Category Archives: Guitarcast episode

Episode predominantly focused on guitars – brands, configurations, styles, maintenance, etc.

Unspoken’s Zachery Smith – S1E10



So far, God has blessed this podcast with some pretty great guests: if you wanna listen to some God-centered people, how ’bout Michelle Nezat (Ep4), Zach Neese (Ep7) and Richie Allen (Ep9).  What about the nuts and bolts of guitar?  How ’bout Reverend Guitars CEO Ken Haas (Ep2) and Seventh Day Guitars founder Scott McDonald (Ep5)?  If you’re thinking about playing that six-string, you’re thinking about Brandon Oaks (Ep8).  And since this here show also focuses on gear, you got some great stuff from Alex Strabala (Ep3) and Ty Caskey (Ep1 and Ep6).

But what if it were possible for God to connect me with somebody who could roll about all three?  What if it was somebody people knew, respected and thought the world of?  Well, if that’s the kind of guest you were looking for, God has just dropped this love bomb on ya.  This episode is all about God, guitars and gear courtesy of Unspoken’s lead guitarist Zachery Smith.

GOD

Judges is a great book in the Old Testament.  It’s action-packed, and loaded with heroes from beginning to end.  And for the teenager in me, it’s got some gore and great reference to somebody pooping their pants (don’t believe me?  Do a multi-translation study of Judges 3:22…and get ready to howl.  You’re welcome!)  But I digress…

While studying Judges recently with my Life Group family (love you guys!), I stumbled across a verse that led me to a very telling comparison study between Gideon (Ch. 8) and Samson (Ch. 13).  Who’s a better deliverer in your mind, and who do you think God considers the deliverer?

It’s all about our ability to compare, and just how badly things can go because of it.  Listen in to find a way to get out of the comparison game.

GUITAR

As I mentioned at the top, this isn’t just about guitar, because Zachery Smith is definitely not just about guitar.  He is a 100%, all-in, over-the-moon Jesus-follower, and everything else comes after that.  In this conversation, we talked about his history, his growth within God’s will, what he’s learned about humility, as well as the difference between “knowing the psalm” and “knowing the Shepherd”.  Zachery was also FULL of tips (whether he stated them as such or not) about playing, practicing, being up on stage, and how to keep yourself in a worshipping state with a guitar slung over your shoulder: “You’re pouring it out at the feet of Jesus.”

Go ahead, write that down.  I did.

He does talk about gear quite a bit, including the brands he’s moving to as he grows in his role with Unspoken for touring – and recording – they’re doing (yes, Unspoken fans – they’re recording!).  Like I said, Zachery covers it all, and with a smile.

GEAR

It’s all about Mission: Perfect Pick this episode.  If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ve seen all ten picks.  In this show, I give you my top three finalists, and in general terms, I explained that all of them represent the best combination of performance and value.

Now – got to @godguitarsandgear on Instagram, find the post with those finalists, and make your guess as to which pick will be crowned The Perfect Pick!  If you guess correctly (I’ll reveal the winner in Ep11), you could win a pack of your own to enjoy!

COMING UP…

In Ep11, Mission: Perfect Pick will come to a close, and I will reveal the Perfect Pick…and the winner of the Perfect Pick Contest.  Even if you don’t win, I’m going to give you some sound samples from several of the picks I compared so you can make your own decision on which one was best.

The little bits and bobs I’ll be playing will all come from a song called, “Spirit Come” by your friend and mine, Ty Caskey.  Ty will stop in to talk about the inspiration for the song lyrics and generate some excitement about the Holy Spirit entering into our lives and all of the moments when our church families come together to glorify God.

ONE MORE THING!

This season’s finale is coming up, and it’s going to be great.  It’s the first-ever “Episode of Encouragement”, which will give you the opportunity to share some encouragement with other music ministry servants.  There’s still a little bit of time for you to be a part of it: record an mp3 of your encouragement, affirmation, a special scripture, a prayer, or maybe even a tip to help a team or guitarist to play better, practice more efficiently, or connect with God during a service.  Whatever God puts on your heart, put it in a recording and email it to me: chris@godguitarsandgear.com .

Thankya’s!

Ty Caskey – Ty wrote and performed the God, Guitars & Gear theme, and he also cranked out all that cool guitar wizardry that pops throughout each episode.  Connect with Ty:

  1. Instagram ( @tycaskeymusic )
  2. YouTube ( Ty Caskey )
  3. Spotify ( Ty Caskey )

Ambient Trails – AT does the well, ambient trails you hear in the background of every episode.  Hear more Ambient Trails on Instagram ( @ambienttrails )


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?  🙂


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