Two things stand out in most churches – the pastor’s sermons and the music. People love to listen and sing along, both in church and online. Free church music resources give your church more without hurting your budget.
While plenty of paid music resources exist, smaller churches can’t always afford these. However, you can do amazing things with free music while boosting your church’s engagement.
Find backing tracks, sheet music, and more to use in church and online. From supporting YouTube videos to background music during services, there’s something to fit every church and it’s free.
Free Church Music Resources Fine Print
Before you get too excited, make sure you read any fine print on any site where you download or access free church music resources. Some things are completely free to use anyway you want. They don’t require you to provide any attribution or credit.
However, some free resources have a few requirements before you can use them legally. Mainly, they require you to list the person or site you got them from. Usually, this is just a simple link back to where you downloaded the resource. It’s a tiny price to pay and doesn’t really cost you anything, but helps out the person who created it.
Finally, check to see if there are any limitations on how the music can be used. For instance, you may only be able to use it for standard services, but not fundraising events. Or, you can use it on your church website and in your church, but not on YouTube.
A quick check is all that’s needed to verify how you can use free music resources. And, that check can save you a lot of headaches later on.
If you’d rather pay for your church music, you’ll still save a lot if you opt for royalty-free music sites. These allow you to pay a set fee per item or per month to use the music as much as you want with no other restrictions.
Ways To Use Free Church Music
Even though you already play music in your church, you may already know there are some copyright restrictions to playing some music during livestreams or in online videos. The good news is many free church music resources allow you to use the music online and off, though you may need to add attribution.
Some ways to make use of the free resources below include:
- Creating original worship music
- Creating background music for online videos
- Adding music to podcasts
- Creating background music for services
- Adding music to livestreaming
- Finding new Christian artists for modern music
- Using music for skits, plays and events
- Getting kids more involved in church
Seeds Church On The Move
Church On The Move has created numerous resources for their own use, but is happy to share these with other churches as well. Their blog and resources is called Seeds, which includes helpful tips, free church music, videos, artwork and much more.
You will need to create an account to access the resources. This is only to help you manage your downloads and let you easily access them again if you lose them.
Wistia is more well-known for their video marketing tools. However, your church can benefit from some of their free music resources. These tracks are designed to add more emotion to your videos. While they’re not specifically for churches, they’re ideal for adding to videos to better connect with your audience.
Small Church Music
When you first visit Small Church Music, you might feel like you’ve been transported back to the 90s. The site is definitely dated, but it’s hard to complain when you see the wide variety of copyright-free music available.
Since everything is copyright-free, you don’t have to worry about how you use it all. There are eight categories to help narrow down your search. Something unique to Small Church Music is Hymn Books. This category allows you to choose from a variety of hymn books for different denominations. Many of the songs include lyrics, an MP3 and/or midi file and the score for your piano or organ player.
At the time of writing, there were over 17,000 files available to download.
Church Media Drop
Helping others is the Christian thing to do, right? Church Media Drop is a site focused on helping churches share the media they create with other churches. So, if you’ve created something great you think other churches could use, feel free to add it.
While the audio selection is slim, there are some high-quality audio files for free. Check out some of the other options available too, such as graphics, games and motion backgrounds.
You’re free to use and alter what you download. This means if you’re downloading the audio files, feel free to remix them, add to them or whatever you need to do to best suit your church.
YouTube Audio Library
One of the more surprising free church music resources is the YouTube Audio Library. As the name implies, these free tracks are for use on YouTube. Some will require attribution, but these tracks are clearly marked so you know which is which.
However, all of the tracks are completely free to use in your church’s YouTube videos. The track owners have given YouTube full rights. You’ll need to go through the YouTube Studio to access and use the tracks.
Remember, if you create a video on YouTube, you can embed it on your church’s site. This allows you to use the tracks on your website without violating any of YouTube’s rules.
NewSpring Network offers a variety of free church resources, including everything from music to lesson series. If you’re struggling to come up with great kids’ lessons, definitely check out what this site has to offer.
While the free music selection isn’t big by any means, the audio is engaging. Plus, it’s easy to mix in to use during services and online.
Life Church created Open Network to provide free resources to churches. You’ll find most everything you could want to create more engaging services right here. It’s one of the most extensive set of free church resources you’ll find online.
The Worship section is filled with great audio files and albums to help elevate your worship services. Lyrics are included. In addition to music, you’ll find graphics, training, sermon series and so much more.
The great thing about Open Network is it’s constantly being updated with new resources. If you’re curious where all this comes from, check out the growing list of partners that are contributing to Open Network.
Musopen is a non-profit that wants to help set music free. Find numerous free music tracks to download along with free sheet music. While your choices aren’t just limited to Christian audio files, you’ll find plenty of music to use for your church as well.
There are no copyright restrictions, so you’re free to use the music you find here in any way you want. Some files do ask that you add attribution, but you can filter to remove any of these from your search results.
There is a premium option, but unless you’re downloading more than five files a day, you don’t really need it. Premium members get earlier access to new files and more daily downloads.
In addition to free audio files, you can also access free radio and free music education resources. These are great for any music classes your church offers.
Godly Christian Music
Godly Christian Music is a site dedicated to helping rising Christian artists get heard. You’ll find a wide variety of original music. If you’re looking for something more unique, this is a great place to find it.
However, be careful about how you use the free church music. Every song has a copyright icon beside it denoting the type of license. Godly Christian Music describes each copyright in detail. Rights range from listening only to commercial use with attribution.
Free Music Archive
Free Music Archive offers a mix of free church music and premium options. Much like Godly Christian music, there are a variety of license types, so pay attention to how you can use each track. You can also contact an artist directly if you’d like to use their music outside the license restrictions.
Artists are constantly adding new audio tracks, sound loops and more. You can check out the licensing guide to ensure you’re picking the right tracks for the right purpose.
Music isn’t limited to Christian music. While searching isn’t quite as straight-forward, you’ll find plenty of great options to use.
Moby, the musician, has put together a growing free music resource for independent and non-profit film creators. MobyGratis currently has over 200 tracks available. You have to fill out a short form for each download, but you’ll find that the high-quality tracks are worth it.
After downloading, you’ll also get a copy of the license that has all the fine print. Make sure you read this to ensure you’re using the file legally.
Bensound offers numerous royalty-free tracks for use in any of your church’s online videos. However, you can’t use them for audio podcasts and audiobooks.
Before you can use the tracks, you have to provide attribution. Bensound includes a licensing guide to ensure you’re using the files correctly. If you need a different licensing agreement, you can purchase a subscription which gives you more rights and more ways to use the tracks.
This is the first audio editor on the list. Sometimes, the best way to get the right music for your church’s projects is to create it yourself. Soundation lets you skip the expensive audio editing and creation software. The tool works in your browser.
The free version allows you to create 10 solo projects each month. You also have access to over 700 samples and loops along with virtual instruments. You can export your files to MP3.
The premium subscriptions give you more export options and 11,000 more loops and samples. Plus, you can import audio and record live audio. However, the free is all you may need, especially for creating background music.
Chrome Music Lab’s Song Maker
While it’s not the most advanced music tool, Chrome Music Lab’s Song Maker is a fun way to create simple music for your church. A great way to use this is to allow your youth ministry to collaborate together to create unique music. Then, use the files in special videos featuring your church’s youth.
You could also let them create music for plays and skits they create. This offers a more engaging way to get your church’s youth involved. There are also a variety of music education tools through Chrome Music Lab. This can help you create the next generation of Christian artists.
It’s unclear exactly how long Getty Music will make certain audio resources free for churches to use during online and livestreaming services. At the time of writing, Getty Music is still helping churches with free resources due to COVID-19. You do have to fill out the application to prove you are a real church. After that, you’ll get all the info you need to start using the music.
Hymnary.org introduced a new tool called FlexPresent in April 2020 to help churches struggling with a new norm during COVID-19. However, the tool will continue to provide free access to music and lyrics for conducting church online.
Currently, there are over 650 free songs to choose from. All you have to do is provide the link for worshipers to participate in real time. You can also show this in your church to reduce the need for hymnals.
SnapJam is a music social network. It provides a variety of free music creation tools where you can create your own music. Share it directly to other social media sites or use it in your church.
The great part is since it’s a social network, you can collaborate on music tracks with others. This is a great way to get your members involved in creating the perfect church music to engage them.
You could even consider holding contests to let your members create music and share it with your church. They can work in teams to promote teamwork. Winners get their music featured in your next service or church video.
A great place to add music is your church website. From services to welcome videos, music makes everything more engaging. If you don’t have a church website yet, contact us today to get your church online.