Comparisons and Dirty Little Secrets

Are you trying to keep up with the Jones? The Jones that go to the “cool church” on the other side of the city. The Jones who go to the “artsy church” in the nearest urban center or college town? The Jones who go to the big, well known church in your tribe or denomination?

Well… Stop it. Stop it right now. Stop it right now, and here’s why…

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The 5 Point Band

Let’s be honest about two things:

1. Church bands tend to “overplay” and step over each other on a regular  basis

2. Church bands are often a hodge podge of who’s available instead of who is needed.

What I’m going to suggest will hopefully unmuddy the waters sonically speaking and give structure to arranging and picking your church’s band for a worship service.

When I put a band together for a Sunday or Wednesday I first look at who is available. It’s all well and good to want a thick analog synth sound on a song but if all your keyboard players are on vacation, you’ll need to rethink your plans. Once I know who is available, I start to fill roles based on my “5 point band”. I admit that I don’t always do it consciously, because I’m so used to doing it. But it’s always there in the background of my mind. So here are the 5 points that I look for to put a band together. I’m going to write them in order of importance.

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The Electric: I’m On A Budget

In this series I try and address different aspects of the practical side of playing electric guitar in church music. This week we’ll talk about buying gear on a budget. I wrote a longer series on setting up a guitar rig for worship HERE.

One of the cool functions of having a WordPress blog is that I get to see the Google searches that lead people to my blog. Recently, one of the searches I saw recently was “best budget pedals for worship guitar”. This got me to thinking. What’s the best gear if you’re on a budget?

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How Important Is The Worship Leader?

Every so often it’s good to review. To look back, to look forward, and to look over the state of things as they are. I think the time has come for that in the evangelical church. The role of worship leader has changed in many churches, tribes and denominations, but often those groups have not changed with it.

It used to be that a church’s music was provided by one faithful saint, who played an organ or piano. Numbers would be placed on a board or placard indicating which hymns were to be sung that day and in what order. The congregation either say without a leader or at the pastors leadership. There would be a few songs at the beginning of the service, with a possible solo piece and a short song at the end. Often, these songs were chosen by the minister, or in the case of larger congregations, by the cantor (old name for music minister). In many denominational churches today, something like this still exists. But for many churches, what I have described above is completely foreign.

In the 1970’s a new style of worship (contemporary) emerged from the Jesus movement and churches of that era. The Maranatha/Vineyard song books were the hymnals of a new generation of believers. Sunday services were now largely divided in half between the message and the singing. The position of worship pastor was born. The Worship Pastor now picked the songs, lead the band, and lead the congregation. This has lead to an unintended influence shift in the church, that in many churches has gone unnoticed, and it’s worth reviewing and addressing.

What do worship leaders who and why does it matter?

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The Electric: The Best Overdrive Pedal For Worship

In this series I try and address different aspects of the practical side of playing electric guitar in church music. This week we’ll talk about overdrive and gain pedals worship bands.

 

What is the best overdrive pedal for a worship guitar player?

The question is asked constantly on Google searches, blogs, forums, and even people who find their way to this blog.

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Worship Provides Us With The Chance To Love Another

Whether you know it or not, music in the church has a long history of being a contentious subject. Younger generations think they’ve finally figured it out. Older generations forget that all the complaints they make about the young worship leaders were made about them when they were that age. Is the music of the church “worldly” or “sacred”. Did you know that all of the “church instruments” from the acoustic guitar, to the piano, to the pipe organ to the church singing all at once were at one time or another considered “worldly” or “corrupt”?

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