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Is "lead guitar" a lost art?

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

  1. fuddy

    fuddy TDPRI Member

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    Love the examples, and would love to see more postings like this! (either here or a new thread, but YouTube examples of good guitar in Christian songs is a terrific idea)
     
  2. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

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    See, this just adds to my confusion. Even if I could play like LB, it probably goes against the purpose of the music? On the other hand, if LB is up there playing like LB, then it's all good? Why is it ok for LB to lead worship playing like LB, but if Jack Jones in small town Kansas leads worship and plays like LB, then it's a distraction and a performance? So the ordinary guy who plays like LB is supposed to keep it watered down just to be safe so he doesn't interrupt worship or distract anyone from the real purpose? But the real LB doesn't have to water anything down because, well, he's LB! huh? :confused:

    If we cover an LB tune and our lead guitarist can play inspiring leads just like the real LB, and we are all just as sincere and just as passionate as LB about worship, then who's to say who should cut loose and who should water things down? If I can play like that and I have the same passion and heart, then am I not watering things down if I hold back? :eek:

    Is that what God does? water things down and hold back so that nobody will be too distracted or too inspired? wouldn't want anybody to be overwhelmed, right? :rolleyes:

    I'm not attacking you or making fun of you. I'm just truly confused by all this worry about where the line is between using a musical gift for worship and using a musical gift as distraction or as performance. Use the gift the way God would use it......overwhelm as needed. That's why everything in my life has been crafted to allow me to get to the point where I can play like this, so that I can put that guitar lick out there and say "Look what God does in my heart! He can do this in your heart, too!"
     
  3. Jhengsman

    Jhengsman Tele-Holic

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    I would imagine it is not Lincoln Brewster that is the primary factor but the local church where he would be potentially leading praise and worship at. Sure he might be a featured guest at that small town Kansas church one week but not the regular leader of that congregation. The objection doesn't even have to be electric guitars or trap drummers it may be just playing in an ethnic style foreign to the base of the local church. So a leader like Sherwin Gardner even though he is at home with a modern reggae inspired style would be a distraction at a Black church used to hearing a modern neo-soul styled praise music.
     
  4. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    Good answer, Jhengsman. The thing we lose sight of is that context is everything.

    In the case of worship, soundchaser59, the context isn't the song, or even the band, but the congregation. If what I am playing doesn't serve the congregation by helping it worship it doesn't matter how sincere or passionate I am. "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets" and if I'm not helping, I'm hurting.
     
  5. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

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    I am afraid I would respectfully disagree, at least to some extent. The context is much bigger than the congregation, the context is finding all the ways we can conjure to become closer with God, regardless of who is or isn't in the congregation. Sometimes I think the congregation is hurting itself by having such a collective closed mind or narrow vision.

    We'll keep our brand of worship over here on this side of the fence, and you guys keep your brand of worship over there on that side of the fence, and we'll all get along just fine. Right?

    I guess the Kansas church would fire me then if I did something distracting and out of their ordinary realm of experience like bringing in the Harlem Gospel Choir to lead worship. Better not go there.........right? It would probably do more harm than good for them to see - and hopefully participate in - this totally different style of worship. Even though it might be pleasing to God, if the congregation isn't used to it then it's hurting them and distracting them.......right? Even though it might be serving the members of the choir by supporting their desire to worship and praise in a way they are used to.......right? As long as we only give the congregation what they are used to, exactly what they expect every Sunday, then that's the best way to serve them and help them understand the presence of God.......right?

    Besides, that's how The Man Himself would handle it, right? Always give them exactly what they are used to, exactly what they expect, nothing less and certainly nothing more.......right?

    Please understand that this is black font on an internet web page, so communicative context is sorely lacking here. I am not trying to argue or provoke, I'm not angry or trolling for the perfect storm or anything.......I do like to split hairs, and that may be what I'm doing here, I like to ask questions that most people never think to ask, etc.etc.etc...... I'm just never convinced that we are looking at all the possible angles and motives and interpretations of our thoughts and actions, I'm not, I overlook things all the time. But I also get a lot of people looking at me sideways saying "I never would have thought of it that way!" Sometimes that's a good thing leading to new insights, sometimes they are content to be silently offended and stuck in their ways, sometimes I make the same mistakes, and I am set in my ways just as often as the next person. Please keep in mind that I have no formal training in worship or theology, etc, I'm only the piano player, I'm only the guitar player, and I've probably had too much caffeine already this morning. :rolleyes:

    I just want to understand why so many people of faith seem to be so rigidly set against any kind of praise or expression or whatever that seems to be too loud, too colorful, too creative, too original, too enthusiastic, or.....God forbid.......too new or too different than what we are used to. I know my opinion is not the popular POV, but I think there are many many churches desperately in need of exposure to all that is different and new in praise and worship. Sometimes I think a 2 year mission trip overseas should be a requirement for joining any church, just to get people out of the comfort zone and to broaden their idea of what constitutes serving.

    no offense intended, just thinking out loud and hoping to have some thought provoking banter......thanks in advance for thinking and having fun with such an important topic.
     
  6. Jhengsman

    Jhengsman Tele-Holic

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    They wouldn't fire you if you brought in The Harlem Urban Choir for one week any more then a Harlem Music director would be fired for bringing in the Gaither Trio, for one week. However they are different communities and you can not force feed an alien culture, as expressed in music, down their throat either. Especially when there is the option of the church across the street. Only when you have denominational rules in place which the people are willing to follow saying you must attend here and we have the authority to set the standard will that work, to a limited extent. Otherwise the majority opinion of that local congregation, or its elders, will rule
     
  7. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

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    Awwww, there you go making me deal with hard reality again.......:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

    You are, of course, quite right. :cool:

    I just wish we could have more of this kind of worship in some of those areas where people have never been used to anything different......this is, to me, like the Lincoln Brewster of choir worship!
     
  8. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    Isn't this attitude oddly similar to the guy who only wants old hymns: "We're going to do it MY way no matter whether anyone else here can worship like that!"

    Reading through Paul's letters to the Corinthians it's pretty clear that you're either serving the brothers or you're serving yourself. I frequently have to tone down what I do for the little old ladies in the back row; I leave the pedals at home and turn down the amp and minister to them. I suspect those older saints probably know a lot more about God than I do, anyway!
     
  9. PopsCC

    PopsCC Tele-Meister

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    Soundchaser, I think the most likely way to get folks from many different churches to try different music is to organize a sacred music festival on a weekend, and make sure to get a wide range of participants.
    The "problem" of congregations being set in their ways is not going away any time soon.
    I'm fortunate to be attending two churches, one using CCM material and the other traditional liturgical with choir and pipe organ. . . And I relate to and appreciate each one, and can feel the presence of the Spirit in both. After all, the creator of the universe is the creator of music, and the one who put the music in me, and it's all good.
     
  10. AHart

    AHart TDPRI Member

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    Very interesting thread...
    I joined a new church and praise band recently-definitely CCM. I'm learning the songs off YouTube and noticed the leads are bare bones. I figured it was intentional so that church bands (which don't always have the top talent =0 ) could do a creditable job with them.
    I'm still fitting in, but the music director definitely expects me to SOLO. As a side note (rim shot!), my son loves metal, learns the tabs, and his hands can leave me in the dust, but ask him to improvise, well...
    Drew
    ps I'm close to 60 also and note that very few young players are stepping up.
     
  11. Jhengsman

    Jhengsman Tele-Holic

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    I don't think it, the lack of lead guitar, is the result of worship teams delivering the ultimate arrangement so that other churches will copy them in a tribute band like performance but rather the sociology of church. We can focus on the frontman/worship leader because the lyric being presented. However an instrumental solo does not have the actual lyrical content so the fear is that the focus will be on the soloist, especially if the soloist is standing and not seated in an orchestra pit.

    Churches do allow for the solo instrumental but then they tend to call it a special praise offering and it is placed separately from the corporate sing along bloc.
     
  12. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

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    I play small melodic solos in my praise group and its appreciated by all. Mainly because I keep it short and organic, and it sounds like it belongs there. Usually I have to keep rhythm, because the keyboardist is a downhill racer, always on the verge of going too fast. The drummer, when he shows up, is like a 'get out of rhythm duty free card ' which allows for more mini solos.

    The praise leader will occasionally give me a solo, and I usually improvise something. Todays solos are nothing like the days of Clapton, Hendrix histrionics, and the Allmans' double guitar solos. Soloing( or improvising ) has been relatively dead since Stevie Ray died, IMHO. It never caught on with praise & worship. So to those younger guitarists I would suggest listening to older secular stuff. I was always partial to the Vineyard songbooks for middle of the road guitar music, but trying to emulate studio magic is just daunting for even the experienced guitarists.

    I got bored with P&W music, so I joined a few bands to scratch that itch. I'm still in church though. I get to solo in church on MLK Day celebrations and other special occasions.

    The main reason reason solos are looked down on is because of the anti-communal spirit that is built in to it. Church is a way of involving all the people in the church. For better or worse, solos imply a self-indulgent spirit. While this attitude is prevalent in most churches, I always quote Psalm 150 to the naysayers. Look it up, as this could prove to be a discussion of theology...I do not want to break any rules...I'm just saying don't be afraid to solo and improvise like your life depended on it.
     
  13. Edwin

    Edwin Banned

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    Just my opinion but if there is only one guitar "lead" and "rhythm" are the guitarist responsibility. If there are two or more guitarist lead and rhythm are separated and in worship lead is minimized because it's about leading the congregation into worship. I have observed Long fancy solo's choke off the singing.
     
  14. southpaw pete

    southpaw pete Tele-Meister

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    I've noticed that guitar solos can be looked down on as showing off in church...
    But is it different when you experience a different lead instrument in worship?

    I was recently talking with someone who was turned off by guitar solos (he's okay with the typical P&W hooky riff though). I asked him what he thought about a flute solo or violin solo... He thought for a second and realized that those instruments brought out a completely different reaction for him.

    The musician (and their attitude and skill) can either distract from worship or draw people in to worship, whether it is with guitar, flute, violin...or kazoo... I think part of the problem is that so many of us have only seen the epic, egocentric flashy guitar solos, whereas orchestral instruments are typically experienced more as a cooperative voice, working as one with the whole (symphony).
     
  15. Wound3rd

    Wound3rd Tele-Meister

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    My thoughts exactly. Growing up in a traditional SBC church there wasn't a week that went by where you didn't have a 1) piano introduction 2) piano offertory 3) piano benediction 4) choir special often featuring a soloist and 5) a special solo, often accompanied by a track (Christian Karaoke:rolleyes:) in recent years. What. Is. The. Difference? I've never heard the motivations of the singer or pianist questioned (and the pianist is usually paid). They don't get bombarded with the "Well, it's not about us" thing. They're just "using their talent for the Lord.":confused:
     
  16. Jhengsman

    Jhengsman Tele-Holic

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    Culturally the other instruments, even saxophone are seen as concert or classical instruments while guitar is seen a pop instrument. In some communities which have a legacy of an actual pipe organ the piano and its percussive nature is also almost verboten. I may disagree, but then that is part of the reason why there is a church on every corner

    As for the singer offering a special praise offering over the karaoke because the church band can not sound exactly like the pros on the album there is also the lyric to which a member can say they are individually focused on.
     
  17. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    Absolutely not!!! I get hired in to SHRED consistently in churches.
    You better know how to solo if you get thrown into these settings!!
    Sorry about the audio I forgot I had my camera mic on the highest setting from a forum I was speaking in the day before and it clipped badly.

    This is spontaneous worship and the word stuff

    with an old friend

    Home Church band
     
  18. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    More on this subject. This is a recording from last Sundays service at my home Church.
    Song is the 3rd in our set and was playing over a ministry time at the altar we stayed in the song for a total of 45 minuets and had several times where both myself and the other guitarist stepped out with some solo work. This is a clip of the middle of the session and the real solos start at around 4:26 with one of my solos. I and the other guitarist in the band swap off solos for the rest of the time at points in the song. Some were hot shredders some light ambient airy stuff but from that point on we were in a mode of doing a lot of melodic solo work till the end of the tune to break things up. This is the norm for us so no soloing by a real lead player is NOT dead in Worship!
    https://app.box.com/s/7fyhzbs1e3uzblnm41jv
     
  19. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Afflicted

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    WOW, Ascension.......somebody really knows how to play lead with P&W music! Nice!
     
  20. makki_0709

    makki_0709 Tele-Meister

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    I've been playing in my current church for the past two years and have always played rhythm guitar only. I wasn't really sure I had it in me to play a solo every now and then (long story, but let's just say that the voices of bandmates past still haunt me).

    However, I was asked by our WL during rehearsal last week if I would be comfortable doing a solo on one song. I said I'd give it a shot. During the rehearsal, didn't turn out that great. I don't improvise that well but I promised I'd have it all together by Sunday.

    Practiced for a few hours during the weekend and played my first solo ever in church on Sunday. I think I did ok coz the I wasn't told to cut the solo out when we were doing our run through.

    I read a few of the comments/replies in this thread prior to practicing, and followed the advice on keeping it short but organic. Thanks!
     
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