Monthly Archives: June 2021

Building Guitars…And A Ministry – S1E5



If you have a hardhat laying around somewhere, it’s time to put it on.  If you don’t, maybe you can go to the party store and find one of those flimsy plastic ones.  No, it won’t protect you, but at least it’ll get you in the mood.

This episode is, for the most part, dedicated to building, so here’s the question of the day: can we build it?  Yes, we c–…actually, we’re not going to complete that line, because it may be copyright infringement.  But you get it, right?

GOD

As this episode is about building, Chris turned to scripture to point out some reasons almost everyone of note in the Old Testament built altars to God.  Chris shares some really good examples, but the main justifications were to recognize, identify and memorialize significant spiritual events and represent a supernatural intersection of a person’s sacrifice and God’s blessing.

Why share this info?  Chris offered that we, as worshippers who participate in music ministries, can build altars of our own to God when we’re called upon to serve.  To do this effectively, here are five steps to do build it:

  1. Sacrifice your time, energy, mind and heart to prepare to make your offering there. Pair your purpose with your practice.
  2. Acknowledge God’s blessing for you to be there in that place in that moment. God has gifted you with time, talent, and opportunity to serve him, to minister to Him.  Take time to thank Him for that honor.
  3. Pray that your offering will be found acceptable to God – that was described as a “pleasing aroma” coming from Noah’s altar in Genesis 8:21. Pray the Spirit will move through you and through God’s people.
  4. Anticipate God’s presence as you make your offering to Him. In Mt 18:20, Jesus says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with him.”  Embrace this fact ahead of time.
  5. Proclaim His greatness as you serve Him and His people. Why do you think every episode of this podcast begins with Psalm 150:6?  Let’s praise the Lord!

GUITARS

Scott McDonald, owner/operator of Seventh Day Guitars, joined the show to talk about everything that goes into building a custom guitar for his clients, and shared the inspirational story that led to the birth of his company.  It’s not often you hear of someone taking a seemingly distant dream of building one guitar as a project to going all-in to serve God and build full-time in a company…all within a matter of months!  The circumstances – and Spirit-led events – that made it all come together will astound you.

Speaking of being astounded, if you check out his work, you’ll be astounded by the guitars he’s cranking out.  On the Seventh Day Guitars Facebook page, Scott’s got VERY detailed photo-journals of his work on various builds; here’s a couple we think you’ll enjoy:

Sound of Jericho

Immersion

Isaiah

UPDATE: Since our conversation, Scott shared something pretty wonderful with us (along with all Seventh Day Guitars fans).  With every build going forward, he’s going to incorporate a small piece of fabric brought to America by a Panama City, FL ministry called “MissionMerch”.  This fabric is made by Christians in India, who cannot – for fear of harsh reprisals, arrest, imprisonment, torture, and even death – worship God and follow Christ in public.  Because these brothers and sisters are unable to minister to God and each other in song, every Seventh Day Guitar build will sing for them, proclaiming God’s power, strength, mercy and love.

From the MissionMerch website:

MissionMerch is a life-change retailer that offers missionary merchandise, each with its own unique story. Goods from all over the world are handcrafted and sold to support many missionary organizations; provide training and employment in extremely impoverished areas; and, equip prospective missionaries with the tools to practice sharing the gospel of Jesus. Purchases are changing lives and restoring communities.

If you’d like to learn more, please visit http://www.missionmerch.org/

GEAR

Here’s a quick hack to fight the good fight with your gear and win the battle against the enemy: dust.  If you’re trying to take care of your gear – like a good steward should (AHEM) – you may want to check out Cheers Devices’ “Super Cleaning Gel”.  This stuff is gooey, sticky, colorful…and works like a charm.

It comes in a little plastic container, and you just dump it into your hand, and then roll it around on whatever you’re dusting.  The dust (or hair or fur) sticks to the gel, and you’re done!  And because it’s gel, it automatically moves around knobs and in between strings and everywhere else without disturbing anything.  That’s right – you can clean your pedals without tweaking any knobs and destroying the tone you’ve chased for years!  And if you’re wondering, there’s no sticky or wet residue, either.

Super Cleaning Gel works perfectly on gear, and if that wasn’t enough, it’s inexpensive, too!  Go to Amazon and pick up a four-pack for $8.  The pack will last you months, even if you’re extremely vigilant about keeping things clean.

Click HERE to get your own Super Cleaning Gel!

NEXT EPISODE

If overdrive is your thing…or if you want it to be your thing, but you just can’t seem to get it dialed in the way you want it, you’re not alone.  So, we’re bringing back Ty Caskey, our resident pedal guy, to talk all things OD – what it is, how it works, how to pick ’em, tweak ’em, stack ’em, and more.  He’ll also have some recommendations for you if you’re in the market.  And who doesn’t want another overdrive?  🙂


Music and Scripture with More Than A Song’s Michelle Nezat – S1E4



There’s a lot of significance to the number four. Consider a four-leaf clover, which some would call lucky.  Consider The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which I would think most would consider extremely unlucky. What about the Fantastic Four?  Not sure about lucky, but they’re pretty cool nonetheless.  Now, with all this considering you’ve done, what about Episode 4 of God, Guitars & Gear?  How ’bout you just listen and find out…

GOD

Chris was joined by Michelle Nezat, host of the “More Than a Song” podcast (subscribe here on Spotify) to talk about what she does during each episode.  Since 2014, Michelle has been examining popular contemporary christian songs, as well as our favorite new era hymns, using their lyrics to go back to the Bible for what God has to say.  Every episode is packed with spiritual truth from the best writer of all-time: God himself.  What Michelle shares is insightful, thought-provoking, and will stir you to you turn to scripture in a whole new way.

During the conversation, Chris mentioned several episodes that focus on some of the more popular music ministry selections; here are some you should check out:

#9 – Oceans

#138 – Great Are You Lord

#152 – Revelation Song

#154 – No Longer Slaves

#185 – O Come To The Altar

#271 – Build My Life

#360 – Graves Into Gardens

#367 – Battle Belongs

Please understand this is FAR from an exhaustive list, and you can find so much truth in every one of the episodes…even if you don’t particularly know or like the song (I know that personally  LOL).

GUITAR

Pickups are the heartbeat of any electric, but sometimes that beat just doesn’t seem to get a guitarist’s blood pumping.  If you’re looking for a great way to make your favorite sound like more than just one, Chris spends some time talking about – and highly recommending Guitar Fetish pickups and they’re really nifty Kwik-Plug system.

By rewiring your system with Kwik-Plug, you can swap out pickups in no time, and without solder.  Collect a nice mix of Guitar Fetish pickups, and you can mix-and-match to your heart’s content.  Since he first installed the system, Chris has got everything from high-gain humbuckers to lipsticks to Trons to humbucker-sized P90s!

Best of all, the pickup quality is there, and they’re really affordable, too.  Check them out at www.guitarfetish.com !

GEAR

This week’s gear tip really isn’t about gear…it’s about something that’s about gear.  Not making any sense?  Let’s hope this helps: Chris recently watched Reverb’s new documentary “The Pedal Movie”, and he’s got a review for you.  You’ll get the good, the bad and the fuzzy on the film, and you can find out whether he thinks it’s worth the rent.


Holy Helix! with Alex Strabala – S1E3



Even though this episode is entitled “Holy Helix!”, don’t think that’s all about the Helix.  It doesn’t matter if you’re using another modeler, using pedals, or you’re a hybrid kind of player that jumps around between analog and digital, there’s A LOT of good stuff in Episode 3 for your listening pleasure.

GOD

In these times, there’s a lot for us to worry about – our personal lives, the lives of those we love and care about, our brothers and sisters in Christ, the state of our communities, our countries, our world.  It’s really easy to become overwhelmed by fear, to be honest.  However, if we turn to scripture, we soon discover that we’ve been given the ULTIMATE gift to combat that fear and worry.

On the eve of his arrest, persecution, torture, and crucifixion, Jesus shares this with his closest friends:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27

This peace – the peace that stayed with Jesus as he endured the very worst for us – is ours.  How can we put it to use in our own lives today?

GUITARS

Line 6 modelers (Helix Floor, Helix LT, HX Stomp, Pod Go, etc), as well as other modelers, provide users with virtually unlimited possibilities.  That sounds great in the marketing brochure, but when trying to find a sound you like, the choices can be a bit of a problem (at least they are for Chris).

To circumvent this “patch paralysis”, Chris suggests a hack that actually has nothing to do with the modeling unit at all.  As is always the case, it all comes back to your guitar and what you do with it.  Find out why you should head back to the shop with your favorite guitar and do everything backwards!

Chris mentioned during this part of the episode that finding a list of Helix models and their real-life counterparts would be a big help, and he also mentioned there would be a link here in the show notes.  Well, this is the place, and this is the link: https://helixhelp.com/models/  This is, by far, the most up-to-date list he’s ever found, and it’s a 100% guarantee that it will be a big help to you.

GEAR

Chris had the privilege of sitting down with patch-building and guitar-slinging guru Alex Strabala this week, and it was SO MUCH FUN!  The conversation went all over the map, and he included some great insight – what the key component of any good patch really is, what special techniques to use to maximize the ability to stand out in the mix, as well as the patches he recommends for you if you’re just starting out.

Alex had a lot of great information to share, but be warned…Alex talks like he thinks – FAST!  You may need to keep your thumb on the “rewind :15” to get all the cool stuff he throws out during the show.

Be sure to check out his website www.alexstrabala.com for his patches, and as he gets ready to hit the road again, be watching his Instagram account, @alexstrabala.

Finally, this is can’t miss stuff, because you’ll finally be able to say his name without wondering if you’ve pronounced correctly. lol

 


Guitar Talk with Reverend Guitars CEO Ken Haas – S1E2



“And everything that has breath will praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” – Psalm 150:6

That’s what we do!!!!  Welcome to God, Guitars & Gear.  Thank you so much for checking out the podcast; if you like it, please subscribe.  Be sure to join the Facebook group as well – God, Guitars & Gear Podcast – and get in on the conversation!  The more friends we bring in, the more topics we can dig into, the more gear we can chat about, and most importantly, the closer we can all get to God.  Finally, follow the podcast on Instagram: @godguitarsandgear.

GOD

To kick things off on this episode, Chris shares a very personal story to focus on the power God imbues upon spiritually-centered music.  In our moments of need, and in His timing, He is always there for us…it’s what a perfect and loving father does for his children.  Be encouraged to check out, meditate on, and be encouraged by Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

The bottom line: don’t get caught up in the notes, the beats and the voices as you prepare to serve musically…get caught up in the glory of God.

GUITARS

Reverend Guitars CEO Ken Haas then came on to get into the nitty gritty of one of Chris’ favorite brands (he has two of them…and may have his eye on several more).  This interview is most definitely a must-listen, because Ken talks about a lot more than just Reverend Guitars.  Sure we dig deep into the history of the Reverend story, talk about the movement into korina bodies, proprietary pickups, and the “magic-in-a-knob” bass contour control, but that’s only the beginning.

Ken is much more than a number-crunching businessman; he’s a bonified, certified guitar nerd (meant in the most endearing terms possible), and he knows A LOT about guitar building, tone chasing, and playing styles.  His insight into pickup selection alone is worth the price of admission on this episode.  That’s really good value, since the podcast is free. 🙂

As mentioned earlier, Chris is a huge fan, and owns two already – a 20th Anniversary Double Agent OG (P90 and Railhammer HB-equipped w/hardtail) and a 2019 Limited Edition Sensei (RevTrons w/Bigsby) – and has his eyes on several others scattered across Reverb.  However, Ken mentioned that Reverend has some special goodies in store for their upcoming 25th Anniversary, so maybe 2022 is the year for the next addition to the Wayne Manor collection.

If you can’t wait, check out Reverend’s website for details: https://www.reverendguitars.com/

For some great sounds and a lot of fun, subscribe to Reverend’s YouTube account, too: https://www.youtube.com/user/reverendguitars

GEAR

It’s pretty easy to go with the names you know when it comes to gear, mainly because you don’t want to take the chance on some unknown brand or a new-fangled gizmo or gadget and wind up blowing your cash.  There are times, however, when you need to take the plunge, because that name brand gear is out of your price range.

This is where Chris found himself when considering the jump BACK into wireless (listen in to find out why he jumped…just before he suffered a chemical burn).  After a bunch of comparison shopping, review watching and reading, Chris settled on the Lekato Wireless System – yeah, he hadn’t heard of that brand, either.

Why Lekato? Three reasons:

  1. The 5.8gHz transmission band, which means you don’t have to deal with interference from wireless routers, cell phones, lights, etc. (NOTE: Chris mistakenly reference Hz instead of gHz in his review…but since Lekato makes that mistake, too…we’re good with it)
  2. The ease of use – no power supplies to plug in, no big receiver boxes to make room for, and no host of dials to tweak (or get tweaked when you’re not around)
  3. The price…OHHHHHH the price.

Listen in to get all the details, how Chris has used it since he bought the system, the good and the not-so-good about it, and the bottom line recommendation.  Is the Lekato Wireless System for you?

If you want to check it out for yourself, here you go (please note this is NOT an affiliate link): https://www.amazon.com/LEKATO-Transmitter-Transmission-Frequency-Rechargeable/dp/B07TYRQ222

 

 


Worship Guitarist No More! – S1E1



Welcome to the premiere episode of God, Guitars & Gear!  Thank you so much for checking out the podcast; if you like it, please subscribe.  Be sure to join the Facebook group as well – God, Guitars & Gear Podcast – and get in on the conversation!  The more friends we bring in, the more topics we can dig into, the more gear we can chat about, and most importantly, the closer we can all get to God.  Finally, follow the podcast on Instagram: @godguitarsandgear.

GOD

As will be the case with every episode, things kicked off with some spiritually minded conversation.  Chris shared his personal story, documenting his transformation from a “worship guitarist” to something much more accurate and God-honoring.  During a turbulent 2020, God took Chris on a journey, revealing three important truths that Chris either didn’t know or had forgotten.  God revealed that worship wasn’t about him, that he wasn’t a worship guitarist, and he didn’t belong in a worship ministry; it all boiled down the truth regarding what worship really is and who it’s for.

During the conversation, Chris referenced several scriptures – here they are for you to read and meditate on:

  1. Psalm 150
  2. Psalm 96:1
  3. Romans 12:1
  4. Colossians 3:23

A special thanks to Patrik Tamelin from the Facebook Group Line6 Helix and Pod Go Worship Team Users, who provided the comment that sparked some great conversation!

GUITAR

Pivoting into a little guitar talk, Chris shared his newly found and immediately preferred guitar care products for keeping his frets and fretboards in top condition: the MusicNomad Total Fretboard Care Bundle.

He breaks down everything in the kit: the FRINE Fret Polish, the fret guides, as well as the microfiber polishing cloth. You’ll also get step-by-step instructions on how to use the kit, a nice little hack to avoid getting all kinds of goop everywhere, as well as his thoughts on the “secret weapon” of the bundle: MusicNomad’s F-ONE Oil for the fretboard.  SPOILER ALERT: it’s a great kit.  However, it isn’t perfect, and Chris takes some to share what it’s missing, as well as what you have to watch out for while using it.

When everything is said and done, you’ll get a little insight into why this guitar care item is so important, and you’ll be able to make an educated decision about whether THIS kit is THE kit for you.  If you’re convinced, and you want to pick up a bundle of your own, click HERE.

GEAR

Chris welcomed in Ty Caskey for the first of many appearances on God, Guitars & Gear.  Ty is my Worship Pastor at River Christian Church, makes a bunch of spiritually-focused music, plays a mean Nash T-63 (among several other guitars), and has developed himself into quite the gear guru.  In an effort to get the relationship off on the right foot, Chris thought it would make a little sense for you to get to know Ty a bit.  Ty gave us some background on his journey into tone-chasing (which, by the way, started in a manner that was a little surprising), the layout of his current signal chain, and provided a bit of helpful insight on some particular effects.

If you’re looking for some in-depth analysis and amazing test drives of the pedals he talks about, here are links to some of the reviews he’s done on his YouTube channel, Ty Caskey Music:

RockStock Nano Chromatic Tuner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY4jfeMy09I

Benson Pre-Amp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1tx6-uaJaM 

NUX Duotime Dual Delay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV2D3GqtUIk

HX Stomp AC15 Praise and Worship Patch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybn-nTWNmeU (and if you watch it, like it, and wanna use it on your HX Stomp, he’s giving away the patch for free…just check the notes!)

And, as mentioned in the close of the show, here’s a link to a great sermon Ty shared with our congregation about worship and what it really means: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuxXgezM1cA

COMING UP…

On Episode 2, we’ll be talking guitars with Reverend CEO Ken Haas.  If you’ve never played a Reverend, or the brand is unfamiliar to you, you’re not going to want to miss this one.  BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!  If you order now, you’ll also receive the 12-in-1 Crispy Copper Corn Crusher all-purpose tool!  No, you won’t get that, because, well, odds are that doesn’t exist.

Anyway, there is more: when it comes to gear, if you’re looking for some freedom, Chris has an amazing recommendation for you about the best product you’ve never heard of.  Even better, you’ll hear a story about how powerful a song can be, and how the music we dedicate to God each week with our church families can turn someone back to Him.

A big thanks to Ty Caskey for supplying all the music you hear in every God, Guitars & Gear episode.  Told you he could play that Nash!