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Playing guitar solo or not?

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  • Playing guitar solo or not?

    Hi! All!!

    I need some advice on playing guitar solo or not! If you any of you who have experienced similar things or have some idea please let me you!


    Firstly regarding my church environment, I am the only one musical instrument player and our pastor doesn’t have any singing or musical talent but passion.

    I used to play an acoustic guitar but I changed to play electronic guitar for more musical expression like shimmer and pad. Recently I am trying to play solo part, but it is not easy. When I play the intro solo part, it is OK and I can smoothly play it without breaking the mood, but after I play the verse and the chorus part then if I try to swift to play the solo part it become really awkward. Since there are no other musical instruments. And I think It breaks the atmosphere of worship, or I may not that enough brave to smoothly play the solo. Actually my biggest concern is that If I play solo in this kind of situation, the congregation will not focus on the worship but will focus on my play. I don't want to disturb them, but I just want to play solo only for helping their worship.

    I thought about many solutions by myself but before I really try these options please let me know if you have any good idea.

    Option A: To maximize PAD sound volume and start to play the solo part. However I think the PAD sound are usually quite and no rhythmical, and it would be not that different with or without PAD for playing solo.
    Option B: To use loop function of my guitar effect and start to play the solo part. However I am really skeptical to use loop machine for the worship live situation, especially in the middle of worship song, and I think loop will break the tempo unless I have super metronome sense.
    Option C: To use drum machine like Beatbuddy. Although our pastor cannot follow the metronome tempo but sing freely, I may start the Beatbuddy for the very last part of chorus part, and I play the solo part.
    Option E: To give up this idea but praying for giving us drum player or synth player.

    If you have any recommendation or advise please let me know.


  • #2
    As someone that's been playing music in and out of church for 20 years, if yo are the only instrument, forego the solo. Solos only work if you have the musical structure underneath it. A drummer by itself wouldn't really help that much for a solo. You would at least need a keys or rhythm guitar or bass with drums to keep that core musical structure (chord progression, cadence, etc.) in tact. A classic 'power trio' setup with guitar, bass and drums would work.

    I wouldn't want to listen to a guitar sol that was literally a solo- the only instrument.

    You could try loops and pads and gidgets and gadgets but you will be working so hard to manage the transitions you'll lose the momentum of the song and worship atmosphere.

    You could also do backing tracks. You could do rhythm and some solo stuff to a backing track- but it could give the optics that you just want to get your Lincoln Brewster on and send the wrong impression. But backing tracks are often geared for singers- so the track might have the solo in it- it's been awhile since I've used one. I'm sure you could find one without the lead or you could double-track the lead. That might be fun.

    Punch line- don't do solo unless you have some backing either from other instruments or a backing track. That's how I would handle it

    Mike
    If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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    • #3
      I'll mostly agree with Mike on Bass. If you aren't comfortable soloing, the congregation isn't going to be comfortable listening to your solo. You could just play a shortened version of the solo, using the main phrases, and then get back to the verse/chorus, sort of like the way a piano player comps between verses, and then provides a lead-in for the vocals. Consider it a turnaround, more than a solo.

      Also, ask the congregation for help. There might be several people who are capable and willing to play or sing, but they don't know how to go about joining the team. Give them the opportunity to practice their parts, and do everything you can to help them be successful, to ease their apprehension, and to make them feel like they are contributing something of value to the worship team. Nearly everyone wishes they could get up on the stage and let it all out. I would never have tried, had our worship leader not practically begged me, and I'm not even talented.

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