Playing electric guitar at church yesterday morning, it was a delight to have an opportunity to do just that one thing. The worship leader (on keys) and bassist were both singing and there was an additional vocalist too, so we didn’t need an extra voice. I got to set up my guitar, FX and little amp and focus on crafting the right sound to enhance each song.
Often I’ll being singing and playing and perhaps leading too. In the worship group context, leading the group demands attention, to make the most of what each other contributor brings along and assist them fitting together. Singing also needs to be a focus, as that’s the point where the group brings along the congregation as co-participants. Consequently, playing has to take a relatively low priority.
That isn’t to say you can play badly but you don’t get to focus on the nuances. With my Variax guitar, I’ve got tens of combinations of guitar type and pickups alongside the regular things like tone and volume settings and where and how to strike the strings. There are note choices and musical styles too, as well as the FX sauce (important questions, like which song is going to get the tremolo effect this week).
So, not exactly ‘just one thing’… but, still, a pleasure to have an opportunity to focus in on just one set of things that are all about the way the guitar sound fits in the ensemble.