I try and address different aspects of the practical side of playing electric guitar in church music.
This week we’ll talk about dialing in and re-dialing your sound and settings for Sunday Morning.
Whether you’re playing Sunday Morning or at any other church service, I believe that everyone needs to dial in or re-dial their rigs and equipment for the worship service ahead.
-Different Set Ups: Are you using a different guitar or amp? I have to reset my Compressor depending on if i’m playing my Telecaster with single coil pickups or my Jaguar with Humbuckers. I also have to reset my compressor depending if I’m playing lead guitar (Sensitivity set to 1 O’clock) or rhythm guitar (Sens set to 9 o’clock). If you played the main service last week and you’re doing the youth service next week, you may need to turn up the volume because of demographic or turn it down due to room size.
-Different Sets: If we are doing a CCM set then I’ll often set my delay for that “Hillsong rips of U2” dotted 8th note setting. If it’s a country set I need to dial in a country slap back delay.
-Different Week: It’s a new week and a new set list. When I get the setlist I look over the songs plus any notes and youtube links that are sent along. Maybe I had my Overdrive was set a little “thick” or heavy last week but this week but this week a need a mild drive for what we are doing. Or maybe I shouldn’t have any drive but just beef up the compression or clean boost.
-Different Pickups: I can believe how under used pick up changes are by worship guitarist. Knowing the pros and cons of different pickup settings is huge. For example, on my single coil Telecaster with a three way switch, I have both pick ups on in most clean situations. But anything with a lot of drive I usually switch to the neck pick up to keep the tone from getting too harsh and trebly. I use the bridge only for any country or “dirty clean” situations. On my Jaguar with humbuckers, I have the rhythm circuit set normal (both pick ups active) but the lead circuit changes depending on the set (one of the really cool things about the Jaguar). This week its neck pickup only with the tone rolled all the way down. This setting is really cool for lead bits with drive pedals or ambient parts with a lot of effects. Gretsch hollowbody players note: the tone circuit controls are considered useless by many players (many like Brian Setzer have had them removed) but they maybe cool when pair with effects like I described with my Jag, comment if you have questions.
The Point of redialing my worship guitar rig is to keep things fresh and up to date and to make sure that my gear is set to serve the song and not my personal preferences.