That Kid – You Either Know One Or You Are One
We all know that kid. Maybe we’ve been that kid. You know, the one that lingers around the stage after you're done playing? He's got his hands in pockets, waiting for the moment you acknowledge him so he can ask you what kind of guitar you’re playing. (He already knows, by the way. He’s been watching you the whole time.)
He’s also praying to God that you are going to let him play your gear for a few minutes. I've seen many a musician shudder at the thought but allow me to humbly offer some advice: Let him.
When I first started playing guitar, I couldn't take my eyes off the guy who played lead. He had a custom wine red Les Paul, a crazy pedal board with all sorts of effects and a sweet tweed amp. He could also wail. He would always leave his gear at church and told me I could use it anytime I wanted. I never even had to ask him.
After youth group, me and few of the other high school freshmen would go down to the sanctuary and rip into terrible versions of “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” Eventually we started to rip into worship songs and after awhile it started to sound pretty good. A couple of those guys went on to become worship pastors. In fact, one of those guys has written songs you probably sing at your church.
I often wonder how different it would have been if the adults in our church put “Do Not Touch” signs on all the sound gear. If rather than encouraging us to come up on stage and play with their stuff, the guys we looked up to looked the other way. I think we all would have missed something. Your ’78 Stratocaster and vintage Black Face might be your pride and joy, but they are still not as valuable as that kid's dream.
Take a shot. Let him play. Maybe one day you’ll start a website together that teaches worship songs to thousands of musicians around the world. You never know.
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From left to right: Jason Houtsma (Worship Artistry), Jon Egan (Desperation Band) and Gary Brown (Guitar Hero and co-founder of Worship Artistry)
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