Piano, organ and choral voice only.
Acoustic guitars are OK, no drums
Drums are fine, no electric instruments
Electric keyboard and/or bass are acceptable, no electric guitar
"Clean" electric guitar is OK, no effects
Subtle effects like chorus/flanger are OK, no overdrive
Overdrive's OK, no distortion
Distortion's fine but no industrial or DJ-type sounds
Whatever is needed for the music is fine, don't add the smoke and lasers
As long as it's for Him, anything goes
When looking at the title of your post I thought....ask 10 different people and you will get at least 12 different answers!
In a traditional service I definitely wouldn't expect overdriven electric guitar. But, as has been said, it's up to what your congregation likes and is willing to accept. If they love it, GREAT!
I think there's a tendency for a lot of contemporary worship services to be very homogenous with each other. That may not be all bad, but it's nice to find something special that appeals to your particular congregation or community. I'm aware of a punk rock worship service and a country and western worship service in my area. Right now I'm working on getting a blues rock worship service started up.
It's wonderful that your congregation has responded so well. You'll have to let us know if you see any new faces being led through the door by your particular brand of blended worship!
"Seemed to me that drumming was the best way to get close to God." ~Lionel Hampton
I agree with much that has been said here. The congregation in the end dictates the flavor. At one of my churches, there were different music settings targeted for each service. One was traditional, one had contemporary, and one even had vocals only hymns, sans instruments.
I've always felt there was wisdom in that setup.
It seems like your congregation is really accepting this move well. Congrats.
I second what many have said already regarding the idea of traditional and a high liturgy....the only thing changing (from what it sounds like) is the instrumentation. I imagine that is one of the reasons the change wasn't hard, because what really sticks out to folk that are used to a formal liturgy not that much changed. It sounds like you have a great church.
I play electric guitar in almost the same setting fairly often, and I can give you a hint as far as your tone question. If the guitar playing is using a small tube amp, you really shouldn't need heavy distortion....and maybe not even overdrive.
I keep a 5 watt epiphone valve jr at the place I play and run the cabinet offstage in another room. All I ever need to get the type of tone that will work in the band situation is a good clean boost. That gets the saturation going fine...without freaking out older and more traditional minded folk. I think more electric players use WAYYYY to much gain in many settings. The guys from ACDC have complained in articles that people use to much gain when playing hard rock...and those guys know what they are talking about. A tube screamer (one of the standards I see with electric guitar in worship) provides to much saturation if pushed beyond half.
Enough people are building pedals now that you could probably find someone in your area that can build your guy a clean boost for not to much money.
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