Finding backing-tracks to use in church services

Most churches prefer to have live musicians to support their services.

But one option when a musician is not available is to use backing tracks, ie recordings of the hymn/song, which just have the instrumental part, not the vocals.  

These can also be useful for learning new material.

Many of the major church music publishers sell backing tracks for some of their catalog - and some even have self-contained backing track packages like No Organist? No Problem.

But as well, some websites provide backing tracks for free-to-use hymns.   A listing of these is given below, along with a custom-search-engine, which lets you search for a hymn, looking just at these websites.

Backing Track Search Engine

Enter the name of the hymn you want a backing track for, and click Search.

Websites offering backing tracks

  • Church Music - has MP3 files of backing tracks, mainly made using Band in a Box, intended for learning rather than services - but often good enough to be used
  • - most hymns have an electronic keyboard (piano sound) recording in MP3 format, as well as an MIDI file
  • HIFi Hymnbook - has very majestic sounding organ recordings of many hymns.  
    (March 2015 - appears to be offline)

Sites offering MIDI tracks

There are also a number of sites that provide MIDI tracks of hymns - these are more useful for learning, probably not suitable for use in a service, and are not included in the custom search tool.
  • - has midi files from the former website.  (Copyright status of some of these is unclear).
  • Family Friendly Churches - has midi files for hymn-tunes from the UK Methodist hymn book - Hymns & Psalms (excluding ones that are copyright).
  •  MyMIDI Worship Resources Ltd is a not-for-profit company, based in in Australia, which aims to "empower small churches with quality, flexible worship music".  Their site has.
  1. MIDI files of public domain tunes (available free)
  2. MIDI files of copyright songs/tunes (available at low cost)
  3. MP3 files of copyright songs previously available from the Small Church Music websites (again, low cost)

    Because they are based in Australia, a good deal of their content is only available to people be are based in Australia or New Zealand, due to copyright / licensing issues

Do you know of any others?   Leave a comment below, so they can be added to the list.

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  1. MyMIDI Worship Resources have an excellent free MIDI player and many songs both free PD and volunteer produced copyright where as small charge is collected for the songwriter.

  2. I am creator and Managing Director of MyMIDI Worship Resources Ltd. About 70% of my collection (1,990 titles, 4,047 files) is licensed directly with copyright owners/administrators for worldwide distribution, and most of the remaining 30% are titles that are not well known. More files are slowly being added, and that will continue. As Geoff wrote, we offer "MyMIDI Player" for free, a Windows music player I wrote specifically for the church music context. Always hoping these resources make life a bit better in small churches around the world. Bless you all. (Wayne McHugh, Rev)


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