Improving Musicianship | Inspiring Talent
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Selective Hearing Blues Counsel l Bryan Duncan l After Sunday l Phil Madeira l The Almost l David Harsh
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No One Ever Prays Alone by Bob Kilpatrick
Can We All Get Along? by Bob Bennett
FR NEW IS E SU E E!
Finding the Right Music Gear for Your Church Just Got Easier!
Get the Newest FREE Issue of Worship Sound Pro — the Ultimate Music Gear Guide for Houses of Worship! Call Today for Your FREE Copy! The Best Technology for Worship
Worship Sound Pro features the latest and most essential music equipment and technology for today’s houses of worship.
MultiTracks and the Modern Musical Message Find out how you can enhance your worship performances with professional-sounding accompaniment — and learn about the tools that make it happen.
Essential Guides for You and Your Volunteers In-depth, down-to-earth articles help volunteers, pastors, and worship leaders understand the ins and outs of the latest in worship sound technology. Go to Sweetwater.com/worship to learn more about MultiTracks!
Working with MultiTracks loops and tracks instantly gives your worship team a fuller, more professional sound. When you transition to working with clicks and loops, you need the right tools on the platform to make sure the team hears clearly and performs its best. Here are some essentials:
LLive 9 TThis software pputs you in ccommand of yyour clicks, loops, and stems. It’s easy to use and has become very popular with worship groups.
MultiTracks M ult and the
Modern M o Musical Message
MultiT MultiTracks.com gives worship teams the tools they need to bring professional-sounding accompaniment and loops to the platform. profes
When you open a MultiTracks file in your DAW, you can easily pick the parts you need.
Without W ithoutt question, quest more and more churches are supplementing their live sound with multiple-track accompaniment and loops for live worship performances. pe erform mances This concept’s growing popularity has led to a demand for great-sounding tracks and loops that are also easy to work with. We spoke with Phillip Ph hillip EEdwards, dward founder of MultiTracks.com, and asked him about the transitions that churches are making to running tracks — and the gear they need effectively. Sweetwater is proud to partner with MultiTracks.com to provide the potential for a fuller, more professional sound on the platform. to do soo effec Ma Many M an any ny worship leaders may have heard about running “clicks” or ““tracks” tra acks” in w worship, but these names don’t always mean the same Could you begin by describing the difference tthing hing to to everyone. every between accompaniment track and a MultiTrack? Also, a click b etween an a ttrack tr rack and and a loop? Absolutely. I’m just old enough to remember going to the Christian bookstore cassettes of accompaniment tracks with the lead vocal removed. and seeing cas are not that kind of “track.” That is an accompaniment track to be MultiTracks ar used without live li musicians. MultiTracks are a collection of all the individual “stems” from a recording. Our Original Master MultiTracks are the parts or “stems that the original artists use on tour to add in parts from their own same thing tha recordings to help h them sound like their albums and to fill out their live sound. A click track is the actual click that functions as a metronome in a musician’s in-ear mix. A cclick helps the musician stay in time, both with the band and any track he or she may be playing along with. You can use the built-in click from any standalone click track that can be sent to the front of house and then DAW, or a stand mix. back to your monitor m A loop is simply simpl a recorded track that loops continuously. I think people generalize a loop as being any track that is played along with a band. sometimes gen But typically a loop should refer to a percussive or melodic phrase that you can repeat over and over as you play a section of a song. Doo yyou D ou eever ver hhear of worship team members having a challenge ttransitioning ransitioning to using a click track in their ears? I teach about tthis at a worship conference, and I’ve heard this so often that now I just ask those who are currently running a click track with a worship team to the differences they’ve experienced in their team after they added speak about th the click. I can always count on the same story. Usually there is some initial resistance, but pretty soon everyone loves the benefits of playing in time, and they always want to use a click after that. Using a click track makes everyone play tighter, ighter, and the consistency definitely improves. You’ll be amazed at the feedback you Also, ou receive! Al so, pre-recorded vocal guide cues give the team count-ins, so transitions ransitions andd song entrances are smoother and easier to navigate.
Worship Sound Pro 101 Guides
Customer-favorite >> YAMAHA
169999 More info on pg. 108
Take a look at the instruments we’ve highlighted in this guide, including Yamaha’s MOTIF XF8, the affordable Korg SP280, and the piano-like Kurzweil PC3K8. You’ll also want to check out the Hammond XK-3c.
Workstations: Workstations ations:: Powerful P Tools Tools for the Worship Leader
Choosing the Right
While streamlined, piano-like instruments are ideal for a number of worship leaders andSound church pianists, other houses of worship rely on keyboards Worship Pro 101many Guides for much more than just piano sounds. In fact, if you’re a piano-centric worship leader, you may very well be able to perform and produce your entire service with a single powerful instrument called a keyboard workstation. More than just keyboards with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of instrument sounds, these instruments often feature multitrack sequencers, so you can layer all the different instrument parts into a full orchestration. It’s very similar to working with audio editing and production software, only you’re not tethered to a computer — and you can easily play these backing tracks right from your keyboard during services. And even if you do have a complete worship band, you can use a workstation to add a few choice backing instruments to fill out your sound — perhaps a second trumpet part, a string section, or even an extra kick drum sound for more power.
Korg Krome-61 Powerful workstation with world-class sounds
More info on pg. 110
The Path to Great
KEYBOARD Guitar Sound Whether you’re looking for a simple instrument that just plays and sounds like a real acoustic piano, or you’re seeking a powerful centerpiece for all your worship team’s ambitions, there’s a digital piano that’s right for your church. To help you zero in on the perfect keyboard for your needs, let’s take a look at the different kinds of keyboards available, as well as the important factors you’ll want to consider when making your decision.
When Less Is More Many church pianists we work with often feel overwhelmed by the number of choices out there — and even more so by the number of knobs, buttons, and controls on keyboards. “All I need,” they tell us, “is an instrument that plays like an acoustic piano and has a fantastic natural piano sound.” If this sounds like you, you’ll want to select what’s called a stage piano — and ideally one with a full set of 88 weighted keys (also called weighted action). These keyboards actually mimic the response of a grand piano’s keybed, where the lowest keys require more force to strike, and the upper keys feel light and airy beneath your fingertips. To nail the sound of an acoustic piano, today’s top keyboard manufacturers have gone to great lengths to record some of the finest grand pianos in the world, putting these sounds right inside the instruments. Not only can you get the sound of a classic Steinway, but on many you can also push a single button to get the sound of a Bosendorfer, a Yamaha C7, or a character-filled upright. If you’re replacing an acoustic piano, you should consider the importance of aesthetics to your church. If you have more-traditional services or are seeking a really natural look up on the platform, then you may want to choose a more authentic-looking stage piano. We have options available with wooden cabinets, in a variety of finishes, so you can choose an instrument that matches the decor of your church.
FIVE Main Features to Consider As you take a look at the keyboards featured on the next few pages, these five factors will help you start narrowing down your decision:
Do you want keys that are weighted to feel and play just like an acoustic piano’s? Or do you want keys that glide beneath your fingers so that you can easily play synth and organ parts?
Do you primarily need an authentic acoustic piano sound, or would you like to have other sounds such as strings, synths, electric pianos, organs, and more?
3. Arranging/Recording Capabilities
Will you be composing songs with your keyboard? If so, you may want to have a built-in sequencer, onboard drum sounds, and a direct-to-computer connection.
4. Size and Portability
Choosing a 76-key keyboard instead of a full-size 88-key instrument can be a great way to cut down on weight while maintaining a first-class playing experience.
How important is it that your church’s keyboard resemble an acoustic piano? Do you want an integrated stand, or would you prefer to use a more portable stage-style keyboard stand?
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Kurzweil PC3K8 Amazing feel and piano sounds
More info on pg. 110
A Balance of Features for Modern Worship
If you don’t need the all-out power of a workstation, but you’d still like a Roland RD-64 handful of cutting-edge capabilities — maybe built-in drum patterns for Portability plus great rehearsals and a lighter sequencer for a quick songwriting sketch pad — there instruments and $ 00 are a number of options that fall somewhere in between the two categories playing As worship services and events become more diverse and tied intofeel today’s culture, it’s we’ve already mentioned. Instead of choosing an 88-key option, which has the More info on pg. 112 same number ofthat keys asthe a fullmusic piano, you can select a 76-key — or smaller — inevitable performances involved become increasingly contemporary. version. These instruments trade a slightly reduced range (many keyboardists It’s just ashighest common to see setups onand the platform as it is to see pianos, never use the and lowest keys full-band anyway) for lighter weight a more portable form factor. You can still get fully weighted keys on a 76-key piano, organs, and choir ensembles. or you can choose a semi-weighted version that works well if you perform a Hammond XK-3c blend of classic and modern rather than strictlycan piano. benefit from using a DI box — especially if your setup One very attractive elementinstrument of modernsounds, worship music
Classic Hammond involves outboard effects and other gear (with balanced performance is the guitar a very portable, versatile Increasing in popularity are — keyboards that feature a built-in microphone organ sounds
inputs) instrument also happens be relatively affordable input. These that are perfect for the to performing worship leader and great for in addition to your amplifier, or requires extremely longthe cable runs. Balancing the signal with a direct box (compared to thatservices. hulking The pipevocal organ). Though worship scaled-down youth microphone goes right through helps performersoutput, have been using guitars as accompaniment for Better keyboard’s so you’ll need to amplify only one signal. yet, to keep the signal strong and helps to remove $ pesky00 electronic decades, the last few vocal yearseffects have seen boom in guitars there are professional builtain, so you can refine the vocal soundinterference. There are DI boxes available to suit More info on pg. 107 every budget. as standout instruments. youof effectively without having to purchaseBut anhow extrado piece gear. integrate the guitar into your gathering without turning the Don’t Forget Sounds Natural Sound, Even Plugged In proceedings into aAbout loud rockRealistic show? Read Organ on.
X 61 Taking “direct” to anKorg entirely Kronos new level, some acoustic The organ is still a very popular instrument for worship services. And while Going Direct Great workstation, guitar-centric pedals and even onboard preamps $ include 00 most of the keyboards we carry feature a built-in organ sound, you can get loaded with free that extras very specialized EQ curves and effects give your Theorgan-playing dynamic, natural sound of acousticwith guitar is right— upby choosing that experience —an complete drawbars a More info on pg. 109 there with the pianofor when comes to accompanying solo dedicated instrument the ittask. artists or ensembles with one instrument. Until relatively Have more questions? Our Sales Engineers are here to help you choose the recently, though, playing your acoustic live meant remaining best keyboard for your church’s goals. In fact, what you see in Worship Sound stationary in front of a microphone and fighting feedback Pro is just a small sampling of the many keyboards we have available. Give us a from the sound system. The advent of onboard pickups call today at (800) 222–4700. freed acoustic players from this fate, allowing them to plug right into an amp or PA system and, in many cases, >> AVID Korg SP280 $ 00 $ 00 control the guitar’s volume and tone. One mostly unsung Outstanding playability, Eleven Rack More portability info on pg. 130 but very useful tool for amplifying an acoustic guitar is sounds, and More info on pg. 114 the DI, or direct box. In general plugged-in guitar a more natural sound. Fishman’s Aura terms, the purpose of a DI box is to line actually includes stompboxes matched to specific body convert the signal coming from your styles. Simply plug your favorite dreadnought or jumbo or instrument into a “balanced” signal classical into its corresponding pedal, and you get a very that’s compatible with the church’s good approximation of your guitar’s unplugged sound. Best sound system. Though many mixing of all, this “microphone-like” tone doesn’t come with the boards allow you to plug straight in, baggage of feedback! using a DI on the platform means the Though EQ curves and pre-programmed algorithms can signals coming from instruments and make a guitar sound great, today’s standalone modeling microphones are all consistent when and effects units allow you to coax an incredible array of they connect to the PA. Even if you’re sounds out of your acoustic or electric instrument. The an electric guitar or bass player, you number of effects that can be applied is simply staggering, and, believe it or not, as modeling technology has gotten >> BOSS $ 00 more advanced, it’s now easier to pack those effects into MO-2 More info on pg. 132 smaller and smaller effects units. One big advantage you
Worship Sound Pro 101 Guides
Since a click is involved, I’d assume it’s important for the team to use in-ear monitors. Yes. Using floor wedges at your church would be a barrier to running a click track or MultiTracks. There are many benefits to making the transition overall, which is why more churches every day are going with an in-ear setup. If you have a live drummer who has to turn up a floor monitor up loud enough to hear it over his drums, then everyone around him has to do the same. Suddenly, you have a
The Basics of
Building a Mix
get from m modeling effects (Line 6’s POD standalone units, Amp or PA? exam mp is the ability to get the sound of your favorite for example) Since the primary goal of amplifying an acoustic guitar ar amp am while plugging straight into your church’s sound guitar is to retain as much of the guitar’s natural character as system. em. This Th means you get total control over your stage possible, it’s important that your acoustic amplifier provide volume me and an tone — and you don’t have to lug that hefty It’sofbound to happen at some point: mix disaster. Maybe church’s regular a verythe clean, transparent sound. So whyyour not simply run your amplifier the platform. lifier on and off instrument directly into the sound system? While that’s a sound person calls in sick at the last minute. Maybe the new volunteer sound person perfectly fine solution for many worship leaders (especially Big g To Tone from a Small Package soloaperformers or smallor acoustic ensembles), thosefrom playing doesn’t know a volume slider from sliding door, a mixing board a mixing Sometimes, etime however, there’s no substitute for the sound acoustic guitar in full-band setups or on larger stages and response of an honest-to-goodness The respo bowl. Whateverguitar the amplifier. circumstance, something has to be donesound to save the service. benefit from the control and focused they get from a be trick is being able to coax peak performance out of your dedicated acoustic amp. Many of amps include Without sound, the congregation won’tcombo be engaged orthese inspired by the music, amp without shaking the wallsdecent of your church and drowning with extensive EQ controls for fine-tuning your tone, as well as out your message. As recording guitarists and studio m and the message may be completely lost. onboard filters that hold feedback at bay. Amps with built-in engineers nee can tell you, the secret to big tone, oddly enough, neers effects let you add even more body and depth to your lies in amp —creating especially you relysound on classic n using usin in a smallThough maythe notneed be perfect — forewarning the team that theif perfect mix for a service a theysystem sound.isPlus, eliminate for a complicated signal tube-powered units forart, thata rich, sustaining tone. A small e-pow everything may not be ideal willThough go a long way toward true sound person with little or no mixing experience chain running through outboard effects pedals. single-speaker combo ampachieve is relatively toclarity transport e-spe easingpack the plenty processof for everyone. least they will know can still goodeasy sonic and and deliver the message acoustic combo amps sonic punch At from a small move, you immediate access to volume e, and its controls tostill expect! withgive pleasant and effective audio. Here are some tips for largerwhat enclosure, rooms require sound reinforcement and tone adjustments. Using lower power levels, or wattage saving the day with a quick, last-minute mix —from whether a PA system. That’s where your amp’s built-in direct means theworking amplifier’s and ns you n yo can “drive” you are thepower sound section booth yourself or have thecomes help in.4. Turn it on. output speaker, the of the amp’s dynamic response ker, getting ker g of benefits a volunteer. on the speakers or the amplifiers last; this prevents loud and full-sounding tone without blasting the congregation full-s -so Using YourTurn Amp’s Direct Output thumps and pops from coming through the system. and overpowering the rest ofityour worship team. If you need overp 1. Keep simple. Most dedicated acoustic guitar and bass amplifiers include more e than just one great sound from your amp, consider balanced direct outputs, giving the option of running Unfortunately, mix emergencies rarely occur when you have 5. Reset theyou mixing board. a multichannel amplifier (usually equipped with separate ultic ulticha your church’s PA system without sacrificing loads of sparesounds, time to as work solution — it your rig throughBegin controls distorted wellonasatone rolss for f clean and by pulling all the volume sliders (faders) down to the is control and sound you get onstage. Several electric guitar almost always happens minutes before controls reverb adjustments) or even that most recentthe of service rolss and a zero. (Usually these are found at the bottom of each (especially modeling amps) with direct-out capability supposed to start. While your have racks amplification developments, the modeling amp.sound booth maycombos lificcat channel on the mixer.) Set the channel gain to a mid are now also available — some even include speaker emulation, of processors and sophisticated audio equipment, is position (Usually this knob is found at the top of each sending very realistic amp tones straight to the PA. Using not the time to You experiment with effects or to randomly How wM Many Amps Do Need? channel on the mixer.) Next, reset all the equalization (tone) your output doesn’t just let you “have your start turning knobs. Focus on the bare minimum youamp’s directcontrols on the mixer to their center position, which is Small ll mod modeling combo amps provide a two-fold solution for ampfor and play it too”; it also allows you to handle the sound need to get the job done. Leave the special effects essentially off. Turn the auxiliary or monitor sends off. Make worship The first is versatility. Packed with multiple ship guitarists. g level that reaches your gathering. You can enjoy getting the another time. sure that mute or solo buttons are disengaged. (Usually amp sounds soun and effects, a modeling amp can literally take you sound you want on the platform, while your church’s sound these buttons are off in the up position.) Set the master from clean sounds to uplifting, sustaining lead m shimmering shim engineer can make a mix that’s ideal for the room. All these 2. Use what’s already there. volume fader to about 50%. toness in se seconds (and a footswitch is often included, so you great sound tools help to make playing guitar or bass in the soundyou system already set up, the cables and can make changes Hopefully, on the fly).your Secondly, don’tis have to give worship environment a more inspiring experience for you — run to andout theof monitors are tuned 6. Begin testing each sound source up portability and the low snake stage are volume to the get mixer, the most ortab and your listeners. to prevent feedback. Plugto the mics into these amps are voiced provide verythe mixer or snake e amps; amp in fact,inmodeling through the mains. inversions their usual positions. Try to useemulate, the same “old standby” consistent-sounding of the amplifiers they istent Have the main vocalist speak or sing into his or her mic. microphones andthe other gear you usually even — try coaxing same sustaining leaduse — again, now is n at low lo volumes Bring up the volume slider until you can hear the vocals in not the time experiment new gear! tones ampto stack that you with can get from es from a real 100-watt the main speakers. Turn up the auxiliary or monitor sends a preset ese set on o your modeling combo! Plugging into a small 3. you Have conversation the worship team. until the vocalist can hear himself or herself in the monitors. modeling callaup pretty much anywith tone you eling ing combo lets As you verify that each mic or source works, pull its volume need performance. And the very d forr a worshipExplain to everyone that thecompact regular size sound person is not fader back down to zero. You can leave the aux (monitor) and lightt weight ofavailable such a combo makes it is a snap to get w and that help required to have the service go sends turned up so that the singers can hear themselves. To on and off of the platform let’s not forget nd of well. Thisquickly. meansAnd guitarists need to turn down, drummers prevent feedback, don’t run the stage monitors too loud. the bass player, as there plenty volume, of great-sounding, p need are to control and so on. Explain that the monitor highly modeling combo bass amps available ly portable por that can hold their own on any stage. h
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There are other websites out there that offer audio files for accompaniment. How does MultiTracks.com do things differently? Beyond the sheer size of our catalog, the quality of the original master recordings is amazing. There are also demos and quite a bit of free content on our site, which can help people get started. As does Sweetwater, we place a high value on supporting our customers, and we have a knowledgeable staff of engineers and trainers who can answer your questions and get you up and running right away.
bunch of monitors onstage that are louder than the sound system in the house, and the click track in those monitors would bleed into the house. Going with in-ears gives the mix control back to your sound person, and you have the added benefit of being able to mix in some individual MultiTracks with your live sound. If I’m a worship leader and I want to make my team comfortable working with MultiTracks and click tracks, what would you recommend? Great question. Though it’s not difficult, it does take time to transition your team. The first time you learned to drive a stick shift, it was really awkward because you were used to doing it a different way — then it became familiar and you wondered how you ever did without it. We have people on our worship team who were reluctant to use a click track because they weren’t used to having it in their ears. Give it some time, and you won’t even really hear it anymore — you become used to it. Now, using MultiTracks is a different story in my opinion. It makes the mix in your in-ears and the front of house sound amazing!
Can you walk us through the options that MultiTracks.com offers? We offer three core options: MultiTracks, LiteTracks, and Rehearsal Mixes. MultiTracks aren’t simply accompaniment tracks; they’re often the original stems from the original recordings. The cool thing about these tracks is that you can essentially have the entire recording up there — the exact same stems the artists use during performances — on the platform, ready for you to add your own parts. You can also get LiteTracks, which are premixed stereo MP3 files from original sessions. On the left side of the stereo field is a click; on the right are synths, strings, pads, and sounds that enhance the worship band’s performance of the song. You can put LiteTracks on your iPod or other player.
MultiTracks are actual stems of audio, often from original recordings. Can you tell us how the MultiTracks are controlled by software or hardware? How much flexibility do you have with the arrangements? The MultiTracks that you download from our website can be played in any DAW or music software that can play multiple audio files at one time. We have users of just about every software — Ableton, Studio One, Pro Tools, Digital Performer… the list goes on. If you’re just triggering the tracks to start and stop, and don’t need to jump around from section to section, then most DAWs will work great. We have lots of training videos on this concept on our MultiTracks blog.
Rehearsal Mixes let your team members hear the parts they’ll be playing louder in the mix, so it’ll be easier for them to learn what they should be playing. It’s an effective rehearsal tool that helps reduce practice time. Rehearsal Mixes are very affordable, and you can even buy credits in bulk to bring the price of each down even further. Tell us about the resources and tutorials available at the MultiTracks.com website. Our blog is full of training and tutorials specifically geared toward worship leaders, and you can sign up for more in-depth training and screen-sharing assistance as well. I would encourage people to take a couple of hours and dive into learning a software program. I think they’ll be blown away by how it benefits their live sound. We’re grateful that we’ve been able to help thousands of worship leaders make the transition, and we’re constantly hearing about the difference it makes for their church. Thank you for talking with us! Anything else you’d like to add? We have free demo content if you just register for an account with us online. Plus, there is a Free Content section with click tracks and loop tracks that you can download without an account. We’ve made it really easy to try this out with your team, and we’re always adding new songs to the catalog. We’re definitely here to help any way we can.
Can you trigger these files via MIDI from, say, a keyboard controller or a MIDI foot controller? Yes. Many musicians run MultiTracks from the stage this way. It helps if all your musicians are onstage so that you can cue everyone together. If a guitar player is leading worship and triggering the tracks, he or she might want to use a foot controller,, which is easyy to program within most anyy DAW. Or you p g y could assign g the pads or knobs on your MIDI keyboard to fire off the tracks from your keyboard. This way, way you’re never touching the laptop. laptop
StudioLive 32.4.2 A powerful hardware/ software mixing solution, the StudioLive mixer and Studio One software work together ether th to t let l t you run your MultiTracks operations and get great main and personal monitor mixes.. Plus, wireless integration lets you take control with th your iOS device! UM3X RC are IIn-ear nn-ear monitors ar working with ccritical to work MultiTracks. These M The earphones allow iisolating is solating earph member of the team eeach membe to hear the click, the accompaniment, companimen and the live instruments and vocals clearly. A360 Thanks to convenient, full-featured ull-featured ppersonal mixers such as Aviom’s A360, each performer on the platform gets his or her own custom cust in-ear monitor More monitor mix. m The result? rres confident c dent andd consistent confid c performances! peerformaances!
Phillip Ed Philli Edwards ards d The founder and CEO of MultiTracks.com, Phillip is a worship leader and a musician with professional experience. touring g exper p ience. Since launching MultiTracks com in MultiTracks.com 2006, Phillip has been teaching and training at worship conferences around the country on the concept of running MultiTracks to achieve a professional sound in any size church.
Can you address potential copyright issues with these stems/loops? A download from MultiTracks includes a limited license for live performance at your house of worship. We cover the royalties for use of the master as well as for RSS SS V-MIXING publishing. Though you can perform the song as many times as you like at your YSTEM SYSTEM church, the license does not allow you to use the tracks for streaming over the Internet or for recording purposes.
Photo by Jon James and Troy Behrens
7. Have the worship team begin to play a song. ng. Watch for red overload or “clip” lights on the mixer. If you ou see these, turn down the gain controls at the top of that source’s channel.
8. Build the mix by bringing up the volume faders for the basics first. Start with the bass drum and the bass guitar, turning them up to a comfortable level and balancing them against one another. You may need to adjust the level of the master volume fader to get the overall level to the right point.
9. Turn up the volume faders for the vocals. Now focus on the vocals. Set them to a comfortable level, balanced against the bass guitar and the bass drum. The lead vocalist needs to be the loudest, with the background or harmony vocals filling in behind.
10. Turn up the volume faders on the other instruments. One at a time, begin turning up the other instruments. Start with the rest of the drums, then the guitars, the pianos, the keyboards, and any other instruments. Adjust the volume as needed. Balance each one against the vocals, the bass drum, and the bass guitar. This is a place where you can err on the side of being conservative. The vocals are the main focus, and you want to ensure that they are clearly audible. Use the other instruments to fill around the vocals, without obscuring them. As you go, adjust the master volume fader to control the overall level.
M-200i (with S-1608 Digital Snake)
499500 More info on pg. 45
spikes in sound. Ask each worship team member what he or she needs to hear from the monitors — one at a time so that everyone doesn’t speak at once — and adjust the auxiliary sends accordingly.
13. Don’t try to overtune the mix, and don’t make it too loud. Set things up so that they are clean and clear, and at a comfortable, conservative volume level. Then stop! Once you get to the point where it sounds okay — this should happen fairly quickly — stop tweaking the knobs. It’s easy to lose perspective and get lost in knob turning, even though the goal has already been achieved.
14. Here’s a final tip. When in doubt, focus on making the vocals, whether spoken or sung, clearly audible. The congregation is there to hear the message, which is contained in the words and lyrics. The music is inspiring and essential to a great service, but it plays just a supporting role in the grand scheme of things. Ensure that the vocals are heard, and the service will be a success!
11. It’s time for the equalizers. Up to this point, we haven’t touched the equalizers (tone controls) on the mixer. If you find that the sound is getting too bassy or boomy, use the “low” or bass tone control to reduce the bass frequencies a small amount on instruments such as bass guitar, keyboards, and piano. Vocalists, especially male vocalists, may also need their bass reduced a small amount. To increase the clarity of a vocal or an instrument, add a small amount of treble or high frequencies by using the tone controls on that mixer channel. Be careful with the tone controls, as overuse can lead to feedback!
12. Fine-tune the mix and the monitors. Adjust volume levels so that instruments and vocals are balanced, and adjust the bass and the treble controls on channels channe nels as necessary to prevent boominess, harshness, or
399900 More info on pg. pgg 47
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(800) 222–4700 Sweetwater.com
More info on pg. pg 10
See the latest gear from this year’s Winter NAMM show! Sweetwater and MultiTracks show you the best new products to enhance your worship services.
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Complete Miking Solutions for Your Worship Team
Audix takes the guesswork out of miking a Worship Team with an exclusive collection of Microphone Packs designed for immediate and reliable results. Each Mic Pack is a carefully selected collection of complimentary dynamic and condenser microphones specifically chosen to work together and provide great results every time.
• BP and FP series Band Pack kits provide essential vocal and instrument dynamic mics for small to medium ensembles. PRO and Fusion series versions accommodate nearly any budget. • DP and FP series Drum Pack kits include varied combinations of dynamic and condenser mics to accurately capture standard drum kits and percussion set-ups with maximum isolation and minimum equalization. • The SCX25APS kit is a premium microphone solution for acoustic piano, featuring the SCX25A; Audix’s flagship large-diaphragm studio condenser microphone. • For ultimate flexibility, the STE8 Studio Elite pack is Audix’s most comprehensive collection of dynamic and condenser microphones for live and recording.
SCX25A PS Piano
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All Audix Mic Packs include appropriate clips, mounts, shockmounts and windscreens. Each kit is packaged in a rugged aluminum road case for storage or transport. Comprehensive training videos are available on-line at audix.com.
Audix Mic Packs take the guesswork out of worship team miking!
Take Control You want flexibility. You want one touch to select any pedal combination. You want to combine pedals in front of your amp, as well as in the loop of your amp. You want to change channels on your amp and select pedals at the same time. Stop feeling overwhelmed by your gear and get control with the Rocktron Patchmate Loop 8 controller. No more tap dancing with your rig on stage. Eight loops can be configured for multiple purposes, plus access 128 programmable presets using external MIDI program changes.
Available in a rack version (Patchmate Loop 8), or floor switcher (Patchmate Loop 8 Floor), both utilize Rocktron’s “Smart Controller Technology”.
The only 32-channel mixer that comes with everything your church needs. *
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ther 32channel digital mixers are just mixers. And your worship program should be doing a lot more than just mixing. That’s why the new StudioLive™ 32.4.2AI has software that let’s you ▶ Tune your sanctuary acoustics using the world’s most popular analysis software ▶ Record multi-track in one click ▶ Run virtual sound checks before the praise band even gets there ▶ Instantly identify and suppress feedback ▶ Mix and produce on a real DAW ▶ Then upload services or sermons directly to a free store on your church’s Facebook page or web site. Raise funds, take donations or sell tickets to special events Only with StudioLive. Call your PreSonus dealer or visit our website to learn more about the new 32.4.2AI complete digital solution. Record multi-track
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One Man’s Guitar Ceiling is Another Man’s Church Floor... I was over at a neighbor’s house today discussing vinyl records and talking about music from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s when I noticed his acoustic guitar in the corner. He has an off brand inexpensive acoustic a friend let him borrow. He told me he wanted to get a new acoustic guitar but with three young daughters he needed to keep the budget around $175.00. Now, we live in a nice part of town and you would have imagined that he would have been looking at a more expensive acoustic, but he has his priorities and the price of the acoustic guitar needed to fall in line with them. For an electric guitar he has “The Paul”, which is what some call the poor man’s Les Paul made by Gibson. It is an all mahogany instrument that doesn’t have the arched top of the regular Les Paul. I actually like those a lot because another benefit from that model’s design is a lighter body weight. I thought for his priorities he had made a wise choice with his electric. You get the vibe of a Les Paul but not the high price tag. I said I thought I might have a connection for a Jay Turser dreadnought that might work out well. Turser’s are made in China and have showed themselves to be made with better attention to detail than some other brands exported from the Far East (the pecking order is usually Japan, Korea, Indonesia and China… I have also seen some nice quality guitars from Vietnam as well). I have been blessed with the opportunity to review high-end luthier handmade guitars from America, Canada, and Ireland; but I need to remind myself that the majority of guitars bought in America don’t always fall into those price ranges. The $500.00-$1,000.00 price range is a pretty big slice of the guitar buying pie. $1,500.00 and up gets a smaller slice, and the $2,500.00-$4,000.00, which offers some excellent instruments, is a pretty small piece of the market. So as editor I need to pay attention to guitars in the whole spectrum to make sure I serve you well, as I don’t really know where you may fall in the priorities/budget equation, and even that can change from year to year. A few days ago I walked into a friends church during the week to meet him about some gear and he wanted to show me their sanctuary. He apologized because they had removed all of the chairs for a volleyball event they were hosting inside the worship center, so all I was seeing was the church floor and their cozy small stage. I asked, “Is this your sanctuary? How many does it hold?” He answered, “175”. I thought to myself, “Wow, sometimes we get stuck in the mega-church mentality of churches that run 10,000 people over the weekend… here is a guy leading worship faithfully to 175 people”. And the wild thing about this scenario is the average church size in America is just 90 folks. My friend’s church is twice the size of most churches! Again, we need to consider the whole spectrum of what is out there and, as a publisher of two magazines (Worship Musician! being our sister magazine) and as a producer of the Christian Musician Summit conferences, I need to keep in mind ways to help inspire those guys in the trenches with entire churches the size of other churches worship team rosters. I need to find guitars that will inspire neighbors to make good music on instruments that cost $175.00. I need to take a good look at the whole picture of what is available, for whom and for what price… I need to remember that one man’s guitar ceiling is another man’s church floor! Lord Bless Ya! Bruce & Judy
Features 8 Product Review by Doug Doppler ESP LTD Elite ST-1 10 Bassic Communication by Norm Stockton Modern Rock Bass Lines (Part 2) 12 Guitar Workshop by John Standefer Power Chord Enhancement 14 Drumming Dynamics by David Owens What’s in Your Stick Bag? 16 Vocal Coach’s Corner by Roger Beale A Lemon Drop is Not a Magic Elixir 18 Show Us Your Groove by Rick Cua Desire vs. Responsibility
CONTENTS 34 No One Ever Prays Alone by Bob Kilpatrick 36 The Indie Mechanics by Keith Mohr & Sue Ross-Mohr How to transform Social Media Acquaintances into True Friends 38 Ask Joe by Joe Riggio 41 Guitar From A 2 Z by Roger Zimish Using Capos in a Group 42 Laboring Under Illusions? by Bryan Duncan 44 Coda by Bob Bennett Can We All Get Along?
26 Selective Hearing by Shawn McLaughlin Blues Counsel Bryan Duncan After Sunday Phil Madeira The Almost David Harsh 30 Product Review by Michael Hodge Wampler Pedals: Euphoria & Ego
20 How John Elefante’s Story Goes by Aimee Herd
4227 S. Meridian, Suite C PMB #275, Puyallup Washington 98373 Phone: 253.445.1973 Fax: 253.655.5001 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.christianmusician.com Editor & President: Bruce Adolph VP/Office Manager: Judy Adolph, email@example.com Customer Service: Brian Felix, firstname.lastname@example.org Street Team: Mike Adolph, Jesse Hill & Winston Design & Layout: Matt Kees Copyediting: Kevin Wilber Advertising Sales: email@example.com Published by the Adolph Agency Inc.
ESP LTD Elite ST-1 By Doug Doppler
Long before ESP became famous for their Kirk Hammet and George Lynch signature models, they produced a number of instruments inspired by classic American designs. The ESP LTD ST-1 does a fantastic job of bridging the gap between styles, making it a great instrument for Sunday morning and beyond. One of the first things that appealed to me about this instrument was the fact that it was manufactured in the same Japanese factory as ESP’s highend guitars. Although I don’t mind instruments manufactured in other countries in the Asian peninsula, the Japanese have a level of craftsmanship that has yet to be outdone, and to me this instrument is no exception. While I don’t tend to purchase instruments based on looks, I am conscious that the George Lynch signature Skulls & Snakes model just might be a bit too metal for some congregations. The alder body is capped with beautifully flamed maple top which is available in either Aqua Marine (blue) or See Thru Black Cherry, and is not going to offend anyone. If anything, this instrument will win over a few hearts with its strikingly good looks. If you’re looking for bling, this guitar’s got it. As I toggled between the various pickup selections the ST-1 continued to pull out new ideas from my fingertips, which is to me is where a guitar is most valuable. Rather than just another take on a shred-centric frankenstrat, the ST-1 delivers an astonishing array of tones, thanks in part to the Seymour Duncan pickups. The Classic Stack Plus stacked humbuckers in the neck and middle positions deliver a perfect blend of spank and twang that make this instrument refreshingly versatile. One of the first things I noticed was virtually no noticeable drop in gain as I moved the 5-way toggle switch between the 5th and 4th positions—a real plus if you love using the middle and neck positions together. And for those of us already 8
fond of the ever-enduring Duncan Custom, this pickup really delivers in the bridge position of the ST-1. Each selection on the 5-way switch dialed up something totally useful, including the middle and #2 selections which can be a bit honky on some instruments. And if you’re needing tight rhythms and soaring leads the bridge position, this guitar has it. The ST-1 comes stock with a Floyd Rose tremolo and 42mm locking nut and is a real plus for those of use who relish a hearty bar flogging. While I don’t often drop E bombs on Sunday mornings, I have been known to occasionally let one rip at the end of a song if the drums are banging away on a crash ending. While I love pretty much love any tremolo, there really is nothing quite like an actual Floyd when it comes to serious whammy work. As far as feel, the 25.5” scale bolt-on neck has a gentle U shape and feature a fairly high gloss on the fingerboard and satin finish on the back. One of the things I’ve appreciated about any ESP I’ve played is the quality fretwork, and the ST-1 is on exception. In testing the notes all the way up to the 24th fret there were zero drop-outs, buzzes or dead spots. One of the benefits of having the Floyd is the ability to adjust the action quickly. While this instrument needed no adjustment, it is worth mentioning that it did not come set up like a metal guitar, because frankly it so much more. If you are looking for an instrument that is beautiful to behold, inspiring to play, sounds great, and won’t break the bank ($2,350 List/$1399 MAP), I encourage you to check out the ESP LTD Elite ST-1. Visit ESPGuitars.com information.
Doug Doppler is a passionate presenter at worship conferences and also loves to coach worship musicians and teams, especially in the area of the multi-site Church. He is also the author of the soon-to-be released title “The Worship Guitar Book”, which will be published by Hal Leonard.
Chris Tomlin and Collings Guitars
Chris Tomlin and his 1999 Collings OM 42 SB
Serious Guitars | www.CollingsGuitars.com | (1) -
Modern Rock Bass Lines (Part 2) Welcome back to our exploration of strategies for creatively navigating 8th-note rock grooves over the I-VI-V-IV chord motion that has become so common in current worship music (re-ordered as IV-I-V-VI in this series). I hope you’ve been immersing yourself in the groove!
an upbeat, which is an idiom of the modern rock style. The additional cool thing is that the B becomes the root note in bar 3—see how that works? It creates just a bit of tension that is resolved when the rest of the band lands the B2 chord. I love these sorts of lines!
Bar 3 continues the motion on the upbeats If you’re just joining us, I urge you to check out with the G# on the and of beat 3. This not the last installment of Bassic Communication only creates melodic interest as a recurring for a lot more info and context for this topic. note from bar 2, but is also the 5th relative In these next eight bars of the groove, we to the upcoming root and sets up the C# continue on with the steady 8th-note rhythm. anticipation on the and of beat 4. Bar 4 finishes off with some melodic motion and a Bar 1 is straightforward enough as we pedal bit of tension that resolves nicely as it’s the the root and make the groove feel solid and 5th relative to the upcoming root of A2 in bar locked with the drums. Bar 2 incorporates the 5. Bar 5 resumes the root note but an octave idea of inversions from last time (voicing the higher for some motion and energy. By the chord with different chord tones as the bass way, the tablature indicates the A on the 7th note): the G# and subsequent movement to fret of the D string for ease of playing, but I’d the B implies the first and second inversions generally opt to play it on the 12th fret of the of an E chord, respectively. As we covered last A string to benefit from the thicker timbre time, the movement was once again done on
Bassic Communication Modern Rock Bass Lines (Part 2)
4 4 4 4 4 7
7 7 7 7 7 7 7 6
6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
4 4 4
© 2013 Stocktones Music
Happy shedding and God bless your groove! (Adapted from curriculum at ArtOfGroove. com)
4 4 4 4 4 7
Bar 6 is another first inversion of E, but obviously an octave higher than in bar 2. Additionally, it serves as a nice linear walkdown from A to the F# in bar 7. That F# and subsequent D# are the 5th and 3rd relative to B and create some harmonic and melodic interest while not introducing excessive tension. Beat 4 of bar 7 lands the root and walks up to the C# root of bar 8. The remainder of bar 8 walks up from the root to the b3 and again sets up the upcoming A that we’re expecting to see in bar 9…next time! :^)
of the heavier string. The subsequent walkdown would be on that same string for tonal consistency. Experiment with both versions and see which you prefer.
6 6 6 2 4
4 4 4 6 6 7 7 7
Norm Stockton is a bassist/clinician/ solo artist based in Orange County, CA. Following his long tenure as bassist with Lincoln Brewster, Norm has been focused on equipping bassists around the world through his instructional site (www.ArtOfGroove.com), as well as freelancing (including tour dates with Bobby Kimball, former lead singer of TOTO). Also visit Norm at www.normstockton.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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F YOUR THE HIGHLIGHT O
SUMMER... MAYBE YOU
Power Chord Enhancement 2013. Well, it’s official. I’ve spent the last 50 years playing guitar! Continual dinking around on the guitar is not like a lot of other jobs or hobbies where you end up getting bored with it after awhile. There are always a million new things to learn every day that you wake up on this side of the ground. I like everything about guitars; learning, playing, experimenting, writing, arranging, performing, and recording – as well as doing repair work, designing and customizing instruments, beta testing pickups and amps – the works! As a player though, I think the most compelling element of music in general, and especially on the guitar, is harmony structure – CHORDS! The way harmonies and voicings and chord progressions move is the central thing that keeps guitar playing interesting to
me. It’s the richest part of the meal. Now it may just be a sign of getting old, but when I listen to current pop/rock music (Christian or otherwise), it seems that the majority of it is concentrated on rhythms and loud primal sounds (some of it pure noise) mixed with hi-tech gadgetry and videos full of pageantry (and sex). It feels to me like the two most important elements of music (melody and harmony) have nearly been jettisoned altogether. It saddens me. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against rock and roll or the use of power chords and all. I just think it could be deeper and more interesting.
but there’s always one more note in there. And the movement of the chord tones produces descending and ascending lines that at least sound like they are going somewhere. It’s not like a fine finished composition or anything, but if you play around with it, you might get some ideas about what you could do to add a little spark to the next one of these tunes you work on. Happy pickin’! - JS
Check out John’s 5-DVD set ‘Praise Guitar Lessons’ at the ‘store’ page at www.johnstandefer.com. You get 52 video lessons similar to these CM articles, but you can see and I was goofing around with power chords and hear the lessons! Includes charts. modal sounds this morning and came up with Also consider private lessons with this little AABA constructed chord pattern. It’s John via Skype!
based on power chords and the ‘E’ pedal bass,
What’s in Your Stick Bag?
Last time we talked about how to prepare for a new musical situation. This time I want to tell you what is in my stick bag. These are all the different drumming tools I feel are necessary for me to be prepared for any musical situation I might find myself in. So lets get started. Vic Firth makes my stick bag of choice. I am a huge fan of their products. The bag I use is large enough to get a bunch of stuff into, but is lightweight enough so it is not an issue when I have to fly. I prefer the American Custom SD9 because it is a bit longer and has more weight in the shank than most sticks. I also have a pair of the American Jazz AJ5’s for lighter playing. I keep a pair of Tala Wand’s (wood dowels) and Rute 505’s (Plastic) for those times when a different sound and approach is needed. Both are very effective for low level playing. A pair of American Custom T2 Cartwheel timpani mallets and M3 marimba mallets are a must for cymbal rolls and that unique sound they get on the rest of the kit. Last, but not least, are a couple pairs of brushes. The HB brush opens up a bit wider than most brushes and the Steve Gadd brush which has a slight angle to the ends of the wire strands.
The next staple in my bag is a music stand light. You just never know when you will need one. I also keep 3 or 4 clothes pins handy for those times when you might be outside in the wind, or when the drums are right under an air conditioning duct.
Cables and adapters always come in handy. I I hope this will make you re-think how you have many 1/4 to 1/8th adapters, as well as an organize your own bag of tricks so you can be extension for my Ultimate Ears. I always have better prepared. ‘Till next time. Blessings, a couple of different stereo cables, and even David a 1/4 to XLR cable. All this stuff is really useful when you play in different churches because you never know what you are going to get.
Other fundamentals include 9-volt batteries for the metronome and a few pencils (other guys in the band always borrow these items). A couple drum keys are essential, and extra cymbal pads and sleeves as well as a cymbal sizzler are always good things to keep handy. A set of Lug Locks for that time you have to play on a snare that just will not keep it’s pitch. And of course the most important rarely used item is an extra DW bass drum pedal spring. As well as DW products are made these springs do eventually break. It happened to me in the middle of a concert once and I sure was happy to be able to pop on a new spring The next two most important things are without holding things up much between my Ultimate Ear in-ear monitors and a good songs. metronome. I have been using my Ultimate Next there are little percussion things I always Ear monitors since Lion King and they not only have with me. An assortment of shakers and protect my hearing from the volume of the a small tambourine go with me everywhere. drums and band but they sound fantastic! A Shakers are so effective if you have to keep great set of in ear monitors will spoil you and the band to a click but want to be very subtle change the way you listen to music forever. about it, and picking up a tambourine for a The metronome I use is a Boss DB-90. It can be pre programed with different tempos and grooves and it has an input so you can take a monitor feed and run it through the metronome so you are the only person who hears the click. To be able to hear everything in my Ultimate Ears and have access to a click in my ears as well is something I find very valuable.
leans up against my backpack on my right side so I can get to it very easily. I keep a pair of my brushes opened up where I can grab them, and the tambourine and shakers are close by. I have put out many of the items that stay in pockets so you can see them as well.
David currently tours with Fernando Ortega and has worked with Sara Groves, Bebo Norman, Crystal Lewis, Cheri Keaggy, Tommy Walker, Paul Baloche among others. He has played for Billy and Franklin Graham Crusades, Harvest Crusades, Lastly I will give you a picture so you can see Maranatha Worship Leader Workshops and for over 2 years how and where I keep my stick bag. It always he was the house drummer for the Los Angeles production of The Lion King. His home church is Plymouth Church in Whittier, California. www. DaveOwensDrums.com
chorus is such an effective thing to do. I also experiment with putting the tambourine on the high hat in different ways as well. If I go on the road I don’t take as much stuff to keep the stick bag lighter, but most everything I’ve mentioned here goes with me just about everywhere.
You Perform the Music
STAGEPAS Perfects the Sound. The new Yamaha STAGEPAS 400i (400 watts) and 600i (680 watts) are the perfect systems for performers who want great sound quality without the hassle. Both come with two speakers and a compact powered mixer that include powerful yet easy-to-use features. So you can concentrate on the music and let Yamaha, with decades of professional audio experience, handle the sound. Feedback Suppressor. Helps control feedback with the simple push of a button
Digital Connection. Accepts music from your iPhone or iPod and charges the unit while you perform
1-Knob Master EQ. Optimizes EQ for speeches, musical performances or bass-heavy events
Expandability. Connects to a subwoofer or larger installed sound system
SPX Digital Effects. Adds high-quality reverb to any channel with the twist of a knob
A Lemon Drop is Not a Magic Elixir A while back I received a phone call from a panicked music director who was very concerned with keeping his choir members and soloists healthy during the final week of preparation for a major musical performance. He was fielding questions regarding vocal health and he had no clue as to how to answer them. I was flattered he called and I was glad to help. Since I spent quite a bit of time with him, I thought the readers of this column might benefit from this information. These dedicated choral singers were being very responsible when it came to their performance. They were diligently working on their performance and it would have been a sad thing to know that all of a sudden they could not depend on their instruments. These singers, waking up with a cold or allergy problem, could not be blamed for searching for a magic elixir that would bring their voice back. Let us take a few minutes and consider some things that might restore some function. Most of what is available is precautionary. Foremost of all is a good attitude. A singer will never feel 100% healthy and ready to sing. This imagined state of nirvana never existed and never will. It will never happen! We live in an imperfect world. First of all, most of the measures used by singers to stay healthy are dubious. They just don’t work. For example, throat lozenges have little effect on your voice because they go down the esophagus and never enter the larynx. The green tea with honey or lemon, gargles, nasal sprays, or even gargling with vinegar, bear witness to the extreme measures some singers try in an effort to attain what they consider maximum performance. Some time ago, a multiple Dove Award winner was in my vocal studio and shared this story with me. The singer stated that at some concerts, they did not feel like singing. Their desire was to be at home being a spouse, a parent, or just relaxing. When you wake up in a hotel room and do not know where you are, who is going to pick you up, or whether the program is Christmas music or last year’s album or this year’s album, ministry ceases to be fun. What this singer did, knowing that they were not 100% into it physically, was to go ahead and perform, and let the Holy Spirit 16
take care of the rest. The spirit was willing, respond negatively to pollen at a count of but the flesh was weak. 60. Also, during this time in Atlanta, your car A second point to focus on when trying will be completely covered in yellow pollen to keep the voice functioning is hydration. similar to a snowfall. This is what people Watering restrictions may apply to your are breathing up their noses. Try the saline lawns, but they do not apply to singers. solution. It is inexpensive and effective. While a person is under the stage lights performing, the body temperature will rise slightly, dehydrating the body. The U.S. Army did a study on soldiers setting up a tent site for training. They did the study during the summer with temperatures well above 80 degrees. The results showed that the blood flowing through their livers reached an average temperature of 112 degrees Fahrenheit even though their bodies’ temperature measured by an oral thermometer was 99 degrees Fahrenheit. The study also revealed the amount of water soldiers had to drink to keep from feeling thirsty. Each soldier required 3 to 4 gallons of water to make it through the day!
I mention the study not to get you to drink 3 gallons of water a day. I mention it to get your attention regarding hydration. Singers have some things working against them in regards to water intake. They are colas, coffee, air conditioning, and chocolate. These all act as dehydrating agents. Here is a simple formula to remember: for every 12 ounces of caffeinated cola or two cups of coffee, you need to drink 24 ounces of water to counter the dehydrating effects of the caffeine. Hydration is critical to good singing.
The fourth thing I told the music director was to tell his singers not to do something stupid right before the performance. Please don’t be offended by this statement. Let me explain it by giving you an example. Several years ago, one of my students had an important role in his church’s Easter musical production. He felt less than 100% on the Tuesday before the weekend performances. An illness was coming on. Well take a guess what this person did on Wednesday afternoon. He played golf! During that evening’s rehearsal, his voice cracked profusely on the high C that he was so proud of. By performance time on Saturday, he had a nice case of bronchitis. The singer gamely performed his part, but the experience wasn’t pleasant for him or the audience. Obviously, playing golf was not smart. Also consider not working in your yard the week prior to a major performance! That might be a stupid thing to do. The music director called me back after his program and reported on his choir members. He had given them all of the four points. The final tally – all were fine for the performance, but one singer came down with an illness the Monday following the program.
Try these simple suggestions. They may The third tip I passed on to this music work for you. Right now, I’m going to go find director was saline solution. This is a little a lemon drop! bottle of 0.65% salt-water solution that you Now go sing well! can purchase at the grocery or drug store for less than $5.00. You bring it home, unpack it, and squirt it up your nose. This solution Roger Beale is one of the nation’s moisturizes your nasal cavity, washes the foremost vocal coaches. He bacteria and debris out of your nasal cavity, presently works with professional thins your nasal mucus, and hopefully keeps a singers in all areas of musical cold from becoming a sinus infection. performance. His teaching and coaching facility, The Voice House, Here in Atlanta, Georgia, this is an utter is involved in the management necessity during the last days of March and and care of the professional voice. the first weeks of April. At this time, the pollen Roger can be contacted at: The count from all the trees in the area soars to a whopping 4,000+ count. To put that into Voice House, 1029 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 276, perspective, some allergy sufferers start to Peachtree City, GA 30269, (404) 822-5097, e-mail:
A PASSION FOR CLARIT Y. PLUS.
Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
Audio-Technica’s new AT2020USB+ delivers the critically acclaimed, award-winning sound of our original AT2020, plus a USB output for digital recording and design advances for true zero-latency monitoring. Ideal for multi-track music production, voiceover and podcasting use, the AT2020USB+ is a natural for both instrument and voice pickup. Wherever your passion for clarity takes you, listen for more. audio-technica.com • High-quality A/D converter with 16 bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate for superb audio • Headphone jack and mix control for zero-latency monitoring • Includes tripod desk stand for secure tabletop use
Desire vs. Responsibility by Rick Cua
I don’t think I’ve ever met a musician that didn’t want to be a full time musician. Most of us love to play so much that we will put just about anything on hold to pursue that dream. That gets more complicated as we become responsible for people other than ourselves. As a single person, it’s easier to chase after a dream than it is for one who is married, and even harder if you’re married with kids. The phrase that many musicians use is “I’ve paid my dues”. The key here is.... Did you pay your dues, or did your whole family pay them with you.
your family? I’ll back up to my early days as a musician and say a hearty but regretful, “yes”. Without question my musical career aspirations led the way and overrode my good judgment more times than not.
I remember, in my early bands, the pride we had because we were musicians. We put our bands ahead of most things in our life and we were proud of it. As a young father I loved my wife and our kids and would do anything for them...I really thought that. Yet, when I couldn’t pay our bills I kept chasing the dream instead of humbling myself by providing for Over the years I’ve thought long and hard my family any way possible. I counsel many about the desire that musicians and other young, and not so young musicians that are creative people have to take their God given doing the same thing. gift and run it up the flagpole...hopefully for Once I came to Christ things started to God’s Glory. After all, we’re not supposed change. I realized the importance of right to hide it under a bushel, we are supposed alignment in my life and prioritizing things to use it for The Lord and even cultivate and God’s way. Even if my dreams as a musician develop our talents to the point of excellence. didn’t always come first, that desire for them Proverbs 18:16a tells us that, “A man’s gift will to be first contributed to my bad judgment make room for him...”. It will open the way. as I placed my responsibilities as a husband According to God’s Word our gifts WILL and father on the back burner. If I wanted come out...they WILL show up. So what does something badly enough, success, a record that mean? To me it means we will either use deal, being the hot band at all the clubs... those gifts within the structure that God sets whatever, my good sense quickly got clouded. up for us or use those gifts in a way that feeds our desire but has us unrestrained when faced When I hear of a musician prioritizing their with a responsibility that should take a higher life God’s way I have true admiration for priority. Feeding our desire and neglecting them. I celebrate their decisions because I know they are not selfish ones but ones that our responsibility just won’t work. put their responsibilities ahead of their own OK.... I’ll get right to the point. Are you desires. Decisions that speak louder to their putting your desire to be a full time musician responsibility to provide rather than their ahead of your responsibility to provide for desire to chase a dream at all cost.
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I don’t want to be the dream buster, but I do want to encourage you to examine your hearts regarding this matter. Bottom line.... If you and your spouse are at odds about your music, whether career or ministry, chances are you are not taking care of business at home. If you can’t pay your bills you need to get a job, plain and simple. Remember...you will never NOT be a musician.
Actually, you will feel better about your creative gifts if you are putting first things first. Why I spend so much time telling you how not to blow it rather than telling you how to succeed at playing music full time is summed up in the sober truth of this scripture: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8 Strong words for sure, but true and worth meditating on. When your life reflects principles that don’t line up to God’s Word trouble is on the way. Broken homes, bitter and discouraged people, and gifts that never come to fruition are the result of placing desire over responsibility. I am a musician. I have felt every tug and pull to nurture my talent to maturity and use what I’ve been given in a way that brings success. What I’ve learned, however, is that the more important thing is to use my talent in a way that pleases God. If I am pleasing God that means my life is in proper alignment, I am following Godly goals and my family, if they are in right alignment too, will be pleased as well. Go after it. Follow your dreams. Work to become exactly who God wants you to be. Use your gifts and talents for Him and, please, prioritize your life God’s way so that Desire and Responsibility don’t compete, but work hand in hand. Not just a musical artist, Rick knows the business of music as well. Besides being a music publisher, artist manager and booking agent, he founded and ran his own record label, UCA Records, in the 1990s which led to a position for five and 1⁄2 years as Vice President, Creative/Copyright Development at EMI CMG in Nashville. There he managed a large songwriter roster and exponentially grew revenue through film and TV licensing, song promotion and print music development. He is currently on staff as the minister of Pastoral Care and Visitation at Grace Chapel in Franklin, TN.
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JOHN ELEFANTE’S STORY GOES
an interview by Aimee Herd
For those not familiar with John Elefante, his vast expanse of work in producing, musicianship, and even owning a label, includes 3 multi-platinum albums, numerous Dove Awards, four Grammys, and 10 Grammy nominations. And it really all began when he auditioned for stellar progressive rock band KANSAS in 1981. Interestingly enough, he’d only been in his own family’s band prior to that, but he landed the part of lead vocalist, beating out other seasoned singers such as Sammy Hagar. After discussing great Italian food for a while (listen, when Italians from back east have a conversation, it usually does involve the subject of food at some point), we moved onto John’s newly released solo album “On My Way to the Sun.”
Aimee Herd: John, all through your new project there is a pretty strong “thread” of KANSAS-esque kinds of melodies and instrumentation. The first song in particular, “This is How the Story Goes,” has that influence in it, but it also tells a story. Is it written about a real situation?
me trying to convince me otherwise because a dream about her girl with a birthday cake and three candles, living in another world, of my situation. which is our house. JE: Oh wow, so you’ve been in that place.
her CT scans have been perfect. So, as of right now she’s—praise God—cancer free.
I had the strings on the album done by a guy in Kentucky by the name of Chris Carmichael—a great player. What he does is overdubs himself, and what makes it unique—you know if you just keep overdubbing yourself with the same mic and the same instrument, in the same place, it’s going to start getting ‘phasey,’ and kind of harsh-sounding—so what he does is change to a different place in the room, using a different mic and a different instrument. He plays violin, viola and cello, and that’s how he overdubs it. Listen to the end of “This Time,” you’d never know that’s one guy.
AH: Yes, and that’s why I know that this song I don’t take credit for it, because God is going to speak to many and touch many definitely gave me that song. I think the way hearts deep down—maybe even save a life. in which it’s written doesn’t beat anyone over the head, but it’s powerful. Talk a little about “This Time.” John Elefante: It’s interesting that you ask AH: So powerful! Have you gotten a lot of that since its inception started when a friend JE: Well it’s based on the story of how my response from that song? down the street from us was getting bad daughter came into this world. Now, allow me migraines. She was watching our house while some creative license here, Aimee, because I JE: Oh gosh yes. As of today, I’ve probably we were on Spring Break, and when I called to don’t know all the exact details. But what I received over a hundred and fifty emails. I make sure everything was fine with the house, do know for sure is that [my daughter’s birth got an email from a lady today that had two she was slurring her words on the phone. mother] was moments away from aborting abortions. She loved the song so much she When I hung up I told my wife, “Brenda’s this child. I do know for sure that she asked wants to bankroll the video, to make a short not a drinker. Something is definitely wrong.” to use the phone to call her mother and tell film. Later on my wife spoke with her and found her she was pregnant, and her mother said AH: John, talk a little about the band for this out she’d been having terrible migraines. The “You get out of there right now!” I know she new album and the recording process. next week she started having seizures. They was in that abortion clinic, ready to abort my JE: I play almost all the rhythm guitar, while rushed her to the hospital and the doctors daughter, and I do know for sure that God a guy named Dave Cleveland plays all the told her family that she probably wouldn’t said, “No, not this time. This one’s Mine. I have lead guitar. Most of the bass was done by a make it through the night. They had found a plans for her!” Those things I know for sure, guy named Matt Pearson, who’s been on all massive brain tumor. She was in surgery for six but when I [write in the song] that she “sits my records. But the bass on the first song hours to remove the tumor, and came through cold in the waiting room,” you have to allow was played by J.R. McNeely, who’s a worldbeautifully! The surgery was a success, but for a little creative license. renowned mix engineer. Few people knew we were all afraid of what the biopsy results AH: Of course! what a talented bass player he is. J.R. used to would be. A week and a half later I texted her JE: I had to put myself in that place, that work for us in California years ago when we husband and asked, “What’s the good news?” day. When it says in the 2nd verse that a owned our Pakaderm Studios. We met him He texted back, “It’s not good.” He called me “headstrong woman with a blank stare said, when he was 21 and we said, “We want you later and told me it was terminal. “We gotta get this done,” I don’t know that it to come work for us. You have what it takes.” The idea for that song came from them telling happened like that. But I can imagine it might He’d never worked in a studio, but we brought her it was terminal. We’re all terminal right? have, don’t you think? him up through the ranks and he ended up But this woman is a Believer. And in God’s AH: Especially in light of the Kermit Gosnell moving from California to Tennessee with us. economy we live forever; we’re eternal. It’s He just got so good we had to let him go out trial this past spring. why I ask the hard question in that song, “This on his own. He made a great name for himself is how the story goes, you must believe it all, JE: Yeah. And I didn’t sit down to write a and he’s been a best friend. He not only my friend from the beginning to the end...” (I pro-life song, that’s not the intention of the mixed [“This is How the Story Goes”] but he refer to ‘my friend’ a lot as an inference to this song; it was written from the standpoint of my played bass on it. He also mixed song 4, “All woman, I didn’t want to be direct because I daughter’s birth mother. But I had to cover I Have to Do.” didn’t know how it would make her feel) So the topic of abortion somewhat because she Then, we had a young kid, James Joseph— I brought the song around to being all of us. almost aborted her. And I also cover the topic who I didn’t think would be able to By the way, she’s been deeply touched by the of adoption, when (in the song) she falls into understand this kind of classic rock sound— song. mix “Half the Way Home.” I said, “Man, this AH: Oh good, so she’s still with us... kid’s good!” So then I gave him “This Time” to mix, and I thought, “This guy’s got it!” He JE: She’s doing really good. She’s beat the ended up mixing six songs on the record. odds by already being past 3 years, and all
AH: Wow, thank You, Lord! That’s awesome! Recently John, you were featured as a guest on Jay Sekulow’s show, of the ACLJ, speaking about your song “This Time,” and how it came about. That song really touched me deeply having been in a similar situation many years ago. In fact, my daughter celebrated her 29th birthday this year because of how God impressed on me—much like in your song— to give her life regardless of the voices around
And then on “This is How the Story Goes” we also enlisted David Ragsdale and Rich Williams from the group KANSAS, which somewhat validates the song. You’ll also hear a lot of percussion on the record: glockenspiel, chimes, djembe, cymbal swells... those little exclamation points of percussion that you hear all through the record are from Eric Darken. He’d listen to the song and then send me everything but the kitchen sink, and I would choose what I liked. But his little accents on those songs are amazing, it really makes the songs come alive. AH: What about your brother, Dino? JE: He didn’t play on the record; he was very influential in it though. I’d run a lot of things past him. He spoke into it a lot. AH: What is the song that really grabs you more than all the others on the album? JE: It’s different every day. I really like the song “The Awakening.” I think it’s a unique song, and a unique lyric. I remember writing the song... I had a melody thrown down, just a scratch melody (because that’s how I do it, I’ll just put something down, a gibberish melody that isn’t really saying anything), and I had no idea what I wanted to write the song about. Down in my basement—like I’ve done many, many times, I laid flat on my back... “Lord, give me something...” I had this vision of all God’s people finally coming together as one Body. No more dissension, no more disagreement over what denomination you are, and what you do and believe... it was just one Body moving throughout the world saying “believe or be left behind.” I pictured being woken out of your sleep with the most unbelievable harmonies that you’ve ever heard, and everyone coming together as one in love and forgiveness and all the attributes of Christ. When it really happens, I’ll bet the sound will be pretty heavenly, we won’t need Auto-tune for that! (Laughs) God doesn’t need Auto-tune. You can put that in print! AH: (Laughs) Got it. Let’s talk a little about the recording studio you and Dino put together The Sound Kitchen. You guys built that in Nashville where there were already a lot of recording studios, but you had that vision and you went for it, and it really took off. JE: Well, I’ll tell you why I think it took off. When we came to town, we knew bringing 22
another studio to Nashville’s Music Row would’ve been suicide. When we applied for the loan, everyone loved the concept of what we wanted to bring, but they told us it would never work out in Cool Springs where we lived—about 25 minutes south of town, in a newer area. But finally First Tennessee Bank took a chance on us. So we bought 2 acres for $95,000, and built two rooms from the ground up. We had really great gear and the atmosphere was killer; we had a full kitchen right in the middle of the place with a full dining room where my parents would come in a cook for the clients.
18,000 square feet. We hooked the buildings together with a beautiful Italian courtyard with a fountain where all the musicians loved to hang out. There was so much synergy and camaraderie with the musicians... “Hey what are you doin’?” “Oh I’m playing on this record.” “Cool, I’m up in studio B over there...” “Alright, when you take a break, man, I’ll meet you out here.” People loved coming there. Did you have Sabrett hot dogs back in NJ? AH: Oh of course.
JE: Well, we bought a Sabrett hot dog cart, and every Friday we’d have hot dogs— sauerkraut, chili, and we’d boil the dogs AH: Hence the name. in the water just like they do in New York. JE: Exactly. People loved their cooking as Guys would come from studios from all over much as they loved the studios, and they Nashville just to eat the hot dogs we were started just coming out of the woodwork handing out. [to record]. We found out that most of the producers [on Music Row] actually lived in So, fast-forwarding, we now had about Williamson County [near our studios]. So, 20,000 square feet. We built a room in the all those guys that were driving to Nashville, back called The Big Boy—it was the crown would see our place and say, “Where did this jewel of that place. When we built The Big place come from? You’ve got an 80-input Boy, I had found online where someone Neve Console, with flying faders and all the was selling one of those Bob’s Big Boys, you outboard gear a man could ever want; you’ve know—holding the hamburger. In the lounge, got a great sounding room where we can cut we built this big giant niche where Bob can sit. So as soon as you walked in there, the first strings, and you’ve got two of them!” thing you’d see was another kitchen, a really So, what started happening was, those cool lounge with a big screen, and there’s Bob. rooms became booked 24-7. We had built those rooms to produce our own records, on It was a humongous room, it was big enough our own label, but it got to the point where to have a full orchestra, and people used to people were willing to pay so much because shoot videos in there. We had a 90-input they loved not having to drive to Nashville custom-made API console with every EQ that that Dino and I were having to go to Nashville you could possibly imagine. It became the most popular tracking room in all of Nashville. Everyone that recorded there would come out and say, “Oh my gosh this place is unbelievable!” I remember there was a day when we had Bruce Springsteen in The Big Boy; Faith Hill was doing something in one of the side rooms, and Julio Iglesias was next door in the older studios. I just looked at Dino and said, “Can you believe who’s in our joint right now, man?” And then at 5 o’clock, you have my parents cooking up the Italian food— the place always smelled like to rent studios to record our own stuff! It was garlic. They’re cooking up a meal for Julio crazy. Iglesias and his entourage, but I don’t think AH: Wow. And you had people record Julio was ready to eat until 9 o’clock. Finally my dad—whom everyone loved, but who there like Faith Hill and Bruce Springsteen... was not a respecter of persons—walked into JE: Well, in ‘96, we built another four rooms the control room and said, “The food’s getting on the other acre and we added on about
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AH: Having finished up this album recently, and with all the wealth of experience you have producing, what thoughts do you have on the album recording process nowadays (if that’s not too ancient a term)?
cold!” (Laughs) Julio tells him, “Oh I’m sorry Mr. Elefante, we’ll be there in 5 minutes.” So he comes in and hugs my mom—a big Julio fan—they spend about 4 hours eating... we showed up for about the last hour and listened to Julio’s stories, that was a memorable time. But my parents cooked for everybody. There were a couple times when Vince Gill booked the studio, so we got it all set up the way he wanted it, and then 2 or 3 o’clock would come around and his assistant would call and say, “I forgot to tell you, Vince doesn’t want to record, he just wants to eat.” He’d pay rack rate for the studio, and then we’d say “Go get the ingredients, Vince is bringing in 5 people to eat.” He’d spend another 4 hours with them chit-chatting over a seven-course meal. But, part of our customer service to him was, we would always rip up the check and send it back to him because he was such a good client. And that kept him coming back there to record for years. My parents cooked for Alan Jackson’s 40th birthday at his house. When they were done with the meal—they cooked for 10 couples— everyone’s stuffed to the gills, my parents are doing the dishes; Alan comes in there with a checkbook and starts writing my parents a check for $10,000. So my dad—in his New York Italian vernacular—says, “Eh, Chief, what’a’ya doin? Your money’s no good here I don’t want no money, we don’t cook for money.” Alan said, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” But they would not take the money. So, what shows up at their house the very next day; everything under the sun that could be autographed, and a little clock from Tiffany’s I still have. It was engraved saying: “With love, Alan and Denise Jackson—One of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had, Thank you so much to Danny and Nora Elefante.” Both my parents have passed away since, but I still have that clock. AH: So, why did you sell The Sound Kitchen? JE: In 2002-2003, we started losing a lot of our overdub business, guys were putting things together at home, in the basement with Pro Tools. We had a meeting and I said, this technology’s moving so fast, somebody’s going to be able to do for a $25,000 Pro Tools investment, what it costs us a million and a half to supply in these control rooms. So we sold it right around ‘05 and never looked back. But, I hated to get rid of it. AH: But you have those great memories, and you also educated the good people of Nashville on what real Italian food is. (Laughs) 24
JE: You know that synergy I mentioned with the musicians at The Sound Kitchen? Pro Tools has very much removed that from the equation. Dino once made a statement that you can quote... “In the old days, a performance was documented. In the new days a performance is created.”
JE: Oh my gosh, yeah. There are so many memories... one night we were finishing one In the old days, I would get an idea for a left of my records and we got snowed in and no turn on a song, like on my song “The Stream.” one could get out, so we just kept recording. We recorded it the night of that huge snow But so many cool things happened that night storm where we were snowed in. I said, as we recorded. “We’ve got to have this huge breakdown Another time we had Dominic Chianese in here.” It wasn’t originally written into the (Uncle Junior from “The Sopranos”) in studio; demo, but I went and wrote it, and it’s the we were producing a record for him. He was coolest part of the song. But you can’t turn one of the sweetest men I’ve ever met in my the ship around like that when you’re working life—not one cuss word out of his mouth. He on a computer, or at least it’s not as easy. I just hated the “Sopranos” stereotype of Italians. don’t think that most records now match the All he sang [for the record] were Italian days when we used to do that. love songs. At the time, there was a Gospel A good example is my version of “Dust in the group recording in another studio, and they Wind.” I doubled my voice in a few spots, but heard that Uncle Junior was in the front room that’s all I did in overdub—everything else is and they wanted to meet him (they were completely live [in studio]. That song just took all Sopranos fans). So I said, “Hey Dominic, on a life of its own in the studio with seven there’s some fans in the other studio.” He said, players. We had a guy on acoustic guitar that “Oh well let’s go meet them.” I brought him could’ve played it just like the record. But Jeff, down to their studio and they’re right in the the keyboard player, started spelling out the middle of cutting a track. Dominic walks into main riff on the keyboard and I liked the way the Big Boy control room, and the song stops. it felt; a little Journey-esque to me. I thought, They’re like, whoa, it’s Uncle Junior! And that’s cool. Then the guys started joining in— Dominic asks them if he can sing “Amazing one take went by, it wasn’t as good, so we Grace” with them. So they break into this did it again—and what you hear was that 2nd beautiful version of “Amazing Grace,” and it take. That was all done live. That’s a perfect was beautiful. We put it on Dominic’s record. example of a song [in performance] taking AH: Wow, you really do have some on a life of its own, and it never would have awesome memories there. Well, what about happened if those seven guys hadn’t been now that the new record is out; will you be together in the studio with us recording it live. touring it? What kinds of things do you have John Elefante’s preferred gear is: lined up for the future? Vocal mic is a Corby interchangeable capsule JE: I’d really like to tour the record, but when mic using the C-12 capsule through a Daking you listen to it—it’s not easy for four guys compressor-mic-pre. Guitar was mostly cut to pull off. Just the logistics...the amount of with a Tom Andersen Telecaster and a Fender players I’d need on stage would be immense. custom shop Telecaster, through a Marshall I’m afraid I’d have to give in to using some amp using a Sure SM-57 mic, also a 58 Gibson background tracks, I’d have to. Les Paul through a Kemper profiling head. Most AH: Unless... you merged your tour with other go-to gear are the Wave bundle plug-ins KANSAS and they also played your music... mostly used on Pro-Tools. VOCAL TUNING JE: That probably would never happen... I DEVICES WERE STRICTLY PROHIBITED ON would absolutely love it, but I just don’t think THIS RECORD it would happen. I’d go open up for them Visit John Elefante’s website: though. But, I would like to do some touring www.johnelefante.com for the new record.
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Muscle Shoals Sessions Blues Counsel www.bluescounsel.com I could simply tell you that Muscle Shoals Sessions might be one of the best pure roots influenced rock & roll albums I have heard in a decade. But, I am sure listeners need a little more than such a broad statement to sway them, so lets take a look at what the mighty Blues Counsel has offered up on their new studio album, Muscle Shoals Sessions. Recorded in the fabled Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama, this record absolutely ooooozes with that mysterious, unmistakable, well, STANK that permeates the best records made at Muscle Shoals . . . the aura is that palpable. The fact that Blues Counsel are a collection of studio quality musicians who have played together in some form for almost 30 years may account for musical performances that practically leap out of the speakers at you. True to the band name, The Blues is the engine that fuels this well-oiled musical machine. However, it is merely a small part of the overall picture. One of many different chassis, if you will. Folk, heartland rock, Memphis soul, 60’s pop, jam band elements, Latin music, and straight ahead rock & roll all find their way onto Muscle Shoals Sessions. The band is made up of 6 absolutely stellar musicians with 6 distinct musical personalities that helps give the band a uniquely ecumenical (in a musical sense) approach. All of the members write and sing and all of them come up with solid material. In fact, as good as the playing is, the songwriting is what really carries the disc. The album starts with a Tom Lane penned song, “Wonder Working Power” in a simple but well stated song of devotion that fuses a Latin groove with a jam band ethos. Think Pablo Cruise with Dickey Betts on guitar. It gets things off to a rip-roaring start. Will MacFarlane, who most would agree is one of the finest blues guitarists in the land, offers up the charming blues shuffle, “Final Say”; a song reminding us that God’s power trumps anything the enemy can throw our way. Along with a co-write with Hooper and percussionist extraordinaire, Emedin Riviera on the salsa inflected “Santo” (Holy) Macfarlane wrote the album closing instrumental, “Shoal Train”, a 26
rousing Memphis soul workout that features stellar horn arrangements and instrumental breaks from each band member. However it is Macfarlane’s take on the Blind Willie Johnson classic “Soul of a Man” that stuns with its raw, emotional heft. It doesn’t hurt having the incomparable Ashley Cleveland wailing away on background and harmony vocals. Bassist Rick Cua contributes the classic rock & roll element to Blues Counsel, but his extremely hook filled cuts, “Red Motorcycle” and “Love is the Weapon” have as much to do with classic pop songwriting as they do blues rock, giving them an accessibility that adds a unique wrinkle to the project. The former is a “four on the floor” rocker extoling the virtues of getting on your bike and hitting the open road. The latter is a metaphor for fighting the principalities of this world by loving each other and doing it well. Lane contributes the beautiful, soulful ballad, “Shine Your Glory” and the Allman-esque “Fight For You”; a song that plainly espouses the truism “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Tony Hooper, along with playing some amazing/blazing guitar and keyboards, also contributes 3 extremely well written songs in the amusing “Dang Judy” a lean folk/rocker that features the discs best line as Hooper chastises a friend for her nicotine habit: “you may not go to Hell but you smell like you been there”; the atmospheric, ‘South meets Bad Company’ rock ballad, “Poverty”, which is a metaphorical telling of the wages of sin and the toll it has on humanity and featuring a typically incendiary guitar solo from guest, Phil Keaggy; and the wistful ballad “Chimney”, co-written and sung by Lane. It must also be mentioned that drummer, Tony Morra, has the uncanny ability to empathize, perfectly, with whatever stylistic avenue the band is driving down at the moment. His drumming is, in turn, muscular and sensitive when the situation calls for it. In addition, his production perfectly balances the band’s technical chops and raw, live band sound in one bodacious package. All told, Blues Counsel has a little something for almost any listener. The bonus is that the quality of the songwriting, playing, and the almost supernatural interplay between this band of brothers raises Muscle Shoals Sessions to a level that few bands can ever hope to attain.
Conversations Bryan Duncan www.bryanduncan.com As a member of Sweet Comfort Band and in a solo career where he has seen highs (several chart topping hits and albums in the mid 90’s) and lows (only one album released since 2000) One thing has always been constant with Bryan Duncan: The man has soul. Conversations displays that this truth doesn’t just apply to his singing style, as the project’s lyrics are as honest and depth-filled as any he has penned. Ah, the freedom of being an independent artist! Musically, Duncan offers a few bon mots from all phases of his career but, again, in a less slick way than his most popular work. Sure, the playing on the record is marvelous, including wonderful contributions from the man himself on keyboards, but the sheen is replaced by the warmth and immediacy of real, analog instrumentation which, in tandem with Duncan’s still remarkable vocal instrument, convey his truthful and often humorous lyrics and witty wordplay with a depth not found in his earlier work. It should be noted that Duncan is a particularly effective writer of strong hooks, uniquely imprinting the funky musical canvas with splashes of sophisticated jazz and soulful pop, while never losing the melodic center of the song. Cuts like the wry, “Got Ya Where You Want Me” with this self effacing sentiment: “Up all night, tried to write, everything about love I understand – but there’s no words for this song”, or the lovely, swinging jazz of “Lovin’ You” which features a grin inducing accordion solo from Buddy Connolly. The record’s first single, “I See You” is a testimony to God’s perpetual presence, reinforcing God’s involvement in the midst of our most dire trials, as Duncan celebrates those fleeting moments of heartfelt revelation that bring catharsis from the weariness of our daily struggles with the sickness of this world. This is a theme that crops up often on Conversations, imparting to the listener a bird’s eye view of God’s constant care and his omnipresence, using real examples from the real life of a true soul survivor.
After Sunday Mike Ross/After Sunday www.aftersundayband.com Working from a concept of encouraging believers to remain focused on The Cross of Christ on the 6 days they are not at church, Mike Ross releases his debut project, available on his website or iTunes. What marks this project as unique is that Ross really doesn’t play or sing a note on the record. He wrote the songs and serves as the executive producer, but he decided to hire a crackerjack band of musicians (including noted Nashville guitarist, Tom Hemby and the great Brian MacLeod, former drummer with Wire Train, Toy Matinee, as well as and Sheryl Crow’s Tuesday Night Music Club, among others. Not surprisingly, the record sounds great and, as produced by Dennis Dearing and Mark Hornsby, feature current sounds without that overproduced sheen that seems so prevalent in today’s musical climate. Thankfully, Ross’ songs largely live up to the talent that essays them, featuring smart, pop rock arrangements with a slightly aggressive thrust. Personal favorites include the album opening title track, which betrays a slight pop-punk direction, as well as the soulfully swinging, “New Shoes” about the change that occurs in the believer when wearing the “garments” of Christ’s redemption. Lyrically, though the thematic conceit is clear and effectively communicated, this is fairly stock Christian market content. Definitely an encouraging and upbeat message but not all that unique in the current lyrical landscape. Still, After Sunday easily sounds as good as 90% of what passes for hits on CHR radio today, so, I would suggest heading over to Ross’ website and consider getting a copy as well as checking out his After Sunday sermon series with accompanying songs.
simply, the finest Hammond B3 player in the land not named Benmont Tench, and he’s barely less skilled on guitar) Madeira works in a decidedly roots based medium as country, blues, and Americana styling lends a breadth and depth to the ominous rumble that is the slow, country blues, “Waiting On a Slow Train” while his personality shines on the humorous, “Bad Sense of Direction,” which, while written by Madeira, was on Kerosene Halo’s debut disc as well. A particular gift Madeira has is the ability to write in such a way as to give the listener the option to imprint his own story to the lyric, giving his songs multiple meanings and interpretations. The album opener, “God On the Rocks” could be a song chronicling Madeira’s own path to
redemption, or it could simply be one man’s struggle with belief. Another keen example of this type of writing occurs on “Lonesome Owl”. As believers, it seems clear to us that the line “I hear the spirit calling me, she’s a lonesome owl” is the call of God’s voice, while to many it could just mean a light at the end of the tunnel. Regardless, Madeira refuses to superimpose his own interpretation on the listener, giving them instead the information to find the answers on their own. In an industry where too many people think they know God’s will for an individual (and, to be clear, I believe there are instances where this can be the case) Madeira gives his audience credit for being able to find their own little corner of truth in his personal tales.
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P.M. Phil Madeira www.philmadeira.com Thank the Lord Madeira didn’t choose to call his wonderful new album Phil Madeira Songs (which was the working title) and then abbreviate it. Thankfully, P.M., while definitely having its creator’s droll sense of humor, is a sterling example of a master storyteller at the top of his game. Luckily for us, Madeira’s stories often mirror a lot of what we, as humans, experience as sinners while trying to find our bearings in a fallen world. Utilizing his skills as a multi-instrumentalist (this guy is,
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Fear Inside Our Bones The Almost Tooth and Nail “When my son was born, I was right in the middle of writing this record … I watched him take his first breath, and it was this overwhelming feeling that we’re all born into a world that’s sinful and dirty. We’re all born with this fear of the unknown and this fear of saying yes and taking a step” –Aaron Gillespie. This unquestionably emotional experience led Gillespie to pen some of the most haunting confessional songs released on a major Christian label in a long fortnight on The Almost’s new LP, Fear Inside Our Bones, as he seems to marry the cathartic thump of his former band, Underoath, with a southern twang, creating some of the most compelling, heart pounding rock & roll in recent memory. The band, thankfully, plays it raw, real, and with few if any overdubs as the band recorded the album mostly in one take live in the studio. This certainly lends additional fervor to the band’s lyrics, which are a perfect mixture of clearly spoken Christ-centered sentiment, laced with the authenticity of real, human experience. As such, a confession like that found in the title
track: “Don’t look to me for hope / I’m Lost. I’m just like you / Don’t look to me for freedom / There is a real way out” has a chance to impact those who are actually hurting as it shares a sentiment all humans feel. Likewise with “Love Is Coming Down”, where Gillespie lays himself bare: “I will always try and say the truth at any cost / At the core of my madness / There’s a hope I can’t hide / waiting for me to let it out / Even in all the sickness / The reality comes alive / Dust yourself off / Love is coming down.” It is refreshing to see a writer so compellingly and convincingly essay the very essence of what drives their life and their work. The fact that this may drive a questioning listener right to the cross of Christ is a testimony to the honesty with which The Almost approach their craft. This Side of Heaven David Harsh www.davidharsh.com Having spent a large portion of his life in Christian music ministry, often as a clinician at various Christian music conferences, David Harsh has impressed many with his talent as a
guitarist, as well as his formally trained voice. He also is a compelling speaker who clearly loves what he does. With This Side of Heaven, Harsh unleashes the singer/songwriter lurking beneath the classically trained clinician. Trading in acoustic folk/pop with a few forays into light funk (the humorous paean to the Easter/Christmas church-going crowd, “Twice a Year”) and light rock/worship (“You Alone”) Guitar aficionados will love the rhythmic complexity of “My Song” and it’s opening instrumental riff, while anyone with a heart will be affected by the tender, deeply personal, “I’ll Tell You Now”, a song Harsh wrote for his father when the family was battling cancer, which effectively conveys why it is important to say the things you need to say to someone before it is too late. With very simple, spare arrangements, the charms of This Side of Heaven may be purposefully modest, but they are very real indeed.
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Wampler Pedals Euphoria & Ego By Michael Hodge
board. The Smooth setting is truly Dumbleish. It’s a very smooth overdrive and does a great job at preserving the tone of the guitar almost like how a sparkle drive does but a smoother bottom end. This mode responds very dynamically to the guitar. I found it wonderful for playing lines, with a slightly overdriven sound. He killed the Dumble thing for sure. The Crunch setting gets you that modern crunch with the slightly bumped high and low end. I found it great on a Baritone for filling in the low-end stuff on a rock record. Again it’s still dynamic and does a great job of keeping the rich guitar tone.
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Wampler Euphoria I met Brian Wampler at NAMM in January. I was impressed with his passion for tone and had heard rumors about his pedals. The Wampler Euphoria, formerly called Ecstacy is a pedal designed to have the characteristics of the legendary Dumble guitar amplifier. Known for amazing tone these boutique amps are highly sought for and have inspired amps like the Two Rock. The Euphoria is True Bypass; Built in a 2 ½” X 4 ½” Green metal case, with Boss type 9v jack on the back, and ¼ inch jacks in and out on the sides. The Euphoria feels like a high quality product, and on further inspection it’s some of the best I’ve seen. On the top are four knobs Volume, Gain, Tone and Bass, and a 3 way (Smooth, Open, Crunch), toggle switch on the top. The Volume and Gain are pretty straightforward. The Bass knob is Pre Gain stage and the Tone knob is Post Gain. This is IMO the best way to have the most control over the Overdrive sound. There are a lot of great combinations with this pedal. The knobs feel like high quality components. Brian also uses high-grade film capacitors and resistors picked for superior sound and response. The 3 gain stages via toggle switch make this a really versatile pedal. It can be used for a couple different functions on your pedal 30
I could still easily tell what kind of guitar (Tele, Strat, or Les Paul) pickups are being used. The less expensive pedals tend to make every guitar sound the same. The Open mode (middle position) is really cool to me. My first impression was that I could really nail that great Strat Hendrix tone. This is one a setting I would use a lot. It does the Treble Booster thing fantastically. In summary, I really like this pedal. It’s versatile, and if you’re picky about tone, you will love it. The street price for the Wampler Euphoria is $199.00. For more information: http://www.wamplerpedals.com
Wampler EGO Compressor One of the things I love about doing reviews for Christian Musician Magazine is having the great opportunity to try new things I have heard about and share my findings with you all. Playing through the Wampler Ego Compressor has been one of my most exciting pedal discoveries yet! Painted in a cool Metallic Blue, the EGO compressor is sturdy single-size pedal. It takes the usual Boss type 9V power supply, and also has a battery already inside so you can try it easily at the store. The 5 Crème colored knobs are easy to read at a glance, and everything about this pedal feels like high quality. It’s true Bypass, and the Footswitch feels solid. I’m a big compressor fan. I have had a collection of compressor pedals and they each seem to
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The SUSTAIN knob in turn sets the actual “compression”, which determines how hard the circuit will work to keep the level exactly where you tell it. Of course, this can and will make your guitar hum and noise super loud if you don’t control it. You can get the EGO to sustain for days though! The VOLUME knob allows you to set the compressor at unity gain so that when you turn it on the level doesn’t change much. I usually wind up having the compressor boost the level some, but not too much, because you can get in trouble with gain staging if you have a lot of pedals. The result can be that if too much level is going through all your pedals, some of your distortion pedals might not cope, and therefore actually make the signal quieter when you switch them on! I have had this problem occur with several pedals that I really like the sound of when playing through them separately. Gain have something cool that they excel at. staging is really important on a pedal board. What sets this pedal apart to me is the That could be a whole separate article! simple, yet elegant way that it works, and the The TONE knob allows you to add some variable blend capability. sheen to your compressed signal. It’s a very On the top of the pedal are five knobs: nice feature that sets this pedal apart from Volume, Attack, Sustain, Tone, and Blend. most compressors. Dialing some highs in can The ATTACK knob sets how fast the give you that “Jangly” sound that is so sweet! compressor grabs the transient, or front, of I liked this a ton on a Gretsch Firebird that the note or sound that it sees. As you turn it I play a lot. It takes the dark sound of the clockwise your initial picking comes through pickups and brings out the color. I think it more and more. Attack adjusts how fast the cuts through the mix a little better too. It’s also very useful if you want to do that R&B pickin’ compressor circuit engages.
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stuff. Normally I would have to use a Tele or a Strat to make it really work. By turning up the Tone knob I can actually do some of that stuff on the Gretsch and it works very well. This is a feature that makes the unit much more versatile, especially in the studio. The BLEND knob is another cool design that brings this pedal into the “Must Have” category for me. I have another compressor that I like which has a switch that did something similar to add some original signal back in. The idea of a blend knob is sweet! I can actually do some great sustaining compression and still have the integrity of the original still there. It’s the kind of effect that is usually done on a mixing console with 2 channels. One compressed and one straight mixed together. It’s called Parallel Compression, and is a huge part of the modern sound that we all hear and love! IN USE: I pretty much fell in love with the Ego Compressor immediately. I knew what it claimed to do, and was excited about the possibility. The fact that it does it so well makes it a must have for me. I played a number of guitars through it and it didn’t seem to favor one over the other, as so often happens with pedals. I have been using it live for a few weeks and keep it on all the time. My signal is stronger, and when I play lines the notes are a little more even and, of course, sustain longer. Guitar players love that! I had great results leaving it on when I’m using distortion. Because of the Blend ability, I am able to have the best of both worlds. I have a couple different boards for live and studio, and want to have one on each now. SUMMARY: If you haven’t used a compressor before, they take a little bit of fiddling with ‘till you really get comfortable. They do change the response of the guitar, but to me definitely for the better. This is the compressor I recommend to my guitar player friends most often now. It is the best, and most useable compressor I’ve ever played through. To me, the best place in the chain for a compressor is at or near the beginning. I place mine before the Volume Pedal, which helps a lot with making swells sustain. FYI: I also place distortion pedals after the Volume Pedal so I can have a wide range of distortion controlled by the Volume I’m sending them. At $199.00 this is a great buy. For more information: www.wamplerpedals.com/essentials/egocompressor.html
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No One Ever Prays Alone By Bob Kilpatrick
No one ever prays alone. We always pray with the Spirit, even when we feel most lonely. The Spirit of God is with us every moment, knows our deepest concerns- deeper than even we know- and prays with, for and through us. Jesus is also forever making intercession for us before the Father. He told us that our Father knows our needs before we ask, answers before we ask, is caring for us like He cares for the sparrows of the air and the lilies of the field. No, we never pray alone. But many times we pray as though we were alone. We feel alone in this particular circumstance or need, alone in experiencing a certain trial or temptation, alone in our experience of and walk with God. One of the great strengths and, correspondingly, great weaknesses of the Western mindset is its vehement individualism. We love the self made man, the rugged individual, the lone explorer, the one who says triumphantly “I did it my way”. We so treasure our personal liberties that we place them before all other treasures. It is abhorrent to many of us to think that we were created for someone else’s
pleasure, but the Bible is very clear about that: we were created for God’s pleasure. It is also very clear about this: we were created to live in community, and true joy is never found apart from serving others and serving with others. We cannot know God fully without knowing Him through others and approaching Him in community. We read the Bible as though every use of the word ‘you’ was singular. In fact, many times it is used in the plural. You ALL are the temple of God… Let this mind be in you ALL which was also in Christ Jesus… You ALL has He quickened… We are so accustomed to thinking as individual followers of Jesus that it has profoundly distorted our view of our faith and, necessarily, the way we live it out. Like me you may have heard John 3:16 personalized as a message to the individual, something like this: “For God so loved Bob Kilpatrick that He gave His only begotten Son that if Bob Kilpatrick would believe on Him he would never die but would have everlasting life.” This has its uses but we should never
forget that it is not what Jesus said. He called out to the world- all of us- and He called us together- “For God so loved the world…” It may be disturbing to the pop psychologists and self-help gurus, but Jesus never taught or encouraged us to develop self-love. Instead, He called us to love one another, even to the extent of laying our lives down for one another. The two greatest commandments are to love God and to love others. Self-love and self-esteem are not part of the deal. If you were wanting a religion that would help you love yourself most of all, this is not it. Jesus’ message is about losing your life that you might find it and giving your life away that you might gain it. When Jesus taught us to pray it is not without significance that He began the model prayer in the plural; “Our Father…” His intention seems to be that we should see ourselves as a part of the family of God and that we should, simply, pray together. Throughout the Bible there are numerous references to the multiplied strength of praying together. Something happens when we pray together that could never happen when we pray alone. The enemy of our souls is not nearly as concerned about our evangelistic efforts, justice missions, concerts and church growth Continued on page 44.
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How to transform Social Media Acquaintances into True Friends by Keith Mohr & Sue Ross-Mohr expertise in your field. Ask them you with tough love. Look for friends online questions about their journey. What that fit these categories. When I am asked to made them successful in what they do and mentor someone, I usually ask for the other how did they get there? Don’t be all ‘onesignup sheet at the same time. Someone to sided’, though. Give to give. Once they start mentor me at the same time. FRIENDS. This word has not held the same opening up to you, share what successes you 6. Leaders and teachers. God has given each of connotation since social online networking has have experienced also. Don’t be a ‘debbie us some pretty strong gifts. We call these your skyrocketed in recent years. The word friends and downer’ or ‘de-value’ what you have done ‘inner vision’. Leaders and teachers can spend the word acquaintances have developed some when comparing it to what they have done. lots of time giving, but it has been documented very gray lines around them. Social networking in Speak with confidence. I once had a friend that “A teacher who teaches teachers to teach, itself has been around for centuries. In the Roman that said, “People are not garbage cans with also needs teachers to teach them, too.” If you days, it was the good old, let’s get together, raise hairy lids”, so keep it positive. Make this an are a teacher, search out other teachers. Share a goblet or two and enjoy the view of pretty enjoyable conversation time between both of information, and challenge each other. ladies dancing. In the Victorian era, women left you while you are developing your friendship. their calling cards in the hopes that they would be 7. Find someone to laugh with. The phrase, “Take invited to tea or a social event. Politicians have been 3. Connect them with individuals who have been time to smell the roses.” was written in the hope a help to you. Share the love. Whether it is kissing babies for years while ‘social networking’. that people would realize that they needed to a great merchandise company that you have An acquaintance was an acquaintance and a friend put daily tasks to the side and just enjoy God’s used or a discount that has benefitted you, or was someone you socialized with a lot. beauty and world. Our time here on Hotel even a blog with tons of information in it that Earth does not have to be filled to the brim When we sit down with a new artist and begin to has helped you write that new killer song, tell with stuff to do. We need to have someone to discuss the amount of friends they have, especially them about it. The blog, www.thedailyopp.com stop, drop, and laugh alongside. That online when it relates to social networking, the numbers would be a great one to pass on. It is filled to friend that you make can be just that someone they boast can hit the thousands mark. When we the brim with resources, ideas, etc. for them to with whom you can share a giggle or two. dig deeper, though, the actual number of true view. Build, connect, and care. It is amazing ‘friends’ is much smaller than originally thought. Friends . . .they are important. Songs are written what you will see begin to happen once they It’s not rocket science. If they have 10,000 friends about them. Reality shows keep us wondering know you truly care. and have only sold 500 downloads of their music, where they are going and what they are going it’s not hard to see that their numbers can be a bit 4. Listen. Do you know the same letters in the to do next, together, in their lives. Friends cheer word Listen are also in the word Silent? This each other on. They are an important part of the misconstrued. Many of them can be ‘one-timer’s’. only occurs in the English language. Could that patchwork of our lives. Why not make one online? Come on, you know you’ve done it. Likes have be because we have so much noise around us Write a song or two. Co-write on SKYPE. Share a become as precious as gold. You know how it here in the western world and that we just like funny story. Take a picture of something that you works. They saw, they asked for request to be to hear ourselves talk. Just take a gander at all saw today and show and tell with them. Pray with approved, and they moved on and forgot that you the FACEBOOK comments out there. A new them and for them. Make relationships that are even were out there. Promotion and marketing trinity has surfaced over the years entitled Me, worth the time on the dial. Remember, a friend requires it. So we started to think about this. How Myself, and I. So take a moment and listen to is someone who you think your life would be can we develop relationships that stick? Ones that your new friend. Hear what they have to say different if they didn’t exist. Here’s to new friends you can truly call, after time, friends. and let them know you are listening. all over your social networks! We started to research this phenomenon and the places where we can meet ‘strangers’ online and 5. Mentorship and mentee-ing. When we speak Creatively His, to our clients, we teach them about three here is what we found. Whether your friends are Keith and Sue Mohr individuals in their life that are vital and that on Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, they need to keep constant. One is that ‘Paul’ MOHR CREATIVE GROUP Pinterest, YouTube, GodTube, Vimeo, MySpace, kind of person. A man/woman of wisdom (for time sake, more listed here: http://en.wikipedia. www.mohrcreativegroup.com that you would sit down at their feet with a org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites), you sharpened pencil and a clean sheet of paper can develop a relationship that can enter into the and write down everything they teach. The friend zone. next individual is like the Timothy of the bible. Keith Mohr and You know we are all about The Plan. Here is a list A hungry mentee that wants to learn. These Sue Ross-Mohr of of where our research has brought us for you to are individuals that you can feed into, take “The Mohr Creative begin making long-lasting friends online. under your wing, and pour out what you have Group” have years of serving 1. First and foremost, define how you being ‘their’ learned. Matthew 5:3 says, “Blessed are the experience friend can benefit them. Yes, you heard right. poor in Spirit for they shall inherit the kingdom independent Christian Without this in place first, then all you would of Heaven.” That used to confuse me so much, artists, musicians and Keith be doing is trying to obtain friends to get until I realized that being poor in Spirit only songwriters. founded www.indieheaven.com in 2002, the something from them. Frame the conversation happened when you had poured out what you around what you can do for them, not what had learned into someone else. Then you are leading portal for Christian independent music. they can do for you. Connect with them before fresh and clean and ready to get more. The Sue Ross-Mohr founded www.theinnervizion. you need a favor or have a need. last individual is a Barnabas-like friend. That is com in 2003, a creative promotions /marketing/ someone that is true and honest and will hold consulting service to individuals and companies 2. 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Ask Joe by Joe Riggio
Someone told me there are lots of fake Gibson guitars on the market. How do I spot one and not get ripped off?
It is true that, in the last few years, there have been a greater number of fake guitars being imported to the United States. Forgeries of various Gibson models are among the most prevalent. These are not just copies and knock-offs, but are actually branded as Gibson’s. In fact, the brand logo is a good place to start, as they are often a little off when compared to their original counterparts. Like identifying any forgery, the best way to be prepared is to study the original article in great detail. Another common difference among the fakes that I
have seen is the presence of a polyurethane finish as opposed to nitrocellulose lacquer, which is used on all Gibson guitars. Although more difficult to determine by a non-expert, this finish detail is a surefire giveaway for the fake. The easiest way to spot the fake is the quality, and even functionality, of the
What does it mean when a vacuum tube is advertised as NOS?
NOS is an acronym for “New Old Stock” and is used within many collectible markets, from automobile enthusiasts to toy collectors, to describe something that is from an original stock of that item, but was never used or taken out of it’s original packaging. In the tube market, however, it is often misused as a description of something that is in newlooking condition, usually when referring to how the tube might test on a tube tester. I have seen the description “Tests NOS” many times. While a used tube might test as well as a new tube might, it is impossible for a tube tester to determine whether or not something is unused. Genuine NOS vintage tubes generally demand a much higher price than common used, or “pulled” tubes, so be sure of what you’re looking at and more importantly: paying for.
hardware; particularly the bridge. On the fake, this part is usually equipped with a screw-adjust post, where the original is only adjustable with a thumb wheel. Whenever unsure, it is best to consult with a trusted local expert. We can usually spot them from across the room.
Joe Riggio is a professional guitar repairman/ technician and recording engineer, based in Tacoma, WA. He owns and operates “Service Guitar Repair” and “House Of Sound Recording Studio” He has a deep love and knowledge of vintage guitars, as well as modern and loves to share his passion with others. He can be contacted at ServiceGuitarRepair@gmail.com website: www.ServiceGuitarRepair.com
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Using Capos in a Group The size of the contemporary worship band has grown from the traditional trio of piano, bass, and drums to a full ensemble with two or more keyboard players, drums, auxiliary percussion, bass, horns, and even strings, not to mention several worship leaders and background vocalists. Add two acoustic guitars and two more electric guitars into the mix and you have a wall of sound filling the sanctuary. Today more worship leaders have moved out from behind the keyboards and stepped out to lead with guitar in hand. Paul Boloche, Hillsong United, Jesus Culture and other worship groups with more than one guitar player today have to blend their sound so they are not just doubling or stepping on each others parts in a song. What I have found from the viewpoint of a guitar player is that the use of a capo helps when playing with
multiple guitar players to fatten up the sound and curves under the neck. Attached to the of the band and it makes it interesting and fun hinge is a thumbscrew that applies pressure to the neck and locks it into place. This helps to play. with some tuning problems that you may The dictionary explains the word incur when using a capo on an instrument “Capo” as short for Capotasto, Italian KAY-poh with thicker gauge strings. The Kyser capo chief key capo, chief, head, a device fastened is quick and easy to use for fast key changes over the fingerboard as of a guitar to shorten and comes in assorted colors and sizes. Kyser the strings uniformly and facilitate a change of also makes Short Cut Capo’s that leave some key. strings in their open position while fretting There are several different styles of capos in another position, simulating open tunings out on the market today to choose from. and other combinations. They range in price from $5 to over $45. Capos are useful when having to change Depending on the make of guitar and which keys of a song to fit a vocalist range or help style you play, you will need to determine with those songs in flat or sharp keys. When what fits you best. I’ve found that the Shubb all the guitar players in the band are playing and Kyser capos work well for me. The Shubb the same song with open chords in the same capo is a C-clamp with an added piece of position it can sound full, but also kind of brass and rubber that lies flat across the strings monotone and repetitive. Here is how two or more guitar players playing the same chord progression can use capos in different positions to add a more dynamic range to their sound. The examples will show you how take the same four chords and play them in different positions on the neck using a capo. The name of the chord is on the top while the capo chord shape names are underneath. Coda: To the left you’ll see a group exercise, so get together with your fellow guitar friends and give this a try. I think you will find this challenging, refreshing, and fun!
Roger Zimish is a freelance guitarist/indie artist and clinician is now based in Hendersonville Tn. He has represented Audio-Technica, Greg Bennett Design Guitars by Samick, G&L Guitars, Visual Sound and PedalTrain Pedal Boards. Contact Roger: Email email@example.com, and on facebook. CHRISTIANMUSICIAN.COM
Laboring Under Illusions? by Bryan Duncan
It’s no secret that I, like many of you, have struggled in the past decade to discover a new model for presenting music. Those of you who remember recording on two inch tape and stamping it to vinyl might recall when “cutting and pasting” was done with a razor blade and splicing tape.
social media outlets, we have the golden opportunity to “go viral”. Millions will find it and we’ll be in sunglasses doing business. Unless you’re a talking dog, your chances of instant visibility online have less hope than that a single lightening strike will light your campfire.
Old musicians never really die they just get Just because you are connected to the lost in the key changes and the engineer cuts internet it does not mean the internet is them out of the mix because it sounds like connected to You. It reminds me of an old Disco. illustration of illusion my father used about a Casualties were high in the Civil War too preacher on a two hundred watt radio station because the Seniors were using outdated opening his broadcast with “Hello World”. warfare techniques like marching everyone in a straight line at the enemy, only to be mown down by breach loading rifles. Or the French blunder, building “The Imagino Line” assuming World War II would be a trench war like it’s predecessor. New technologies force us to rethink the whole battle plan. What we used to do is no longer effective.
Especially in the name of faith we labor under illusions. I had a friend start writing checks as a “Step of Faith” believing God would divinely add the money to his account. He said God told him to do it but then God never called the bank. Of course the justification with faith illusions is that if your step of faith isn’t successful there is always you to blame for a One of the biggest illusions in marketing lack of it. music is that if we post something to Don’t mistake Faith with not taking care of the details. Maybe the very word “faith” carries an illusionary misunderstanding: an assumption that I can fire a shot in the air and let God make it hit the target. Yeah, he could do that but the truth is, my lofty thinking might just be laziness or impatience because I simply don’t want to learn weapons maintenance and spend all that time in target practice. I’m not discounting Faith here, I’m just saying it’s a sin to remain clueless. I used to pray, “Lord forgive me of my sins” and leave it at that. Now it’s more like, “show me where my illusions lie and how I might avoid them in the future”. I think that is a stronger version of 42
a repentance from falling short. Anyone can turn around where they’re standing, it’s going in a different direction that makes repentance work. Or maybe better said, “makes the work of repentance”. Our very first illusion was that we could follow our own will without consequences. Interesting that even after knowing Christ we can still fall back into that trap. I guess I’m having a practical conversion even as we speak. Yes, we all would love to have someone bankroll our entire budget with no responsibility for the invoice. But there’s really no faith in that. It would be better said to “step out in faithfulness”. And don’t take “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever” as an excuse to avoid change. Jesus never healed anyone in the same way twice in scripture. Yes, I’m a Christian musician. Faith and music are my mainstays. But both are messy, a constant building process, and I’m often hung up on the bridge in the middle. I make mistakes, I feel absolutely ignorant a lot, and I find a humility I wasn’t really looking for. The future in the past for me used to come with that Star Trek mantra “to boldly go where no man has gone before”. I can hear that single operatic voice over the theme music even now. But maybe God wants us to “Boldly go where every man has gone before.” Every generation has faced an unknown quantity. There will always be unknowns, but don’t make them the reason for not knowing what you can. Life has always been a path not a parking lot. How boring would it be if the scenery never changed? Now go upgrade your applications! Bryan Duncan/ Singer / Songwriter/ author / Publisher. Radio Show host for RadioRehab.com Inducted into the Christian music Hall of Fame in 2007. 40 years, 22 albums, Dove and Grammy awarded. www.bryanduncan.com
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No One Ever Prays Alone (cont. page 34) techniques as he is about our praying together. The Church’s political clout doesn’t frighten him as much as Her spiritual authority. Evangelistic crusades have less impact on a city than do even the smallest group of praying believers gathered in a quiet sanctuary earnestly seeking God together for their community. The time spent marching for Jesus would make a greater impact in the spiritual realm were it spent in intercession. In fact, I sometimes wonder if our enemy is encouraging all our busyness so that he can keep us from our true and greatest power. He knows that a praying Church is a dangerous Church. I am not suggesting that any of these activities are not worth doing. I am saying that they must be preceded and fueled by prayer. God knows when we must speak out, reach out and take a stand. But how can we know when to do so if we are not meeting Him and hearing His voice? Consider this statement from 2 Corinthians 10:4- “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal…” We may interpret the word carnal to mean sinful, but that is not what Paul meant. Paul was saying that our weapons are
not of the realm of human existence. Politics, power, economics, influence, entertainment, debate and discourse are all of this realm and, therefore, are not the weapons we are called to use. Again, I am not saying that these are not legitimate concerns or fields of endeavor of the Christian community. I am saying that they are secondary at best and devilish at worst. You have heard it said that the good is the enemy of the best. It is true for us. If our enemy can keep us busy doing the good he might be able to keep us too busy to do the best. God is calling. Do you hear Him? He is calling His people to pray together. It is a thundering whisper. If you quiet your heart you will surely hear it. You may fill your time with worthy “Christian” endeavors, but at the end of the day, when you lay your head on your pillow and thank God that you were able to do some good deeds, if you were to listen for a moment you might hear Him whisperingThis column is an excerpt “Come away. Come away with Me.” You might from Bob’s book “Sacred be busy about so much and yet have a holy Synergy: The power dissatisfaction that will not leave you. It is the of praying together” Holy Spirit calling you to a more powerful available in August ‘13. life. You might hear Him saying “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are Bob Kilpatrick is a Songwriter, Pastor, author and ex-columnist for CM, Bob and his wife CIndy live in mighty!” Do you hear Him? Fair Oaks, CA.
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CODA During the 1992 Los Angeles area riots that followed the “Rodney King Verdict”, Rodney King came out with the oft-quoted (and, to be a stickler for accuracy, oft-slightly-misquoted) phrase: “Can we all get along?” It pains me to say that, in general, I think the answer is, “Apparently not.” And with the Church of Jesus Christ in mind, I’m tempted to add a reluctant and painful, “Amen.” Of course, this is probably a dictionary-definition example of “painting with a broad brush”, but I also think that true, meaningful cooperation among different churches, denominations, and often even among individual believers is the exception rather than the rule. Jesus’ single sentence recounted in John 13:35 (“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”) now reads less like a mandate and more like an indictment in view of our collective and individual conduct over the centuries. Some time back I sang at the First Church of the Nameless Non-Denom Church of the Anonymous City-and-State. I was there to sing at a Sunday Morning Service and then return for a Sunday Evening Concert. The service concluded with my two songs and as the pastor took to the pulpit for a final prayer, he asked me, “Where do you go to church?” I answered truthfully and without thinking, “St. Matthew’s Church in Newport Beach, California”. This was a spontaneous bit of back-andforth that seemed fairly routine to me, and I gave no further thought to the matter. But when I returned that evening for the concert soundcheck, two different people were dispatched to tell me that the pastor did not want me to mention where I attended church. Apparently sometime after I answered the pastor’s morning question, he visited my church’s web site (www.stmatthewsnewport.com) and undoubtedly read this sentence after clicking on “About”: “St. Matthew’s Church is a parish of the Anglican Catholic Church.” It was awkwardly explained to me that the pastor had determined that I was “Catholic” and did not want those in the congregation, especially exCatholics, to be “offended”. Being the completely reasonable, cool-under-fire guy that I am I rejoined, “Thank God no one has ever been offended in a Protestant church. At least we dodged that bullet.” I assured both of these messengers that there was nothing to worry about. I wasn’t there to cheer for my Congregational Home Team, make denominational converts, or otherwise disrupt the life of the Body at that location. But I won’t lie. Part of my ability to carry on was my making a conscious decision to be a professional, to keep fully in mind my desire to serve the audience who showed up,
Can We All Get Along? by Bob Bennett
and to keep my focus on the true Minister of the gathering: The Holy Spirit. I rarely feel as if I ever have had the privilege of bearing a hurt that would be considered a “wound of Christ”, but in this case it came pretty doggone close. Those who know me well and personally might be tempted to conclude that my first struggle would’ve been with anger or, at minimum, a robust ticked-off-ness. And, it’s true, as I cycled through this incident in the following days I certainly found my way there. I’m not proud of it; I’m just reporting the news. But when it was all coming down, I just felt unbearably sad. And it wasn’t a “Look what you did to me!” sadness. It was a more of a “Look what you’ve done to Us … the whole of the Church” sadness.
occurs a galvanizing of sorts. I thought, “This isn’t just Us vs. Them. This is Us vs. Us. My entire life is about pushing back against this sort of thing.” I called a pastor friend of mine on the East Coast and he had some encouraging words. He basically reminded me that Sectarianism is apparently a passenger on this Train to Glory for the long haul.
I might add that this kind of dynamic is, in large measure, why we have the sad situation of legions of people who are sympathetic to Jesus, the Gospel, the Bible, the Judeo-Christian Ethic, and a host of other things we might all nod our heads to … and yet they may NEVER darken the door of a church ever again. Set aside the quintessential “has not heard or understood the Gospel” potential convert and simply deal with the “used to be one I’ve been around the block a few times now. It’s of us and be with us” disenfranchised Christian been a blessing and, occasionally, a challenge to believer. We could spend the rest of our lives on have a front row seat for the diversity with the Body that mission field and never run out of people to of Christ. I’ve often said from the platform that the apologize to or draw alongside. biggest scandal of the Church is our disunity. And We’re experts at the over-confident “convert yet, in characteristic God-fashion, He even turns math” we employ and yet dumb-as-posts about this on its head. Apparently God’s presence in the attrition rate of people who’ve either moved our corporate worship life and faithfulness to us is on from organized church, or even decided they not dependent upon our lockstep solidarity with needed to retire as Christians altogether … if such every last person or congregation that identifies a thing is, indeed, possible. as “Christian”. Again, that’s the good news and bad Differences are a part of what it means to be news at the same time. human. Not all differences are sinful or undesirable. Churches are notorious for operating together “on paper” while the facts on the ground tell a different story. Countless church workers have lamented over the decades that their attempts to gather area churches for a community event of some description were met with a deafening silence and indifference. We’re either not good at this unity stuff, don’t want to be good at this unity stuff, or God help us all, both. We “love sinners” as long we don’t have to really interact with them. We love the Body of Christ as long as we don’t have to venture beyond prayers for unity that demand no accountability or action.
But wouldn’t in be nice, within the Household of Faith, if we could “all get along”. Even if getting along means, at minimum, a kind of tolerance. In our day “tolerance” has come to mean “you’re tolerant only IF you agree with me”. True, mature tolerance occurs when agreement is not fully present and yet we can still find commonality. I would never say that “anything goes” as it pertains to the Gospel. But if we only befriend and fellowship with those who perfectly meet all our indices, that’s a missed mark worth reconsidering.
Mark 9:38-40: “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and Anyway, after the concert concluded, the pastor we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” had a few words with me about my having been “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does “offended”. I tried, to no avail, to point out the a miracle in my name can in the next moment say distinction between a small “c” catholic and a anything bad about me, for whoever is not against capital “C” Catholic. But even that was beside the us is for us.” point. Even if I was a card-carrying Roman Catholic, it wouldn’t have mattered and that wasn’t the Bob Bennett is a singerpoint. The point was that I was not one of “them”. songwriter living behind the I was, by association, the “other”. It was unsettling. I thought to myself, “I’m 58 years old. I’ve been in Orange Curtain in Southern church all my life. I got serious about my Faith in California. Bob gratefully 1977. I thought we were OVER this by now.” Of attends St. Matthew’s Church in course, even as those thoughts came to mind I also Newport Beach. The editorial staff of Christian Musician said thought, “Bennett, how naïve can you be?” it would be okay for him to mention that. He checked. Sometimes in the face of this kind of thing, there
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