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> Worship Sound
Zephyr
post Nov 9 2007, 08:53 AM
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I play guitar at my church every Sunday, we do a lot of praise/worship songs such, Hillsong United and the like. Anyways, my problem is, I'm having a lot of trouble getting a sound that fits well. I don't really listen to this type of music, so I'm not sure where to start...

When I try to mess around with any distortion/overdrive, it always sounds too heavy/powerful/sharp, just too much in general. But I want to have some edge to it, it just is too boring (for lack of a better word) to have it completely clean. So, does anyone have any advice for getting this kind of tone? Something like Hillsong, I guess, it seems like we play a lot of that. I mostly play rhythm, but once in a while there's an opportunity for some lead stuff. Thanks in advance!
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Muris Varajic
post Nov 9 2007, 08:59 AM
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Maybe to try with some rotary speaker on clean/bit overdriven sound?
It'll sound like Hammond and organ's been seen often in churches. smile.gif


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Zephyr
post Nov 9 2007, 09:09 AM
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QUOTE (muris @ Nov 8 2007, 11:59 PM) *
Maybe to try with some rotary speaker on clean/bit overdriven sound?
It'll sound like Hammond and organ's been seen often in churches. smile.gif


laugh.gif Not trying to get an organ sound, just a sound like some of those Christian rock or P&W bands out there.
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Muris Varajic
post Nov 9 2007, 11:06 AM
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QUOTE (Zephyr @ Nov 9 2007, 09:09 AM) *
laugh.gif Not trying to get an organ sound, just a sound like some of those Christian rock or P&W bands out there.


I'd try it anyhow cause it sounds quite cool. wink.gif
You can't make your guitar to sound like organ even if you want to.
but using efxs common for organs is really nice,give it a shot.
Or else what shall I say...tube amp? blink.gif


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Hardtail
post Nov 10 2007, 04:10 PM
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I feel I can answer this with some authority since I have been playing guitar (often times the only guitarist on stage) for local churches for about 13 or so years.

First things first... If you don't have the right gear you are going to need to run an Acoustic AND an Electric to cover the whole set for rhythm. If you are playing Lead you can play electric the whole time but you still need the right gear.

I have spent years trying to figure out how to play the entire set with an Electric guitar only and have recently accomplished that goal. I have played for months now with only my electric on stage and as the only guitarist.

Several things that are Critical for this:

1) Guitar Volume - I suggest running your guitar volume JUST before it's level of saturation. My Stratocaster is rare and runs on Humbuckers which I typically leave at Guitar Volume 7. This provides great clean strumming which is the mainstay of modern worship music. Humbuckers at lower volumes are typically quieter and cleaner than single-coils so they make a GREAT starting spot for P&W (Praise and Worship) rhythm guitarists. Single-coil guitars will work fine but the guitar volume should be run between 4 and 6 more than likely for most modern pickups.

2) Amp Volume - This falls under two categories. Tube and Solid State. If your worship set is completely upbeat rock/worship then solid states work great at almost any volume (since they don't typically saturate based on volume). Since your having trouble I'm guessing your band mixes Rock worship with what I call Melodic Worship. In this sense a Tube amp REALLY pulls ahead. If you are using a tube amp set it's volume right at the brink of saturation (distortion). You want the amp to sound clean if you are picking your guitar or strumming lightly and then JUST slightly get gritty if you strum harder. This concept is called Attack Response and you want yours right in the middle of clean and saturated.

3) Acoustic - If you are using a Solid State amp and are having the typical problem of getting a good sound for both rock/worship and melodic worship then I highly suggest setting your electric up for the rock/worship and bringing an acoustic. #4 is an alternative to this.

4) Chorus - A good chorus effect will add sustain and beauty to the melodic worship stuff. I recommend setting the Chorus pedal volume a little higher than the "off" volume and when you switch it on bring your guitar volume down. This will clean up the signal and add a harmonizing sustain to the sound. Light strumming with this setup will make any thoughtful melodic worship song sound great. Don't overdo the Chorus... subtly is key. Personally, I do not need Chorus since my guitar has neverending sustain (God bless you fender for making Hardtail strats) and my rig sounds melodic and warm all the time (God bless tube amps).

5) Distortion - If your playing rhythm you want transparency. Another words you don't want your whole rig sound to change when the pedal comes on. A good Blues Driver will accomplish this. Mine is so good I can kick it on and off in the middle of the song and you cannot hear a change in my tone... only that the faster choruses seem to rock a bit more.
If you're playing Lead you will want something with a bit more mid-push to cut through the band (typical fair for ANY band actually). Tubescreamers and pedals of that vein will accomplish this as well.

6) Less is more - In modern worship if you have a good setup then you almost have to do very little playing. Remember in church it's about the words and singing, your guitar is just a tool to assist and not take front stage.

My personal setup-
Fender Big Apple (Humbuckers with single coil tapping)
Fender Blues Junior
Keely Blues Driver

I run my Big Apple in humbucker mode most of the time. If the song is a bit more rock I will switch to first position single coil mode and turn the volume up 1 to compensate for the smaller magnetic field. This gives a little bit more attack response and distortion at the same performance volume.

I run my Blues Junior fairly clean with just a little tube "fatness" added in to fill out my sound and add warmth. This incidentally also adds more attack response.

I run the Blues Driver at the same volume as my amp (you can't hear a change in volume when it's on or off) but run the distortion a bit higher. So heavier songs or songs with heavier chorus lines get the Blues Driver and the rest of the set doesn't.

It took a VERY long time to figure out the appropriate settings for the entire rig and based on the gear you have yours will be different. But this should give you a starting point to zero in on your proper setup.

Hardtail


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Zephyr
post Nov 10 2007, 04:41 PM
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blink.gif

WOW! That was amazing, thanks! This sounds extremely helpful, I'm going to have to mess around with some stuff, but this is going to help a lot, thanks a million! biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

Note: At the church, I use my GT-8 plugged into a Line 6 Flextone (not my amp, someone else's), but I've been thinking about plugging straight into the PA... it sounds much nicer in my opinion. Also, I'm not the only guy up there, my uncle plays acoustic and once in a while the bass player's brother (a guitar player) shows up and plays lead stuff... But this is exactly what I needed, thanks once again!

This post has been edited by Zephyr: Nov 10 2007, 04:48 PM
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Hardtail
post Nov 11 2007, 01:38 PM
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QUOTE (Zephyr @ Nov 10 2007, 10:41 AM) *
blink.gif

WOW! That was amazing, thanks! This sounds extremely helpful, I'm going to have to mess around with some stuff, but this is going to help a lot, thanks a million! biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

Note: At the church, I use my GT-8 plugged into a Line 6 Flextone (not my amp, someone else's), but I've been thinking about plugging straight into the PA... it sounds much nicer in my opinion. Also, I'm not the only guy up there, my uncle plays acoustic and once in a while the bass player's brother (a guitar player) shows up and plays lead stuff... But this is exactly what I needed, thanks once again!


No problem friend. I'd recommend losing the Flextone amp in your setup and going straight from the GT-8 to the PA. Don't forget they need to use a Direct Box unless your GT-8 has XLR out.

Hardtail


--------------------

Beginner's Amp & Guitar Gear Guide
My Keeley Blues Driver BD-2 Review
My Line6 Flextone II Review

Guitars: Martin D-16RGT with B-Band UST & '99 Fender "Big Apple" Hardtail HH Strat
Amps: Fender Blues Junior Special Edition & Fender Studio 85 (Simultaneous... yummy)
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