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15 December 2008

Playing with the Band

One particular genre of music features guitarists who often play ahead of the beat. That is, they jump slightly ahead of the drums and bass. One of the reasons this can happen is that guitarists can be... ah... self-absorbed. It's pretty well-known that hard rock, grunge, metal, (etc.) guitar players obsess about their guitar sound and playing technique. When they participate in a band setting, it's sometimes no different. To them, everything is about their guitar sound and the monster licks they play.

These guys often don't listen to the band as a whole -- just themselves, expecting the band to play around them -- and therefore you'll sometimes hear a guitar part that stays just ahead of the drums, when ideally (according to most), the bass and drums will "drive" things rather than the guitar. It's most pleasing to the ear when the individual instruments play in perfect sync (sometimes even when the guitar is ever so slightly behind the beat).

This is such an obvious illustration that it's almost not worth telling you the upshot. If you don't see how it applies to what we do in concert with other Christ-followers, I can post the moral.

Okay, okay... Here you go:

"Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose." (Philippians 2:1-2, NLT)

4 comments:

Ninfa said...

This post reminded me a little of the "Body of Christ" lesson I did with a Sunday School group one day. As the girls came in I handed each one a note card and a pencil. When it was time to start I asked them each to hide their notecard from the eyes of others and then draw their favorite body part on the page. When they were done I collected them all and told them we were going to build a body. I taped the notecards to the wall in the places the body part would normally be. Our body had 1 foot, 3 eyes, 2 mouths, 1 hand, and a stomach. I then stepped back and asked the girls if this was a healthy body? The answer was a resounding "NO!"

Just like every member of a band has a purpose it is the same in the body of Christ. It would be nice it we all played lead guitar or if we all were the hands, but then there would be no drummer or bass, no foot or eye. If we except the roll we are to play and do it to the best of our ability (whether that roll is in a band or in the body of Christ)"The Body" is healthy and useful. God can use a damaged body, he proved that over and over in Scripture. However, if it is within our power to give him a healthy one why not do so.

Billy Chia said...

Totally agree Dean. It's super important for the guitarist (and everyone) to "play in the pocket" and create a cohesive sound.

Doing life as a Christian is like playing in a band.

Jan said...

or on a team of any sort. oh oh we need each other!

dean, i'm on my way out the door to Disney so I can't write much. have a good week.

Tony M said...

Weird - my comment from yesterday disappeared (it was in some weird comment page, too...??). Or maybe Dean deleted it, willy-nilly (it did show up on the page yesterday). :) It was something along the lines of Ninfa's, about how we need to do our part.

You might not be the guy who plays the guitar - you might be the bassist or the drummer... or perhaps the guy who runs sound or lights, or the guy who does the heavy lifting; maybe the bus driver or the food finder.

But whatever your part, do it well. If you're the heavy lifter, and you try to do the guitar part, it might not sound so good. If you're the heavy lifter and don't do your lifting, then perhaps there's no speakers - meaning no good sound. Or maybe you leave the task of lifting the heavy speakers to Mr. Fancy Guitarist - and he injures himself lifting the heavy speakers and then there's no guitar (or a diminished guitar due to the injury).

So, whatever your part, do it well, "as unto the Lord."

Not exactly along the same lines as your original post, but still in the same genre, so to speak.

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