In our lives, as well as in our playing, we goof up. Shocking revelation there, but its true. In this episode we look at lots of things that can be improved. Yeah, it’s kind of like God, Guitars & Gear’s version of Home Improvement. Well, except that Chris isn’t as funny as Tim “The Toolman” Taylor, and we don’t have an odd guy peeking over the fence at us.
Overdrive effects may be the calling card of this episode, but the title shifts us toward something much more important: scripture dealing with our suffering. Peter wrote his first letter to churches scattered across a wide region where persecution was taking place in an intensifying manner. Recognizing this, he shares some inspired guidelines for the church family in I Peter 4:7-11.
“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
Peter is sharing with those churches, and us, what we need to do to stick together when standing against an outside world that berates, insults, humiliates, abuses, blocks, deletes, cancels and ostracizes us…or even worse. Chris goes into some detail about each encouragement, and he also shares how these things can be employed in a music ministry team setting. Here are 6 tips for you:
- Do you have people on your team who seem to know just how to cause problems for you? Keep your mind clear and stay controlled so you can pray about the situation and your relationship with them.
- Do you have somebody on your team that causes problems, division or other issues for the entire team? Love them deeply and actively.
- Is your team disconnected or do you know of certain members who feel isolated? Be the one to welcome people, and let them know they’re welcome.
- Are you struggling with how things are happening with you on the team? Remember that it’s not about you, it’s about serving God and the bride of Christ.
- Are you at the point of letting somebody have it? Even if you’re right, administer God’s grace…the same grace He’s given you when He could have let you have it.
- Are you unsure what to do with anything (or everything) happening in your church’s music ministry? Say what God would say, do what God would do.
The world is against us, family…we’ve got to stick together or we’ll fall apart. Be thankful we have a loving God who, through Peter, showed us how to do it.
One of the biggest “sins” we face as a music ministry team is playing over each other. Because of the way most teams operate, we practice separately, and rehearse only briefly prior to playing for service. The result can often be an end product that is actually less than the sum of its parts, and may wind up being a distraction for the congregation.
Jason Brown, contributor for theworshipvocalist.com, penned a brilliant article called, “The Game-Changing Secret That Will Make Your Band Sound Better”. In it, Jason introduces “The Fraction Principle”, a simple formula to keep everyone in their lane and maximizing the beauty and impact of the music we’re charged to share for God’s glorification. Chris does his best to explain the idea, complete with basic math as it relates to pizza. Just listen…you’ll get it. He also shared some tips directly from Jason’s piece that you could apply right away to help your music ministry team sound better. Here are a few:
- An acoustic guitarist shouldn’t strum all the time—they should stick to simpler downstrokes, occasional strumming, light finger picking, etc.
- Electric guitarists shouldn’t strum chords the same as the acoustic guitarist, nor should they belt out riffs all the time.
- A bassist shouldn’t play busy melodies and licks all the time, if ever—they should embrace consistent, repetitive patterns that lock in tightly with the drums.
Be sure to listen to get more tips and insight…but if you really want to dig in, check out the article for yourself.
Alex Strabala set the stage for this discussion back in Episode 3 when he talked about overdrives being the foundation of a player’s tone. We picked up on that point this week by bringing back Ty “The Pedal Guy” Caskey to dig deep in the dirt…the dirty, grimy, greasy, lovely sound of overdrive. Ty delivers a great explanation of what overdrive actually is, how it works, how to stack overdrives, and breaks down the different types of overdrives you can employ to find exactly the tone you want. Chris even managed to get Ty to offer some specific pedal recommendations spanning different price points to get you shopping for just the right thing.
Ty has done YouTube reviews on a few of the pedals he mentioned…just click on the name to watch the vid!
The next episode of “God, Guitars & Gear” is one for the ages. Chris will be joined by Zach Neese, author of the ground-breaking book, How To Worship A King. Their conversation covers several issues critical to everyone in the church, most notably those of us in music ministry. We can guarantee you will be challenged, encouraged, convicted, and moved.
We can’t stress enough how important this episode is; if there was ever an episode of “God, Guitars & Gear” to share, this will be the one. Mark Tuesday, July 13 on your calendar and prepare for a life-changing experience.