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View Poll Results: Does Christianity Need A Mainstream Guitar Virtuoso?
YES. Christianity could use a Rock Virtuoso... 25 56.82%
NO. Leave it to the dying secular world.... 13 29.55%
NOT SURE. 6 13.64%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 04-13-2005, 10:12 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by PacerX
Maybe the formula is just a result of the need to move product in the hopes that more people are reached. I guess I can understand that. Boy, it just seems that the formula has become all-pervasive.

When money and Christianity meet, my antennae shoot up. I guess I'm hyper-sensitive about it.

I understand how you feel, I get quite upset that once you hear one band you have heard them all when it comes to christian music. It really bothers me with worship music. You could pump out all the music you want with what appear to be good lyrics, a catchy tune, etc, but there has to be more to that. I'm not doubting or saying a lot of the writers are not sincere in their works, but, from where I stand there is a definate formula to the major companies producing worship music and for me, they are starting to lose their appeal.

Having said that, I believe we have "hit the wall" when it comes to creativity. We are not going to see any radical new genre or style, so unfortunately, we are going to be stuck with repackaged material, hence the simple, catchy music we have now. There is no one trying to achieve greater. I'm music major and I believe this for classical music as well. There will be no new developments, just repackaging what has been done.

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Unread 04-13-2005, 11:17 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by guitarzan21
I understand how you feel, I get quite upset that once you hear one band you have heard them all when it comes to christian music. It really bothers me with worship music. You could pump out all the music you want with what appear to be good lyrics, a catchy tune, etc, but there has to be more to that. I'm not doubting or saying a lot of the writers are not sincere in their works, but, from where I stand there is a definate formula to the major companies producing worship music and for me, they are starting to lose their appeal.

Having said that, I believe we have "hit the wall" when it comes to creativity. We are not going to see any radical new genre or style, so unfortunately, we are going to be stuck with repackaged material, hence the simple, catchy music we have now. There is no one trying to achieve greater. I'm music major and I believe this for classical music as well. There will be no new developments, just repackaging what has been done.
Well, my last, best hope is that the tools for home recording continue improving and dropping in cost at the rate they are currently along with much broader distribution channels being made available without the centralized profit motive which waters everything down. Unfortunately, that also means that the marketing muscle which the record companies have will erode also - so it's a double-edged sword.

Much of music has already been done, after all, there are only 12 notes... I'd just like to stop hearing the same ones in the same order all over again.
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Unread 04-13-2005, 01:45 PM   #108
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I gotta gree with having a contract on your own terms because most all contracts call for so many albums and a greatest hits cd or two. Take Toby Keith his contract is for(unless he extended it in the past) I think sic albums and one greatest hits cd. If your going after a contract as a Praise band then have more musical freedom might not be need but if your going at it as a full blown artist the you need more creative freedom because there might be a time when you want to do a song the record company might not let you do unless you have that extra freedom. My self I want a future in Country music but bt=y no means will I be a by the system artist, I don't mind doing other peoples songs. But I want the freedom to pick the song that I want to do. not what songs the record company wants me to do. And my band will record the album(s).
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Unread 04-13-2005, 02:51 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacerX
I believe it is, and I'm sticking to that belief.

It is basically the Christian equivalent of Brittany Spears or the country drivel Nashville plops out like cookie dough.

You know why country music (out of Nashville) all sounds the same? Because they have the same few studio musicians, the same few producers, the same few writers doing everything.





I disagree. Look through an old hymnal sometime. That was not least-common-denominator music, and what we have now is just awful. Somebody explain to me why performing great music is not a worshipful act????

You mentioned M.W. Smith, who may be worst offender #1.

BLAH.

It's a formula. The entire Nashville mafia has this down to a science... Not too much dissonance... keep the words simple... catchy phrase for the opening line... "three/four word shouter" for the chorus... easy on the chords since we want to make sure anybody can play this a week after picking up the guitar for the first time or we won't sell truckloads of sheet music... get the chorus up quick since we don't want to bore anybody and we all know how short our audience's span of attention is...

They've got focus groups and formulas and staff writers trained like monkeys not to push the boundaries at all, and in 30 years every single one of these songs is going to drop right off of the planet.

Enough with the formulas, give us something we can sink our teeth in to. Somebody write a timeless classic like Amazing Grace again. And somebody else tell Third Day that they can have more than three chords in a song.

My group may never get a recording contract, and that's OK, but I'll tell you what the conditions are if we do:

#1 - WE pick the producer and the studio, and neither of them will have anything to do with Nashville.

#2 - We NEVER record anything out of anybody's catalog unless WE pick it and WE WILL NOT agree to the record company picking anything out for us. NO pre-fabricated "Insert Name Here" PRAISE albums. "Petra Praise", "Third Day Praise", "Yngwie Malmsteen Praise", whatever... BARF! Not going to happen.

#3 - If I can't play it through in a single pass, or it can't be done live, it's not going on tape (disk...), and I don't care how much the studio time costs.

EVERY song I write is praise and worship, even if it has a 5 minute thermonuclear-shred guitar solo, thundering drums, slap/pop bass and pyrotechnics going off in the pulpit.


And if a record company doesn't like it, they can go pound sand. I need them like I need a hole in my head. If the Lord wants folks to hear it, they will.

Jesus and I are not in this gig for the money, AND THE RECORD COMPANIES MOST CERTAINLY ARE. The creator of the universe IS NOT having a cash-flow problem, he couldn't care less about whether or not something is "market-friendly".

Rich Mullins and Rick Altizer weren't in it for the money, I know that for sure, and Rich Mullins has been called home. Most everybody else... well... I guess that's for God to decide... I've got my own ideas.
That brought a tear to my eye. That is probably the most beautiful post I've seen in a long time.
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Unread 04-13-2005, 03:16 PM   #110
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Actually, Rock Guitar Virtuosos are a dime a dozen these days, so i really don't think that Christianity really "Needs" one!!! BUT, if there's an "annointed" player out there that God wants to raise up that happens to be a virtuoso, i'm all for it!!!
just my 2 cents!!!
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Unread 04-13-2005, 03:52 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer.
Yeah, sometimes virtuosos get put into an idolatic (is that a word?) position, bbut you usually can't prevent that from happening. I say just let the man (or woman) play!

I'd say that when I go to a concert, I want to hear some great playing. The purpose is different. If I go somewhere to be led into worship, then distractions are bad, that's true, but this question was about if mainstream Christian music needs a virtuoso, not if virtuosos could lead worship. I think that mainstream Christian music does need a virtuoso, just as much as it needs great musicians from wherever.

I really don't see anything wrong with that as long as the artist/band can get the message across. I think that Third Day does this really well. I wish they would play like their old style of music,and just rock out for Jesus,'cause I think it's cool to do that.If somebody just gets up there and wails,the audience will miss the point entirely.
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Unread 04-13-2005, 04:02 PM   #112
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In response to the title...

As a nonbeliever, I can say it probably doesn't matter. I wouldn't really care if there was a great Christian shred or prog rock guitarist. Most people would never even hear of the artist, or hear his or her music. At the most, people would know of the person, and aoccasionally say, "Oh, did you know he was Christian?"

My .02.
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Unread 04-13-2005, 10:20 PM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KATMAN
I really don't see anything wrong with that as long as the artist/band can get the message across. I think that Third Day does this really well. I wish they would play like their old style of music,and just rock out for Jesus,'cause I think it's cool to do that.If somebody just gets up there and wails,the audience will miss the point entirely.
Here was a good quote from the cover of Phil Keaggy's album "220": "Go out today and preach the Gospel... and if you must, use words." -St. Francis of Assisi.

Let the virtuoso wail if he/she wants to. Why does every single piece of music he/she makes have to sell "the point"? To a point, I sometimes feel that a lot of CCM has become televangelism using music. It's like the preacher that does nothing but preach the Gospel. I'd probably like to hear something about another aspect of spiritual life aside from preaching the Gospel and all. Yes, I know that preaching to non believers is important, but I'd rather hear it on, say, 25% of an album rather then 95%.

Well, I'm probably gonna get burned for this slightly off-topic rant...
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Unread 04-13-2005, 10:36 PM   #114
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Good point. you shouldn't be burned.
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Unread 04-13-2005, 11:39 PM   #115
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Actually, I would have to agree as well.

I also agree with you PacerX. I really think that Christian music today is all about "worship music"...which in most cases to me means simple tunes saying the same things over. I really want to see more bands in the likeness of PK, Lincoln Brewster, Third Day, Jars of Clay, etc. that don't use the same cookie cutter lyrics in every song. Just thinking about it now...I would rather get some groups that actually have creative lyrics then creative playing, though that would most definitely be appreciated!
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Unread 04-14-2005, 02:02 AM   #116
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To agree with rainer most Christian music preaches to the choir as my pastor say. I mean I would say that 3/4 of the people that hears Christian music are Christians if not more. I've been a professional Christian musician and there were a few non Christian that came to my band's shows and saying that 25% of the people that were there was non Christian would be an overstatement because I'm saying that if there was 60 people at one show only 5-10 was non christian. And thats going by who people said they invited and they all most always told if there friend were belivers or not. And one of my complaints about P&W has always been there were and I would say still is song that are the same topic but just worded different. I'm sure there are people out there that could listen to 500 songs with the same message and not get tired of it but there are also gonna be those that are like Lord please let some one do something different. There's nothing wrong with either view but things have to change or the industry gets stale just like Country. I mean aside from a few bands or groups a lot of Country songs sound the same just like Christian music. Having some one work out side the system is a good thing some times. One day Christian music wil have an artist that makes an uproar in the industry and change things up for a while.
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Unread 04-14-2005, 12:37 PM   #117
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there's more to Christian music than what is on the radio..if some of you would really dig, and not just into people who have a record deal, i mean into the indies i'm sure you could find some music by Christians you like. some of my fave artists get airplay with *some* of their songs but a lot of their songs won't be on the radio. i love my folk type artists for sure. and a good dose of rock is nice too. all of these i list are good lyricists, imo..and of course i love their music too...
rich mullins, jars of clay, bebo norman, andrew peterson, shawn mcdonald, taylor sorensen, caedmon's call (how bout that 'share the well' project!? nothing else like that out there, even mainstream secular music mags and whatever say that), jill phillips, sarah masen, koo chung, sandra mccracken, chris rice, jonathan noel, iona, monk & neagle, jill paquette, silers bald, lifehouse, kendall payne, justin mcroberts...and on and on..

and nope a lot of those artists don't use fretboard gymnastics in their playing, but they know how to make music that sounds good and fits the song and theme or emotion they're trying to convey. and i would consider them all very good musicians.
just mentioning one in particular i think jars of clay is a great band. i enjoy their music and lyrics. one thing that really helps me call them a great band though is that they all know their part in the band. no one steps on anyone elses toes musically. they work together incredibly well. they make music, not mush (and in this sense mush means how some people are: everyone is all over everyone elses territory within the song)..

complicated DOES NOT = good music. it seems like some of you think it does...it can, but definitely not always... most listeners are not musicians, they are people who could care less if you use a G chord or a G7add9-13-15-35#...if you can use those more complex chords and make them sound good then that's great, if you can solo like crazy that's great too, but don't be cocky about it and think you're sooo much better than someone else just using 3 chords and doing nothing more than strumming..there is just soo much pride with some guitarists...do your thing but don't look down on others for doing theirs. that 3 chord simple song can sometimes touch more people than something 'fancier'.....lyrics have a lot to do with it of course...most people won't listen to instrumental albums, they want lyrics and singing...i just never have understood what slamming someone elses art accomplishes that is positive.

i say, shut up and make yer music...everyone's music will connect with someone generally..whether 1 or millions. doesn't matter. neither is more important than the other.. or maybe you just make music to be heard by God alone, well that's cool too...if you don't like something then don't listen to it. no need for bashing it. when you are about to bash someone's music ask yourself: would i do that to their face? these people have feelings..

i also agree with whoever said it can be entertainment too. absolutely! God made music for us to enjoy too right? yah, i think so...
also, God made EVERYTHING, right? so that's a lot of subject matter to write about. as a Christian artist i feel anything is fair game..whatever God gives you to write about *shrug*...

finally, i still highly recommend the book "at the crossroads" by charlie peacock. it mentions many issues and leaves plenty of room for the person reading it to think and decide for themselves rather than just saying 'this is how it is'...
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Unread 04-14-2005, 01:36 PM   #118
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man I've seen were people think you have to play a certin speed to be good and thats not true. I meann BB King might not play 500mph but there is just as much if not more passion in his slow playing than the guys who do play fast.
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Unread 04-14-2005, 02:33 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacerX
I believe it is, and I'm sticking to that belief.

It is basically the Christian equivalent of Brittany Spears or the country drivel Nashville plops out like cookie dough.

You know why country music (out of Nashville) all sounds the same? Because they have the same few studio musicians, the same few producers, the same few writers doing everything.





I disagree. Look through an old hymnal sometime. That was not least-common-denominator music, and what we have now is just awful. Somebody explain to me why performing great music is not a worshipful act????

You mentioned M.W. Smith, who may be worst offender #1.

BLAH.

It's a formula. The entire Nashville mafia has this down to a science... Not too much dissonance... keep the words simple... catchy phrase for the opening line... "three/four word shouter" for the chorus... easy on the chords since we want to make sure anybody can play this a week after picking up the guitar for the first time or we won't sell truckloads of sheet music... get the chorus up quick since we don't want to bore anybody and we all know how short our audience's span of attention is...

They've got focus groups and formulas and staff writers trained like monkeys not to push the boundaries at all, and in 30 years every single one of these songs is going to drop right off of the planet.

Enough with the formulas, give us something we can sink our teeth in to. Somebody write a timeless classic like Amazing Grace again. And somebody else tell Third Day that they can have more than three chords in a song.

My group may never get a recording contract, and that's OK, but I'll tell you what the conditions are if we do:

#1 - WE pick the producer and the studio, and neither of them will have anything to do with Nashville.

#2 - We NEVER record anything out of anybody's catalog unless WE pick it and WE WILL NOT agree to the record company picking anything out for us. NO pre-fabricated "Insert Name Here" PRAISE albums. "Petra Praise", "Third Day Praise", "Yngwie Malmsteen Praise", whatever... BARF! Not going to happen.

#3 - If I can't play it through in a single pass, or it can't be done live, it's not going on tape (disk...), and I don't care how much the studio time costs.

EVERY song I write is praise and worship, even if it has a 5 minute thermonuclear-shred guitar solo, thundering drums, slap/pop bass and pyrotechnics going off in the pulpit.


And if a record company doesn't like it, they can go pound sand. I need them like I need a hole in my head. If the Lord wants folks to hear it, they will.

Jesus and I are not in this gig for the money, AND THE RECORD COMPANIES MOST CERTAINLY ARE. The creator of the universe IS NOT having a cash-flow problem, he couldn't care less about whether or not something is "market-friendly".

Rich Mullins and Rick Altizer weren't in it for the money, I know that for sure, and Rich Mullins has been called home. Most everybody else... well... I guess that's for God to decide... I've got my own ideas.
Pretty cynical.

If you don't like Michael W Smith, and you think that the way he chooses to worship God stinks, and you hate it so much that Third Day doesn't want to play "more than three chords in a song" as you put it and it stinks cuz it doesn't fit your musical taste, then don't listen to it. Let them worship God how they please, and you've got no more right to judge them on keeping their praise music easy to play than you do for making it hard to play.
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Unread 04-14-2005, 02:37 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenacen
Pretty cynical.

If you don't like Michael W Smith, and you think that the way he chooses to worship God stinks, and you hate it so much that Third Day doesn't want to play "more than three chords in a song" as you put it and it stinks cuz it doesn't fit your musical taste, then don't listen to it. Let them worship God how they please, and you've got no more right to judge them on keeping their praise music easy to play than you do for making it hard to play.
you're kinda missing the point i think. it's not so much that "they're worshipping God the way they want" but that no one is saying, "hey what if we did it differently?" or if they are, they aren't breaking into the market.

this overall thread (in my head) has more to do with marketing aspects of worship than it actually does with the worship itself.
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