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Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by asatattack, May 18, 2019.
I think there's a both/and to this.
I hate playing electric through a processor into the board. Not so bad on bass--I've got a great preamp-DI, and I can always find myself in the mix; acoustic into the board is fine--and easier than bringing a good acoustic amp; but electric into the board is tough, especially if there's more than one; distinguishing my guitar from the other electric(s) is difficult. And it doesn't move any air.
On the other hand, Joe B lines up a whole bunch of loud amps behind a plastic shield. So he doesn't blast the front row--or so he doesn't blast himself? I saw Tedeschi Trucks a couple nights ago. Derek Trucks had two (Alessandro?) amps which I think are essentially hot-rodded Fender Supers. So if I'm right he had two 40 watt amps with 4 x10 speakers. Had plastic shields in front of each of them. Why not just have one, maybe even lower wattage amp that can get the sound you want at lower volume?
One 40 watt amp can be too loud for the people in the first few rows if you're not careful. Okay if there's a dance floor. Maybe not great if there are pews or the front row of seats is pretty close to the stage. I"ve seen the front couple of rows cringing at volume before I figured out it was me.
I'm in favor of amps. But also in favor of the smallest amp that lets you get the sound you want. Lately on electric I'm using a 5 W 57 Champ (great sound at relatively low volume--this thing is a beast) or a Mesa TA-15--set on either 5 or 25 watts depending on what role I'm filling. I've also found that the Mesa's 15 watt sound, which I didn't think I liked, sounds pretty good with a Strat. So 15 as opposed to 25 watts might be an option too. And wouldn't be quite as loud.
Amps are good. But the smallest amp that will get the sound you want is better (at least in worship) than bringing a Fender Twin or a Marshall stack.
You left over the electric guitar being turned down, not allowing your amp of choice or no amp at all?
Where you at church and in the band for an instrumet volume?
This article is making the rounds on the internet.
While JB does raise a good point ( guitars and amps should be played loud). there's a reality that most of us don't play in those big concert places.
Heck .. I play lead guitar in two churches.
One church has an amp off stage policy, that I abide to. But they have a killer PA and personal monitor system thats great. I am able to play with intensity and feel.
The other church: older crowd, meh PA and floor monitors. I was told to turn down my guitar, one morning. And we were not loud at all.
But I pick and choose my battles. And try to get the sound person to see my POV.
Its a work in progress
I get it one hundred.
20 some years ago I was involved in a ministry in several capacities. One, but only one, role I played was as the guitar player in the worship band.
Because much of the music was new to me, I started placing a boom box (remember those?) in the back of the room, and recording the service.
Every Sunday, the WL told me to turn down my guitar. Listening back to the tapes made in the back of the room, I could barely hear the guitar. Vox and keys were really prominent, everything else was barely audible.
After several weeks of this, I mentioned it to the worship leader, who told me that the tapes were wrong. Without listening to them.
If my only role in this ministry had been guitar player, I would have quit. Not just the band, but the ministry.
As it was, I was so connected to the ministry in a variety of ways that I stayed. And eventually the worship leader came around. But it took a few years.
Got it. Wasn't sure if you were talking not being allowed to have a stack of amps maxed out or that someone didn't deap with a stack being maxed out so others could be heard. I have been in both and it is frustrating.
Even when not on the stage I think most of us prefer the mix to accent the instrument we prefer to play.
There seems to be a bias against electric guitars in many churches.... It may be cultural.
The same crowd that likes an organ postlude at 100dB says an electric guitar at 85dB is too loud. I find I can get away with more volume for short bursts or if I'm playing cleanish to light crunch. I always turn the output of the overdrive pedals lower so that the rig can actually play a little louder without it on....
...at least I play with drummers who can play well quietly.
I've posted this here before, but our church has the largest pipe organ in our part of the state. Its like standing in front of a jet engine. We have a couple of oldsters who will stand and sing along with the organ, but we've done services where we do a couple of organ songs and a couple of contemporary songs with contemporary instruments. Every time we've done this, one elderly lady makes a show of standing and plugging her ears with her fingers as soon as the guitar or drums start.
At the same time, we have an old guy who makes a show of pulling toilet paper out of his pocket, rolling it up and sticking it in his ears so that it sticks out about 4 inches. He does this just as soon as the drums or electric guitar start playing. Fun stuff. We no longer combine traditional with contemporary and the old timers got really ticked off when the church moved the traditional service out of the sanctuary and into our fellowship hall so the sanctuary could be used for an additional contemporary service. No one wanted to segregate the seniors but they totally could not understand how their intolerance was the direct cause of having to do exactly that.
I have been around contemporary churches for so long without the dilemma I forget those with them still exist!
Those organs could be killers!
Been in places like this. BUNCH of older folk where I am now and I run a miced 1/12 cab in the back but still get a good level out front. Im running an old early 90's hair metal head in a Carvin X50 B Hot rod mod El 34 powered rig.
This was last Sunday
A lot of this is tone and if you have a good tone that's not harsh it goes a lot farther. Every Church is different so maybe where you are is just not a fit?
For me I'm where i feel I'm supposed to be so---.
In many cases that is exactly what i do. i own a pair of 25 watt tube combos and 3 tube heads 2 50 watters and one of teh new PRS MT15 which supposedly is 15 watts. Bringing the right rig is essential. Most of the time I run my little 25 watt 1/10 Mesa Subway Rocket and just throw a mic on it. I can get killer thick crunch tones and great clean at volumes as low as you can talk comfortably. I also have the big boys when i'm playing with a loud drummer and have to get over a B or C3 and a Leslie.
The little Subway rig miced sounds like THIS at low volumes so--.
Or trumpets. People love some cringe-level trumpet playing, but crank the guitar just a little... Oh no!
Has anyone considered why the guitar is in the band if the audience really don't want it there? Would you insist on a clarinet player in the band if the audience hated the clarinet?
RIght? Take your family to a guitar-friendly church instead....
I'd like to think that a congregation is not the same thing as an audience.
I suspect some people feel about a pipe organ the way some way feel about guitars. What if some people in your congregation like one but not the other?
I absolutely hate trumpets and pipe organs. I've quit a couple churches because they refused to turn down the organ.
Worship has been degraded since Accordions were relegated to second-class status.
" why do we now find ourselves marginalised by live sound engineers and stage managers that insist we achieve little-to-no stage volume at all? Basically, treating us and the electric guitar as the Typhoid Mary of the onstage environment?"
I think the heart of the issue is: Can the Congregation STILL hear themselves sing?
This isn't really an issue or concern for Joe B. (nobody listens to his singing anyway...) and he ain't no church oriented guitarist. BUT: He does work with some awesome singers who need to hear themselves. It seems there's a bit of a difference when singing WITH/OVER an organ - or with/over an electric guitar. Unless you are in Deep Purple, they are filling different musical spaces. Often the organ leaves a little more room for a vocal. Now if only the soundman would let me get my guitar Fuzzytone BIG and SOFT... But many soundman bring out the worst possible frequencies of the electric guitar ---- YES, it is then almost impossible to sing over.
Just for fun: study any great guitarist and singer combo - you'll hear how they work around each others frequencies. (warning: Queen isn't really a good example. Only on occasion. But Brian May does occasionally sound like a huge nasty Organ)