8 Ways to be the Worst Guitar Player Ever

Posted · 6 Comments

istock_000003724784xsmall1Good guitar players are a dime a dozen in our churches these days. We need to change that. Here are some simple steps to become the worst guitar player your church has ever seen.

1.Don’t tune silently–there are a million ways to tune silently. If you are ambitious enough to really suck, don’t use any of them.

2.Put your capo a half step sharp–this always makes for great conversations after a worship service. Give everyone something to talk about. They will probably thank you and give you a key to the city for providing such a welcomed topic of discussion.

3.Use too much gain–nothing says “Praise Jesus” like the Metallica-like mid-scoop of the Boss MetalZone.

4.Don’t use enough gain– “I Am Free” sounds better with a Buddy Holly clean Strat sound.

5.Verses are meant for guitar solos–Your number one musical competitors are those well-intentioned people who hold microphones so that the congregation can sing along. They are your enemy. In order for us to reach new heights of suckiness, fight the vocals, never compliment them.

6.Insist you’re always right–even if you are a great player or even if you are right, there is nothing more annoying than the “my way or the highway” mentality. Master this, young Grasshopper, and you will reach your goal.

7.Be too loud–let’s face it, people want the soft piano intro for “I Can Only Imagine” drowned out with a huge E chord barreling through an amp turned to eleven. For best results, include power stance and a heavy dose of flanger effect.

7.Be too quiet–there is a volume sweet spot for every worship environment. Your job is to find it and get as far away from it as possible. Treat that sweet spot like the Swine Flu or road kill. If you are unfortunate enough to be anywhere near it, RUN.

8. Don’t ever use delay and don’t ever listen to The Edge–delay sounds too good and The Edge wouldn’t know bad tone if it hit him on the top of his beanie-capped head. Only listen to U2 when you want to know what not to do.

Stay Dull,


6 Responses to "8 Ways to be the Worst Guitar Player Ever"
  1. Scott says:

    Great list, Jed. Especially #8. When I started playing at church, I didn’t really have a “sound” or a style and kept jumping around, (Stevie Ray one week, Alex Lifeson the next). I’m really not creative or talented to develop a unique style of my own so I kept trying to cop a style that fit well with the P&W standards we were playing.

    Well, one day I picked up a copy of the “Rattle & Hum” DVD and rediscovered U2 and The Edge (was a pretty big fan back in the 80’s). Started researching how he used rythmic delay & the “shimmer effect” and began incorparting not only the effects but stylistic elements into my playing at church (less solos, suspended chords, chimeyness, chording high on the neck on the G, B & E strings, drone & pedal tones, space & sparcity (is that a word?), and things just really took off. I started getting lots of complements from the congregation on how “full” the songs sounded. Some recognized what I was doing and complemented me on how much I sounded like that “U2 guy” and others had no clue that I was blatantly ripping Mr. Evans off. Funny thing is, I think that I am actually starting morph into something else. Maybe I was trying too hard before to be unique and just had to give in to my desire to actually be The Edge & then let nature take it’s course.

  2. admin says:

    You raise an interesting point that I think some guitar players miss. It seems to me that when I try to be unique with “my own sound” instead of sounding like myself I just sound bad. When I embraced my influences I started to really learn things about guitar playing and tone. I started to sound decent.

  3. rhoy pamparo says:

    i guess i am becoming worst as i starting to follow step #8 for the past year or so. not entirely stopped using delay but since my delay does not have dotted 8ths (a big GASP!) … i’ve started using it less. i’ve found it more rewarding to have a different sound without delays and with delays as i go thru different songs. then again, maybe i’m just really bad … which is not far from the truth! hehe :)

  4. admin says:

    Don’t worry…I won’t tell Karl you don’t use delay all the time. I have a confession to make: I don’t use the dotted 8ths on my delay either. Sometimes delay just isn’t the answer (Keep this to a whisper and don’t tell Karl.)

  5. Jon Phillips says:

    I never use a boss metal zone for worship, I generally stick with the boss metal core, just to ensure that no actual guitar tone accidentally sneaks into the mix.

  6. admin says:

    Lol. That’s a great tip. Another way to ensure that no one will actually hear the sound of your guitar is the digitech metal master as well as the digitech grunge. And let’s not for get any pedal made by Rouge.

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