Yes, I've had my fun being critical of those who have made certain sound and equipment choices. Hey, I like the sound of a telecaster, and there's something very nice about the sound of an AC30. But what I've got, I've got. I have a very nice old Gibson SG. I have a 50W amp that sounds like a JTM45, saggy and smooth, not chimey, and with that sound when the volume knob is twisted past noon. But I don't put it there in church. When I play, it sounds more like Steve Cropper than it does like Edge, or Nigel H. I've practiced for a very long time to sound like that. I prefer to sound like that. If I want to sound like the CD, friends, I'll be looking for a different CD. Did you know it's possible to play "Blessed be your Name" as an R&B number? So what do you do to accommodate the differences between what you've got, what you are good at, and the songs that you play? I'm not asking you to recommend equipment upgrades to me. I've read article after article about what equipment and effects are indispensible to the worship guitarist and I've dispensed with most of it. I've got what I've got and I'm thankful for what I've got, and I like what I've got. Contentment. So when you play songs with your worship team, what makes you sound unlike all others?

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As an electric player I just expect to fit whatever key. However I don't really use the C and D shapes with a barre, preferring the arpeggios I can create with A and E and their variations. I will move around the neck quite a bit to get the sounds I want, if necessary.

you can get most things done with A & E barres

Where's the guy who normally says, "I'll never use a capo. Only over my dead body!"

they've all left the building...

I have one of those, Greg.  Stink at it, so i don't think i'm going to try it anytime soon.  Perhaps I should try an open tuning and see how i do...

"Glass capos"? Check out Bryn Haworth (, a UK based session guitarist and long-standing figure (legend!) on the Christian music scene. As the title of his 1995 album, "Slide Don't Fret" suggests, he has done a fair amount with these devices.

There is probably little in the way of technique that hasn't been tried in church music at one time or another but I think it would still be reasonable to say that slide guitar is still off the beaten track.

I think slide could be used well in church. I've done it a time or two. You just have to realize that staying on the beaten path of delta blues may not be the way to go. And that too depends on your situation. 

I don't like to sound like CD's either, I use them to learn the song then as we play them we make changes to them to suit our playing style, we do alot of prophetic worship also, so rarely do we ever do the same song the same everytime we play it. I have my sound for electric and I have my sound for acoustic and without even thinking about it I play songs different on each. In fact I've experomented by doing the same set two weeks in a row but one week electric and the other acoustic and Ididn't get any comments about doing the same stuff two weeks in a row, not even from the worship team. I think it is more important to develop your own style then try to copy someone, you will beable to focus on God and worship more than on trying to sound "right".

I came to worship leading in a round-about way. Musical family, started playing music when I was 8. Played through high school and then off to music school. After music school I was a full-time musician (well, still am). I've done studio sessions, wedding bands, off-broadway musicals, et al. In all that time I honed a very unique style of playing and I learned what it is that I like and don't like, musically speaking.

I try to bring my voice to the worship set, just like I would any cover music I'd play out along side my own music.

We've done songs a la Motown and others a la Jackson Browne and even others as a reggae. It's all about finding a voice that releases the intention of the song. I was a songwriting major in college, so I am always thinking about the songs and saying "this really was meant to be played...[fill in the style]".

A couple of weeks ago we did "Love The Lord" as a funk tune...and "The Heart of Worship" with DADGAD acoustic guitar and voice.

I also spend a lot of time playing through the worship music and internalizing it, which inevitably makes it sound like me more so than anyone else. I think that makes more of a difference than anything. I also chart out the songs very specifically (in Sibelius) and we are blessed to have top notch musicians who can read charts well and require very little time to get "up to speed".

We play "Praise Adonai" as a very upbeat latin sounding tune. Most of the time, it's kind of quiet and "Jewish" sounding.

I sincerely hope not!

My "clams"...they are all originals!


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