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Unread 04-12-2011, 01:16 PM   #1
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How do I get out of my 80's metal rut and play modern P&W successfully?

I recently joined a Praise & Worship band and will be the lead guitarist. Since this church is catered to high school and college kids, the main style is CCM, in the vein of Hillsong, New Life Worship, Desperation Band, etc.. Problem is, my approach to playing guitar is based in heavy/hard rock ala 80's metal with the heavy opening riff, I-VI-V structure, and the shred solo. It's great to know this style, but being able to flawlessly execute a Motley Crue, Ozzy, or Extreme song won't necessarily work in my favor in getting kids excited in praise. Has anyone else here had this problem? I need to know the tricks of this style of playing, ala ringing chords, repeated dyads, etc. in order to be successful in this band.

First thing I need to know is what effects do I need? I know lots of delay and some overdrive but what else? How much delay do you use? I have a strat and a Roland VG-88 that can emulate nearly any amp, but would like some guidelines on how to create the "sound".

And the actual style of modern worship? Any good instructional DVD's or lessons on playing modern worship or do I just need to buy two Hillsong CD's and learn the parts to "distill" the essence of P&W? What are some benchmarks or "tricks" of this style (ala strum arpeggios on higher frets, play in 8-notes, etc.)?

A loaded question, but I don't want my style to be fighting with the band and want to be able to hang with them as well as deliver what is necessary for a P&W band. Thanks.


Last edited by Kenman22; 04-13-2011 at 07:11 AM.
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Unread 04-12-2011, 03:00 PM   #2
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Just think of all the complexities of metal and do the exact opposite, JK. Really, there's nothing challenging about P&W. Just grab a cd and learn some parts.
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Unread 04-12-2011, 04:09 PM   #3
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Agreed. If you want to learn the style, it's like any style, just go into the recordings and start playing. I mean, if there's any album that will help you understand modern P&W guitar, it's U2's The Joshua Tree. Haha.
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Unread 04-12-2011, 04:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer. View Post
Agreed. If you want to learn the style, it's like any style, just go into the recordings and start playing. I mean, if there's any album that will help you understand modern P&W guitar, it's U2's The Joshua Tree. Haha.
And along this line, just because it's the style doesn't mean you can't incorporate what you already know into it. Sure, Ozzy/Dio/Stryper/whatever isn't going to excite them necessarily, but that doesn't mean you need to learn a whole different style just to match some recordings.
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Unread 04-12-2011, 06:08 PM   #5
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Yeah, if you can copy The Edge, you're there.

You might check out Ben Gowell's DVD Leadworship.com

The Hillsong stuff is good to work on. There are some Hillsong workshop videos on youtube that might help. Try YouTube - hillsong guitar workshop and YouTube - Might to save hillsong guitar workshop

In these vids, Nigel Hendroff shows some of the amps and effects and delays he's using.

I've found it helpful to have a good multi-fx pedal, since we play a variety of stuff and it's useful to be able to step on one footpedal and instantly switch amp emulators, distortions, delay, reverb, wah, etc. I augment the multi-fx (I use two, actually) with another delay, a distortion, and a graphic EQ.
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Unread 04-12-2011, 07:33 PM   #6
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As a fellow ex-'80s metaller, you can do what I did and just start immersing yourself in all of the modern CCM and not-so-CCM music. Stuff like Hillsong United, Fee, Disciple, The Almost, Jesus Culture, U2, Incubus, Porcupine Tree and anything else recorded after 1990 that does not have rhythm guitars that go "jugga-jugga-jigga-wugga" is all good for learning useful technique for the style.

In most modern rock/CCM, you'll be playing higher on the fretboard and using a lot of triad inversions on the E-B-G strings or B-G-D strings, utilizing either picked arpeggios or straight downstroke 1/8 note strums. Octaves are also the norm.

You want overdrive, not high-gain distortion and, yes, lots of delays or a tap-tempo-equipped delay.

And you can find ways to adapt what you already know into your praise team, but just be careful to not overdo it. A lot of rhythm guitar in today's stuff is not there to double the bass guitar on the low E string (or vice versa, a la 99% of '80s arena rock), but it's usually going to occupy its own sonic space.

Ironically enough, Dann Huff (an amazing '80s guitarist and current platinum-selling-many-times-over Nashville producer) has a few YouTube videos up of some of the stuff he used to play with his band Giant. His rhythm style back then is what's being emulated today in a lot of modern P&W/CCM/etc...
Check it out:
YouTube - DANN HUFF- Instructional dvd-Studio work - Guitar technique /PART 5/

YouTube - Giant - I'm A Believer (Studio Version)

That rhythm riff in "I'm a Believer" has been so stolen by countless P&W guitarists...
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Unread 04-12-2011, 07:55 PM   #7
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...rhythm guitars that go "jugga-jugga-jigga-wugga"...

I wish you guitar virtuosos on the forum wouldn't use this highly technical music theory jargon that's so confusing to those of us who are less skilled.



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In most modern rock/CCM, you'll be playing higher on the fretboard and using a lot of triad inversions on the E-B-G strings or B-G-D strings, utilizing either picked arpeggios or straight downstroke 1/8 note strums. Octaves are also the norm.
Yep. If you haven't already, learn many positions for common chords. For example, using the E-G-B strings as Dave suggests, you can play a G chord as x-x-x-7-8-7 or an A as x-x-x-9-10-9 or Am as x-x-x-9-10-8. Cm can be played as x-x-x-8-8-8. Knowing the location of the root, 3rd, and 5th in each of these forms will help you develop fills and licks and arpeggios.

How many other guitars are in your group? All electric?
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Unread 04-13-2011, 06:51 AM   #8
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Knowing the location of the root, 3rd, and 5th in each of these forms will help you develop fills and licks and arpeggios.
I play in a group with three other guitarists so I tend to emulate Alex Lifeson and keep it simple with triads most of the time. They really are a great tool to know, so I definitely agree. Learn the first, third, and fifth and how to create minors by flatting the third or making a maj7 by adding the 7th in. Eventually you'll be able to make up chords on the fly for something that suits the piece.
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Unread 04-13-2011, 02:43 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the great tips. I agree, I think CCM owes a huge debt to The Edge! I'm surprised at the wealth of information that's out there for guitarists on this. I didn't know Hillsong themselves actually broke down their songs for guitarists. Watching these has helped me a ton, especially seeing the fingerings and strumming techniques up close. That said, when the solo section comes, I still got to drop the gauntlet and "metal out" just to have some semblance of familiarity in there, lol!
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Unread 04-13-2011, 03:13 PM   #10
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I'd like to add that I've found this very useful. Thanks for the info, even though I'm not the one who asked for it. I was getting there though, lol.
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Unread 04-13-2011, 03:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1/2-Fast Player View Post
I wish you guitar virtuosos on the forum wouldn't use this highly technical music theory jargon that's so confusing to those of us who are less skilled.
I can't help it that I graduated from the Mt. Strong-Bad School of Music Trembelos and Meedly-Meedley-Mee Tech.
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Unread 04-13-2011, 06:14 PM   #12
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I can't help it that I graduated from the Mt. Strong-Bad School of Music Trembelos and Meedly-Meedley-Mee Tech.
We simplify things here at the 1/2-Fast School of Music Theory: root plus five plus enough distortion equals any silly chord you like.
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Unread 04-13-2011, 06:39 PM   #13
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I didn't know Hillsong themselves actually broke down their songs for guitarists. Watching these has helped me a ton, especially seeing the fingerings and strumming techniques up close.

In that case, you might also like some of Baloche's workshop material. There's quite a bit on youtube if you do a little searching.
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Unread 05-11-2011, 10:56 PM   #14
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dotted eighth delays, tapped into your tempo. I know exactly how you feel. I went through the same exact thing when I got saved and joined a church.
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Unread 11-11-2011, 08:51 AM   #15
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Paul Baloche's modern worship series was helpful to me. He has separate DVDs for each instrument and then a total band workshop DVD. Really simple, practical advice.
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