There is Power in the Blood of the Lamb (Keith and Kristyn Getty)
You might not want to duplicate the 20 second long into and the instrumental solos from 3:10 to 4:10, and you might find the challenge of giving every single verse a different feel too much hassle, but this arrangement is a good fit for this hymn and pretty easily adaptable if you choose to simplify it a bit. We used this last week to close our communion service. We started off in F, did three verses with the Gospel-flavored chord progression in the introduction and after the choruses, modulated after the chorus following verse 3, and finished the song in G with the feel you hear at 4:10.