Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Few Recommendations (Part 3 of 3)

Prepare Yourself
The next thing I want to talk about is sheet music. If you watch your favorite guitar player in concert, they aren’t going to walk on stage with a music stand and all their charts. They take the time and effort to memorize all the music and words. If rock stars can do this for money, why shouldn’t we do it for God? Try and memorize your music! Then you don’t have to flip anything, you don’t have to cart around charts and you aren’t providing distractions for the congregation.

Whenever you get on the platform at your corps and get ready to practice or lead, try to remember these things. Your ministry is incredibly important so you need to make sure you are prepared for it. Practice everyday, improve and give God all the glory!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Few Recommendations (Part 2 of 3)

Balance Your Group
Most guitar amplifiers are about 2 feet tall and sit on the floor. As a result, the sound hits the back of our knees and we think we are too quiet. So, we turn it up and the vocalists complain so you turn it down…it’s a vicious cycle.

There are a couple things you should do to fix this. First off, realize that your part is rarely the most important. The congregation is singing and therefore the singers are the most important. It’s difficult to admit but true. However, this doesn’t mean they are always right about the levels. The second thing is to bring someone else in to listen. Sit someone in the pews so they can listen and let you know what the congregation is hearing. Balancing is a huge part of the playing experience, so do it right!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Few Recommendations (Part 1 of 3)

Hello readers. My name is Israel Doria and I will be posting helpful tips and techniques for the guitar about once a month. However, today I’m just going to give you some recommendations not all to do with your playing.

Speak to Your Audience
As guitar players, we are usually trying to excel; to find more difficult music and play faster licks. I strongly encourage you to continue pressing on and try to learn something new every day. But when you get up on the platform on Sunday, your motives need to be different. When you play for a congregation, you are their spiritual leader and like any leader, you must cater to their needs.

If your congregation wants Hillsong, play them some Hillsong. But if your congregation wants 20 year old Hallelujah Chorus songs then that’s what you need to play to lead them in worship. Later on you may try and ease them into the 21st century but you can never forget their needs.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Resources for Bass Players

What can I say?  I have a special place in my heart for bass players.  The ones who lay down that nice neat foundation that drives the song forward.  You might not often take center stage, but without that low-end songs just lack body and depth.  Here is a great bass resource for you:

This site has something for bass players of all levels.  Track and Line Builders, scale finders, lessons, articles, tips, tabs and more!

Have fun and build some funky bass-lines!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


What are some important characteristics of worshippers (in this instance I mean singers, musicians, worship leaders etc.)?  A popular quote comes to mind. "always preach the gospel and if necessary use words."  It's no different in worship.  If we are going to step up and sing/play an instrument/lead worship in a congregation, we must demonstrate worship in our lives and be an example of it, just as Jesus said he "set an example" of being servants in John 13:15. 

I thought about it for a bit this morning and found this verse in my Bible:  "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12)

Be an Example in Speech:
We need to be wise about what comes out of our mouths.  If you lead worship, make sure you are biblically prepared and that you have prayed so that you are sure that what you are going to say is correct and comes from God.  Secondly ALL OF US need to make sure our daily conversations reflect the message of the songs we sing in worship.  Proverbs 12:18 says "...the tongue of the wise brings healing."  So make sure to stay away from gossip, hurtful conversations or speech, and profanity.  This includes our comments on Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Be an Example in Life:
We need to have Kingdom priorities.  Do we store up treasures here on Earth? The bible says that our heart is where our treasure is stored (Matthew 6:19-21).  Many of us look for fame, popularity, recognition, and even status as musicians.  Jesus said, "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33) So let's set our hearts on the Kingdom of God; God will take care of the rest.

Be an Example in Love:
We sing about God's love.  We must demonstrate this love in our lives:  We must love VERTICALLY (God) and HORIZONTALLY (our fellow man) genuinely and let it reflect in our lives. If our congregation can see God's love reflected in our daily lives, and a passion to serve and proclaim Jesus on and off the stage, they will truly be open to following us into worship.  When the congregation feels that we genuinely love them as well, they will more willingly worship with us.

Be an Example of Faith:
Worshippers need to have faith and grow in the faith.  How is this accomplished?  By studying God's word, and spending time with God.  When we have a deep understanding of God, this is transmitted to the congregation.  We must continually grow and constantly try to know God more.

Be an Example of Purity:
As worshippers we must reflect Jesus' character.  Nothing wrecks our credibility more than moral compromise.  Our lives must reflect a moral purity.  This means we should know our moral standard (God's Word) and live in obedience to God.  When we know God and live our lives in worship to Him we seek to please him in everything we do.  We can live our lives in such a way that people will not have anything negative to say about us.  Titus 2:7-8

Some resources adapted from "The Complete Worship Leader" by Kevin J. Navarro

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Just for Drummers

If you are a drummer there is a lot of pressure riding on you to keep the beat, be consistent with tempo, and do really cool fills.  Check out this Drum Clinic Library by Drummer World.  It has drum lessons by some of the world's best drummers teaching you their moves step by step.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What's an A sharp minor demolished?!?!

There is no such thing as an A#m demolished; but I'm sure if you're like me, every once in a while you run into a chord that you've probably never seen before.  So if you sometimes need a little help with chord structures head over to and take advantage of their interactive chord tool and other helpful gadgets.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


"Most high, most excellent, most potent, most omnipotent; most piteous and most just; most hidden and most near; most beauteous and most strong, stable, yet contained of none; unchanging, yet changing all things; never new, never old; making all things new, yet bringing old age upon the proud and they know it not; always working, yet ever at rest; gathering, yet needing nothing; sustaining, pervading, and protecting; creating, nourishing, and developing; seeking, and yet possessing all things."1.

If you skipped over that last paragraph I suggest you read it over carefully.  There is an incredible sense of wonder in it, as though when St Augustine spoke it he couldn't contain his awe toward God. 

In a world where every bit of information is at our fingertips and everything can be explained it's easy to lose our child-like wonder at who God is and what he does in our lives.  But we must never forget the GREATNESS of God if we are to worship Him sincerely.  In Job 36:26 it says "Behold, God is great, and we do not know him."  Can we ever know God or even explain him completely?  No of course not.  That's where wonder comes in.  Paul wrote in Roman 11:33 "Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out!"

When you have your devotional time, or when you go up on that stage to play an instrument or to sing, remember to revel in God's wonder.  Express your sincere praise to the Creator of it all and stand amazed at his awesomeness.

1.The Confessions of St. Augustine, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol.1