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Thread: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

  1. #1
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    Default How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    So I'm a decent guitar player and can play most tabs I can find online. More to the point I've joined my church band and all their songs are basically designed for one guy to both sing and do acoustic.

    What I was wondering is how exactly can I add to the songs rather than just playing the songs off of the chord sheet. I guess I could also use a healthy dose of music theory so I can better play scales over top of chords that are being played.

    Here's the set so you know what I'm talking about:

    Lion Of Judah
    Burn Like A Star
    God's Not Dead
    Forever Reign
    Living Hope
    Corner Stone
    Like A Lion
    My Victory
    Death Was Arrested

    Again, all I'm doing currently is playing the exact same chord pattern for each song with the chords written on the sheet. I would prefer a multi-paragraph lecture, but any little bit helps.
    Last edited by '59; 06-07-2018 at 08:37 PM.

  2. #2
    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    What the band can do is pretty simple. Add drums, add bass, add lead guitar arpeggios or backup melodies, add keys. All of this can be created with just knowledge of the chords and care for the melody.

    If you're asking what you can do: Try by starting just learning the melody on the guitar. After you have that, just improvise with the melody and the major scale of the key you're in. After that play the arpeggios to the chords and try to make up little accompaniment passages.

    I can go into more detail about the specifics of chords and scales if you have specific questions. You might wanna post the lead sheets to a tune or 2 that you're working on and we can break it down.
    Last edited by Clint 55; 06-07-2018 at 08:20 PM.
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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Here's the song I feel most comfortable with:

    Attachment 90362
    Attachment 90363
    Attachment 90364

    So at this point I just want to know what my options are for what I can potentially add to this song. I don't know too much about music theory at this point, but I want to learn.

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    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Sorry, the pages didn't open. The most basic embellishment you can do is arpeggiating the chords. Do you know how to play the correct major scale for the key the song is in? That's like the start of music theory.
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    Had my number and we fell in love
    She put me under and I got lost

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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Sorry, it turns out they are the wrong file type and I can't convert them. But anyway, yes I do know the correct scale (C Major).What are some things I can do with that?

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    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Depends on the song, do you have the original recordings to go with the chord charts? We use planning center and mp3s get uploaded with the chord charts. We also usually tweak the mp3s to match the key of the chart if we are doing it in a different key than the original. It's helpful for everyone to be able to get familiar with how the song was originally done as a starting point, then tweak to taste/instrumentation/skill level/etc...

    What kind of instrumentation is in the band? That makes a difference too, sometimes we would have 3 keys, a sax and/or cello, in addition to drums bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar (me), and singers. The midrange frequencies would be so crowded it didn't really matter what I played, nobody would hear it in the mix. Fortunately we are usually more stripped down now.

    I'll be glad to help you out, I need to listen to the songs first but I don't think I can just give a list of general rules that apply to everything.

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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Quote Originally Posted by devastone View Post
    Depends on the song, do you have the original recordings to go with the chord charts? We use planning center and mp3s get uploaded with the chord charts. We also usually tweak the mp3s to match the key of the chart if we are doing it in a different key than the original. It's helpful for everyone to be able to get familiar with how the song was originally done as a starting point, then tweak to taste/instrumentation/skill level/etc...

    What kind of instrumentation is in the band? That makes a difference too, sometimes we would have 3 keys, a sax and/or cello, in addition to drums bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar (me), and singers. The midrange frequencies would be so crowded it didn't really matter what I played, nobody would hear it in the mix. Fortunately we are usually more stripped down now.

    I'll be glad to help you out, I need to listen to the songs first but I don't think I can just give a list of general rules that apply to everything.
    Yes I do have the original recordings to go off of, but not all of them are in the same key as we do them. Our band is drums, bass, piano, and an alto singer. That may sound like I have a lot of sonic space, but the piano guy is really good (perfect pitch, can not only play by ear but also by memory, flawless technique, etc.) so he gets a lot of space. He's good at what he does but not so good at explaining it.

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    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Then use the chords to play backup parts. Ez is strumming the chords, next is arpeggios, next is melodies. To make up melodies you can embellish the melody, play in the scale of the key you're in, improvise with the chord tones, or associate scales with the chords. For example, major scale for a major chord, minor for a minor chord, dorian for a minor 7 chord, or mixolydian for a dom 7.
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    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Also get riffstation while it's free, it lets you change the pitch of the recordings, link in this thread - https://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/...e-for-how-long

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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    One thing a lot of worship guys do is play the same chords but up higher in a different position. If you cant play lead, try putting a capo on the 7th fret. If the acoustic guy plays an open A chord, for example, the D chord shape at capo 7 is also an A chord, just a different voicinig. If he plays an open E chord, use the A shape. Etc.

    Also, a ****load of delay and reverb is a must. I dont know why but, with most popular CCM, the general lead guitar sound seems built around the assumption that the holy spirit doesn't move without a healthy dose of ambience...
    Last edited by dotsdad; 06-08-2018 at 08:57 PM.
    “The hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.” - Edward Van Halen

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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Quote Originally Posted by dotsdad View Post
    One thing a lot of worship guys do is play the same chords but up higher in a different position. If you cant play lead, try putting a capo on the 7th fret. If the acoustic guy plays an open A chord, for example, the D chord shape at capo 7 is also an A chord, just a different voicinig. If he plays an open E chord, use the A shape. Etc.
    What about major, minor, and suspended? If Johnny Acoustic plays an A minor, I'd play a D minor?

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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Quote Originally Posted by dotsdad View Post
    Also, a ****load of delay and reverb is a must. I dont know why but, with most popular CCM, the general lead guitar sound seems built around the assumption that the holy spirit doesn't move without a healthy dose of ambience...
    Boy do I know about that!! However there are exceptions like ME for example!!
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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Quote Originally Posted by dotsdad View Post
    One thing a lot of worship guys do is play the same chords but up higher in a different position. If you cant play lead, try putting a capo on the 7th fret. If the acoustic guy plays an open A chord, for example, the D chord shape at capo 7 is also an A chord, just a different voicinig. If he plays an open E chord, use the A shape. Etc.
    While I don't use a capo normally I do use a different voicing of the same chord in different positions to add color to a simple progression. REALLY good suggestion here!!

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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    One thing will do many times if playing electric with an acoustic player is just hit big open chords without a lot of movement to add depth.
    Here is an example from our service last Sunday. We had our keyboard player out so I let the acoustic player carry this song and just hit big open chords with a lot of delay and verb to fill space then played some single note stuff in the turnarounds as this is normally a very keyboard dominate song.
    Last edited by Ascension; 06-08-2018 at 09:25 PM.

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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    I take it you were NOT doing this Lion of Judah! Played this a bunch at one church I was playing and whew!! We played it a lot more straight up syncopated rock though.

    Ours
    https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v4/...songID=4809374
    Last edited by Ascension; 06-08-2018 at 09:59 PM.

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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Quote Originally Posted by Clint 55 View Post
    next is melodies. To make up melodies you can embellish the melody, play in the scale of the key you're in, improvise with the chord tones, or associate scales with the chords. For example, major scale for a major chord, minor for a minor chord, dorian for a minor 7 chord, or mixolydian for a dom 7.
    Many times if I am improvising and don't know where we are going I will play the relative minor scale and then improvise off of that. As long as I play notes in the relative minor of the root key most of the time I can stay in the pocket until something gels. I play straight spontaneous Improv many times in worship sets as none of us know where we are gonna end up. Key to playing worship is different that a normal gig it's more knowing what NOT to play than anything!!
    Couple examples of me playng with friends and doing pure spontaneous Improv stuff that came out cool.
    https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v4/...songID=5513317
    https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v4/...songID=6790849
    https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v4/...songID=9154872
    https://www.soundclick.com/html5/v4/...songID=6637056
    Last edited by Ascension; 06-08-2018 at 10:31 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    I’d recommend listening to some music. You’ll find examples of lead players adding to what a singer/rhythm player is doing on almost every rock song ever.

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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Quote Originally Posted by '59 View Post
    What about major, minor, and suspended? If Johnny Acoustic plays an A minor, I'd play a D minor?
    Yes that's it!
    “The hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.” - Edward Van Halen

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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    If I get some time later today I'll try and make a chord list you can use
    “The hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.” - Edward Van Halen

  20. #20
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    Default Re: How to Spice Up A Christian Rock Set

    Sounds like.....chord shape at capo u

    A"............".....D
    Bm.."..............Em
    C....................F
    D....................G
    E................l....A
    F.....................Bb
    G...."..............C

    Ok that should give a nice start...good luck!
    “The hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.” - Edward Van Halen

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