I highly recommend this article to you.
I highly recommend this article to you.
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 playing without effects or pedals.
I’m a little hesitant to write this post. When I write in general it just about my experience and things I’ve picked up over the years. But I’ll fully admit that I’m still learning more and more about how the guitar and amp work on their own. Effects pedals are great, but they can do us a disservice by letting us cut corners and thus not forcing us to learn about the relationship of the guitar and the tube amplifier.
Younger players often rip on older player who seem to only want to relive the classic rock glory days of the 70’s and 80’s (and if that’s you it’s time to learn some new tricks 😉 ) but I’ve gained an invaluable amount of insight from those older players who can do more with just a guitar and amp than you or I could with 12 pedals. So here’s some thoughts on what happens when you choose to or are forced to play with out effects in your rig.
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 leading vs. backing with the Electric Guitar. How the two are similar, and how the two are completely different.
One Guitar. One Rig. Two Purposes.
My guitar rig is set up for versatility. I’ve talk a lot about this before in this series of articles. But I haven’t really touched on the versatility between leading the band and being in the band. What’s the difference. Is there a difference? And is it a big deal? Let’s talk about it.
Let’s be honest about two things:
1. Church bands tend to “overplay” and step over each other on a regular basis
2. Church bands are often a hodge podge of who’s available instead of who is needed.
What I’m going to suggest will hopefully unmuddy the waters sonically speaking and give structure to arranging and picking your church’s band for a worship service.
When I put a band together for a Sunday or Wednesday I first look at who is available. It’s all well and good to want a thick analog synth sound on a song but if all your keyboard players are on vacation, you’ll need to rethink your plans. Once I know who is available, I start to fill roles based on my “5 point band”. I admit that I don’t always do it consciously, because I’m so used to doing it. But it’s always there in the background of my mind. So here are the 5 points that I look for to put a band together. I’m going to write them in order of importance.
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 overdrive and gain pedals worship bands.
What is the best overdrive pedal for a worship guitar player?
The question is asked constantly on Google searches, blogs, forums, and even people who find their way to this blog.
For someone out there, this is going to be a mind blowing, revolutionary thought. So by all means, feel free to sit down for a moment and catch your breath.
For the rest of you, who hopefully get the playful spirit in which I wrote the above sentence, this is a valid conversation for us to have.
In some church traditions, this is a pointless conversation with an obvious answer: of course not. But for many evangelical churches, the question I posed would mean a complete paradigm shift. The worship leader is ALWAYS the person singing. Whether they sing on their own, or if they are also the piano player, guitarist, or even bass player, the worship leader always sings. I’m going to propose that maybe this thinking is why your church’s music ministry is struggling.
Someone is going to read the title of this post and think to themselves: “Of course not! Who would think that is a good idea”. While someone else will think: “Why not? I know someone who did this or that and it worked out just fine”. The answer to this question really does not depend on what you think, or what I think. As with all things, our answer to this or any question should be ‘What does God think?’ This is why having the Bible, God’s word to humanity, as our final authority is so important. So let’s talk about this. In a day and age when churches hire musicians from outside the church, some who aren’t even christians, does God have anything to say on the subject of Non-Christians and Worship Leading?
Last week I was at a Pastor’s Conference where many different worship bands and leaders served leading us in worship before the sessions. Almost all of them fell victim to the trap of overusing vocal cues in their leading. What is a vocal cue? Why would someone use them? How can someone overuse them? Well, let’s talk about it.
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 chord voicing and how they can be used when playing in the church band.
THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO PLAY THE G CHORD
A while back I was asked to play electric guitar at the last minute. The church had an electric and an amplifier and that was it. No overdrive pedal, no delay, the amp had some reverb but the options were pretty much just “on” and “off'”. What’s a guitar player to do?
I started playing bass when I was 12. When I was 14 I picked up the guitar. I’ve been playing both ever since. I led worship for the first time at age 14. I learned to practice by playing in bands in high school, and worship teams in my teens and 20′s.
Not everyone who plays in a church band has that kind of background. A lot of good folks learned to play their instrument on their own and don’t know how to play and practice with a band. The following series of posts will be thoughts on how to serve God and His church well, by learning how to practice well. Here’s a few thoughts and musings on “Finding A Place” in the band for you and your instrument.