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Author Topic: The Great Debate  (Read 17508 times)

Offline SanctifiedGuitar

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2009, 02:39:02 PM »

AMEN   What the name of the chruch you pastor


I'm an apostolic man of God. I do not hold the position (fold) of a pastor.

Warning: One of Lucifer's goals is to gain control of all music again. Beware if he tempts you into playing for him.  But Jesus said, (Matt. 16:18).
Have you been baptized in Jesus' name and received the Holy Ghost?
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Offline jonesl78

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2009, 07:09:04 AM »
i just think there is a very narrow view of what it is to play guitar in "black gospel" music, and that as styles become more intertwined, a guitarist will need to be much more well-rounded that what is typically called for. as the guitar becomes more and more prominent, guys won't be able to hide behind a wah-wah and some minor pentatonic licks. i just wanted to have some dialogue on the subject....

 As I am learning how to play, I purposely listen for the placement of the guitar tones in a recording. It seems as if their is not much going on except for what you have mentioned above. For example, if I were a drummer, it would be easy to observe and/or listen to a random recording and understand the role and options of the drummer while picking up some chops along the way. The same goes for bass. However, the role of the guitar in some of these recordings seems at times to be non-existent.   

Offline T-Block

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2009, 07:39:19 AM »
Well, my 2 cents on this subject is:

Gospel music is music purposely designed to give praise to God.

Gospel guitar playing is music purposely designed to give praise to God on the guitar.

If more people would be original instead of listening to what's out now, there would be more variety of how the guitar is used in gospel music.  Just because it is being used as a filler instrument in the mainstream gospel stuff out now don't mean it can't be a main instrument.

I don't really follow trends, I like to start my own.  If I had a guitar player at church, please believe he/she would hold just as much musical weight as a keyboard, organ, drum, or bass player.
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Offline Gibby

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2009, 07:51:17 AM »
If more people would be original instead of listening to what's out now, there would be more variety of how the guitar is used in gospel music.  Just because it is being used as a filler instrument in the mainstream gospel stuff out now don't mean it can't be a main instrument.

I don't really follow trends, I like to start my own.  If I had a guitar player at church, please believe he/she would hold just as much musical weight as a keyboard, organ, drum, or bass player.

I agree with what you're saying.  That's what happened to me at the church i'm at right now. The first MOM I was under didn't really care what I did, but the one i'm under now is like "i'mma need you to learn this...". He was also willing to work with me and help me with certain progressions.***AND OF COURSE I WAS STUDYING, PRACTICING AND SHEDDING ON MY OWN*** And that made me a better musician. 

I will be honest, some musicians act like the church can't function without them (mainly drummers and organists  :D).  And with the guitar not being a primary instrument, guitar players are overlooked sometimes. 

Offline funkStrat_97

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2009, 11:05:36 AM »
i just think there is a very narrow view of what it is to play guitar in "black gospel" music, and that as styles become more intertwined, a guitarist will need to be much more well-rounded that what is typically called for. as the guitar becomes more and more prominent, guys won't be able to hide behind a wah-wah and some minor pentatonic licks. i just wanted to have some dialogue on the subject....

Gospel music has always been a piano/Hammond/keyboard driven genre with big time support from the bass and drums.  All too often, the guitar is seen as redundant and often inadequate to hold court with the piano.  As modern forms of gospel are more a reflection of popular black music, this gives a little more opportunity fo the guitar to shine...and often in a very limited context.  So for the guitarist in gospel to really break through requires more creativity.  Here are a few areas that I think will help:

*TONE - the guitar is almost always too clean or has lots and lots of distortion (for the occasional solo or lead line).  While all tones have their place, a slightly gritty tone that can growl when needed and cleans up when played softly adds life and can be distinct without being overpowering..........of course, there's nothing wrong with overpowering guitars ;).

*LICKS/KNOWLEGE - learn to play something else besides just running up and down the pentatonic scale...YES; YOU CAN PLAY SOME OF THE SAME LICKS THAT ARE PLAYED BY THE GUITAR GODS AND GODDESSES OF THE WORLD...because gues what?  They really aren't gods.  They are normal (well many of them are - a few are actually kinda wierd but that's another story) people and have just taken the time to learn how to do something.  And learn new ways to approach cords too.  There are things that a guitar can do that no keyboardist will ever be able to duplicate.

*MUSICIANSHIP - knowing when not to play or when to back down is equally important as having a great tone and killer chops.  You have to work together as a team with other musicians and NEVER have a competitive approach to things.  This is old-school advice, but it's true. 

This is only the tip of the iceberg as to what is possible.  As the song goes; 'free your mind and the rest will follow'. 
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Offline JayP5150

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2009, 12:24:48 PM »
These Prince licks won't be able to save me all the time!  :D

Or EVER lol. j/k  ;)

I can't believe I didn't see this. I'm actually out the door, but I'm going to hit this back later and throw in my 2 pennies.

Offline JayP5150

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2009, 07:18:03 PM »
...guys won't be able to hide behind a wah-wah and some minor pentatonic licks.

You forgot "gobs of compression..."   ?/?

I read through the above finally, and I have to agree with a combo of what Trackman and SanctifiedGuitar said, actually.

Offline lilBB

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2009, 11:11:03 AM »
here's something to ponder on the subject (merely for the sake of argument) ...

how do you handle an instrument that, in order for you to be a well rounded player, requires you to listen to all types of secular music with secular themes and messages??

almost as if saying, in order to be an effective Gospel Guitarist (even lacking a definition of GG), you will listen to Jimi, Satriani, Guy, Clapton, Muddy, Allman, Prince, etc. etc. etc. (or whoever influenced you, i doubt they were a noted Christian musician)

of course some of us can listen to the music and ONLY take away the musical appreciation piece and nothing more... but maybe not all of those starting out.

this is a tricky instrument that honestly requires arguably more strength of character to play for God's glory than others.

Offline funkStrat_97

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2009, 09:22:17 AM »
here's something to ponder on the subject (merely for the sake of argument) ...

how do you handle an instrument that, in order for you to be a well rounded player, requires you to listen to all types of secular music with secular themes and messages??

almost as if saying, in order to be an effective Gospel Guitarist (even lacking a definition of GG), you will listen to Jimi, Satriani, Guy, Clapton, Muddy, Allman, Prince, etc. etc. etc. (or whoever influenced you, i doubt they were a noted Christian musician)

of course some of us can listen to the music and ONLY take away the musical appreciation piece and nothing more... but maybe not all of those starting out.

this is a tricky instrument that honestly requires arguably more strength of character to play for God's glory than others.

I think it depends on your convictions and where you are in your walk with the Lord.  IMO, all secular music is not garbage (a lot of it is though), but there are lots of Christians who feel very strongly against listening to ANY secular music.  But if all else fails, just listen to some Lincoln Brewster ;D!
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Offline taterred

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2009, 09:37:22 PM »
I"m sorry there is a Gospel Guitar. when the spirit move on u can't playing nothing but Gospel.Some learn Jazz Some funk,country,rock,Blues and Hip Hop.Some music make u Sad and some Glad.But It is the Words that give us Hope.But when that Gospel Guitar play Feet get light footed and voices get strong giving God the Praise! Gospel Hand clap,Gospel Foot stump,all we had.Thank God for Guitar player like Uriah,Spoon21,trackman,and all who has post songs to make us better. I LOVE LGM

Offline bwhall57

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2009, 08:26:15 PM »
I'm late late to this thread. Gospel Guitar vs.Gospel songs is really at the core of this debate. If you're an accomphlish guitarist,ie. maybe knowing theory or just having the gift of knowing when to play what, then playing your axe in Gospel , soul , blues are whatever won't make a difference. Peopel decide for what I have to assume they have been taught or come to believe through life experience that Gospel music is what THEY  decide. Stay humble and pray earnestly and God will direct you. Servants of God will endure criticism even when they preach the word. Are we any different. The lyrics should make difference.

  Peace, Patience, and Practise

Offline funkStrat_97

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2009, 09:06:01 PM »
I wanted to edit my post, but I see that that feature is not implemented on this board... please forgive me for double-posting. I just wanted to say that recently the guitar is more prominent. I've been to very few live gospel concerts, but I noticed that if it was a large choir type thing, the guitar was very hard to hear most of the time. Does this happen often?

You have to upgrade to the premium membership to have editing capabilities.  More often  than not, the guitar tends to sit low in the mix in a choir setting.  Every now and then, the guitar gets turned up a little for the occasional solo, but we tend to be pretty low on the food chain.
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Offline ed_shaw

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2009, 04:50:52 PM »
I'm think traditional church music is the starting point, you know, like first, the standard church hymn book, and also the big formal numbers like Handel's "Messiah" and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's rendition of "Silent Night."
Gospel is more informal. It has a more regular, more pronounced beat. Country Gospel has more of a country beat. Black Gospel has more of a blues beat. Distinctions get blurred when people like Ray Charles, on the one hand, or Elvis Presley, on the other, come along.

Offline gtrdave

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2009, 07:09:44 AM »
I'm think traditional church music is the starting point, you know, like first, the standard church hymn book, and also the big formal numbers like Handel's "Messiah" and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's rendition of "Silent Night."
Gospel is more informal. It has a more regular, more pronounced beat. Country Gospel has more of a country beat. Black Gospel has more of a blues beat. Distinctions get blurred when people like Ray Charles, on the one hand, or Elvis Presley, on the other, come along.


Yup, Country Gospel is known for it's 2-beat feel and more akin to country and mountain music.
Black Gospel is known more for it's 4-beat feel, accenting the 2 and 4, and is rooted in American blues, slave-era spirituals and R&B.
When I think "Gospel music" I do not naturally think 'country gospel', but that's probably because of my northeast upbringing. I don't think I've ever seen a Gaither record in my life. As such, I clap naturally on the 2 and 4 beat. ;D

The wonderful thing about Gospel music is that it's diverse enough to not be easily defined.
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Offline jbworley

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2011, 03:21:56 PM »
I know there hasn't been a post on this subject for two years, but I'll still respond, lol.

I played at a big church in San Antonio for a couple of years, and you're very right...the guitar was cut way down until I would rip out a solo.  I actually had members of the congregation mention it to me "why don't I hear you more often?"  I didn't realize how much until I watched a DVD of one of our concerts.  Towards the end of my time there, I broke away from the clean chords, hit the overdrive, and drifted above the song with my own melodies...the guitar certainly started to get more attention.  They let me do whatever I wanted, it was great!

A lot of gospel guitar sound is great on the clean end (strat single coils on the neck, maybe some wah, or in my case, a tad bit of delay and chorus), but the distorted sound is horrible!!!  It's tinny, thin, and just doesn't cut it.  I've worked several years on my sound, and it's thick, warm, and pronounced...just the way it needs to be.  The Keys, Bass, Organ, etc, get to take the lead cause they don't damage hearing, lol.

I would have to agree with one of the earlier posts...people think the guitar is evil, lol.  They don't get that the piano in their church has also served brothels and drunken clubs for centuries.  This way of thinking has to be changed.  Back in the early days of jazz, guitar couldn't take the lead...it was acoustic, and they had to wack it to make enough noise to get a chord over the horns....those days are long gone.

I see absolutely nothing wrong with listening to secular music...just don't buy the crap they're trying to sell you through lyrics.  In fact, I get tired of vocals...people talk all day long, the same tongue that praises also destroys.  When I pick up my guitar, I only produce the best that I can for the Lord.  There's so much creation out there in the secular world...the same God that created gospel music, also created secular music, it's the people that use it for the wrong purposes....we gotta use it for the right ones.  In my old church, we used "Beat It" in the middle of "We Have Overcome", and I played the "Sweet Child O'Mine" opening riff for my "Say So" solo.  It only seemed to help the members relate to the music more.  I think some people forget that they're sinners, we all are, and we're on the quest to make our wrongs right and bring others to the kingdom, not close ourselves off!  I would never have acheived the level I have if I had not been inspired by Shawn Lane, Greg Howe, Alan Holdsworth, Eric Johnson, Frank Gambale, and don't forget...Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Art Tatem, John Coltrane, Mozart, Paganini....the list is endless.

My goal is to bridge that gap...show people that great guitarists do play for God's glory.  I practice daily to a very regimented schedule.  I'm close to my first goal (lvl I set out to reach back in '04), but it'll never end, and I will always work to be better.  That's what these secular virtuosos do/did, but I'm doing it for God.
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Offline jbworley

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2011, 02:25:58 PM »
I want to take back what I said about the gospel guitar distorted sound...it's up to the individual as to what sound they like/want, it was a jerky thing to say.  I know what I like/works for me, but that's not by any means all inclusive. 

I'm still tired of the singers though, LOL!!!!  80% of true communication is non-verbal...think about it, someone can tell you something all day long, and if all you could do is hear the words, you would have a very hard time telling whether it was genuine or not.  The music is proof though, give someone an instrument, and the true feelings will pour out of it...in the spirit, joyful, sad, angry, disinterested, it all shows through the choice of notes/modes and the feel of their playing.  You could argue that singers have the same power, but again, it's the melody, not the words that move it...wow, I'm really hung up on this, lol.
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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2011, 11:25:47 AM »
I've only been playing CCM for 3yrs. I noticed some songs are more suited for guitar keys.The stuff that really moves me in the HOLY SPIRIT is gospel music.
I came to realize that the songs are more piano orientated.So i bought a dummy book on how to play piano it seemed to realy help.I can see where a person who is versed in jazz would have an easier time.I guess it just comes down to learning theory and praying alot!

Offline funkStrat_97

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2012, 06:13:36 PM »
I've only been playing CCM for 3yrs. I noticed some songs are more suited for guitar keys.The stuff that really moves me in the HOLY SPIRIT is gospel music.
I came to realize that the songs are more piano orientated.So i bought a dummy book on how to play piano it seemed to realy help.I can see where a person who is versed in jazz would have an easier time.I guess it just comes down to learning theory and praying alot!

Traditional black gospel music has strong influences from jazz and blues.  Basically, it tends to follow whatever musical trend is popular among the "urban" listeners.  As a result, a lot of today's gospel is a reflection of R&B/Soul and even Hip-Hop.

Interestingly; music that falls under the umbrella of Contemporary Christian Music is supposed to include any style of music with Christian themed lyrics set to contemporary musical trends.  In theory, this should include a lot of modern black gospel (and to a limited extent, some gospel artists do get some exposure to the CCM market and there are some modern Christian pop artists who have songs that are basically straight up gospel).  As a result, CCM is basically a term that codifies Christian pop.  Even some heavier Christian rock bands get little to no love from the CCM machine.  Some people have even suggested that one reason that a lot of urban musical styles are not focused upon in CCM is because of what amounts to institutionalized racism; meaning that the effects of racial segregation have become so ingrained in us that it have become by default the status quo.  But I digress....this is a whole other topic for discussion.
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Offline funkStrat_97

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2012, 08:14:23 PM »
Have you ever seen the GMC network's two video shows Uplifting Urban and Uplifting Pop? The main qualification to be on Uplifting Urban is that the lead singers skin is relatively dark. The lightest fluff pop songs by Black performers show up on "urban". Meanwhile the only white performer on the "urban" show seems to be Toby Mac, just because he raps. I don't even thing Martha Munizzi has cracked that color line. On the other hand some Gospel performers, beyond the crossover styles of Israel Houghton or William McDowell does show up on the "pop" telecast

The thing with Toby Mac, though, is that he has fully embraced urban music and while you can hear his rock influence, it is infused with a strong dose of hip-hop.  But I would consider him to be more "urban" than Nicole C. Mullen.  And then you have some talented artists like Mandisa - I have never heard any of her songs on our gospel station, but several of her songs have been and continue to be played on our local family-friendly format station.  And do you remember the group Anointed?  They actually were heavily played on CCM format before gospel stations started to play them (I believe that M.W. Smith was heavily involved in their early productions).  They did address the color difference somewhat directly when they released their song "Revive Us" in both "main" and "urban" mixes.
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Offline Cwadroon

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Re: The Great Debate
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2014, 11:01:15 AM »
Hey folks. Great site and topics you have here... I think this is a very interesting question.....   My wife is from Africa and what she calls "Gospel Music" includes contemporary Christian music. I agree that gospel music could be any music speaking the truth of the "Gospel".. But we in the "west" and americas like to put labels and categorize everything. Country Gospel, Southern Gospel, Modern Gospel, etc etc.. I think respect should be shown to the origins of the Music in this part of the world, but also its always evolving somewhat too.... However.... you just cant beat a wahwah pedal with some blues or pentatonic licks hahaha. That will never die!
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