Thoughts About Credit Cards and Purchasing Equipment

Can I Buy Equipment With A Credit Card?

I see this question a lot. Mostly on forums and gear groups but sometimes I’ll get an email or something about it. With the cost of musical gear and accessories such as PA or computer equipment being so high, doesn’t it make sense to use a credit card to make purchases on high cost items? Won’t it be too late to use it by the time I save up for it?

Sadly, the answers people give are often over-simplified or limited in their scope. People living in one context might not see that the person asking the question might exist in a different situation then they do. In this post I hope to address the central question and give some perspective that might be helpful, not only in deciding when or if to use credit, but how we buy our equipment in general.

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Codes and Keys (How To Dress For The Modern Church)

CODES AND KEYS

I’ve been writing this blog for almost 4 years and this is the first time I’ve addressed how we dress on stage. The Bible has things to say about how Christians should present themselves. The Church Culture has things to say about how Christians should present themselves (not necessarily the same as the Bible). Even the Secular Culture has ideas about how Christians dress, or how everyone else should dress too.

So why should I add my thoughts to the mix? That’s actually not my goal. Of course I have opinions on this subject, but my goal isn’t to give you a list of things I think you should do. My goal is to break down some general keys to follow as you try to figure out what’s right in regards to you, your church, your cultural context and your convictions. As always, while our basis for these things must be found in God’s Word, working these things out can feel at times like a moving target so I’m going to try and focus on Dress Keys than Dress Codes.

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Should I Use Effects With My Acoustic Guitar

Honestly, I wish this was the question being asked. Should I? But the question is usually phrased more along the lines of “which effects should I use?” This assumes that any should be used at all.

To that end, I want to first ask the question “should I?” and use that to answer the “which ones?” question.

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4 Reasons To Avoid The Imitation Trap

WHAT IS THE IMITATION TRAP?

I noticed the trap in pulpit ministry before I saw it in music ministry. Young preachers imitating older or better known preachers. Cadence, vocal pitch, even attempting to mimic the humor or jokes, and sometimes just outright stealing stories and analogies employed by the preacher they obviously admired.

The same thing is true in music ministries and if you’ve been around long enough you’ve probably seen it yourself. Churches whose bands play note for note everything exactly like it was off the record. The singer who is obviously trying to be Kim Walker-Smith or the worship leader who is shouting things because he heard Matt Redman do it.

The Imitation Trap is seeing the success of someone else, and assuming that this is the way that you have to do it. To judge your success not on what God has called you to do, but on how others live out their callings. I want to present four reasons that we as worship leaders should avoid this trap at all costs, and a positive alternative to imitation that might just be a way forward for you, and your ministry.

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Gear Review: The Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb

BRAND: Mad Professor

MODEL: Silver Spring Reverb

COST: $195

WHAT IT IS: The SSR is a classic sounding “space” reverb. Space reverbs emulate the sound of reflections in a room, hall, church, cathedral or even bathroom tile. Spring reverb is essentially a “space” reverb but gets it’s own category because of the sonic quirks of mechanical spring tanks.

The short version is that the Silver Spring will emulate the sounds of an amp spring, a room/hall or studio (plate) reverb. The tone knob is really mislabeled. While it does affect tone, it really controls fidelity. Turned all the way to the left and you have a lofi “amp spring” sounding reverb. At noon, the tone knob makes a great room sound and all the way to the right you get a hifi plate/studio reverb.

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A Kinda Sorta Review of the New U2 Record

THE RECORD

Almost every review of the newest U2 record Songs of Innocence has told me more about the the reviewer and their issues than the record itself. When a reviewer starts admitting that they “don’t really like U2 that much” or by saying that they haven’t liked a U2 record since Actung Baby, why should we care what they say? When a reviewer spends (as many of them did) the opening half of the review critiquing and complaining about the way or method the band released the record, what does that actually tell us about the music itself? The answer is of course: nothing.

I actually like the new U2 record. It’s not their best record, but it’s certainly not their worst. The songs themselves are far better than most of the critics have given credit for. The final result of Dangermouse’s production work is a debatable point but again, it’s an interesting take on the music of the most iconic band since the Beatles. So now that we’ve had a few weeks to come to terms with the music and implication of the records surprise marketing/distribution method maybe we can look for some takeaways?

Instead of debating the finer points of U2’s latest offering, I would like to look at the response it has drawn. I feel like looking at Songs Of Innocence’s reception will shed light on issues that affect us as worship leaders and church musicians.

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The Electric: Fuzz In 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 using Fuzz pedals in worship.

The question is asked often enough on internet forums and blogs: Can I use a Fuzz pedal in worship? The answer to this question is the answer to every gear related question the church guitarist may ask: Yes. Maybe. Depends.  So as we walk through the reasons why or why not to use Fuzz pedal at church, you can take the same principles and apply them to any other piece of gear.

So… can I use Fuzz in Worship?

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I’d Like To Play More

Recently, the question was put to me: I’d like to play more at church but the worship leader seems to always be picking others over me, what can I do about this?

The truth is that this is a complex issue. I know a lot of worship leaders who really like someone personally but they aren’t a good fit for whatever reason and the WL doesn’t like conflict so they just use them as little as possible. Sometimes another person is being picked over someone for valid reasons. That other person is being raised up for long term leadership, or the worship leader has figured out that out of three players one really only has the availability because of work or school to do worship so they get a shot more than people who have the ability or time to serve elsewhere. Is that right or wrong? I don’t know, but it is a reality in many churches.

If you’re feeling overlooked or passed over or simply just want to play a little more, what should you do? Here’s some thoughts that will hopefully be helpful.

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4 Ways To Make Your Worship Team Better

My friends over at The Church Collective have a new post up by Rob Carona that I think it worth your time called “4 Ways To Release The Potential Of Your Worship Team”.

I highly recommend this article to you.

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The Electric: Signal Chain

In this series I try and address different aspects of the practical side of playing electric guitar in church music. This week we’ll continue the conversation about finding the best amp for worship.

 

How have I never written a Signal Chain post? It’s almost criminal. Signal Chain posts are the Tube Screamer’s of guitar blogging! So after two and a half years, I think it’s finally time.

SIGNAL CHAIN

So you’ve got some pedals now, and you’re putting them together. Maybe they’re all Boss pedals (which is pretty much all we had back when I started) so you’ve just ordered them by color. That’s ok right? Well… not quite.

We order in pedals in a certain way (signal chain) because of the effects it has on the sound waves. For example a vibrato pedal affects the shape of the wave form while a delay pedal just repeats that shape. So the order you put the pedals affects the sound you get, and in some cases the way a pedal will act or respond.

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