Posted by: worshipguitarguy | January 7, 2007

A Crazy Weekend: Day 1, Saturday

12:30 Just pulled into the church that were playing at Sunday morning. I’m looking to see whether we can use our sound system, or bring our own. Quick look around answers the question. The church’s sound system is a giant horn speaker mounted in the ceiling. Looks like (our drummer) Zac’s bringing his system

1:39 Here we go… Besides playing electric, I’m also the ministry coordinator for our service on Saturday nights. This afternoon, we have to rewire our lighting trusses since our Sunday service borrowed some of our lighting gear for Christmas. Most of the sound gear is usually already set up since we run an addiction recovery program on Friday Nights.

2:00 We’ve pretty much taken out all the wiring, and we’re putting it all back together.

2:25 Chema’s playing bass for us tonight… And since my gear is back at home, we’re heading there to pick it up.

2:40 Lilia just called and by coincidence, she’s a mile from my house. Tonight, she and my sis are staying there so we’re headed to meet her then go back to the church.

A little bit about Lilia: she’s from Columbus Ohio, and is one of the coolest people we’ve ever met. She was a school teacher in the Chicago area until about two years ago when she decided to walk away from her job and enter full time missions and music ministry. So for the next six months, she lived out of the back of her car as she drove all over the U.S. playing music. Then she spent a few months in Kenya, and India… unfortunately she contracted malaria in Kenya, and when she made it to India, they didn’t think she was going to live. God helped her through though, and she’s back here in the States, (but she’ll be going back out to do missions work later this spring.)

3:10 Loading up at my place, Taking my Vox, pedalboard, Tele, Les Paul, and acoustic. Unfortunately, we have to put it all into my two door Honda Civic, (along with Chema and me.) You learn to be really good at packing gear when you have a compact car.

3:30 At the church, unloading and setting up. Iso’ing my amp in the usual place. Check out the pics when I post them for a better idea of what we do.

3:46 Getting ready for sound check.

6:04 Finished soundcheck and practice. We only had about 90 min to run through our set… Lilia’s introduced some of her songs, and she does some other things quite a bit different than we’re used to, so my head’s swimming with info overload, and I’m trying to remember to not fall into cruise control when playing, because the way we’re used to doing some songs are different than her approach.

7:35 Being part of leading worship is a wonderful honor, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that distractions sometimes get to you. Tonight was one of those nights for me. The set went ok… afterwards people thanked us for it… but I was pretty disappointed.

First of all, my tone seemed really thin. Even when you have great gear, there are so many variables that go translating that your equipment into great tones week in and week out. Tonight, my overdrives seemed to lack the punch they usually do… and it was bugging me quite a bit. Plus, I couldn’t hear as well as I wanted to tonight also (Side note: after talking to the whole group, I think we all had EQ and volume problems.)

Also, there was something else. We didn’t have the time to prepare ahead of service that I would have liked. Lilia did an awesome job of leading, but I don’t feel like I was adequately reinforcing her as the dynamics instrument. First of all, there were those awkward moments in transition where I was wondering where things were going, and that leads to a little hesitation… and second, I felt like I was overplaying at times when I should have backed off. Even I struggle with constantly remembering that less is more.

Truth is, I’ve learned that as you play with a certain worship leader quite a bit, you learn how to anticipate where they’re going before they go there, but with Lilia, this is only our second time playing with her. So I haven’t had the time to develop that degree of anticipation with her yet.

8:14 Pack up time, we’re going to try to be out of here in about 15 minutes.

8:49 We’re at the church we’re playing at tomorrow. Zac’s got his trailer full of sound gear that we have to unpack. Everyone’s going at it, including Lilia. We’ve got the system going to get load in finished.

9:32 It took a little longer than we wanted to get setup. Fortunately, there was a small office right off the stage where I put my amp. We’re going in ears here, to keep the stage volume down. Zac’s finishing the wiring up of the main speakers and Lilia’s monitor speaker. I had to DI my acoustic, and I’m running an SM57 in front of my amp.

11:20 Finished running through stuff… had a hard time hearing myself, and I still wasn’t totally pleased with my tone. But I’m going to try to let it go for tonight.

To give a little info on the church we’re playing at: It’s small and fairly traditional, although the staff has tried to take it in a more progressive direction during the past six months. Unfortunately, there’s some tension between the traditionalists, and the people who’d like to see things be more progressive. So we’re going to drop a little surprise for them… We’re going to begin the service with an acoustic set, (Including Crowder’s version of I Saw the Light,) then transition through some older hymns, with a mix of some of Lilia’s original music.

12:03 Dropped Chema off at his house, and I’m heading home… First time to get some dinner. Saturday’s are usually pretty crazy…. I’ve only had one meal so far today and I’m pretty hungry right now! We have to be back up to the church at 9:00 tomorrow morning, so some sleep would be a good thing.

Setting the lighting trusses in the gym up.  (The closet were I iso my amp is the door just to the right of the stage.  It’s obscured a little by the front lighting truss.)
Putting my amp in place

Our sound board and audio gear.  Everything is rackmounted with wheels so it’s easier to set up and tear down quickly.
Lilia getting warmed up…
Right before service.



  1. give me a holler if Lilia needs a bassist! 😛

  2. What’s funny Josh is I think Lilia’s good friends with one of the campus pastors down at Va Tech… So she might just stop by to play sometime! 🙂

  3. hey gerry! you know, i just really like worshipping with you guys. I know you were really concerned about your tone this weekend, but honestly, you’re great! And, I’m glad that you thought I was working to help you guys. You know i was REALLY just chatting and playing around. : )

  4. hahaha. Good times with Lilia. lol Thanks for letting us play with you! It was a great experience. Oh and BTW, my drummer friend envy’s your authentic African Djembe!

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