Let’s face it…we spend tons of time picking song lists, creating song arrangements, and designing stages for the purpose of enhancing worship. That’s a big part of our ministry to the church. We work on our craft, shop for worship-leader pants, and even get the right worship-leader haircut. We strive to own as much gear as we can; the best we can afford or trade up to. But, why do we do all of that only to settle on accessories that can be a distraction to our worship time?
What distractions am I referring to? I have two musicians using iPad’s for chord charts (we don’t have any music stands on platform). Have you ever had an iPad fall out of its holder during worship? Ever had an iPad run out of battery right before service? These are distractions in worship. I can remember one Sunday, just moments before service started, I picked up my guitar to tune and then set it back in the stand only to watch the stand and my guitar tumble down the platform steps! My major point is that for worship leaders and musicians, I would like to encourage us all to consider some details that can remove some distractions and enhance everyone’s worship times. I’ve found a handful of products that have done that for my team.
Rock Stock Pedals – The Bright Switch.
I saw this product at NAMM and got really excited about it. It just makes complete sense. The brains, muscle, and beards behind the product are rooted in the local church worship scene. Remember my two musicians using iPads for music? Well, I ordered 2 Bright Switch Pedals for them. This pedal is simple. It has it’s own power or can jump into your 9v pedal power chain. On top are two USB ports and a stomp switch. The pedal comes with a great little USB gooseneck LED to light your pedal board and the stomp switch turns that light on or off. The 2nd USB port can be used for your phone or other device…like your iPad music stand. Genius. Only costs $49!
Next, I’ll move to our guitar stands. Raise your hand if you take your $1000-$4000 guitar and set it on a cheap $15 stand made in China? Zither Stands are works of art that are hand crafted for the art of our work. Made in Brenham, TX (Home of Blue Bell Ice Cream) by another believer, the Zither Stand is perfectly balanced to hang your prize guitars in a beautiful way. Personally, I have a strap-lock on my acoustic and the button sticks out just far enough that I can not set that guitar on one of the traditional, tube guitar stands. I always had to set the guitar on backwards because of that button. Or, I’ve also had the problem of the guitar strap catching the guitar cradle on the guitar stand…whether it was a standard stand or an “A-frame.” Each of these problems can be solved when the guitar is hung on the Zither Stand. The stands are sold in many music stores and sell for $150.
Speaking of my musicians using iPads leads me to another product I saw at NAMM. String Swing has created an iPad (tablet) holder that is second to none. My personal iPad has dropped out of the mic-stand holder at church more than once. I cringe when I remember watching it fall! The String Swing holder attaches firmly to any mic stand and is a truly solid piece; then, the tablet actually magnets (safe for your tablet) onto the holder with a mighty force. Behind that magnet is a double joint enabling the tablet to very easily tilt up/down and side/side. Brilliant! This holder lists for $60 and sells for $50 online. (Did I mention that the folks at String Swing love the Lord too?)
Do you allow water bottles on your platform? It can be a distraction watching someone reach all the way to the floor for a bottle, take a drink, and put it back. String Swing recently released their Stagehand Drink Holder. This sweet little curly-Q looking contraption actually clips onto the mic stand and is easily removed. I would prefer that drinks be at rehearsal and not in service…so, this is a nice feature in that it can be easily removed for service. The drink holder is only $13.50.
Lastly, I want to mention a mic stand that I saw at Winter NAMM and have been waiting on since. So, this is not something I’ve tested, but still recommend. I am personally tired of the look of a boom stand in front of me when I’m leading Worship. OnStage Stands is soon releasing a Lower-Rocker Mic Stand (item # MS8412). This stand will tilt from the base, eliminating the need for a boom and will have a very sleek look. The stand lists for $115, but should have a street price around $69.
Romans 12:1 tells us to remove everything that hinders. This could be also referring to distractions on the platform. Let’s clean them up and let them be a functioning thing of beauty as we make our offering of worship to the Lord!