What Do You Think About Guitar Solos in Church?

This past weekend, I was conflicted about the tune, “Bless the Lord (Son of Man)” and the Satriani-esque solo that I had to play. I wouldn’t have played it if it wasn’t from the encouragement I received from the rest of the team that the tune required the solo. I normally don’t have any qualms with ripping out a solo when it’s appropriate, but for some reason this tune made me a little uncomfortable. After church, I got a lot of good feedback from people who really appreciated the solo and the skill that I displayed. So what do you think? Is skill something that should be celebrated and displayed in worship music? Or is it “distracting” to have someone play with any level of virtuosity? I was encouraged by my former Pastor, Randy Nabors, to play my guitar aggressively because that was the expectation in Gospel music. It’s true that singers and instrumentalists in Gospel music perform at a high level with great embellishment and virtuosity.

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  1. #1 by bobw on July 6, 2010 - 2:27 pm

    if it adds to the song, I say go for it. if it’s more like “look at me” then no thanks.

  2. #2 by Skip Gienapp on July 6, 2010 - 6:03 pm

    I love a good guitar solo. A good one. They’re rare.
    Here’s what bothers me more, but I think it’s in the same vein as this post. We have developed this awkward and obligatory “applauding of the offertory”. I don’t blame the musicians for this one, I blame the audience, mainly for a lack of discernment. It’s not till they get home at lunch that they realize that the offertory selection was really just a vamp on the closing hymn. Now, sometimes JW will work up a special piece.. and I’m the only one in the church that watches him watch the ushers while he’s playing. No matter how much he’s rehearsed it, it ends up being cut short. So he trims the chart in his head based on how fast the deacons walk. Now THAT’s worth applauding.

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