FALL Q&A

Every so often I like to look over the Google searches that bring people to this blog. It’s interesting what people look for, and what brings them my way. There are a few great questions, and a few ridiculous questions. What questions are people who stumble upon this blog asking? Let’s find out.

BEST BOOST PEDAL FOR WORSHIP

I love the Xotic Effects RC and AC Boosters. Caroline Guitar Co has their Icarus boost. But whatever works for you works.

OVERDRIVE PEDALS FOR WORSHIP

Honestly. I’m using gain pedals less and less these days, and just letting the amp do its thing.

IS THERE HISTORICAL PRECEDENCE FOR USING SECULAR MUSIC IN CHURCH

I wrote about this HERE. There’s plenty of things that have “historical precedence” but that doesn’t mean that we should use that as a cover to replace the mistakes of the past.

Historically, there were men and women who took the music of the day and used that form to convey gospel and many well known “church songs” were really just bar tunes that someone wrote new lyrics to. While I have no great desire to re-write Kings of Leon songs with gospel lyrics. I will say that KoL has influenced my general guitar tone/sound, and that older players can learn a lot about modernizing classic rock guitar. But as far as using a purely secular song in church, that seems to me to be a fairly modern thing (although I’m sure someone did it somewhere).

WHAT’S THE MOST VERSATILE DELAY PEDAL FOR WORSHIP?

Just based on the Toneprint option then the Flashback, Alter Ego, or Flashback X4 by TC Electronic is by far the most versatile delay pedal on the market. You’ll get more sounds out that one pedal than any other around. I used mine last night during worship and it was perfect. Toneprint aside, the TC Nova delay, Line 6 DL4, Strymon Timeline & El Capistan, and Vox Delay lab are all very versatile, the Delay lab possibly being the most versatile (and underrated) delay pedal in it’s price range.

WHAT PEDAL(S) DO YOU USE FOR CHICK’N PICK’N?

Chick’n Pick’n is a style of country music lead guitar that you’ll defiantly find applicable to churches whose worship music tends to lean towards country or southern gospel, but it’s cool sound even if you’re church’s music is more mainstream.

For the “sound” I use a compressor set with a pretty quick attack. The Keeley comp or any ross style compressor will get you there (MXR Dynacomp, Analogman Comprossor or Bi-Comp). I use a Walrus Audio Deep Six compressor and it does that job just fine if I need it too.

Here’s an example of “Chick’n Pick’n”… ENJOY 😉

WHAT’S THE BEST PEDAL FOR WORSHIP?

I get some variation on this question almost daily. The best is an incredibly relative term. Do you mean the best ever? The best currently in production? The best under $500 or $300 or $100? What makes something the best? A pedal might do one thing very well and 8 other things horribly, is it still the best overall because its the best at one thing? I’ve bought pedals and other gear before because I was told it was “the best”, and in some cases it was the best… at it’s thing. The problem was that “it’s thing” was not “my thing”.

So do your research. Go out to a shop and play and test and try. Remember that the goal is to be a good enough guitar player so that we don’t need the effects if they aren’t available. They are just tools to add to our ability to create.

KINGS KALEIDOSCOPE GUITAR TONE

This is a great question! If you haven’t heard King’s K’s music then go check them out on Youtube, iTunes, or Mars Hill Music’s website. People talk about certain christian bands as being very “unique” or “creative” when they only seem that way against the back drop of the CCM industry. King’s K is doing something very unique in a creative way that is still incredibly accessible (except their Sin EP which isn’t supposed to be any way).

What’s really cool to note about them is that (with the exception of the Sin EP) their guitar tone is almost always clean. The sound that you’re head wants to associate with a gain or overdrive pedal is actually coming from the drums or the fullness of the band. That’s a lesson worth noting for those of us who might be guilty of overusing our gain pedals and neglecting our clean tone. Even when they do employ overdrive, it’s apporiate to the moment.

As for King’s K’s tone itself it’s nothing crazy. I’ve seen Rickenbackers, Tele’s, SG’s, and a old school, usual looking Peavey, into pretty standard amps. Nothing outside the normal realm of any guitar player.

WHEN THERE’S TOO MUCH CONTEMPORARY ROCK MUSIC IN CHURCH

This one was interesting to me. I was at a funeral recently for an older lady. The music was all Bill Gaither and company, and there was nothing wrong with that. That was the music she loved and that was the music that was familiar to that demographic. Rock music wouldn’t have fit there.

But as for the church as a whole… I will say this plainly. If your church refuses to integrate the next generation your church will die. It’s as simple as that. It may be fast, or it may be a slow death, but it will happen. Music is just the most obvious expression and sign of whether your church is moving forwards or standing still.

WHY ARE CHURCHES BANNING KIDS FROM WORSHIP?

I don’t know 🙂 I wrote a post a while back about banning the kids from the church’s stage which you can read HERE, but I don’t think that means kids can’t be part of the church’s worship per say. We have a few young boys who really like listening to the band and they stay in for singing. My guess is that they church has made a decision to ban kids from the whole service and not just worship.

There’s some really good reasons for this. As a pastor, I can tell you that as I teach through the Bible, there are many passages that aren’t age appropriate. Not just appropriate, but I’m not speaking to their level, whereas our kids church is gear to teach in a way that will connect with them. Some folks have an idealistic view about having the kids in with the whole church and that’s fine, but I think it’s misguided. If your church has a policy against kids in the main service then I encourage you to buy your pastor or the appropriate leadership lunch and ask them why.

At my church, we don’t ban the kids, but we do encourage them to join the kids church so they can be taught at their level, and the parents don’t spend the whole service trying to keep them occupied  instead of being able to worship and hear the Bible study.

WORSHIP PEDALBOARD SET UP

Mine currently goes like this: Guitar– Compressor– Overdrive–Delay—Buffer— Amp (with Reverb and Tremolo). It’s pretty simple (on purpose), but gets it done.

Basically there is no hard and fast rule on how to set up a board, but there’s some pretty good guidelines. Some stuff is just opinion and some stuff is just wrong. I saw on Boss USA’s website a suggestion to put your tuner in front of your wah and fuzz which is kind of a no-no, but I like to put my tremolo after my reverb which isn’t a normal thing, but it’s how it was set up in many vintage amps.

BEST COMPRESSOR PEDAL FOR WORSHIP

Right now I’m highly recommending the Deep Six by Walrus Audio. But really, I break it down this way… If you’re leading the band or just want to keep some of your dynamics, you’ll need one with a blend knob (JHS Pulp ‘n Peel, Wampler Ego Comp, and (kind of) Mad Professor FGC and Earthquaker devices The Warden). Otherwise, I’ve found that Optical Comps like the Diamond comp or the Demeter Compulator are great for rock and Ross style like the Keeley, Analogman Comprossor, or MXR Dynacomp are great for country/blues (although I used them for rock). Try out a lot of options and figure out the one that’s best for you.

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