Podcast: Listen Here
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So as a worship leader, you’re going to need gear.
There are literally hundreds of items you could use to lead worship so how do you start building you rig to raise the level of quality?
So that’s why I put together this episode where I talk about a few pieces of gear that I’ve found helpful and should have owned much earlier in life.
I’m going to assume you have an instrument, so I won’t go over the best guitars or keyboards because that’s a very personal choice and one I can’t make for you. I have my favorite guitars but those may not work for your situation.
In this episode, I’ll review some gear that I really like that is in addition to your instrument and enhances your instrument.
I also assume you’re an instrumentalist in this episode. If you’re strictly a vocalist, there could be some good information here for you too, but this is focused on instrumentalists.
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- I can’t over emphasize the importance of having a floor pedal tuner for guitarists.
- When you’re starting out, you probably have a $10 plastic tuner or you use a smartphone app.
- Those are fine to start, but they don’t work in live situations.
- You need something on stage with you where you can quickly tune, even in between songs.
- And you need something that cuts the sound of your guitar so you can tune without it going through the sound system.
- I use a Boss TU-3 floor pedal tuner. It’s works great. It has LED lights so you can see if you’re in tune as you’re standing up on stage while it’s on the floor.
- You hit the pedal and it switches to tune mode. It cuts the sound to the soundboard. Hit the pedal again and it shuts off the tuner and passes the signal to the soundboard.
- This is also a great tool to mute your guitar when you’re done with your set. So it serves a dual purpose.
- A good tuner is essential, especially if your church is a different temperature or humidity than your home. Your guitar will go out of tune at some point on a Sunday morning
2. A tablet and Bluetooth foot pedal
- So if you memorize all your lyrics and music each Sunday, you may not need this.
- But if you refer to music or lyric sheets at all, consider getting an iPad or Android tablet for sheet music and a foot pedal to switch pages
- At my church, we use iPads for music, although they are spendy and you can use a Samsung or other android tablet and it will work just as well for a lot less money
- We load the music on there via an app called Music Stand which is part of Planning Center.
- The songs from your plan on Planning Center automatically load on Music Stand.
- Then we have a pedal called an AirTurn PedPro. This uses Bluetooth to communicate with the tablet.
- There are 2 buttons on the AirTurn. One pedal goes to the next page of your music and the other goes back a page.
- This is helpful to avoid printing music each week or people forgetting their music
- Also, it’s less distracting to hit a pedal to turn music than to reach over to the chord charts and fumble around with them
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3. An acoustic guitar preamp
- This is something I wish I would have gotten a lot earlier in my worship leading
- I always relied on my onboard preamp – the one that’s built into the guitar
- I have a Taylor guitar and Fishman preamp built in, so it’s top of the line stuff
- But I was surprised how much better the sound was when I ran all that through an additional preamp
- A preamp boosts the sound more than a little onboard one with a 9-volt battery can do
- I have a Fishman TonedEQ which is one of the best acoustic preamps you can get. Fishman is the gold standard in acoustic amplification so you can’t go wrong with this.
- Besides being a preamp, you also get a direct box which allows you to hook up your guitar directly to the sound system without a separate direct box
- You also get some reverb, tremolo, compression, and some other goodies along with the boosted sound, which allows you to customize your sound
- These run about $300 but I just looked on Amazon and they are $270 right now.
- I was also considering the LR Baggs Venue which is a similar product from a comparable company. Either one would be great. I just went with Fishman because I have a Fishman pickup system in my guitar and I knew how highly renowned they are for acoustic instruments. But either one would be great.
4. An in-ear monitor system
- As a worship leader, you may not have control over whether you can use in-ears at your church.
- But you should push for it.
- It gives everyone better clarity on only the things they want to hear.
- It reduces stage noise by eliminating wedges.
- And as the worship leader, you should have your own in-ear headphones that you use only for yourself, even if the church has some for general use
- I use Shure SE215CL which is only about $100 then there are the higher version the SE425CL which are around $250. Both would work and you may want to opt for the cheaper version to start
- There are a lot of options to run the in-ears, such as an Aviom system which we have at our church, or there are systems that run off of smartphone apps which is probably a lot cheaper
- Either way, push for an in-ear system and get your own in-ears
5. A roller luggage bag
- This is a game-changer
- I always have my roller luggage bag/carry-on bag with me.
- I have a foldable guitar stand, mic chords, instrument cables, spare mics, tools to fix a guitar and everything I might need.
- As a worship leader, expect the unexpected
- Also this helps me roll in on any given Sunday and I know I have all the gear I need. I didn’t leave something at home. It’s all contained in the roller bag.
Learn To Lead Worship Better
Are you looking for a resource that will help you get started leading worship or improving your skills?
Check out the book “Learn To Lead Worship In 14 Days.” It’s a step-by-step, day-by-day handbook that can launch your worship leading journey in as little as two weeks.
Featured image by Mark Cruz on Unsplash