The Things I Never Thought I'd Do (…and, of Course, Made a Huge Deal About Never Doing)

I am very opinionated. At least in my head. Sure, I’ll smile and nod and say, ‘What great tone you have’ and ‘Sure! As long as your Vox Valvetronix makes you happy’; but inside, ooh, scariness of self-verified lofty facts…uh, I mean, opinions. And every once in a while God says, ‘Here you go. Humility for you.’ And I’m reminded of all the things I have told people (numerous times) that I would never do, and not without lists of reasons, as well. And then, well…ya. This is the list of things that I would never, ever, in a million years do. And yes, they are all real, have all been proven to be lies, and have been broadcast quite loudly at one time or another.

  • Buy a boutique pedal.
  • Play the Lincoln Brewster solo to ‘Everlasting God’. (And let me add that I probably did not do it very well, either. hehe Hacking was definitely involved.)
  • Buy a Divided by 13.
  • Sell a Divided by 13.
  • Go back into a Guitar Center ever again.
  • Watch ‘Friends’.
  • Enjoy ‘Friends’.
  • Ask my wife if we can watch more ‘Friends’.
  • Spend more than $300 on a guitar.
  • Play out of only one amp.
  • Sell my Hollands.
  • Live in the desert of Southern California by choice. Sure, they’ve planted a lot of trees and grass and such (miraculously) out here. But when it gets to be 194 degrees with 800% humidity, at 10 o’clock at night, nobody’s fooled. It’s the desert. And those numbers are not exaggerated. Temperature is relative, and my face melted off today without the benfit of a guitar solo. Hence, I’m sticking with 194 degrees. Don’t bother me with thermometers.
  • Tell the congregation to ‘put their hands together’ during worship.
  • Consider buying a Taylor. Yep. Even the ‘consideration’ of it was at one time unthinkable.
  • Enjoy playing a Boss pedal.
  • Give the John Mayer note bend face in worship.
  • Go into a Starbucks. I thought this one would be easy, as I don’t drink caffeine. (It’s a drug. Just watch. In 15 years, it’ll be illegal, and people will have ‘bean labs’ in their garages. ……… Stop laughing.) But their water is fantastic! And I just found out they have smoothies. My wife says they’ve had them for years. Observation is one of my strong points.
  • Use any type of volume control on an amp. (Yes. That one is true. You wouldn’t believe how many people walk around deaf to this day, because of the barrage of 150 watt delay mush that hit them in their headache. And the headache was from me, too.)
  • Buy a Lovepedal.
  • Use a digital delay. (True.)
  • Need tap tempo. (Oh, yikes.)
  • Have a big boy crush on Brad Pitt.
  • Like music without any guitar solos or mixolydian modes.
  • Give a man a kiss. (But that has only been my closest friends at each of their weddings, and only a Biblical one, on the cheek. And I pretended they were The Edge when I did it.)
  • And finally, start a blog.

Splendid. (Well, depending on how you look at some of those.)
Karl.

31 thoughts on “The Things I Never Thought I'd Do (…and, of Course, Made a Huge Deal About Never Doing)

  1. I’d love to be able to play the solo in Lincoln Brewster’s version of Everlasting God… Don’t know that I’d ever do it at church. But it would be nice if my fingers moved that fast…

  2. I’m not sure it quite fits church, either. But the worship leader I was playing with asked specifically for that solo to be played, and I trust him. So, wanna be face-melting, here we come! hehe And of course, I’m sure my fingers don’t move that fast either. So I’m sure there was some definite hacking involved in parts. hehe :)

  3. 2 things…
    of course coffee is a drug. that’s why we like it!
    I own a taylor. (and love it too.)
    some day these could both be on your list!
    thanks for a laugh.

  4. Go back into Guitar Center ever again. Ha! I feel your pain. Last time I was in there, I needed strings and we were eating at a Pizza place next door. Took my two youngest in with me. They told me not to take them in there again.

    Need tap tempo. Yeah, I did that one. Dumb…

    I like coffee….it helps me play the Lincoln Brewster solo on “Everlasting God”!

    You need to see somebody about that Brad Pitt thing.

  5. Don–hehe The coffee thing was classic. Although I’m fighting hard to keep it off the list! ;) But the Taylor thing…hopefully that will go on very, very soon. I think they have the best sounding electronics in the business right now. Good to hear you’re loving yours! :)

    Mark–whoa. They literally told you your kids weren’t allowed? Oh, I can get so annoyed at them sometimes. hehehe That sucks, bro.

    And yes, I realized (albeit not very quickly) that tap tempo is very, very necessary. lol

    An Brad Pitt is awesome. ;)

    Mike–haha +1,000. But like I replied to Ryan, the worship leader specifically asked for that exact solo, and he’s one of the worship leaders I have a good amount of trust in. Still, I tried to hide my face behind my amp as I played it.

    And to everyone:

    I’ve clarified the Lincoln Brewster solo thing in the original post so as to let everyone know that I’m sure I sucked during it. I re-read it, and as Lincoln Brewster for some reason tends to be the Christian guitar be-all end-all, just mentioning playing one of his songs can sound like, ‘Look at me. I can play fast.’ That wasn’t the point at all. The point was, ‘Look at me. I hate this solo and I’m forced to suck at it anyway.’ :) Apologies if it came off as anything other than that.

    Oh, and just for the record; when you actually sit down and learn that solo, it’s really not as fast as it sounds. There’s a lot of open notes and good pull-off technique that allows even slow fingers like mine to mimic it somewhat. But he strings it all together very nicely, as far as ’80′s solos go. ;)

  6. I mean don’t feel bad hacking the Lincoln Brewster solo until you catch yourself feeling you’ve got it “down” and then film yourself 5 times on your Macbook doing it to post on Youtube.

    I always say that about guitar center until a friend calls and says theres a used handpainted Zvex pedal for $200…..then I’m there listining to some guy trying to convince me I need the $30 G.C. warranty for the pedal because its used and I’m stupid for not doing so….

  7. I got to play the solo to Everlasting God once (Today is the Day a few times) but most of the time the worship leader skips it so they can do an extra chorus or tag repeatedly at the end. It’s all about the rest of the band dropping out near the end and the tag. :) The 80′s solo thing in church feels weird but it’s nice to play something other than upper chordal voicings with delay or Hendrix/SRV/Mayer style bluesy double stop ripoff licks (nothing else to play on those songs that sound like Hootie) every once in a while.

    I haven’t broken my rule about not doing the jackhammer dotted eighth thing yet.

    I’m moving next month up to Two Rock/Voodoo Labs country and may get to experience buying strings from the local Best Buy pretty soon.

  8. wow, kissing your friends then pretending its edge and somehow that makes it better? you are too honest for the web hahahah.

    thank god you started a blog though.

  9. No Karl, my children said they didn’t want to go back there. My kids are pretty well behaved. Much more behaved than their old man. :)

  10. Elliot–that comment was fantastic on so many levels! Good form, my friend. :)

    Dan–haha Well, it’s just not worship without the tag! ;) And there’s other things to play besides upper chordal voicings with delay? I thought that’s the only sound my guitar makes! hehe

    And wait…you’re getting a Two Rock? Am I reading that right? Congrats!!

    Randy–lol Hear hear!! haha

    Colty–that was fabulous.

    Kenrick–wait, I thought that it goes without saying that physical displays of affection are always alright if you pretend the object is Edge. Did I miss something? ;)

    Mark–lol Oh!! I thought the Guitar Center sales guys said said you’re kids couldn’t come back. Okay!! That makes more sense now. At least, I’m way less annoyed at Guitar Center. That would have been the ultimate rudeness…but somehow, I didn’t put it past them. lol But it makes much more sense that your kids wouldn’t want to go back into Guitar Center. :)

  11. I wont play the Lincoln Brewster solos because that’s not my “style” and because I can’t play it clean enough, but mostly because of the second reason.

  12. Yeah, what Brian said. Actually, I might be able to play them if I didn’t have this 50-hour per week day job, and a honey-do list, and a worship team to prepare for, yada yada. I’m sure though in heaven I’m going to play them, on a HUGE tube amp —————- with delay — with Lincoln as my rhythm player. Ever seen those white ZZ top guitars from one of their videos, those might look cool in heaven. :-)

  13. Sorry for the confusion. No new amp but we’re moving and buying a house up in that part of CA.

    I think the upper position chordal voicing thing works so that everyone doesn’t get bunched up in the mix. I went to a worship band workshop at a conference and they had the following “best practices”: bass player – cut off the top two strings, guitar player – cut off the bottom two strings, keyboard player – cut off your left hand so you can only play pad sounds! Now if they had said, guitar players – turn off your delay pedal, there would have been a problem. :)

  14. Karl, we knew what you meant. I still wished my fingers moved that fast… Although I don’t think the edge really cares if his fingers moved that fast…

  15. Brian–haha Same for me! Well…except when the worship leader says ‘Face melt now. Doesn’t matter if you can play it cleanly or not.’ hehe

    Randy–exactly! See, that’s all we need is for someone to pay us to just sit and practice. lol Actually, I still hope for this. I’m sure that’s part of what has made Lincoln so fast; the ability to have time to practice a good deal. Good point! hehe

    Dan–oh. Let down of the day, bro! You can’t just say phrases like ‘Two Rock’ and expect not to get us all covered in our own drool. Hmm….grosser than I had anticipated. Anyway, I actually love what you said about instrumentalists ‘cutting’ off parts of their instrument, in essence. Not as a hard and fast rule, just as a general thinking practice. Way cool. :)

    Ryan–haha Absolutely! Edge just plays one perfectly placed, timed, and toned note, and says, ‘Deal with that.’ lol :)

  16. if i could play like Lincoln, i would. alas, i can’t! :)

    i’m going to get in trouble for saying this, but here it comes … i think a lot of guitarists in the church (including me) likes Edge a lot because we can easily mimic his style and maybe even his tone if we have the right gear. as for Lincoln, not a lot can play like him. Is he the best guitarist, nope. but he’s one good player!

    • Alas, I have to agree with you a bit.

      However, I don’t feel that it’s the church guitarists mimicing Edge’s style as much as that the people that are writing, recording and producing the worship songs are blatantly ripping him off. Edge’s style might be thought of as easy but playing U2 music well is a lot harder than say Tomlin’s recent stuff (Who is mimicing(…uh stealing) Edges U2 style.).

      Edge’s timing is beyond reproach. His ability to place those few notes in exactly the right place to fit the song is really pretty hard to copy correctly. What I see a lot of in worship music is guys taking his chordings and voicings and hamming it up with a bunch of delay. Playing Edge note for note is a lot harder than that.

      I got asked to do “Pride” at the start of church for a series on love a couple months ago. Overall, it’s not a very hard song to learn but….to sound like the Edge….to play heavy delay parts as cleanly….without waste and loss of energy…..well…that’s tough. I spent a lot of time trying to get that down. I wish I could say the same for a lot of the stuff that I get asked to play for worship.

      Now Lincoln Brewster…that boy can also play. I love it when one of his songs are included in the worship set. Does his music generally make me work a lot harder. Yes! But as worship guitarists, aren’t we supposed to be giving not only our time but the best of our abilities in service?

      My biggest gripe with the worship music that is currently being produced is it’s lack of originality. A secular bands goal would to be fresh and original. A lack of originality would tend to reduce their marketability. So….why isn’t the marketing of worship music approached in the same way? What are we afraid of? Could worship music become so cool that non-Christians might want to listen to it? ;)

      I realize that for centuries, worship consisted of voice and maybe organ or piano. But don’t we like to think that we’ve gone beyond that. Yet we complain that this style or that style, or this guitar part or that keyboard part isn’t really right for church.

      David, from the Bible, was a killer musician and song writer. I’m sure that there were folks that thought he was over the top. But…and this is a big but….David pleased the Lord. And that’s what our goal should be.

      Too bad were also asked to please the pastor, and the congregation, and some guy three rows back and five seats in. I sense that God is much easier to please as long as you’re serving him with everything you got.

      (Mark quickly steps off soap box and puts it back into a closet with a similar appearce to Karl’s storage area.)

  17. Alright. So many Lincoln and Edge comments. lol :) A new post is coming.

    Rhoy–I’d agree on some levels, although I think both guitarists pretty difficult to completely emulate. Lincoln’s bends and pull-offs and Edge’s delay and chordal forms are easy enough, but to actually get the phrasing and melodic sense of those two guitarists is quite difficult, in my humble opinion. I would argue, however, that Lincoln’s tone is a little easier to cop. Strat and some compression. The fullness of Edge’s tone is a little more in depth, although I might be very, very biased!! lol :)

    Mark–I agree that getting the essence of both guitarists is very difficult. And you said some great things in that comment!! I also think it’s a bummer that the church is always either copying, or coming up with original things that are so bad it’s like, ‘Whoa, just go back to the copying idea.’ hehe I think we’ll get it someday, when we get back to worshiping God from the core of who we are, and being honest about it. I think that’s the main difference between Christian and secular music…the honesty. And then the honest Christian songs, like some of U2′s stuff, some Editors, even some Coldplay now, we don’t consider Christian.

    James–love it, bro!! :) Thanks.

  18. I love most of what Edge does. On Lincoln, I notice in many songs when he hits a low note there is this wonderful thing that happens. It may be as simple as riding on the edge of breakup where the higher notes don’t and the lower notes do.

    Doesn’t he use a Fender Bassman quite a bit, or maybe that was before he got his X3Live all dialed in?

    Would you say that , in general, it’s easier to get the high singing notes coming out with beauty and authority, but more difficult to get something nice on the lower ones?

  19. I don’t know if Lincoln ever used a Bassman. I’m not a huge fan. lol But I do love what Edge does. And I would say that it’s sometimes difficult to get both singing highs and singing lows. When your highs are mid-rangey enough to be warm, the lows can get muddy. But when your lows are trebly enough to just jump out and punch, the highs can get screechy. There’s this incredibly thin balance somewhere. lol When you find it, let me know where it is! ;)

  20. Wow. Someone directed me to a video too, where he’s using an AC30, but just as a monitor. With both those amps, and roadies to set them up, but still choosing to use his X3L…he must really like that direct in sound. Not so much me. ;)

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