Today's electric guitar practice session, unplugged on the Strat, leaning against the kitchen counter:
- 24/7 - long scales in all twelve keys and relative minors using patterns and right hand finger combinations from the Segovia "Purple Book",
- Single note tremolo picking exercise (16th notes with gradual increase in speed using a metronome,
- Strumming chord progression "From the Day" with metronome as above,
- ii-V-I progressions in all keys using drop 2 and drop 3 7th chords and inversions,
- Sight reading practice using Ricci Adams' online music theory exercises,
- Preparing from the written guitar score for an upcoming performance of "Bye Bye Birdie" at my daughter's high school,

And almost nothing having to do with memorizing worship music.
Or practicing tapping in a delay tempo. Or fiddling with overdrive settings. Has my electric guitar skill set become irrelevant to modern worship?

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Just might be the fever.  I think you are wrestling with this thing of people trying to reproduce the sounds of a popular recording of a worship song, and what value this meticulous "reconstruction" might have - and whether the whole is the sum of the details, or the whole thing just doesn't really work, or maybe works for someone else.  Am I anywhere near?

I've found in actual practice that when you make good music, people like it; but yes, I've also made good music and people did want something else, which is depressing (especially since people don't always really know what they want, even when they think they do).  But rather than a meticulous checklist of everything, playing some of the significant riffs in a reasonable effort to catch a style is a kind thing to do to someone else's creation. 

I may have mentioned this before: I'm not motivated by multimedia. If I click on a link and it's a 3 minute video containing content that I could read in 20 seconds if offered as a transcript, I don't watch the video. In the same way, learning from Youtube is discouraging and demotivating to me. It's my issue. I should not, as a member of a small minority who reads, expect to be catered to in a way that makes learning parts comfortable for me. The rote thing is related to that.

Bottom line is when I hear "don't be so meticulous and insistent about the way you play and learn", what I'm learning is meant instead is "play and learn in the way I'm meticulous and insistent about". And yet I get worked up reading things that at my current venue just don't really matter when I bring them up. So I share that here and it's not "how are you making that work?" but "we'll pray that you find a way to fix it". Maybe I don't need to fix anything and I'm in a place that I need to be. Or maybe I'm supposed to help fix and I just don't know how to bring it up. Tuning our instruments together before we play took a decade, and we still have to work with new people who think everything is fine when one (or more) of their strings is out of tune and that we're just being picky.

The only time a youtube video ever helped me was in replacing a headlight bulb.  I could see that the place I thought was the right place, was the right place.  Still, my car had some sort of pillar in the way, preventing me from reaching the place without ruining my hand, dropping it into the car's innards, and other fun events.

I suppose this whole thing is like having an appreciation for 19th century British novelists, their storytelling, character depth, erudite vocabulary, and just-so phrasing, then waking up as if from a dream to find that speaking in texting slang and acronyms is the norm.

I stopped playing classical guitar at church because it seemed only to be a solo spotlight instrument and electric guitar was at home in ensembles. I also share somewhat tongue-in-cheek-but-serious that I learned to play acoustic guitar, then got saved, then learned electric, so electric guitar is my natural voice in worship, and acoustic feels like backsliding. I've gotten some ferocious side-eye reactions from that.

You share a good deal with many, many classically-raised musicians (I don't use the word "trained" because it reminds me of a seal) - not only instrumentalists but vocalists who find that getting a good choir sound involves working daily to get singers to come in on pitch instead of scooping up, pop-style.

Well, why did people start orchestras?  or bands?  People liked the sounds they made.  People also a socially groupish, and develop local styles, which sometimes leap the rims of the valleys and encompass whole regions.

I possess a Master's Degree in Organ Performance which I knew would not lead me into a life of playing classical Organ, unless I joined up with the sort of church which did that, and they just weren't my style theologically or socially (this is not universally true, but what I noted in my own bailiwick).  Instead I got saved and joined a hay-and-stompin' bunch of Pentecostals and learned a bright new sort of music, and you could understand the words, because they Pronounced Them Real Kleer. 

I considered in only polite to learn the predominant style, just as a missionary like Hudson Taylor wore the type of clothes of the nation he goes to and ate their food and died and got buried on their soil.  Now we can hold the predominant-style music on the end of a stick so it doesn't pollute us too much, or go whole hog.

At one time, a pastor wanted me to "reinvent myself", since I had the capability of doing it, but chose to do what I like to do - mix and match and blend styles and try to synthesize something unique for that church.  It ended with me finding a new job, but God provided.  My new church has contemporary and traditional services - and it's funny because I introduce lots of nontraditional choir music and they love it; and I improvise away at the keyboard, but in a limited fashion because the altos need to hear their part (having also been brought up traditional-like).

The moments when we do our Secret Favorite Music, then, become very special.  I play a postlude, a big bad Bach fugue, each week, and there are three or four groupies who stay to listen.  But they are three or four human beings, who want to hear and should hear Bach.  I go outside the walls to the rest home - that's heaven - you can play anything you want there, and it is welcome.


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