Discover the beauty of the hymn “Be Thou My Vision” with this helpful guide that includes chord charts in 3 keys (C major, D major & G major!) If you’re looking for a Be Thou My Vision chord chart, you’ve come to the right place.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved playing hymns and worship songs with nothing more than a chord chart in front of me.
Be Thou My Vision is perfect for worship or personal devotion, and learning this song will enhance your musical skills.
So let’s learn all about the chords to Be Thou My Vision!
Keep reading for tips and information on different versions, or scroll to the bottom for chord charts (on site & PDF).
Be Thou My Vision Chord Progression
When playing Be Thou My Vision, there are a variety of chord progressions that can be used.
This song has been arranged in many ways over the years!
In the chord charts I have included in this post, we will use a simple chord progression with only 4 chords for the most part (and one or two special chords). 😉
This makes it a great chart for a worship band, when you need something that will work for a variety of levels.
Now that said, there have been a variety of versions that have been made. Let’s look at what chord progressions these people have used (I will not include chord charts for these arrangements since they are not mine, but we can still talk about them!)
The Original Hymn
The original version of Be Thou My Vision in the hymnal is actually a very nice arrangement!
Sometimes I don’t care for the original hymn arrangements, but this one is nice. Like most hymns though, there are a LOT of chord changes. This makes it harder to play in a contemporary style.
It is also written in the key of Eb, which is not a beginner’s key.
Shane & Shane
A popular newer version of Be Thou My Vision is by Shane & Shane. This one is very beautiful!
It has a unique intro, and it includes the song “Lord You Are” almost as a bridge. As for the chords, the first line starts out with a pedal tone on tonic, then moves to dominant and a few other chords.
View their unique chord chart here.
Ascend the Hill
Another popular version is by Ascend the Hill! This one is a slow but still upbeat & contemporary.
The chords they use are actually very similar to the chord chart download in this post.
One last version we’ll talk about is by Audrey Assad! This one is much more still and calm, especially at the beginning.
The entire first verse is a pedal tone on tonic. After this the drums add and so do additional chords.
Little Red Piano
Of course, there is also the version provided by this website, which we will get to soon (keep scrolling down if you want to get straight to the charts!)
In my version, here are the main chord progressions:
Line 1: I – vi – IV – V – I
The progression above is for the first line of any given verse (for example, be thou my vision o Lord of my heart). We go from tonic, to minor 6, to the perfect 4 chord, perfect 5 chord, and then back to tonic.
Line 2: V – V – IV – V (naught be all else to me save that thou art).
For the second line of a given verse, we stay mostly on the perfect 4 & 5 chords.
Line 3: IV – vi – I – IV – A (Thou my best thought by day or by night).
For the third line, the chords are more mixed up again. We start with perfect 4, then go to minor 6, tonic, perfect 4 again, and perfect 5.
Line 4: I – vi – IV – I
And for the last line of any verse, we do tonic, minor 6, perfect 4, and then end on tonic.
Here is an example of how I use the chords in my chart to improvise on the piano:
Using This Info
Having the roman numerals as shown above can help you transpose Be Thou My Vision into ANY key! I hope this is helpful to you.
Related: Come Thou Fount Chord Charts & How Great Thou Art Chords
Tips for Playing Be Thou my Vision
The beauty of a chord chart is that you have so much freedom to improvise and make the song your own! (If you want to strictly read what’s on the page, Be Thou My Vision Sheet Music might be what you want instead).
When I play Be Thou My Vision on piano, I usually do something flowy in my left hand and then the chords in my right hand.
But don’t feel like that’s all you can do! You can play melody along with the chords if you can figure it out, or you can do little riffs and improv in the spaces between chords.
The best way to practice this is by just doing it, experimenting!
If you’re following these charts on the guitar or ukelele, you can use a variety of strum patterns.
Here is a post on 7 types of strum patterns. The patterns that work well for this song are #1, & #4 (but I’m sure there are other options too!)
Be Thou My Vision Chord Charts
Without further ado, let’s get to the chord charts! Below you will find chord charts in 3 different keys.
You can view them directly on this website through the images, OR you can download a PDF that includes all 3 keys, perfect for easy printing.
Scroll down to the very bottom if you want the PDF. 🙂
Key of C
The first chord chart is in the key of C! While this is not the standard key for Be Thou My Vision, it very easy to play in.
Key of D
Next, we have the Key of D Major. This is the closest “easy” key to the original hymn (which is in E flat).
When it comes to playing this song in worship services, this key is a great option.
Key of G
Lastly, here is Be Thou My Vision chords in G major. This key is quite a bit higher than the other 2 versions.
Be Thou My Vision Chord Chart PDF
Ready to download all 3 of these chord charts? Simply click the button below!
If you only need one of the 3 keys, just make sure to print out multiple copies of the single page you need.
I hope this is helpful!
Be Thou My Vision chords range from extremely easy to more complicated, depending on the version you choose. The timeless lyrics of this song are sure to draw you near to the Lord as you worship. I hope the chord charts provided in this post work great for your personal use, or use in a church. Enjoy!