Finding Maturity In Worship Ministry

My Pastor, Bill Walden, wrote a great post this week on his own blog that is worth sharing. Many of us deal with raising up new worship players and we struggle sometimes with people who have such great and genuine hearts to serve, but it seems like they can’t help but trip over themselves and others.

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The People Vs. JHS Pedals (UPDATED)

ppl vs jhs

UPDATE (6-8-17): I wrote this article three years ago. Since then it has become the most read thing I’ve ever written, no other post on this site comes even close. Hopefully people who’ve found this article have read other posts here that deal with far more pleasant and hopefully helpful subjects. I have updated this post to reflect the recent charges about JHS and it’s links to the church group known as The International House of Prayer (IHOP) and it’s treatment of the LGBTQ community. Beyond that, nothing has changed and my position remains the same.-Adam, Real World Worship.

Warning: This is a long post. It’s not about worship, or even electric guitar playing. It’s about a company called JHS pedals, that many worship musicians buy gear from. It’s about accusations that have been made on guitar & gear forums and blogs all across the internet, and my personal journey trying understanding the sometimes shady world that is the guitar industry.

Disclaimer: If you read this post (and you may not want to… ignorance is bliss after all) , I ask that you read the whole thing before making any judgements. I’m using the courtroom motif on purpose and I’m trying to build an entire case, so if you read only one part you won’t get the full picture. I ask that you understand that I’m trying my best to be impartial. I also ask that you understand that these are just my opinions and observations, although I have tried to provide some level of documentation.

Author’s Note: I feel confident in saying that no one else has done the research I have on this topic. I certainly have not seen evidence of it anywhere else. For this blog post I spoke to many of the parties involved, although I’m choosing to keep all of those conversations off the record. I also talked to friends (or friends of friends) who work in the guitar/effects industry at many different levels to hear their take.  None of those conversations have made it directly into this post. I’ve keep them all off the record for the purpose of fact checking, logic checking and thought process vetting, and to get a feel for how the industry works. I read, and reread forum posts. I tracked down articles and forum threads dating back several years. I joined forums that I wouldn’t have otherwise because I wanted to read and see evidence on threads that were linked to by bloggers and posters, but were behind membership walls.

This post took weeks to write, months to research, and is probably the hardest thing I’ve done on this blog. In many ways I wish I hadn’t started. There were several times I thought I’d scrap it, even up to a few days before posting. In the end I decided it was what it was and I posted it. So here is the result of my journey:

Continue reading “The People Vs. JHS Pedals (UPDATED)”

The Electric: Effective Simplicity

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 Effective Simplicity looking at the electric guitar part of the song “Jailbreak” by the Vertical Church band.

 

This YouTube clips is from the song “Jailbreak” by the Vertical Church band. It’s a really good song that I’m planning on adding to my repertoire sometime soon. I love the electric guitar part. I love how simple it, but even more, I love how effective it is. Here’s some quick takeaways.

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Gear Review: JHS Moonshine Overdrive

BRAND: JHS Pedals

MODEL: Moonshine Overdrive. At it’s heart the Moonshine is JHS’s take on the classic TS-808 Overdrive; possibly the most popular circuit ever created. But the Moonshine has a lot more on tap (or in the still) than the 808 as we’ll see.

COST: $199

DO I OWN IT?: Yes

PROS: With it’s foundation as one of the most iconic sounds in modern music, the Moonshine will work in almost any setting from Blues to Country to Rock. The Edge, SRV, Brad Paisley even Metallica have used this type of pedal both live and in recordings. So when people hear those tones and frequencies it will be a familiar sound.

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What If?: Complete System 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 complete system failure.

 WHAT IS CSF?

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Interview: Rick Matthews from Matthews Effects

I had a recently had the chance to talk with Rick Matthews, owner of Matthews Effects, who makes great guitar effects pedals. We talked about topics ranging from gear and the music industry, Fuzz pedals in worship, and where to place a buffer in your signal chain; turns out I was doing it wrong. It was a great conversation and I hope you find it to be a useful resource as well.

Real World Worship: Could you tell us briefly about yourself?
Rick Matthews: I am a christian guitar enthusiast. I’m married to my awesome supportive wife Ashleigh and live with my two dogs Riby and Gatsby in Richland Wa. I own a guitar electronics company called Matthews Effects.

The Notes We Play

My friends over at the Church Collective have a great and very practical post on the music theory of western music. It covers the notes and ideas that make up the basis of the music we all play

Check it out HERE and take some time to check out their other great resources.