Switching Guitars

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by lstdukestking, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. lstdukestking

    lstdukestking Tele-Meister

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    Anybody here play multiple guitars during their service? I've thought about it but just don't know if it's worth it for 4-6 songs. If I need a specific guitar for a song then I just play that guitar for that service.

    If you do play multiple guitars, how do you switch guitars and use the same rig?
     
  2. warhammer

    warhammer TDPRI Member

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    I do this from time to time. Our sound people are volunteers, most of whom have little to no background or experience, so we try to find the happy medium setup between the two guitars I use during sound check. We are acoustic only, and I switch between a 6 and 12 string. The 6 is a lot hotter than the 12, so that can create some problems.

    As far as the actual swap, our pastor gets antsy if we take too long between songs, so I try to time the swap when there is a natural break in the songs such as offering or communion time. Sometimes this means playing one when I'd rather play the other on one song because I or we feel so strongly about using it on another. Often, I swap between the main set and the alter call because this is the easiest and presents the least opportunity for something unplanned happening.
     
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  3. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Afflicted

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    At our church not much room for extra guitars, along with no time for switching.

    I did play a different guitar yesterday. I had worked one Saturday, and wanted to test it out.
    Decided that the thinline I leave at church is best for Sunday mornings.
     
  4. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I have run two guitars on many occasions, but it creates a layer of complexity that I like to avoid (because of volunteer sound man limitations only). I use two guitars on occasions when I play slide or have one guitar tuned to an alternate tuning. When I do, I use a simple Morley A/B/Y box. You can spend a lot on a transformer isolated A/B box or just use a simple one like the Morley. They can introduce some noise, but for live music, I've never had a problem with simple. You can run one guitar into two different rigs, or go the other direction and run two different guitars into one rig. When running two guitars, you only need an A/B box.
     
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  5. preactor

    preactor Tele-Holic

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    Every time I switch guitars...it ruins my hair and tie (if I am wearing one)! :lol::lol::lol: It really takes up too much time for me between back-to-back songs but if there is something else going on in the service it is doable.
     
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  6. hotraman

    hotraman Tele-Holic

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    I do.
    I play my Gretsch Black Falcon, and then switch to my Rittenberry pedal steel.
    I'm in the backline, so I have time to adjust ( standing vs sitting down)
    I use the same settings on my pedalboard.
    Clean, distortion for Robersons Randolph vibe, and Timeline ( delay) and Ventris ( reverb)
    Its a lot of fun, to do.
    I bought a rock and roller cart a few years back, and my effects is in a Brady Rolling case.
     
  7. mRtINY

    mRtINY Friend of Leo's

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    Sometimes, I pick up the pastor's acoustic when he's busy and the music calls for a flat-top box.
     
  8. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, I'll do multiple instruments. Noone has any patience for the boneheaded guitar player so I have to put some forethought into the switch.

    If I play mandolin or (rarely) banjo then those are going direct to house, no plug-unplug issues. Just put down one, pick up another and hope the sound guy notices the swap and mutes and unmutes the right channels.

    If its 12-string, Nashville strung, lap steel or a guitar with some alternate tuning then I have to think about how to make the switch. I may drop out of the previous song at the outro (when its, say, just the piano and vocals doing a fiddly ending). If I've got no other choice, and we can't rearrange the order of songs, then I just tell the vocals in advance about the problem and ask her to talk a bit to buy me time.

    But if there's no smooth seamless way to make the switch, then I don't do it. Distraction-free flow is more important. But there usually is a way to do it, as long as you aren't switching instruments every song like Mike Campbell or some other touring pro.
     
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  9. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    What? You guys don't have a roadie/guitar tech who comes out and takes the current guitar from you while handing you the next one?
     
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  10. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    No thanks. The way I play I'd be worried the roadie would take my guitar and not give me a replacement, as a public service.
     
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  11. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Tele-Afflicted

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    Same for me JMike, if I change from my guitar it would be for mandolin and sometimes banjo, in which case we would just do everything with a condenser mic. We also have a really good banjo picker in the church band, I love to put a mandolin or guitar along with his 5-string banjo. Again, a condenser mic picks it all up.
     
  12. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    The struggle is real. :lol::lol::lol:
     
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  13. warhammer

    warhammer TDPRI Member

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    Rumor at our church is the pastor is so sensitive about time between songs that he used to have a volunteer page turner/music sheet switcher to save on time when he would do music in the past.

    Personally, I dunno about all of that, but we try really hard to play directly from one song to another. This led to my embarrassment a couple of months ago when I was the sole guitarist and leading the praise team and tried to play straight into the next song straight into communion time. I played the intro once, got a touch annoyed, and started going through a second time when one of the singers turned and gave me a big eyed cut it out look. It's funny now, but i was pretty miserable that day.
     
  14. SBClose

    SBClose Tele-Meister

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    When switching electric guitars, I do it like this:
    A) guitar volume down
    B) hit the tuner pedal to kill the signal
    C) unlpug guitar putting the cable end in my right pocket
    D) release the strap locks on my strap
    E) swap guitars on my double stand
    Then reverse the order. Except for the 3-5 seonds it takes me to actually swap the guitars on the stand, I can do all of this while still talking to the folks. Using the same strap with strap locks helps keep the movement down and eliminates the chance for a strap to get snagged on the stand. If the amp needs a tweak, I'll put bits of different color post-it notes on my amp so I can turn the knobs quickly without having to remember what I'm doing.
    Word to the wise...
    I did this a while ago heading into the last song of the day and panicked because I had no signal after switching guitars...and I was leading worship that day...and the band was cuing off my now silent intro. The other guitar player stepped into the disaster and we got through the song without my now-dead guitar. After the service I checked my signal path, checked the guitar in another amp scratched my head and muttered.
    Yeah...if you forget to open that tuner pedal up again, it won't make noise. The first thing I shoulda checked was the last thing I discovered.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
  15. SBClose

    SBClose Tele-Meister

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    Stevie knew how to do it...but he had help.
     
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  16. PastorJay

    PastorJay Tele-Afflicted

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    These days I can use as many guitars as I want, because I'm recording in my living room. But I've only used one so far.

    For a church service I've usually tried to bring one guitar, and then a mandolin or harmonicas if the music called for it.

    I usually do two or three events a year, church conferences or special services, with a rotating group of musicians and pastors I've been working with off and on for about 10 years. One year i showed up with about 12K worth of various guitars, a mandolin, harmonicas, amps, pedals, etc. The keyboard player was playing an old borrowed $ 200 instrument.

    I had to laugh.
     
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  17. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Yep. That's pretty much what it looks like when I do it. :lol::lol: Actually not even in my dreams....
     
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