Sweet, well it's Christmas! And I'm at home, in my cave making backing tracks using Ableton Live and a wide array of plugins. I'm having a great time to say the least. Anyway, about 2 hours into the day my mind starts to stray off track and I end up thinking/dreaming about my dream pedals. What do I need, and what do I want??
In all honesty, I don't think I need anything. The POD XT Live I play through at Church has every thing I really need. It has a distortion pedal, a wah, modulation, delay and 32 banks, with 4 sounds on each bank. I basically have every sound I could ever need from a John Mayer lead tone to a Mesa Boogie heavy distortion preset, which has the ability to go even more distorted for those ultimate Dime squeals and pinch harmonic. But the one thing it doesn't have, and the one thing I really want is a flanger. More specifically the Paul Gilbert signature AF2 Airplane Flanger. If you don't know what that does, or what it can be used for, youtube Paul Gilbert Flanger and you'll find out. It's pretty mint. Anyway, one of these would be pretty mint, because there are some songs where there are perfect times for that awesome divebomb you can do on a guitar with a tremelo like a Floyd Rose. Sadly, I have a stop tail guitar, and I can't do that sorta cool stuff. Having that Flanger would be mint. Only problem is; I live in New Zealand, I don't know where to buy one, and I don't think I have enough money to buy it, at least not after I've bought this Ibanez Acoustic thats been staring at me for the last 3 months. Do I need that pedal? No. Do I want it? Yes, very badly.
But the thing is, less is more. I find that in a church environment, the less crap you have on stage the less can go wrong. The POD is extremely and can take a hit or two. Plus it's black so it disguises itself well, and does all I really need it to do, and a bit more. It's basically the cake and the cherry on top of the ice cream. The Flanger, well it would be something optional, the chocolate sauce to go with the ice cream I guess you could say. Considering I'm starting to use food analogies, I'll assume that I'm hungry and need food. Haven't eaten in just over a day, so some food would be very good indeed.
When you're in a band that writes original music and stuff like that it's pretty sweet, because you can be as creative as you want really because it's essentially your song that you are performing, and recording. But when you play in a band similar to mine, it can easily become very intense and stressful. Reason for this is Worship Teams can be renowned for picking out songs you may not know well, or may have never heard of before. But all is not lost. As long as you can figure out the key of the song, say it's the key of C for example, you then know all the chords in that key, provided you know your basic theory and you can then kinda look at the bassist to follow their fingers, or you can improvise over the lead vocalist melody, follow them up and down. How you do this is up to you, it can be stressful, and it can be confusing, but I find it's easiest to just stick to one string, for me it's nearly always the B string as this for me is the easiest to bend and vibrato and do artificial harmonics and stuff like that. Just play around and use your knowledge of that key to do something cool, something that the congregation would like. But whatever you do, do not hit a sharp or a flat note. Because that will sting. From experience, playing in the key of C and hitting that wrong note at the wrong time was damaging. About 20 heads turned my way and I turned bright red while trying to figure out if I had managed to use the pitch bend on my pedal board or what. But don't fret, you'll get there. as long as you know your keys and your chords you'll be fine. It doesn't have to be a Van Halen type solo or a Joe Satriani dive bomb, it just has to fit which can often be one of the most difficult things. but hey, its a challenge. Was never supposed to be easy.