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Guitar players and ego

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by makki_0709, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 30, 2010
    Up The Creek
    Sounds like me. I want to do well, and I want people to be inspired to joy and worship by what I do to contribute to the music, but I tend to deflect praise away from me by saying, "Well Jesus plays a Strat, I just offer my hands and try to keep up!"

    And my solos are never good enough to attribute to God. I practice so I can try to keep pace better with what God wants to use my hands for.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2012
  2. SngleCoil

    SngleCoil Tele-Holic

    Apr 13, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    :lol: Love it!
  3. Thighbanez

    Thighbanez Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 5, 2010
    nah, if there's anything i know its that I'm just a guitarist. In COGIC, that means "invisible".

    Sent from my SGS-II using TDPRI
  4. Jazzerstang

    Jazzerstang Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 27, 2011
    Blackstone Valley, USA
    I guess I just don't care enough to have an ego. I'm like a piece of furniture up there.

    Many years of playing and being in worship bands has shown me that we are all uniquely just ok musicians.

    I have however played alongside some real showmen (not in a good way).
    Especially Berkeley students from Boston in my experience...:confused:
    It's really unfortunate.
  5. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 8, 2009
    Plymouth Meeting, PA
    When I was 16 I was among the best guitar players in my town, at least of the ones who put themselves on display in bands. I started to believe my own hype until I moved a couple hundred miles away in the same state, and tried to find a new band to join. It soon became apparent that I was pretty good but nowhere near the best in town. I think it stymied me in a way, because I was so devastated by finding out I wasn't as good as I thought I was, that it took me years to really begin to improve - I just figured it was no use. You know, people had always told me that they figured I'd be in the music business, but I knew that I wasn't as good as people thought I was. Yeah, I could play a little, and I still can, but I decided early on that it was a pipe dream if I thought I was going to make it big playing guitar. I even gave it up altogether for a few years. I had no guitar at all for some of the time and only an acoustic for 3-4 years.

    But then I got the bug and started practicing again and joined a working band. But this time I knew what I could do and what I couldn't do. Especially when I met a younger guy who blew me away on jazz guitar.

    By the time I became a church player, in 1995 at age 43, I figured out that it was the music that was important, not the musician. In a few years, I attended a worship conference put on by Peavey and I learned what the purpose of worship players is. I later attended another seminar put on by Shure and learned more about being a worship musician.

    I am still a guitar player and I still want to sound good to myself; I still want clean tones that please me; I want a driven sound that just sounds like my favorite records, not just wild and loud. And, I still like people to tell me that they love my playing. But, I have learned that my needs are not what matters when I am in front of the congregation. Yeah, I like all the pedals, the Fender tube amp, the Tele, and all that, but honestly, if I had to play a Johnson guitar direct to the board because it was all I had, I would still try to add to the music as best I could because it is for a different purpose now.
  6. tjalla

    tjalla Friend of Leo's

    Mar 25, 2003
    Perth, Western Australia
    Nice post jbmando.
  7. Teleboss

    Teleboss Tele-Meister

    Apr 1, 2011
    I'm the pastor of a fairly large and vibrant church. God called me to preach, but He also gifted me with a natural ability to play musical instruments, especially guitar. I've preached for 20 years, but I've played music all my life. I'm 51. I still love playing. People tell me I'm good all the time. I know I can play well. I should since I've done it so long. It's one of my passions. God gave me the ability. I'm doing it for Him. It's ok to know you're good. Just remember God gave you a gift. If you don't use your gift the way He wants you to, He'll take it from you. You'll lose your passion for it, you'll lose the anointing to do it, and you'll lose your ability to affect people's lives with what you do. Know when you're good, and glorify the One who made you that way.
  8. WideAwake

    WideAwake Tele-Meister

    Sep 9, 2008
    Portland, Maine
    When someone compliments me, I just graciously say thank you, or glad you enjoyed it, or something to that effect. It irks me when other musicians go the 'no no, it's not me, it's all God' routine. Someone took the time to pay you a compliment, thank them for it. It's not like you are whipping out your ready-to-go-sharpie to sign their bulletin.

    I am pretty sure I have anti-ego, I never feel like I am good enough to be smug.
  9. TelecasterSam

    TelecasterSam Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 25, 2003
    Guitar players egos

    I don't struggle at all. Just when I think I'm hitting some good licks I hear our pianist or my favorite teenage guitarist friend and realize I have nothing to be cocky about! Not even all pros I've talked to have big egos. A lot of them are perfectionists and in competition with fellow pickers and are a little insecure. If someone acts like they're super star big shots because they play the guitar..... well they shouldn't!
  10. Samsen

    Samsen Tele-Meister

    Apr 18, 2012
    :lol: I'm sure the vast majority of us struggle with feelings of inadequacy and inability. I know I do! And as always there is a minority who may be good enough to feel over-confident enough to show their egoistic tendencies! :p
  11. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 14, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    This will likely be an ongoing struggle. One thing that helps me is the growing assurance of God's unconditional love. Knowing that I don't have to earn that love I can relax. My identity isn't coming now from being a WL or a lead guitarist, or anything I do. It comes from knowing I'm a beloved son.
  12. zanon12

    zanon12 TDPRI Member

    Aug 31, 2012
    Brooklyn Center, mn
    Yes and no, at our church we have two electric guitarist (me and a good friend of mine) we both play lead, so we goof around during practice, do some head to head soloing (no shred, I'm a strict classic rock/ blues player) all in good fun, but we are pretty good at keeping our egos in check.
  13. tomas83

    tomas83 Tele-Holic

    Sep 12, 2012
    NE corner of 4 corners
    :) love it!
  14. leonard d rock

    leonard d rock Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2008
    Malaybalay,Bukidnon, Phil
    as lead guitarist and leader, i always humble myself by remembering that i don't read and write music, and there is a guy behind me, a multi-instrumentalist who can read, write and has arranged music and conducted a symphony band in a national setting, who has trusted me to lead him and the rest of the band. he is very humble and helpful and so musical i always am in awe of him, i will be handling all of the instrumental arrangements to him. i always enjoy the experience of giving him an idea and he develops it into something very musical. next month, a music/choir teacher will come aboard and i will gladly give the vocal arrangements responsibilities to her to. with these two people on board i can go back to just playing my guitar.
  15. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Tele-Meister

    Feb 17, 2012
    This is good. Whatever instrument I happen to be playing on any given week, chances are there's someone else on stage or behind the PA desk who could do it much better. And yet here I am, with a job to do, and responsibility for the musical direction of these people who are better than me. It's a scary responsibility and yet I know, despite my failings, that I'm doing something that's of help to the band, the worship leader and the congregation - even if they don't realise it!

    If I'm playing a lead part that stands out it's because the piece calls for it, not because I'm awesome.
  16. Tele-Caster

    Tele-Caster Tele-Holic

    Feb 24, 2007
    Tahlequah, OK
    I used to have a big problem with that....

    I used to be one of the biggest egomaniacs to ever rock a Strat. I thought I was one tremendous virtuoso player and I was also a perfectionist with little tolerance for mistakes made by "amateur musicians."

    I brought that attitude with me into my first and decidedly short-lived foray into the praise and worship scene.

    "Oh, if you thought that was good, wait till you hear what I'm gonna do next Sunday!!!!"

    After a couple of years of that, I woke up one day and discovered that I couldn't hold a guitar, let alone play one. My arthritis had advanced so quickly at such a young age (31) that I couldn't play so much as a first position G chord for ten years, and during that same timeframe, I often couldn't tie my own shoes.

    I eventually got back in to music ministry, but doing so was a leap of faith kind of thing for me. I got a Telecaster on the suggestion of a fellow worship team member and committed to the ministry. From that day to this, not a day has gone by when I haven't been able to get the music out of my head to come out through the guitar. Some days are better than others, some days it hurts, but I can always get through the set.

    Except "I" really can't. I know where the strength and ability to play is really coming from now and now, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The idea that talents and abilities are gifts from the Lord isn't some abstract intellectual exercise to me. It is a daily reality driven home every day when I pick up a guitar and music comes out of it.

    I had to learn that lesson in a very hard and painful way, both physically and emotionally. Never the less, I am glad that I learned it. I might not be the technical virtuoso I was when I was 18 to 21, but I am a much better musician now than I have ever been, and I continue to progress. Because it REALLY doesn't have much to do with me.

    When people try to praise me, I try to accept their compliments gracefully, but I also point out that He deserves the glory and I'm just thankful for every day He empowers me to get the music out of my head that He put in it to begin with.

  17. bun malaey

    bun malaey Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 14, 2012
    Shertz, TX
    I'm pretty humble in general. It may have to do with 6 years ago I was homeless. I've never had money and don't come from money. I was always tought pride comes before the fall.

    Heck at this point in time I cannot even afford a guitar amp.. none nodda zip. Doesn't mean I don't want one.. cause I do, a local store has one set aside for me.. so when I can afford one it'll be there..
  18. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Like fish/ducks and water.
    Goes with the territory, no?
  19. HipWorshipLeade

    HipWorshipLeade TDPRI Member

    Aug 1, 2012
    Las Vegas
    I love Dano McCollam. I always keep what he says in mind and it keeps me humble. Its not about He who has the best gear, the best chops, or the best "song writing ability" but what has God called you to do. If God's called you to rip solos and lead the congregation into the throne room, go for it! Do it with all your ability and strength to glorify the one who gave you these talents.

    Also remember that humility isn't thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
  20. Robbied_216

    Robbied_216 Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 25, 2008
    Sydney to L.A.
    While we are on the topic, I kinda struggle with the opposite... Confidence. I'm in a different situation where every single musician I play with at church seems to blow me out of the water, so ego or pride for me doesn't really have an opportunity to get a hold on me.

    In response to the OP, there is two things I remind myself of when I'm playing in a service. 1) Any service I have played up until this point is irrelevant, as there may be someone in the congregation, first time in church, and perhaps this could be the only opportunity for them to be ministered to, so I need to be listening to the Holy Spirit for what he wants to do, and essentially get my own self and thoughts and junk out of the way, and let God do what he wants to do, as it may be something new that we could naturally never be prepared for in our own strength, and 2) It's called a worship team as its a team effort. We are positioned to lead people into the presence of God not by our blinding chops, but by being vulnerable and going there ourselves, and taking the congregation with us.

    Yes, we do need to play skillfully and refine our talents, ironically so that way we can make room and not make it about our talents.

    Relax, enjoy what you do, and know that you are positioned at a given point in time to lead people into his presence. The more we look at it, the less and less its about us.

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