Archive for the ‘Guitar gear’ Category

Riffing it up

It’s just an absolute joy to keep working on a new worship CD. The awesome thing is that God is pouring more and more songs each day, there are now about a dozen songs in different stages of writing and arranging for the next CD! I can’t wait to share these songs, many of them are being used at our church and have brought people closer to Jesus, I’m so pumped!

We are moving forward in batches of three songs, the first batch has the songs “Let Freedom Reign”, “God of Heaven” and “You’re My Everything.” They each have a very distinct and different personality, which makes it a lot of fun to record them. I wanted to share my excitement through some photos, so here goes. After getting awesome live drum tracks from Kirke tracked at his studio and tracking bass at home, I brought the gear to church to record electric guitars. The two first songs were tracked there, thanks for the support, guys!

Electric setup at CVCC

After doing this a few times on my own – carrying gear, engineering, playing and recording, I was ready to pray for some HELP! Two days after praying, I met Mike & Linda Claxton at the local St. Arbucks, and lo and behold, they opened the doors of their studio 3 minutes from my door! God is true, my friends!

With Mike Claxton at the studio

Aside of being so kind and a blessing, Mike and Linda are two hilarious Brits with an incredible and quirky sense of humor. Mike has already hooked me up watching Fawlty Towers (with John Cleese) and eating a British dessert, whose name shall be left on a need to know basis. Ask me for it if you dare! Here’s something sad but true from the studio:

Sign of the Times

It has been fun to play rhythm parts, leads, eBow (Thanks, Kevin!) and slide on these songs, they are musically really cool with lots of detail and finesse…

Tracking Electrics at Mike's Studio

Up next, preparing all the guitar recordings, then jumping to Kirke’s studio to track acoustic guitars, vocals and background vocals. Then it’s time for mixing and preparing a release! We will put out the first three songs, then keep recording and releasing more until a whole CD’s worth is done. Stay tuned!

Woo-hoo, finally! One of the topics I promised to talk about in this blog is guitars & gear, and here we go! Last week was a happy time in this worship leader’s life. After months of frugal saving and blessings from God, I drove to West LA Music and bought a Taylor 614ce acoustic guitar. After all the years, I finally got a tried and true pro-quality tool to lead acoustic worship with. Granted, I am a rocker and I love to crank up in worship with my Fender Strats, but I love toning down the set at the right time by grabbing my new baby and strumming with percussion, creating a more intimate vibe for people to come into God’s presence with. Here’s the new baby:

Through all the years, I have made do with Washburns that did the job, but it is amazing how this Taylor plays. I’ve started recording with it and quickly came to the conclusion that I need to replace old acoustic parts with new ones! The guitar has a personality and a very sweet tone, and this particular one cuts through well in the mix, too. Taylors are pretty much the choice for worship leaders, I rarely see them play other guitars. For me the choice was based not on popularity, but checking out different acoustics and finding the one that fit. I hunted until I found an acoustic that felt as comfortable as my Strats and had a tone and quality that I can keep for the rest of my life. I found it…

As always with new gear, I get inspired by it. During the hunt for the right model, I ended up writing a song called “This Freedom Song” (demo in the works) with my friend’s 514ce. It’s all finger picked, which is a new trick for me. The new guitar just got a tune up at David Neely‘s shop in Hollywood, and it rings like a bell! He’s a serious guitar guy that serves some of the best musicians on the planet, and even he was happy about the results. I got the guitar back just in time to lead worship at Celebrate Recovery tonight, can’t wait to crank it up there!