Spring Q&A: Tongues, Tempo, and Phil Wickham’s Guitar

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.

WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE PEDALS USED IN WORSHIP?

Tuner. Gain. 3rd Effect (Compression, Modulation, Delay, Reverb)

REVERB SETTINGS FOR WORSHIP?

Unless you really want the crazy, out there ambient sounds, try dialing it back a bit in the mix. More often than not, reverb is best used to “take the edge” off the sound.

THE BEST ELECTRIC GUITAR FOR LEADING WORSHIP

They are all good (except BC Rich style guitars). The main thing is having a clear tone.

HOW DO YOU USE STRUM TEMPO?

This is a really cool technology that is undervalued. The TC Nova and Flashback delays have them. They aren’t great for on the fly tempo during a live setting, but they are awesome and in my opinion more accurate in setting up the delay before you play the song.

Check out a demo HERE

PEDALS EVERY WORSHIP GUITARIST SHOULD HAVE

Tuner

WHAT GUITAR DOES PHIL WICKHAM USE?

Who cares? I don’t mean that to be mean or to put Phil down. We have mutual friends and I met him once and he seemed cool. What I mean is who cares in regards to what you play. I’m assuming the question is someone who wants the guitar that Phil uses. I’m sure it’s a good guitar. I’m sure he’s got a few good guitars from Taylor to Gibson to Martin. The question is what guitar is right for you, and Phil Wickham, as nice as I’m sure he is, and as talented as he is, can’t answer that. Only you can figure that one out.

EMPRESS TAPE DELAY FOR WORSHIP?

This is an underrated pedal, overshadowed by the likes of the Strymon El Capistan. Well made, great sound, useful features, worth looking into. To understand Tape Delay and why you’d want to use it, click HERE.

WALRUS AUDIO DEEP SIX VS THE JHS PULP ‘N PEEL

Both really great compressors. The Deep Six is inspired by the UA1176 studio grade compressor while the P’nP is a Orange Squeezer style compression. Either one is great and it’s just going to come down to your personal preference on which you want. What sets them apart from other comps is their blend controls where you can mix in an un compressed signal which I’ve found to be invaluable. I own the Deep Six and love the JHS, you’re call.

SETTING AN AMP FOR WORSHIP

Start with everything at noon and start to work from there. Setting an amp for worship really isn’t different than setting an amp for anything else. You want to find the amp’s “sweet spots”. It’s going to be different on each amp. When I had a Tweaker 15 I set the Bass around 5, with my Fender PRRI I set the Bass at 8. The only thing I would add is that the main thing to get right is mid-range. “Scooping the Mids” may be the thing to do in a classic rock or metal band, but in a pop/rock music that plays in most churches that mids are what set you apart from the rest of the band. You crank your mid-range control and your brain will interpret that as a volume boost, even though no dB has gone up.

WORSHIP LEADERS WHO TUNE A HALF STEP DOWN

I can see why someone would for their own vocal preferences, but if you do, you have to make it work for everyone else. It’s on you as the leader to make the charts correct for the bass player etc. Shame on you if you expect them to just “do it in their heads”. You’re as bad as the leader who puts the capo on 3 and just expects them to figure it out.

I tune down or something similar for men’s breakfasts, etc. That’s a free one for ya 🙂

PHIL WICKHAM VOCAL RANGE

High

JHS BUILD QUALITY

Also High (generally). But when you build that many pedals you’re gonna have some issues somewhere. But mine have all been fine.

FLANGER AND PHASER IN WORSHIP MUSIC

Underrated effects. If you’re gonna use them I recommend subtly and listening to Coldplay’s Parachutes. But I can see where both would be very useful in a worship setting and set your rig apart from other players.

CLICHE WORSHIP SONGS

There’s sure a lot of them. I try my best to avoid them, but then how about a line like “Holy is the Lord”? It’s all through out the praise and worship found in the scriptures. So we have to walk the fine line between classic and cliche.

WHY CHURCHES PLAY POP MUSIC IN THEIR SERVICES

Because it’s the music of our time. The same way the old hymns were once repurposed Bar songs.

PASTOR PLAYS WORLDLY MUSIC IN CHURCH

How do you define worldly? Many of the “churches” songs were repurposed from the world. Many “worldly” bands were directly influenced by the music of the church. What if a pastor or worship leader is inspired by a band that is ripping off church music? Is it still worldly? It’s a moving target and not nearly as black and white as people think.

WHAT DO YOU DO IF THE WORSHIP LEADER IS LATE FOR SERVICE?

If that is a pattern, or even just a pattern of being late to practice, then you’re not being a good leader. But let’s be generous and assume that this has to do with a flat tire, or a guest worship leader who made a wrong turn and got lost. It all depends on the church, but for anything over a 10 min delay, my advice would be to start the service and do the worship at the end.

But really, I haven’t been part of church where the band didn’t at least sound check an hour beforehand so I’m trying to see a time where this was a possibility. Not having a Preacher is a far greater likelihood.

IF A PERSONS SPEAKS IN TONGUES AND THERE IS NO INTERPRETATION DURING THE SERVICE DO WE REMOVE THEM?

Why? Did they not stop once no interpretation had been given? Were they jumping up and down and yelling “look at me” between utterances of their prayer language? You can see my thoughts on the subject in general HERE but the short version is to know what your response will be ahead of time, so you’re not being reactionary, and to show love both to the person speaking and to the whole church.

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