Sound like the CD vs sound like me

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by 65 Champ Amp, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m sure this applies to secular as well as worship, but I wonder if it affects one genre more than the other. Probably secular cover bands, but anyone who plays in both could say.

    I have always struggled with copping someone else’s solos exactly. I say struggled because I know that the skill of transposition is important. Back in the ‘70s, I did a lot of damage to 33 1/3 LPs playing along (with a 65 Champ- go figure) and picking up the stylus and doing it again. So many hours wearing out Dead, Allman Bros, Clapton, Hot Tuna, Albert King, the Outlaws and other vinyl. Jorma Kaukenen and his mentor Rev Gary Davis, and Mark Knopfler taught me I don’t need picks.
    i don’t think I ever nailed a specific solo note for note, but I learned to solo based on the melody, and capture the feel. And along the way, my own style developed. Two compliments that have stuck with me were “you sound like Jerry Garcia”, and while playing Norman Blake and Doc Watson songs around a campfire, a girl said “you sound so...country”. Never was entirely sure they were meant as 100% complimentary- lol, but it was what I needed to hear to encourage me.

    So, when leading worship, it’s not so much about a performance, or entertainment. I find the people have less need to hear me nail the solo just like the cd, but those who like to sing along need familiarity in melody, timing and arrangement.

    Besides my own church, I participate in a worship band. Quite liberating to not be the leader, just the lead guitarist/singer. This Saturday, we’ll be doing some of the leader’s originals, and she gave a cd she recorded with a fancy Dan Nashville guitarist and asked if I can play the intro solo like he did.:eek::D
    I think I can, but it’s still going to sound like me.:oops:

    I see a huge divide between players in smaller churches, and those who play in mega churches. We tend to use amps more and have smaller boards.

    Big church players seem more likely to be pushed into no amps on stage (prayers sent:cool:). And their pedal boards! Reading other worship boards, it sounds like they spend a ton of energy downloading and scrolling through patches to sound just Hillsong or whoever.

    So is it just my imagination, or do big churches expect their musicians to sound like the cd? Or is that self-imposed?

    Another thought, which may be another, albeit related question, playing direct seems to require an awful lot of trust in the guy pushing your faders. With my my volunteer soundman, I set my guitar (if playing acoustic) and mic faders and eq on the board so the only thing he has to fiddle with is the mute button. He is getting better at it too!
    Too many times I have attended a big church in which all you can hear is the keys, vocals, and maybe the acoustic strummer. He probably sounds great in his IEM, but is the lead guitarist aware that Bruno On The Board has his solo inaudible through the board?

    I know- TLDR, but I am so glad to have these outlets for my music!
    Life is good.
     
  2. black_doug

    black_doug Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm in a worship band doing the same as you in front of about 100 people. I feel that if I try learning any of the few solos there are to the best of my ability then I've done my job. No one's complained yet.

    We are covering the popular Matt Redman, Bethel and Hillsong songs and there aren't many times a solo is needed. I find that I don't even need to start playing until after the first chorus many times. I feel that one important part of my job is to vary the dynamic by playing less or more.


    I do try to match the tone by hitting the right pedals on my small pedalboard. Last Sunday the WL complemented me on my tone when I used distortion with an octave pedal.
     
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  3. 65 Champ Amp

    65 Champ Amp Tele-Afflicted

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    It is always a boost when someone compliments your tone. Sometimes we wonder if they pay attention.
    Good point about less being part of dynamics.

    One advantage to being small (4 piece), and not caring too much about sounding like the cd, PLUS having a leader that simply loves guitar music, is that she wants me to let it rip in almost every song. When she backs away from her mic and looks at me, off I go. Almost never like the cd, though. For that matter, never exactly how I played it last time either.:rolleyes:

    I'm not noodling! That's improvising:D
     
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  4. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Holic

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    I play at small country church also, guessing 100 is probably the typical size church in the United States.
    We do a mix of hymns and contemporary music. With hymns I stick to the melody line.
    With contemporary songs I will play particular riff if WL feels it defines the song. For the most part I try to not over play, though I do use the guitar to rachet it up for chorus or particular verses.
    I just plug a Tele into a small amp, no effects, guess I'm just a pretty old school player:rolleyes:
     
  5. mRtINY

    mRtINY Tele-Afflicted

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    There's one question you have to ask yourself: "do I want to be a clone?"

    Well, do ya? ....


    clone.jpg
     
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  6. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I'm with MrTiny. Don't be a clone. Let your individuality and God given uniqueness shine! I can say this, if I had to sound like Nigel Hendroff all the time, I'd shoot myself, (or at least I'd stop playing in Church ;)).
     
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  7. GoldieLocks

    GoldieLocks Tele-Afflicted

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    Whenever I get REQUESTED to play "Like on the C.D.". The thing I always state is, "As soon as the Singers, Bassist, Drummer, Keyboardist, AND THE SOUNDMAN... do exactly like the C.D. - I'll be right behind them. That always ends the discussion. Cuz we all know the Soundman ain't gonna mix it like that.
     
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  8. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Everyone is thinking it, you're the guy saying it. Good for you. We use Planning Center and recorded versions of songs are always included along with musical scores and usually chord sheets, which are mostly Praise Charts arrangements. I've asked many times why we have both, and which one we're actually going to use or follow because the Praise charts are different than the recordings and in the end, the Sound guy is not going to mix anything near the recording.
     
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  9. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    I try not to listen to the original very much
     
  10. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    Playing worship is not playing in a cover band. Playing worship has to be about more than just playing the right notes at the right time it's absolutely not the same as performance. Playing in a cover band in a club and playing material as close to the record is one thing but it has no place in worship.
    This is our mandate

    Psalm 96
    1 Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
    2 Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
    3 Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
    None of this can be done by mindlessly performing a piece we have memorized as worship is simply not just performance but something else entirely. Can we play a concert of worship material like a CD yes but its not worship its simply a performance.
    There has to be freedom to create to flow to sing and play that new song even if we do use a pattern of a familiar song it's just a different dynamic and mindset.
     
  11. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG]
    Bet most of the folk here have never heard the song and it really does hit home in this discussion so
     
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  12. mRtINY

    mRtINY Tele-Afflicted

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    Thank you for helping culturally educate the denizens here.....
     
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  13. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    Don't mention it am actually old enough to have that album on vinyl LOL!
    Randy was an absolute HOOT here is another one of favorites from him.
     
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  14. beatnik

    beatnik TDPRI Member

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    I have played in both worlds. I continue to play in bars and honky tonks.

    My thought is; the heads are important with regard to sound and note selection.

    In the secular world, when I start playing I want people to go, “Hey! That is Guitars and Cadillacs!!! Yay! My favorite song!”

    In church world, I wanted people to hear the head, sound and notes, and either go, “Hey that is Mighty to Save! That is my favorite song!” Or go upon hearing the song on the radio, “Hey, we sang that song in church on Sunday and it really spoke to me. I am so glad to hear it again!”

    With regard to solos and fills; I did not hear much of anything in sacred music that warranted me transcribing much unless it fit a need in my own playing.

    Secular music on the other hand there are a bunch of songs that I either quote note for note e.g. Guitars and Cadillacs or Ain’t Drinking Anymore because the solo is, in my mind iconic or teaches me something about playing guitar. Then there are other tunes where I quote pieces of the solo because they either give me a jumping off point or those parts stand out e.g. the start of Drinking Problem and the double stops in LaGrange. The rest of the solo I just try to play in the style of the soloist. But like the OP I still sound like me.

    I will say going to church where there is a band, as an educated listener I get rather disappointed when it is apparent that the guitarist or other musicians have not done their homework and only have a vague knowledge of the key and can tap in a tempo on their delay. They then just wheedle their way around in the CAGED system; boring.

    My final thought is this; the head was written with (hopefully) some thought and intention. It should be as important as the words and melody in the structure of the song. I aspire to learn that little melody and play it to serve the tune. I was not paid to play on the album nor to compose the song and I have not received any Grammys or Dove awards to show a track record of commercial success, so until then, I should serve the song and by extension the congregation or listener by learning the music to the best of my ability.

    Keep striving y’all.
     
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  15. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    If they want you to play the song note-for-note, then they really don't want you; they just need a guitar monkey to be their stand-in for 3 minutes or so. Yeah, just say "no thanks" and do your thing. Maybe crack a Johnny Bravo joke while you are at it to salve their injury.

    If the original band stepped down off the lighted arena stage they are currently playing in and walked into your modest church in in the harsh daylight of a mid-morning service made up of people of various generations, they wouldn't play the song like they did on the CD. In my opinion, the room is also a member of the band, and it may not tolerate all the dogs and ponies that go into, say, a typical Hillsong production.

    This one is a topic that requires constant vigilance. Every now and then we get a musician who wants to do exactly that. So it becomes good practice for me to cultivate my "saying no in a church setting" skills. I think live music is way better when skilled musicians with good ears are allowed to just do their thing.
     
  16. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, in defense of soundmen everywhere............. you're right!

    The environment is all wrong. The room is not set for studio mixes
    and most of the time the sanctuary is not even set for a good live mix.
    A great mix in a bad room will still sound, well, bad.

    I stopped playing with my former church's band because they
    wanted to sound like the CD. The very first day it was mentioned,
    I finished out play the rehearsal, then asked them numerous times
    if this was the direction they really wanted to go in........
    then I said my farewell. They never sounded the same after that.

    I felt bad doing that to a bunch of younger adults but I got over it
    when the drummers dad told me that the very next rehearsal they had
    made them question their own "sound like the CD" validity.
     
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  17. Uncle Butch

    Uncle Butch Tele-Meister

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    A lot of the music is so layered with multiple guitar parts I just play what stands out the most to retain the feel of the song, but I'm notorious for playing things my way. To me (and this is just my opinion, not meant to ruffle feathers), a lot of the music all sounds the same, it all starts with a keyboard patch droning on and then some mellow noodling drenched in delay and gradually (hopefully) building into a song. I come from a country, bluegrass, blues and rock background. I don't necessarily care if I sound like the recording because to my tastes and a lot of other people"s tastes some of the music is just flat out lame. I play what I feel. The guitar player next to me plays some lead stuff and tries to copy everything note for note, and spends hours dialing in tones on his Line 6 board and for all his efforts it sounds mechanical and boring. I play what I feel, and feel what I play.
     
  18. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    I normally don't listen to the pop corporate stuff that is on the radio called Worship in my personal time. I am not comfortable being a cover band player on Sunday morning. Every Church should have a voice that is theirs not be a clone. Every where I have called home we have used a song as a road map but made it our own.
    It's stuff like this that moves me not the corporate fluff top 40 stuff that is written to a formula to make $.
     
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  19. Ascension

    Ascension Tele-Afflicted

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    For reference this is my worship world. Brought the guy playing keys and wood flute with us here into my home Church with me in January. We gonna get lost in worship!
     
  20. GeetarPlayer

    GeetarPlayer Tele-Meister

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    I love to sound like the CD. I need a goal, and that is to listen and cop the song as best I can. I listen to each guitar track separately to see how they played it, and then listen for the parts that stand out the most, and cover those. I need this goal in order to do well and also improve. Otherwise, I think I'd just fall into my habitual riffs and call it a day. Pushing to sound like the CD has taught me a lot, like efficient fingering, fret board positions and also tone. I've spent about 3 years doing this - which ends up being 6-10 hours of practice a week. Now, when I do improvise, what I play is way more interesting than it was 3 years ago. It's also true that I absolutely love to listen to this style of worship music that is popular today.
     
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