How long have you been playing?

I started playing guitar & bass 25 years ago, at 13 years old.  I also took piano lessons when I was a kid.

What are some bands and singers that you've played with?

Kelly Clarkson, Mandisa, TobyMac, Brandon Heath, Casting Crowns, Jeremy Camp, Danny Gokey, Laura Story, Sara Groves, Nicole C. Mullen, Janice Gaines, Superchick, Stars Go Dim, Tim Hughes, B.Reith, Anthony Skinner and the Immersion Family Band, Lindsay McCaul, Sidewalk Prophets, and many many others in studio including Michael W. Smith.  Also, through a couple random connections, I was (and currently have been) commissioned for the scoring and production for a half dozen or more tv commercials and documentaries in the last few years.

Coffee or Tea?


What's your rig look like these days?

This fall I'm out playing shows with Kelly Clarkson, and the production team really prefers the use of digital rigs; so my rig is mainly the Kemper Profiler.  I have a few presets per song saved on it.  I spent quite a long profiling one particular amp of mine into the Kemper, and, as much as sort of hate to admit it, it did a great job. I'm also playing some secondary keyboard parts for her.For the rest of my gigs, I've used my Browne amplification amps exclusively the last decade (primary gigging live with a variant of the Dumble ODS he built me).  Recently, I added a very special amp J Chester Amps built me that has a 6sL7 Octal tube preamp and KT66 power tubes.  All these hand-wired amps are outrageously good.  I have several other amps I use on recording sessions.  I play Ricardo Sanchez Guitars (Nashville) almost exclusively.  His talent as a luthier really has allowed me to build a few "dream" guitars. I do use an analog pedal board with Kelly as well; compression, boost pedals and various other stuff. I use as little pedals as I can get away with. I like a great compressor.   Two drive pedals I've held on to for quite some time now were made by Lumpy's Tone Shop (now discontinued), and I've held onto a Keeley Aurora reverb for awhile now too. About 10 years ago I started running my compressors and drives at 18v (only pedals that have that capability). The tonal and dynamic benefit of that change made the daily use of pedals on the job much more enjoyable for me.  I'm currently using the Truetone RT66 as my compressor.  It's extremely versatile, quiet, has a clean blend feature and can run at 18v.  They redesigned it from the ground up, and they nailed it.  Sounds really great on bass as well, plus it's a double pedal, with a very useful overdrive circuit.  I very rarely change or buy new analog pedals for my pedalboard, but I do end up switching out the digital based pedals often.  In the live, gigging environment, my ear fatigues quickly of the sounds digital pedals make, gets boring quick.  Funny thing, it doesn't matter how expensive or cheap the digital pedals are, I have the same experience every time.  In the recording studio, I have an easier time with digital effects, and the sounds they produce.  


Do you have a set rig or are do you switch things out a lot?

I've always switched things out a lot as far as effects, and probably always will!  Not so much with amps and guitars though.

Having toured so much, what is one of your favorite memories so far from the road?

Well, for me it's the off stage stuff I will probably remember most, because I've had the great honor of touring with some of my closest friends in life.  But, I suppose if I had to pick favorite full-production scale concerts, I'd say: playing Red Rocks amphitheater in Colorado; playing in the middle Times Square nyc; playing Central Park nyc, Madison Square Garden, Chicago Theater is a fav, network TV morning shows; a massive soccer stadium in Rwanda; the Ryman auditorium is also really fantastic to play on stage at.  I got to play my 8 string console steel guitar on a couple songs at the Ryman, that was kind of surreal.  Also really enjoyed playing the Sprint Center in my hometown of Kansas City.   It's been a fun ride so far, been on the road a lot more than I thought I would in my career, as I always had more of a passion for the studio.

Have you had any disasters happen on stage?

Nothing truly disastrous, but, one story: I was working for a friend of mine (a lead singer);  and we (the band) were starting the show with an "intro" piece while they made their way to stage.  Now we knew that this dear friend had not been feeling well, and had taken some DayQuil before the show.  Turns they had taken NyQuil by accident, and was quite disoriented as they came on for the first song; to the point where we realized our friend and lead singer had put their shoes on the wrong feet!  There they were, singing their guts out (idk how they remembered the words) and the rest of us are dying laughing.  And, our fearless, loopy lead singer kept turning around between songs and asking what was so funny!!  One of my all time favorite moments on stage.

What are some good practice habits to develop?

Practice everything & anything you can get your hands on.  Learn to read music if you don't know how.  Listen to as much of and as many styles as you can; and try to imagine yourself loving that music as much as you love the music you grew up on.  Listening is the key to being a great musician. Transcribing other musician's playing is good, but, is only truly beneficial to you in the long run if you are able to analyze accurately what is being played and why the player or composer arrived at the notes they arrived at. Learn piano if that is not your instrument; learn drums if you are a pianist.  Etc.... When you practice scales, practice the chords that belong to each note in the scale.  (i.e. C major scale = note C gets a maj chord assigned to it, D gets a minor chord, E gets a on and so forth)  All scales (even the more dissonant and strange sounding ones) have chords assigned to each note in the scale.  This is called practicing harmonized scales, as opposed to only practicing scales as single notes.  If you play a monophonic instrument (like trumpet....or human voice!) you should play the note and chord combo of the scale as arpeggios.  That goes for chordal instruments as well, practice the chords as "blocks" and "arpeggiated."

Is there anything special you do to prepare for gigs?

I chart out and notate, on paper, the songs I'm supposed to play.  Then practice to the point where hand/eye coordination has memorized the arrangement and placement on the instrument itself for the songs.  Photographic and muscle memory working together.  For many years before I toured on big stages; most of the music I played was sight, or chart reading, so I've always reserved the memorization part of my brain for performances that have more stage production, or a band vibe. Always be prepared to play every song in any key if possible.

What advice would you give to the teenage-version of yourself?

Determine if music is your true passion and move a music industry town.  You cannot know what effort it will take for you to be a professional and excel in the business side of music, until you witness the folks that are doing it for real.  Don't wait too long to be assessed and given feedback by a professional on where they think your abilities are at in the bigger picture of being hired.  Be sure to have an outlet for the music inside of you, that is unique to you.  Open your mind to music that you don't think you like.

Any advice for our readers on becoming a better player?

Learn from other instruments that you don't play.  Piano players like Herbie Hancock have changed my idea of what is possible in music, and I find ways to apply it to the instrument I'm playing.   As you are unlocking the puzzle and blueprint of your particular instrument, remember that that's only half the picture. If you truly want to enjoy music as a life long passion, go beyond your instrument and learn how great music is made, and what was she/he/they thinking when they wrote that music.  For that matter, ask yourself when you hear yourself play or write something that caught your own ear.


This has been great, man! Thanks for your time! Now it's time for me to go practice...


Gear heads, this feature is for you. Josh Crosby’s set up is super legit and I geeked out a little bit over it while preparing this blog. I’ll turn it over to Josh now, but if you have any questions about how he uses this gear feel free to reach out to him or contact us here at Tools For Worship! We’d love to help you figure out how to add to your rig!

Hi! I’m Josh Crosby and I’m the Associate Worship Pastor at the Greenbrier campus of in Chesapeake, VA. I also function as our Global Band Specialist across our 4 campuses throughout the Hampton Roads area of VA. Most Sundays, I play lead electric guitar, run our tracks from Ableton, and serve as Musical Director for our band through my Talkback mic. It's a lot to balance, so that's why I got into MIDI control to avoid having to tap dance and think about a lot during Sunday morning sets. Having as little to do as possible allows me to focus on playing my parts, directing the band, and most importantly, worshiping the Lord. I love what I get to do!

My rig signal chain is this:

Reverend Double Agent OG/Fender Nashville Deluxe Telecaster > Line6 G30 Wireless (underneath board) > JHS Pulp N Peel (always on) > Disaster Area DPC-5 Looper >

Loop 1: EHX Pitchfork Loop 2: Bondi Del Mar Loop 3: Chase Bliss Brothers Loop 4: Selah Scarlett Love Loop 5: Walrus Audio Julia (also using tuner out of DPC-5 to the PolyTune)> Dunlop Volume Pedal > Kemper Profiling Head

Mono send from Kemper Profiling head > Boss DD-500 (stereo) > Strymon Big Sky (stereo) > Stereo return of Kemper Profiling Head

I use the Stereo Effects Loop of the Kemper to run my board in stereo. The front input of the Kemper is used for the signal of just the compressor, octaver, drives, and chorus. Then the send comes out of the back of the Kemper back into the board to hit the DD-500 and Big Sky (and potentially any other delay/reverb pedals). That stereo signal is combined from two mono signals into one TRS cable that runs back to the Kemper, which is then broken back out to two mono signals. One goes in the Return of the Kemper, the other goes in the Alternative Input in the back.MIDI Control is all done through the Morningstar MC6 and DPC-5. MIDI Chain is: Ableton Live > Morningstar MC6 (USB input) > Morningstar MC6 (MIDI output) > DPC-5 > DD-500 > Big Sky

The MC6 can handle 3 MIDI in 3 different ways: 1. Output through MIDI to control the Looper, DD-500, and Big Sky via programmable footswitches 2. Controlling Ableton through the USB connection (running tracks, triggering looping/next commands) 3. Passing Program Changes from MIDI clips in Ableton through to the MIDI pedals to change for each song we run.

For those curious about Ableton, I would suggest you watch Josh’s Ableton Master Set Walkthrough video on YouTube - super helpful!

Find out more about Josh on his social media:


Instagram: @joshcrosby


I'm really excited to introduce the Tools For Worship family to my friend Ashley Dasher. He's a transplant to Tennessee from Atlanta and plays guitar for some really great people (more on that in the interview). Not only is he a great musician, but he's an excellent dude. Here's the interview I had with him for TFW:

Before we talk guitar, we've gotta talk coffee. What's your coffee shop and drink of choice?

Any starbucks with my wife. That's our spot. There’s one in most big towns and you can get your drink anywhere. I do black coffee most of the time. Blonde for a little more caffeine, clover for a little better taste, and an Iced Starbucks double shot with 2% and half the classic sweetener for a special summer iced coffee.

I commend you for openly admitting that you like Starbucks. Nashville is filled with coffee snobs! I can get down with Starbucks too. Now that we know your coffee choices, let's get to guitar. How long have you been playing?

I started playing guitar when I was in the 6th Grade I believe.  That would have been sometime around 1998.  So I guess it’s coming up on 20 years.  Crazy!  #OLD #I'monly31though

Any bands or artists that you play/have played for?

Unhindered, Passion, Christy Nockels, Aaron Shust, Bread & Wine

Could you give us a run down of your rig? I'd love to see it!

Yes!  I love talking Gear (as I’m sure most guitar players do.)  I’ve gone smaller and smaller over the years with my pedalboard.  Different strokes for different folks I guess…but I like having my main core tone sounds with a few extras.  I also like being able to make it really count with the sounds that I have. Here’s my signal path:

Guitar Into Side of Dashboard

Input of American Loopers Mono/Stere Junction w/HD Buffer

Diamond Comp (18v)

Full Drive 2 (18v)


BiFet Boost

Volume Pedal w/Tuner Out


Flashback Triple Delay (stereo) Love this delay and the TC sounds. You can layer them together on this pedal. I use a light echorec sound thats great for rhythm and big chords, a tape/analog hybrid sound thats a little darker, and a clear panning sound.

Boss RV5 (Stereo w/Dual Modes)  I use mostly the room and mod sounds.

Outputs of American Loopers Junction into side of Board for lines to amps. The Junction lets me sum to mono or split stereo.


I also use a panic button if I’m MD’ing the band. 

My main guitar for the last few years has ben the AVRI 69 Thinline Telecaster.  LOVE that guitar.  I did the tone bleed mod on the volume pot so i can roll it back without losing tone…but other than that it’s stock.


My main amp is a Trainwreck liverpool clone that’s amazing.  I run that through a matchless 2x12 cab.  I also have an older mid 90’s American Fender Blues Deville 2x12 that I’ll use if I’m running stereo.  The Matchless is modded so each speaker has it’s own input.  This allows me to have both amps onstage and the cab mic’d up somewhere else. I also use a Dr. Z airbrake with the Trainwreck if it’s close to the stage.


Being on the road as much as you have I'm sure there are a lot of great experiences. What was one of your favorites?

It was a lunch overlooking Lake Louise in Banff with Unhindered.  The  view from the fairmont was absolutely unreal.  Plus we had some amazing conversation and really great food as well.  Hands down the best memory I have from that season with my friends in Unhindered. 

How about bad memories? Any train wrecks on stage? (Besides your amp of course…)

Yep…Nothing like playing extremely out of tune for a couple thousand people.  Rule number 1.  Play in tune.

Unhindered was playing a large beach camp way back when and I decided to change strings before the first session.  I saw a boss tuner backstage and decided to use it.  For some reason I didn’t check to make sure that it was in 440.  So…I tune up and it sounds just fine.  The session starts and our first song was layed out with a huge pad themed intro that lead into a really soaring guitar line.  Well everything was fine until I started playing and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.  I was intune with myself but not with the band.  I was so confused!  I looked up and my buddy Pat practically had tears in his eyes he was laughing so hard.  In my mind I’m thinking “ok, I’ve got to end this somehow.” So naturally I think I’ll play a big 1 chord and then stop and tune…nothing like playing a riff with single notes that are extremly out of tune…Until you play a whole chord thats extremely out of tune.  I stopped tuned and we kept going.  That situation felt like a whole year from what I remember.  440 kids!  Always check your tuner. 

What would you tell the 13 year old version of you to do to prepare for playing now?

Make sure you can play all the parts well.   Learn the Number System early. Practice charting songs. Always practice your timing. Keep learning chords. 

Any other words of advice for worship players?

Make sure you’re serving the song with your attitude and your playing. I think that means coming prepared, nailing the parts, knowing when to play and when NOT to play, and fitting in well musically with the band. Sometimes as guitar players we find ourselves as the only electric and possibly the only guitar. In that situation we may need to cover both lead and rhythm parts. I think that’s something to be mindful of and to be well rounded in.  Make sure you know how to jump back and forth between the two and can discern what parts to play and where.  

Other than playing, what kinds of projects are you working on these days?

I actually just launched a booking and administration company here in Nashville called Cultivate Creative (@cultivate.creative &

This fall I’ll be out with my longtime friends of Bread & Wine doing some dates in the US and Canada.  I’m also always doing some kind of writing through my writing umbrella called American Frontier.   Lastly I have a pedalboard company called Dashboards thats been really fun.

Thanks so much for your time, Ashley! If you want to follow along with what Ashley's up to you can follow him on instagram: @ashley.dasher



Artists Taylor has played for: 

Liberty Worship Collective, Meredith Andrews, Mac Powell, Phil Wickham  

What does your bass rig look like?

I have an extremely simple set up: a 3 channel Tech 21 SansAmp that I basically run flat and maybe have the presence and bend almost all the way off. I run the SansAmp to a BOSS TU-3! Like I said, pretty simple! I try to make the bass itself the "tone maker", and I stick to my two Fenders: an American standard jazz, and an American elite precision bass. I use the P-bass when I want a more aggressive sounding bass, switching to the active side of my "passive/active" switch to really make it growl. Then, I typically use my jazz for everything else. It's a 5 string so I tend to use it when I want that low B-string. I also tend to have the tone nob rolled all  the way back to just let the warmness of the bass fill the mix.

Where do you currently play? 

I play bass and MD for a group at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va called the Liberty Worship Collective.  We are just students at the university who are selected through an audition process and are chosen to lead the student body at LU!  We lead at an event called Convocation three times a week to roughly  12,000+ students.

Where can people go to check you out?

Instagram: @TaylorYoustra

Twitter: @TaylorYoustra



Give us a run-down of your rig:

1970s Rogers Holiday kit. // Snares: Ludwig 1960s maple 14x6.5, Pork Pie maple 14x7, Pork Pie brass 13x6.5 // Cymbals: Heartbeat Cymbals (classic crash & raw hi hats) and Istanbul cymbals (Joey Waronker ride) // DW 9000 hardware & pedals // Roland SPD-SX.


How long have you been drumming?

10 years!

Any bands or artists that you play for/have played for?

Cloverton, Taylor Phelan, Big Time Grain Company

Favorite place you’ve played:

Somewhere in the northeast. They have some sweet concert halls up there!

Any nightmare’s happen while playing?:

YES, I accidentally knocked the track cable when I was getting off of the drums. Ended up plugging it back in, but the band was lost with where we were on the track. Ended up leaving it and come to find out we were all off the track and I was off the drums so I basically had to do the walk of shame across the stage to cut tracks because they were so off! Kinda confusing, but crazy. That was my first tour and I was pretty devastated. Now i just laugh and use it as a fun story to tell a student of mine that thinks that they "messed up".

Click or no click? Which do you prefer?

CLICK FO SHO. Helps a lot with tightness of the band and gets everyone on the same page quicker.

If you prefer click, what would you say to a worship leader that doesn’t want to use it to convince him that it’s beneficial?

I would say that it is extremely beneficial. It takes the pressure off of the drummer to keep perfect time and it helps the drummer that has a hard time keeping time. You can start songs without having the drummer click off every time (the guitar player can count himself off if he had click in his ears).

What would you tell the 13 year old version of you to do to prepare for playing now?

Learn to groove, and learn to play with other people well. Work on your sound not just chops or ideas. Open your ears!

Any other words of advice?

Always be the best at what you are in the situation that you are in. Even if you aren't in the spot that you've always wished to be in, keep being the best at your instrument where you are. The doors WILL open and you WILL get the opportunities you want if you hold true to the course!

Where can people go to hear you drum?

Cloverton show somewhere around the country, The Gathering Network in Kansas City, even city worship nights in KC.


Feel free to follow Rains on instagram: @rainswall.