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Thread: Playing and singing gospel music

  1. #1
    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    Playing and singing gospel music

    I love to lead singing with my guitar. This is mainly why I got into guitar in the first place, because I wanted to lead music with my youth group around the campfire.

    Other than an occasional open mic, when I'm out with my guitar its to lead singing; at church functions, at retirement homes and so forth.

    I'm putting on a workshop in May for worship musicians, and one of the primary things I want to communicate is this:

    IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SINGING! With our guitars, we are providing accompaniment. We don't drive the singing with our guitars, we compliment the singing with them. The instruments are secondary.

    Modern guitar-shredding worship leaders aren't the first ones to get this wrong; church organ players have been drowning out their congregations for eons.

    What think ye?
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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by dreadnut View Post

    IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SINGING! With our guitars, we are providing accompaniment. We don't drive the singing with our guitars, we compliment the singing with them. The instruments are secondary.
    this is why i always failed. :) i was ever a better piece in the machine than actually leading anything.

    "a man's got to know his limitations"--dirty harry

    and why Dread it was always best when Nicola sings and I just play :)...
    example: https://soundcloud.com/woody-adams/b...alone-with-nic
    Last edited by Westerly Wood; 03-06-2019 at 10:19 PM.
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    Senior Member gjmalcyon's Avatar
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    For me, the purest form of worship music is voices only: The Benedictine Monks' chants, the unaccompanied Cantor, the Muezzin's call to prayer.

    If I want the music to suffuse my being, then sanctified gospel is the way to go.

    Take this all with a grain of salt - I am an agnostic so these all represent musical forms with no faith-based connotations for me.
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    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    "Separate but equal", depending on the "mission".
    I can see your point about words having primary importance in worship, otherwise, I've written words that sometimes wait for years to meet the right music, and sometimes I compose instrumentals that are never intended to get words but once in a while I'll realize a new song idea would work perfectly with an old instrumental piece.
    If there's gonna be words, they usually come first, along with the germ of a melody.
    And maybe 5 times in my life they both kind of serendipitously arrived at the same time.
    Edit after seeing GJM's post:
    Sometime towards the end of my high school days, the music itself became a spiritual celebration.
    Music can enhance or totally destroy lyrics.
    And the most spiritual piece of music I know of is John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme".
    Only one infrequently repeated lyric, the title.
    Last edited by adorshki; 03-06-2019 at 10:42 PM.
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    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    In my Grandma's old Dutch Bible, the Psalms are in the back of the book and they are all set to music. They would only sing the Psalms because unlike hymns, they are Scripture. Each one of the 150 Psalms are songs. It occurs to me that although we don't have the original tunes, the lyrics survived. So the old Dutch people had it right - they put their contemporary tunes on the old Psalms.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreadnut View Post
    Each one of the 150 Psalms are songs. It occurs to me that although we don't have the original tunes, the lyrics survived.
    Um, you're just in the wrong church.
    You just need to go around the corner to the synagogue.

    Suspect that may have something to do with why Old Testament music wasn't, uh, "preserved" along with the Psalms.
    King David actually had a reputation as quite the rocker/party animal, BTW.
    A textbook example of a flawed hero.
    Al
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    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adorshki View Post
    Um, you're just in the wrong church.
    You just need to go around the corner to the synagogue.

    Suspect that may have something to do with why Old Testament music wasn't, uh, "preserved" along with the Psalms.
    King David actually had a reputation as quite the rocker/party animal, BTW.
    A textbook example of a flawed hero.
    Good point. I've just never heard any of the original tunes that may have been passed down.

    And in fact, this old poetic form is a music of its own.
    "Heat lightning burnt the sky like alcohol." John Prine

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    Senior Member gjmalcyon's Avatar
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    And speaking of gospel music, NPR is running the six-part WXPN World Cafe Words and Music series, "The Gospel Roots of Rock and Soul".

    Episodes are here.
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    Senior Member killdeer43's Avatar
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    I was a singer first. I picked up guitar after encouragement from a guitar player who heard me sing.
    And 49 years later, I still appreciate his encouragement.

    Joe
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  10. #10
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreadnut View Post
    And in fact, this old poetic form is a music of its own.
    And to be fair, the cantor is traditionally unaccompanied as GJM described.
    But he is singing old melodies.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

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