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Is "lead guitar" a lost art?

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by DADGAD, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. Duncas

    Duncas Friend of Leo's

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    I find lead guitar isnt necessarily needed in P&W.

    When I play lead i prefer to use a more atmospheric sound with swells and delay and simple electronic style riffs.

    In worship you have to be careful with a solo, after all its not about you on the stage, its an audience of one
     
  2. bikeracr

    bikeracr Tele-Meister

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    I have to agree. Although older, I grew up in pretty much the same era. Of the 15 electric guitarists in our rotation (yes, we audition & are blessed with numbers), only 3 of us can actually improv & are asked to play harder parts (e.g. Brewster). When I asked some of the other guys why they don't play harder parts, they all told me that they never learned theory & scales and often just play tab.
     
  3. Edwin

    Edwin Banned

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    I don't think learning scale is wrong but I do think the application is dead wrong. I started playing guitar in 1967 and there were no tabs and no school of thought except classical. I can play a decent lead and hard chord progression but why would I do that in a worship team? I guess modes are good to memorize if you have fixed key instruments but piano, bass, guitar and drums are able to play in any key so to my mind learning modes is unless information in that setting especially if you have no feel and can't get in a groove. It's just the way I feel about it.
     
  4. SngleCoil

    SngleCoil Tele-Holic

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    Lead is an art for sure. Our ministry has been blesses with a couple of guitarist who can write solos that fit perfectly with the song and absolutely soar. *Gasp* They could even be seen as flashy...but they never come across as self serving. And perhaps ironically some of the best solos have been written for Hillsong songs.
     
  5. DADGAD

    DADGAD Friend of Leo's

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    Just want to clear up one point; I was considering resigning so that someone else could play. It was a sacrifice of love. Young people with a passion to play guitar should have the opportunity to play. It would have allowed me more time to compose and record my original songs. Instead, everyone will have the chance to play with a acoustic, electric rhythm and an electric lead in each band. I'm cool with that.

    Now, not all P&W is conducted with words. Musical solos are important, too. Ever hear a bird sing? I'm sure you understand. ;)

     
  6. Jack FFR1846

    Jack FFR1846 Tele-Afflicted

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    In our WT, the spot for "electric guitar" is really lead guitar. We play the intros/outros/leads in solos for the most part. I'll sometimes have another guitarist backing up the rythem, so I'll do one of the background color riff parts during the song.

    Out of our electric guitarists, I can't think of anyone who couldn't hold their own ad libbing or being thrown up last minute and just figuring out the key and doing color. We've started our rehersals lately with the WL playing an acoustic chord progression and having us each improvise over it one at a time (not just guitars...violin, piano, organ). I find it gangs of fun.

    It ain't a lost art. I'm maybe the oldest at 56 and we have a 24 year old, who can play circles around me with leads.
     
  7. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

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    Some of the recent posts are emphasizing something that is important here. Lead guitar is about having something to say. None of you guys throw salty words into your conversation, right? Especially in church? You might know the words, but they don't have any place. I think it is similar in music. Part of it is knowing a vocabulary (scales, riffs, licks, phrases, etc.) and many players leave it at that: they just throw random words into the conversation and of course it sounds ignorant and stupid.

    Imagine the WL sings something along the lines of "I love You Lord..." and the lead guitar responds with the equivalent of a shouting "Boom... Thrash... To H-E-DblToothpick With the Devil!" It doesn't fit of course.

    Have something to say. Learn a vocabulary, and then learn how to use it in a conversation. If you don't have something good to say, don't say anything. So, no, the art of lead playing in CCM isn't lost. Many of us know good players who excel at this.
     
  8. tjalla

    tjalla Friend of Leo's

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    Brilliant.
     
  9. bear04

    bear04 Tele-Holic

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    From what I've seen (heard) modern worship like the music we play in my church does not really leave room for any lead guitar soloing. I know when we play a song where a lead guitar solo will fit I'm told to keep it very short, so I do. I understand the sentiment of not want to put on a show, but I've never understood why (in my church) we can play songs with long keyboard instrumentals and even long violin solo's, but the minute it's my turn on electric I'm told to keep it short to avoid "putting on a show"
     
  10. Edwin

    Edwin Banned

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    Sounds like they hate guitar. I've been in that situation and it's no fun but I'm still there and the anti guitar are all gone.
     
  11. bigmuff113

    bigmuff113 Friend of Leo's

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    I play lead guitar, and can potentially put it into a worship setting
     
  12. Edwin

    Edwin Banned

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    Lead can be played in worship and sound great but not to the extent of 8 to 26 bars of no singing. When I play lead I accent the rhythm and vocals and am careful not to step on them. It takes self control and feel. Sometimes very light melodic playing during prayer is preferred.
     
  13. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

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    It depends. A few Paul Baloche songs that are commonly played in worship have some lengthy solo sections. For example, Hosanna has a 16 bar solo. The example on his recording is not too technically difficult and IMO is a good example a guitar solo that serves the song well. I play a few variations of it loosely following the way it moves but putting my own ideas into it depending on what is going on with the guys around me. Another example is Baloche's Rising which is also 16 bars long, and is another that one while not too technical, it really fits the song. I can play it note for note, or do my own variation of it, and nobody complains that the guitar has ruined the song, as long as it fits well.

    I think that is the point (stressed again). If there is a solo, the length really doesn't have to be an issue when those bars are used well.
     
  14. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree, there is that fear there, and it doesn't make sense to me. I've never been able to understand that line of thinking.

    If I stand painfully neutral and eerily motionless in the dimly lit corner, barely moving my hand enough to make the barre chords come thru the amp, at some point between chorus 2 and bridge 1 stoically enduring the trial of having to pretend that I can solo for 4 bars using 3 notes, then phase shifting back into my corner of the parallel universe to resume my seasoned neutrality.......then I'm a good solid Christian team player who puts worship and praise before ego and self exaltation. (yes, we have players in our church who fit this description perfectly)

    If for some odd reason I happen to burst out of my neutral zone and I am suddenly and briefly possessed by the spirit of that Brewster Boy for 16 bars, then I'm "performing" and flirting with "self exaltation"?? How did we decide where the line is drawn between good Christian stoicism and some self patronizing grandstanding??

    The guy playing in the first paragraph I describe is not (in my never very humble opinion) playing skillfully and with joy. If God gives me the ability to play in a spirit of fun and joy that likens to a good hoppin' Brewster solo, how is it my place to say "No, I'm not going to use that gift, because the church might get too excited and lose sight of praise and worship! I'd better wait til I'm alone at home in the basement before I play skillfully with overwhelming joy again."

    What kind of praise and worship is the first guy "leading" the congregation to? Why is it when the team plays motionless and bland and neutral, the entire crowd looks motionless and bland and neutral?

    What does God do that is motionless, bland, and neutral? What does God do that is mediocre and average and by design unexciting? If God doesn't do anything mediocre or half way average, why should we? I'm not talking about filling every possible void in every song with flaming searing shred, I think everybody here should know that. But if the WL says, "Play a solo here" then by God I'm going to P L A Y a solo, the solo that God put in my heart and in my fingers to play for Him.

    It's not "look at me!" It's "Look at what God is in me, and He could be this in you, too!"
     
  15. pete-strych

    pete-strych Tele-Holic

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    I've been saying for several years now that many worship guitar players cannot play lead (or choose not to), & that there are a lack of seasoned lead guitarists in our genre. This makes other Christians very angry with me. I do understand that some Worship Leaders & Music Ministry Pastors do not allow solos, for the many reasons...but I'm not here to bash any of our leaders...that's another thread.

    Sent from my iPhone using TDPRI
     
  16. pete-strych

    pete-strych Tele-Holic

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    Before I was saved, I played in signed extreme Metal bands, as well as shedding Blues/Rock acts. I understand that the "Church" platform is NOT the arena for show-offs, but pure self expression from veteran musicians is beautiful when it's aimed towards Heaven & for Jesus Christ. So, turn up your tube amps & stomp on your overdrive pedals...letting a solo rip towards the Heavens (maybe in rehearsal at first, lol), when the Spirit...The Holy Spirit to be clear...moves!!

    Sent from my iPhone using TDPRI
     
  17. Jhengsman

    Jhengsman Tele-Holic

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    There is an official position taken by a very large religious organization which sets certain instruments above others as preferential for musical accompaniment in their house. It is said it is because the other instruments are used by some secular musicians in a way that is seen against the culture of that organization, thus to be used secondarily to the preferred when necessary.

    The long history of the keyboards ancestors and violins in music which has transformed from "bad" Saturday night party enhancers to good and classic conservatory quality over time has given the players of those instruments leeway in the public and official organizational consciousnesses that the relatively young electric guitarist does not enjoy.

    The further away in style from that large organization's official position and service style a local congregation is then the more acceptable it will be for anybody to step forward and show joy in their personal way without distracting from others.
     
  18. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

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    The sounds we like from an electric guitar do cause many church listeners to relate the music to a more secular sound, and they then are reminded of secular artists whose examples in life are not the most compatible with the beliefs of a church listener. It just is what it is.

    This doesn't have to limit our ability to solo though. I can get away with quite a bit more using a cleaner tone than I can with lots over overdrive. I can get away with the most on acoustic Sunday. When I get to bring my old D-18 it's like it isn't really possible to go too over the top as long as the licks are placed in appropriate places and are musical. The WL gives me longer solos on acoustic Sunday....
     
  19. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I wonder if we can also put blame on the punk rockers. When that style began it was partly a reaction against the long solos of classic rock. That attitude has had a long life in popular music.
     
  20. Edwin

    Edwin Banned

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    No one said that church goers or church musicians can't listen or play secular music. There is a time and place for it.
     
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