The Electric: Compression Pedals

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 compression pedals. What are they? Should I use one? If I bought one, what would I do with it?

When I first set up my electric guitar rig, a friend of mine who does sound professionally told me to get a compressor pedal. If I’m honest, I didn’t really understand what he was saying when he told me why I needed it, but he seemed to think it was important and I trusted him, so I researched and found a good lower priced compession pedal, and I bought the MXR SuperComp. I’m glad I did, because compression has become a huge part of my sound, and my tone. But, if you’re like I was, and you don’t get what a compression pedal is or why you’d want one, then hopefully this blog will help you out.

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What If?: Powerpoint Failure

What If? This series looks at real world situations that come up in worship leading. They may not happen often, but they happen often enough to talk about and plan ahead for. This week we’ll talk about overhead projection failure.

IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU

No matter how much planning or preparation or redundant systems we put in place, technical failure is a fact of life. It will happen at some point. The key is to acknowledge, accept it, and move on. Whether its Powerpoint, Pro Presenter, Song Show, Song Select, or Microsoft Word (I know a church that used it, true story). If you fail to come to this conclusion, then you will fail to plan for the “what ifs’ that come with overhead projection.

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The Next Worship Leaders

Editor’s Note: This post while written by me, originally appeared over at the Worship Links blog, so check them out.

Eight thoughts on bringing the next generation into your worship community.

1. IT’S NOT AN OPTION

The church has two main callings: 1. To preach the gospel 2. To make disciples. The discipleship process isn’t all spiritual, it’s also practical. Paul, Peter, Barnabas, and other major players in the early church always travelled with young men, letting them learn in a practical, hands on setting how to fulfill the ministry that was given to them (1 Timothy 4:14). The same is true for those of us who minister in music. I’m always looking for my replacement. Who’s the young man or woman that God is raising up in my church? Discipleship is not optional for the christian, neither is making disciples. As worship leaders, music directors, and worship pastors, we need to have our eyes, ears, and hearts open to see who will lead the next generation in praise and worship of our King.

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When Is It Time For A Song To Die?

I’ve heard and read a lot lately on how to introduce a new song, but the Worship Links blog posted a link to Jon Nicol’s thoughts on the Lifecyle of a song, or better yet, how to put a song out of our misery.

RECOGNIZE THAT SEASONS EXIST

“To everything there is a season” the Bible tells us. This is also true for worship songs, although not everyone seems to have read Ecclesiastes 3:1.

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. If you don’t recognize that every song has a season, then you won’t be aware and watching for when that season has it’s end. This doesn’t mean that every song you’d played last Sunday is out of date. But out of the songs you did lead, some where at the start of their life cycle, some where in an undefined middle, and some were quite possibly past their prime.

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The Electric: Best Amp For A Worship Band?

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 amplifiers, which ones are good for a worship band, and which ones should be avoided.

KNOW WHAT AN AMP IS

An amp isn’t just the speaker that produces your guitars sound. In many way, the amplifier is an instrument in it’s own right. An acoustic guitar is just an acoustic guitar, but an electric guitar rig (guitar, amp, effects) is a group of instruments being used together to produce a sound or tone. My point is that it doesn’t make any sense to put money into a nice guitar or effects pedals and then have an amp that is sub par. An amp is an instrument. It has to sound good in its own right. To that end, if the amp doesn’t sound good on it’s own, without effects, and without a high quality guitar then it’s the wrong amp.

NOTE: This is why I DO NOT advise buying digital amps or amps with built in DSP effects. Your tone will be better off with just your guitar and a Fender Blues Jr than with an amp that has 15 poor quality onboard effects.

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Ban The Kids?

Author’s Note: I really, really hate the look of the stage pictured, but I wanted a very ‘average’ looking stage. 

I’m going to fully admit that this post is pure opinion. Someone somewhere probably has an equally valid opinion that is the complete opposite of mine. But it’s my blog so I’m gonna say it: Generally speaking churches  (and parents) should ban kids from the stage.

SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN?

Ban the kids from the stage? Didn’t  Jesus say “suffer the children and forbid them not?” (Matthew 19:14). Yes, yes he did, and I believe ever word. But I do not believe that Jesus meant that we should let our children run wild and turn the stage, filled with band instruments, music stands and microphones into a scene from the Lord of the Flies. Suffering the children is not a prohibition against teaching our children to walk in obedience and to respect the property of others.

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