Tone Techniques (part 2)

Here is the 2nd part to Michael Hodge’s article in the Roland Worship Connection e-letter.  If you missed part 1 of Michael’s article, you can find it here.

Roland Worship Connection

This is part two of a two-part article by Michael Hodge profiling his pedal boards and how he uses them throughout the varied facets of his ministry.

RT-20 Rotary Ensemble (virtual Leslie speaker)
I use this pedal A LOT. I had a Leslie at one time because it sounds amazing on guitar, and this one is even more awesome…and slightly easier to carry. It also does a Roto Vibe thing quite well. I love the slow setting with an overdriven sound. It’s very convincing. I also use the fast setting for guitar lines that I want to really stick out. There is an incredible energy when you are changing speeds from slow to fast and back. You can adjust how long it takes to spin-up to full speed. This is also the coolest looking pedal in the dark. The LED display looks awesome. It also has distortion built in if you need it. This is one of my favorite BOSS pedals, hands down.

DD-20 Giga Delay
I could easily write an entire article on this pedal. If you play modern worship music, you know all about delays. I rely a lot on delay for swells, ambient pads, Ebow lines and choppy staccato notes. Of course, it’s essential for all the “Edge-U2” stuff that is so fun to play! I have one of these on every pedal board I own! One cool thing is that the direct signal doesn’t lose tone. This pedal sounds great and is really versatile.

On the DD-20, there are four programmable settings with one “extra” default setting that you can change as well. I like to use the “Smooth” patch as the default setting, which is a delay with reverb. I have progressive amounts of delay on presets one through four – the 4th preset being the longest. You can set the display to show milliseconds or BPM. I’ve started using BPM live since we have the tempo written on our charts, so I know if my “tapping” is in the pocket. I do save certain tempos for quick song changes during a service. We do a lot of segues with little time to tap out the new tempos. Some other favorites are the “modulate delay,” which is like a “Memory Man” and is wonderful for swells. The “pan delay” I use a lot in the studio. For me, the DD-20 is a must have these days.

FS-5U Foot Switch
I use this as a tap pedal to set delays on the DD-20. You can use a Y-cable out to set multiple delay pedals at the same time.

RV-5 Digital Reverb
This is a great stereo reverb pedal. There is a spring reverb setting, as well as a plate and hall. I tend to go for the plate or modulate setting. I use it whenever I play slide or Ebow along with some delay. I also use it with no delay for the R&B “chicken pickin” stuff to give a little warmth and “spank.” Since I play through two amps I have the RT-20, DD-20 and the RV-5 all in stereo mode.

BOSS Pedal Board
Signal path for Michael’s BOSS pedals

Other BOSS pedals I use:
In the studio I use the OD-20 for metal tones and for the octave effect. It is really nice. I use the looper pedals as well – both the RC-20XL which packs a huge punch for the size, as well as the big brother RC-50, which I am using to do the “Phil Keaggy” thing. I have a PS-5 on my studio board, which does Vibrato-bar simulations – very cool!

I also have a much-coveted VB-1 vintage vibrato which I found used at a local music store near by. It does something very unique and is analog, of course. This puts a special mojo on swells and is kind of similar to a tremolo.

Whatever you are doing in your music career and ministry, especially if you are a guitar player, BOSS pedals are your friends. They never complain and let you walk all over them! May you be filled with creativity and passion both in writing, playing and ministering to His beloved people!

Michael Hodge is a self-described “pedal geek” and is currently a guitarist, producer and worship band leader at Lakewood Church in Houston. Check out Michael’s guitar tones on any Lakewood recording, such as Free to Worship. If you’d like to get in touch with Michael, email him at

If you could add one pedal to your arsenal what would it be?

How to play: Beautiful King by Jonathan Lee

If you haven’t been introduced to Jonathan Lee yet, then you are missing out on a passionate worshiper who loves to inspire others to worship.  Today’s instructional is a short “how to” video from of how to play Jonathan’s song, Beautiful King.

Jonathan wrote this song inspired by Revelation 19:6 which says, ” Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.”

You can get the chords for Jonathan’s song on Rockin With The Cross.

What songs are you wanting to learn next?

Restoring Worship

I was reading the old testament account of King Hezekiah in 2 Kings 18 today and was taken back by how easily it seemed that Israel slipped into idol worship.  They were continually influenced by the neighboring nations’ gods and rituals.  Many times the Lord’s anger burned against Israel, His chosen people, because their attention and affection drifted towards other gods.

Back to King Hezekiah … when he was installed as King of Judah, he tore down the idols that Israel was worshiping.  He restored a correct focus on who we should be worshiping.

2 Kings 18:3-7

3 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done.  4 He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.[c] 5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. 6 For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses. 7 The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went.

I was surprised to read that Israel even began to worship the bronze snake that Moses had made.  Have we in the church begun to worship Godly things, but not God?  Clearly the bronze snake was a symbol of God’s mercy and healing, so how did this become a stumbling block?  The enemy’s deception can be subtle enough that we lose sight of Jesus and worship something created instead of the Creator.

Take account of what you are worshiping today, and hold fast to the Lord.
  Then the Lord will be with us and prosper us wherever we go.