Archives For Music

http://www.guitarchalk.com/2014/11/guitar-and-contemporary-worship-melody.html

http://www.guitarchalk.com/2014/11/guitar-and-contemporary-worship-melody.html

The full title is Worship Guitar Chord Structures and Melodies: Triadic Improvisation Workshop. That’s a hefty title introducing an equally heavy topic, but the payoff is huge: great melodies. Who doesn’t want that?

The post is lengthy, so don’t attempt to read it on your phone. It contains chord diagrams and tablature, making it easy to follow along with your guitar. It walks through how to develop melodies based on the chord structure of a song by starting with three note guitar chords (triads) as a roadmap for improvisation.

This is a critical bit of understanding in musical improvisation. From a jazz theory perspective, every chord can be seen as a scale waiting to take shape. Visualizing these scales as they relate to the underlying chords helps provide the vocabulary for musical improvisation and melody making. Continue Reading…

DI-box

Seems fairly straightforward, right? A 1/4″ cable connects the instrument to the DI box. Is there really a right and wrong way to do this?

As far as sound quality is concerned, no. There’s nothing more to it than plugging into the correct jack. The difference I’m talking about is whether or not you cause a loud “pop” in the system. There are two connections to be made: one at the guitar and the other at the DI box. And the order in which they are connected determines whether or not you get a “pop”.

HOW TO STOP THE “POP”

Continue Reading…

Feeling Time

Jared Taylor —  October 20, 2014 — Leave a comment

Tele Time

It’s hard to overstate the importance of time in music. On a macro level, time is about tempo: how fast or slow is a song and are we following it. But on the micro level, we can talk about something called “time feel”: the subtle way musicians interpret time as they subdivide beats.

Subdividing beats simply means dividing larger beats into smaller beats. Whole notes can be divided into half notes, then quarters, eighths, sixteenths, thirty-secondths and so on. Mathematically speaking, these subdivisions are very simple to place on a grid. But human beings subdivide beats in our heads, we don’t always do it with flawless mathematical exactness. Subtly and often unconsciously, we push and pull certain beats in a pattern that is repeatable, but hard to deconstruct. Continue Reading…

When it Clicks

Jared Taylor —  October 16, 2014 — Leave a comment

96-bpm

My first guitar teacher and I lasted six months before I broke it off. I wasn’t being challenged, and felt I was learning more from guitar magazines than the guy we were paying every week. If you know me, this will make sense–I needed to know I was learning the correct way. I needed assurance that we were starting from the beginning and taking all the right steps. So we did a bit of homework, bought a classical guitar and a footrest, and I started up with one of the best guitar teachers in the region.

I’ll never forget my first and sixth lessons. My sixth lesson was thirty minutes dedicated to proper nail-filing technique. But my first lesson was my first time using a metronome. We used the metronome ALL THE TIME. It was ticking when I came into the lesson, it was ticking when I left, it ticked in the background while my teacher gave me feedback. The constant ticking was enough to drive you mad, but you know how they say there’s a fine line between madness and genius?

Continue Reading…

9Vs-processed

Through high school I worked at a music store, mostly in the guitar department. I can’t tell you how many times a client would bring in a relatively new acoustic guitar, complaining that it was distorting or had no sound coming out. A familiar call and answer would then ensue:

Me: “did you check the battery?”

Customer:  “it has a battery?!”

Continue Reading…

In-ears-brighter

Over the next six months we will be switching all our sites to in-ear monitors. We made the move at our Production Site a number of years ago and we haven’t looked back. The clean looking stage and the clean sound both for the crowd and the band have been fantastic. But the transition is not always easy. In-ears take some getting used to. This is especially true for vocalists who will hear their voice in a whole different way, and often for more experienced musicians who have grown accustomed to performing with stage monitors.

By some miracle of providence, I’ve been involved in transitioning bands from wedge monitors to in-ears four times in my career. As a musician and a tech, I’ve experienced both the stage and the mixer, big venues and small venues, big bands and small bands. And I am a big fan of in-ear monitors. I have some ideas for easing the transition and getting the most out your monitors.

What are we talking about, here?

Continue Reading…

Part 3 of 3 in the series Freedom Within Structure

Blueprint Blog

Finally, let’s get into the details of how I find freedom within structure.

I had this conversation with my band at rehearsal on Tuesday: “So, this Sunday is communion Sunday. We normally have a little bit of flexibility within our service times (our lead pastor and I give and take time from each other every week), but when it comes to communion, we pretty much need to be scheduled to the second.

Do you remember me talking about that church in Texas that schedules their services so tightly because every minute they go over affects the whole city? Well, every minute I go over with my music set on communion Sunday is a minute less the tear down teams have to clear out at the end of the service; it’s a minute closer to the time that movies start in those same theatres. We need to hit our times and it needs to be precise.

So, how do I take my 9 minutes, ensure I land the set to the second (or close to it), and yet still make it feel like we’re not rushing through to a clock?  Continue Reading…

Part 2 of 3 in the series Freedom Within Structure

Forest

You’ve heard it said, “you can never lead someone somewhere that you’re not going yourself.”

Let me paint you a picture.
Imagine with me for a minute that you were out for a walk one day. You saw beauty in creation that you had never seen before. God was showing you life in things you had never seen – things you had never known about Himself! Colour was bursting to life right before your eyes! Really, imagine yourself in that moment of awe with me for a minute.

You would head back home and you would be a changed person! You would live life differently and you would be in awe of even the smallest things around you through the rest of your day or week.

Chances are, at some point you would be so excited about this experience that you wouldn’t be able to keep it to yourself. You would want to bring some friends on this walk with you. So, you all strap up your hiking boots and you’re off to show your friends the beauty and glory of God that you had just experienced.

You head back into the woods with your friends and God’s beauty is overwhelming you once again. In your excitement and passion you dive into an even deeper place of awe between you and God! Eventually, you get back home again and turn around to discover that your friends aren’t arriving home with you. In fact, your friends had lost you long ago when you were deep in your own experience back in the woods. Continue Reading…

Part 1 of 3 in the series Freedom Within Structure

Timing

I have found that there is a spectrum of stylistic approaches to worship leading between two polar opposite ideas:

(1) “I don’t know how we’re going to do each song, I don’t even know what songs we’re going to sing, but I do know that when I get on stage, the Spirit will lead us. It’ll be awesome and God will be glorified!”

(2) “I know the songs we’re singing, I can tell you exactly how we’re going to do them, I could even tell you (to the second) how long the entire set is going to be. It’ll be awesome and God will be glorified!”

I haven’t met many people that solely live on one pole or the other.  I would also say that many of us wouldn’t find ourselves at the same point along the spectrum every single Sunday. Sometimes, our sets feel like they’ve locked into a groove and we feel GREAT about knowing exactly where we’re going to go. But the very next week, we could find ourselves hitting a wall within our planning and we come to a place where we know we just have to read the moment when the moment comes and move forward with flexibility.

I’ll be honest, I am one that leans more towards knowing where things are going to go over starting a set unsure where we’re going to finish. In fact, the unknown freaks me out so much that I don’t sleep on Saturday night if I have a set that lies more in the unknown than the planned and practiced.

We’re starting a series that is going to talk about finding freedom within structure. Continue Reading…

Part 3 of 3 in the series The Message of the Stage

empty-stage-new

In this series, we’re applying the concept “the medium is the message” to our modern church services. Last time I covered some recent church history and told you about some changes we made to our services at The Meeting House. This post will wrap up things up with some practical advice.

If you’ve stuck with me this far, I’ll assume you agree there’s tension between between the form and the content of a modern church service. A room set up like a rock concert sends a message that’s a least a tad out of alignment with Jesus’ humility and self-sacrificial love. But, as I’ve already hinted, I’m not ready to throw the whole thing away.

Under the Old Covenant, worship had a particular form based around tabernacle and temple. But, under the New Covenant, the gospel spread faster than any cultural form could keep up with! It’s no surprise that, after a few years, the early Christians backtracked to hash out some of the cultural implications of a movement that was rapidly losing touch with its Jewish roots. If you want to read up on the history, have a glance at Acts chapter 15.

I believe God can reach anyone precisely where they’re at, and He’s not afraid to roll up His sleeves and get His hands dirty. So I don’t believe there’s any disqualifying style or form of doing church. But that’s not the same as saying the form doesn’t matter. I believe it matters a lot. Continue Reading…