Friday, March 16, 2012

Worship Guitar Rigs

A friend who typically plays acoustic asked me the other day what would be the basics and necessities to get to build an electric guitar rig for worship. I don't believe you have to buy the super boutique gear to get great tone, but we will get to that in a future post. I think tasteful playing, good tone in your fingers, and correct picking makes up a good amount of your tone. In the list, I left out most of the boutique-y gear and went with the tried and true basics. With all that said, here's a good better best list of basic gear I sent him. (Disclaimer: this is just my opinion, there is a ton of other cool gear out there, if you want to throw your two cents in, feel free to leave a comment)

The guitar you play, pedals you use, and style you play will greatly change the sound of the amp, however a good tube amp is a must for an electric player
Good - Blues Junior or Vox AC15C1
Better - Hot Rod Deluxe, Vox AC30, Deluxe Reverb
Best - Hand Wired Vox AC30, Vibrolux, Orange AD30TC

The pickups that are in the guitar will have a lot to do with how your pedals are driven, how the amp is driven, and the brightness or darkness of your tone
Good - Fender Standard Telecaster or Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Better - Fender American Standard Telecaster or Strat, Fender Tele Thinline or Deluxe, Gibson Worn Les Paul, Gretsch 5120
Best - Fender American Vintage Telecaster or Strat, Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro, Gretsch Country Gentleman

You will need a good board to house and power your pedals.

Good - Furman SPB-8
Better - Pedaltrain PT1SC or PT2SC with a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 (Soft Case)
Best - Pedaltrain PT2HC, PT3HC, or PTPRO with a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 (Hard Case)


This is something you will use all the time to fill space, add depth to your tone, and for ambience

Good - Boss DD7
Better - Visual Sound H2O, Electro Harmonix Memory Toy
Best - MXR Carbon Copy, Malekko Ekko 616

Tap Delay
The dotted eighth note appears in worship music quite a bit. That Edge-like guitar tone has become synonymous with Praise & Worship guitar tone. I recommend a Tap Delay that will allow you to set the BPM and save settings

Good - Boss DD7, Line 6 DL4, TC Electronic Nova Repeater
Better - TC Electronic Nova Delay or Boss DD20
Best- Eventide Time Factor, Providence Chrono Delay, Strymon Timeline

Your amp should be set clean and the overdrive pedals will add color and drive to your sound, which will help create texture and depth to your tone.

Good - Ibanez TS9 or Boss Blues Driver
Better - Fulltone Fulldrive 2 or OCD
Best - Timmy, Morning Glory, Sweet Honey Overdrive, Keeley Katana

A compressor will even out your playing, by making increasing the volume of quiet sounds and lowering the volume of hard playing. It also can add a percussive sound to your playing, much like the clicking sound you hear in country style guitar. A good compressor is a must.

Good - MXR Dynacomp or Boss CS3
Better - MXR Custom Compressor
Best - Diamond CPR1 Compressor or Keeley Compressor

Volume Pedal
The volume pedal will be used for swells or to mute your guitar to send it to the tuner.

Good - Ernie Ball VP Jr
Better - Boss FV500
Best - Hilton or Goodrich Volume

Tuner Pedal
Best - Boss Tu3 or TC Electronic Polytune

Misc Pedals
Here are some more ideas of usable pedals that are not necessities but great to have on your board

Electro Harmonix Micro Pog - Adds an octave up or down to your original signal, great for chimey sounds or organ sounds.
Strymon Blue Sky - Reverb that has a shimmer effect, great for swells or filling space in songs.
Vox Wah - Creates that funk sound, also great for using a notch filter
MXR Phase 90 - Adds a sweeping swoosh like sound, adds some color to you guitar tone.

These are just some ideas to get your started, there are a tone more pedals that do different things and can make your guitar have tons of versatility and dynamics.

Please leave a comment if there is something I left out or a great pedal you want to give a shout out to!

Thanks for reading,

Ted Strange 

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