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Posted on Mar 24, 2014 in Tools | 0 comments

Product Review: New Pick Holder Solution

Product Review: New Pick Holder Solution

It’s the bane of every guitar player’s existence: the infamous pick drop. Option A: Attack with a whirlwind of fingernails. Option B: Awkwardly bend down to get it. Option C: Buy one of those spare pick solutions that attach to a boom stand. And how about this dilemma: the need to fingerpick and strum on the same song. Option A: Turn that quarter rest into a whole rest to allow for picking up and setting down. Option B: Stash it between two fingers and survive with only 4 useable picking appendages. Option C: Return to the aforementioned whirlwind of fingernails when strumming. What if there was a better way??? An innovative company called Hogjim thinks there is. When they told me about their product and asked if I’d do a review, I was eager to oblige! I’ve led worship with it on board my Martin twice now and here are my pros and cons… PROS Not noticeable. At least, the clear one they sent me blends in really well....

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Posted on Feb 27, 2014 in Leadership, Resources, Tools, Worship Ministry | 1 comment

End It.

End It.

Welcome to next week’s post because today is February 27th, 2014–also known as “Shine a Light on Slavery Day” for those who are in it to End It. Tonight, I’ll turn on my sound system in my cozy church building and make beautiful (hopefully!) music to God with my team. Meanwhile, there will be people who are experiencing their own living hell in that moment. To worship God comfortably but continuously avoid, ignore, and show apathy toward justice and mercy and faithfulness is worse than wrong. And it would certainly earn us a strong rebuke from Jesus. Not that you or I have to individually engage boldly in every fight out there. There’s a lot of injustice in this world, a lot of mercy needed. That being said, ignorance is NOT bliss. And with an issue this well documented, ignorance is irresponsible at best. The good news: It doesn’t take much time to get informed and pass it on. And that IS doing something! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7yFuLxoldU And it doesn’t take much...

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Posted on Feb 24, 2014 in Tools, Worship Ministry | 7 comments

Why You Should Stop Avoiding Your Sound Booth!

Why You Should Stop Avoiding Your Sound Booth!

Look, I get it. I really do. Some of you love making music but couldn’t care less about the technical ins and outs of a sound system. Words like Gain, Phantom Power, EQ, Gate, Compression or even Reverb make your eyes glaze over and roll. The mere sight of all those knobs and faders on the sound board is enough to give anyone a headache, right?! I have to admit, I was in your shoes for many years. I love playing guitar. I love singing. I love leading a band and a church in song. But I would’ve just as soon “wrassled” a wild boar as tangled with feedback! Or any of that other sound tech stuff, for that matter. But over the years I’ve come to recognize that I truly need to be engaged in the sound ministry of our church. And, even though it’s still not my comfort zone or my favorite thing in the world, I’ve tried to learn and grow in this area. There are...

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Posted on Feb 17, 2014 in Tools | 4 comments

My “Where Are All the Electric Guitarists?” Solution

My “Where Are All the Electric Guitarists?” Solution

One truth that blue collar worship leaders live with is: sometimes you have the instrumentalists you want and sometimes you don’t! At the church I’ve been blessed to serve at the last 6.5 years, we’ve continually had more than our fair share of talent. But even so, we’ve faced seasons where a certain instrument was hard to come by. One such season of drought has been pretty permanent and that’s guitar. Thankfully, I play guitar but I’ve always been an acoustic rhythm guy and some songs just beg for electric! Maybe you or someone you know is in a similar situation? I don’t know if my solution will be your solution but–if nothing else–you’ll find out there is hope beyond just waiting and waiting for a decent electric player to show up. I found that hope several years ago in the form of a hybrid guitar. The idea of such a guitar appealed to me with the idea that I could switch back and forth from acoustic to electric...

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Posted on Jan 3, 2014 in Tools | 6 comments

Clover… And Why You Should Care about Your Church’s Website

Clover… And Why You Should Care about Your Church’s Website

UPDATE: I’ve recently built the website for my new church using CloverSites. You can visit Cypress Street Church of God’s page here to see yet another example. I never considered myself “artsy”.  My wife is the artsy one: crafting and drawing and sewing with a deftness that makes we mere mortals sick! It wasn’t until I became a worship pastor that I discovered my own ability to distinguish between what looks good and what does not. I suppose many worship leaders have this gift. It stands to reason that someone with an ear for what sounds good might also be wired with an eye for what looks good. And so I’ve been asked to work on random creative projects ranging from logos to ministry/church names to paint colors to decor to websites and more. These creative projects have proven enjoyable but also time-consuming. I suppose that’s why larger churches hire “creative” staff in addition to worship leaders.  But for many of us leading worship in the blue collar ministry context,...

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Posted on Dec 6, 2013 in Resources, Tools | 20 comments

How to Easily Build an Effective Drum Cage for Half the Money

How to Easily Build an Effective Drum Cage for Half the Money

Most everyone who’s tried it can tell you a plexiglass shield by itself won’t actually dampen the sound of the drums one iota. It’ll just toss the sound back where it’ll bounce off something else and eventually all over the place as it did before you spent all that money. You need something to both dampen and break up or contain the sound waves.  The ultimate solution is a drum room or booth that is completely enclosed (preferably with ventilation so the drummer doesn’t pass out halfway through the set!). But for those of us without either deep pockets or bored handymen at our disposal, we need a quick & easy cost-effective solution. When my grand electric drum experiment hit the fan, we had to figure out a new solution on a minimal budget. To pay for a quality ready-made drum cage, you’re generally talking $2,000+. But with helpful advice from a sound guru we’ve worked with, I pieced together a drum cage that has served us quite well....

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