Archive | —Music Equipment

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To Use or Lose the Music Stands: Is That the Question?

In the past few years, a number of voices have emerged encouraging church musicians to lose their music stands.  I don’t think anyone is saying it’s a matter “of first importance” to put the music stands away. But people have said if you really want to serve your church, you won’t use them. Reasons to Strike the Stands Here are some of the most common reasons people give for losing the stands. In many churches, a separation already exists due to a stage. Removing the stands removes the visible barrier. Musicians and vocalists tend to stare at their stands. When you remove them, musicians look up, look out, and are more engaged. …

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Looking for a Keyboard/Piano?

People occasionally email me asking if I have any recommendations for a keyboard, especially one with a great piano sound. Rather than respond and reveal that my knowledge of electronic keyboards dried up somewhere in the mid-90s, I immediately forward the request to my good friend, Roger Hooper. Roger used to head up the keyboard department at Washington Music Center, and now does freelance arranging, scoring, playing, and tech blogging. He’s a brilliant keyboardist and synth player, and writes some great music as well. If you have a chance, check out his latest film soundtrack, The Road We Know (also available on iTunes and Amazon) Roger …

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Looking for a Synthesizer?

Recently, someone contacted me about purchasing a synthesizer. My current knowledge of electronic keyboards is woefully outdated, so I passed the question on to Roger Hooper, who is the synth-player in my church and a long-time friend. He’s also a gifted composer and film scorer. Here’s how Roger responded: If the purpose of the keyboard is to do the non-piano stuff, you’ll save a lot of money going the non-weighted key bed route. I am primarily a pianist, but I’ve found that in either playing in the worship band (I also play out in the DC area), a non-weighted action is much better for playing organ parts, and the synth parts as well. Korg, …

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Who Pays for Music Equipment?

Justin wrote me and asked: How do you handle the purchase of instruments, equipment, and supplies for your musicians? Does the church purchase all instruments, some instruments, or no instruments? What about supplies (e.g. guitar strings, picks, drumsticks, batteries, reeds, etc.)? Or effects pedals, percussion pieces, etc.? We’ve done this different ways over the years. In general, we’ve learned that people tend to take better care of instruments and supplies when they own or purchase them. For that reason, we typically expect musicians to use their own instruments and purchase their own accessories. We’ve tried to avoid a mentality of …

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A New Five Year Old

Ethan, my first grandson, turned five years old last August. Like most five year olds he’s a combination of energy, inquisitiveness, joy, and occasional mischief. Leave him alone for ten minutes and you never know what’s going to be spilled, turned over, broken, or missing when you return. Experience has taught me it’s always a good idea to keep close watch on a five year old. There’s another five year old that we might keep a close watch on. I’m referring to the iPod. This past Monday, the iPod turned 5. That’s right. It’s only been five years since the appearance of the ubiquitous machine that has now sold over 65 million units. …

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