Simplicity through Complexity

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by Octorfunk, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

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    I've been leading worship from guitar for about 10yrs now, and I've gone through many phases as a guitarist: the expensive high-wattage tube amp phase, the monster pedalboard phase, the tiny pedalboard phase, etc.

    I'm now at the point that what I value most as an electric-guitar-playing-worship-leader is simplicity. I don't want to worry about which 2 pedals I need to step on during the bridge (while I'm still singing), I don't want to worry about remembering if patch #3 on my looper was the delay or if it was patch #4. I want to have good, solid, usable tone & effects that I can use without it being a distraction to myself or my church.

    So here's where I'm at...

    I have my guitar, with an intern delay unit (activated by toggle switch), into a Vox Amplug (AC30), straight to the board.

    I get my dirt from the amp, which I can have cranked because of zero stage volume. I control the level/dirt the old-fashioned way, with my volume knob and pickup selector switch.

    I get delay from the internal unit, preset to about 72 bpm (most every song we play is 72-78 bpm, oddly enough).

    I'm a huge reverb guy, but I began to realize that between the other guitar and keyboard, most of my sweet shimmer/modulated/big sky reverb was never making it to our church's ears. So I cut it.

    Delay does make it through though, and thickens up my tone for lead/atmospheric stuff, so I can live with a good analog delay (digital of course). It's built-in to my guitar because most of the time I'm singing, and I can't be looking down to switch effects on/off. I can guess where they are, but you can imagine what happens when I guess wrong.

    So that's my philosophy when it comes to the electric guitar-playing worship leader: Simplicity Through Complexity. In order to get to the simplicity of a single effect and great tone, I'm willing to put up with the complexity of building the effect into my guitar. When it comes time to lead our church in worship, my guitar & effects are the last thing I'm thinking/worrying about.
     
  2. Mbechmann

    Mbechmann Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

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    I am BIG fan of simplicity. I do see these monster pedal boards and so on, and it makes me wonder how you have time to use that doing a song :)

    My favorite tone, is an old vintage 355 straight into a vintage tube amp. That tone... It just hits me every time. Nothing more simple than that :)

    Only problem, I play bass :)
     
  3. bikeracr

    bikeracr Tele-Meister

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    Makes complete sense if you are leading. I have a hard enough time with effects when just playing guitar...I still use a decent size pedal board.
     
  4. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Tele-Holic

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    The worst P&W team guitarist we ever had, ever, was the guy who had 20 Danelectro pedals all daisy chained together......and he always had one distorted, completely non-musical sound for the entire set, never stepped on any pedal, never changed anything. Frankly, it was the most horrible guitar contribution you could ever deal with in any setting, but especially bad for P&W. Pure mud. He might as well have not even been there.
     
  5. Maximus.opto

    Maximus.opto Tele-Meister

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    72 bpm? That is kinda fast, no?
     
  6. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

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    I totally get the text of the OP. Have to say I am struggling with getting the meaning of the title, though. Does it mean simplicity in the effort necessary to create music, made possible by a signal chain that hides the complexity?

    FWIW, when I lead (playing and singing) I also tend to minimize the things I need to do so that I can concentrate on being a band leader. No pedal dance. But I still use my standard rig. I guess you could say that I do things like set the pedals to allow my hands, p/u selection and guitar knobs to control the dirt effects. It also helps that when I lead I don't need the more complicated delay settings on my nova repeater, and I don't need my rat clone or my auto-wah. But when someone else is leading the band and I get to sit back and play guitar 2, then I use all of my board. Bring on the complexity! :twisted:
     
  7. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I agree with simple is better.
    I'm pretty close to the guitar-cable-amp guy on any given Sunday.
    I am the band leader, but am occasionally asked to lead when the WP is away.
    I play acoustic when I sing. Talk about simple.
     
  8. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

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    What I mean is I'm willing to have a somewhat complex (built-in effects, a handful of batteries inside the guitar, Vox amplug into wireless pack, etc) rig behind the scenes that affords me simplicity in operation of that rig (volume knob & on/off delay knob).

    It would definitely have been a lot easier to just put the pedal on the floor and plug in, but then I'd have to do the pedal dance while leading, which makes it more complex/difficult for me.
     
  9. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

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    Simple?

    I say use whatever sounds best for the situation.

    I hate seeing lazy church guitarists who could have had a better tone but can't be bothered to bring GOOD gear. Never skimp when it's for GOD. :D

    But since tone is really in the fingers and ears - Some guys can have all the gear in the world and still sound horrible (even with endless effort)... Maybe if they practiced more.

    I don't touch any of my pedals when playing. I just pick harder/softer.
     
  10. Handley

    Handley Tele-Meister

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    My set up this past Sunday while leading worship...

    G&L ASAT (with Nocaster pups) --->Tuner (used as a mute during the sermon)--->5E3 Tweed Deluxe Clone (my first build).

    Didn't even mic the amp. Our sanctuary seats about 400 and is pretty live so I just play the amp. However, I have a very good relationship with the sound techs that took time to build. Well worth the investment.

    The simplicity allowed me to be confident in my tone while focusing my attention on how to be the best lead-worshiper that I can.
     
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