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Author Topic:  slide bar advice
William Rasch


From:
Vermont, USA
Post Posted 17 Jan 2010 10:08 am     Reply with quote

First post here.Hello to all. I recently acquired a 54 fender dual pro 6 and am seeking some advice as to what would be a good bar to purchase for this particular instrument. Weight , width, and diameter Thanks to all in advance and sorry about the newbie question Bill
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Paul Crawford


From:
Orlando, Fl
Post Posted 17 Jan 2010 10:37 am     Reply with quote

I love my BJS Jerry Byrd Bar. It's a 3/4" x 2 7/8" and has a slightly different taper on the nose which made bar slant much easier.

(Most anything would help my bar slants, but this was noticable.)
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Brad Bechtel


From:
San Francisco, CA
Post Posted 17 Jan 2010 10:39 am     Reply with quote

Welcome, William! I prefer bullet bars for electric lap steel. Some folks use the Stevens type bar (with grooved sides) for both acoustic and electric. Whatever works for you is what's best.

Given my preference, the Tribo-Tone "B" bar is my current favorite, but the Broz-O-Phonic and Jim Dunlop 919 are good choices as well. In general, you want a bar that's approximately 3/4" in diameter by 3" long. Those dimensions will vary from bar to bar, so if you get a chance to try out several, use the one that fits your hand best.

If you're like me, you'll end up getting a couple different bars anyway.
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Ryan Barwin


From:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 17 Jan 2010 6:44 pm     Reply with quote

The Brozo-phonic is a great bar...feels good, sounds good. I recommend it. I've tried several other bars for lap steel, and the Brozo-phonic is the only one I use.
Whatever you decide, you need a bullet bar, not a grooved Stevens or Shubb bar (which work nicely for dobro, but aren't not appropriate for steel guitar.)
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John Ed Kelly


From:
Victoria, Australia
Post Posted 17 Jan 2010 8:33 pm     Reply with quote

''Whatever you decide, you need a bullet bar, not a grooved Stevens or Shubb bar (which work nicely for dobro, but aren't not appropriate for steel guitar.)''

Hi Ryan,

Pardon my probably obvious question (I'm a relative steel newcomer), but is not a bullet bar the best for all occasions (except for, maybe pedal), I'm thinking of the situation here, regarding accurate slants?

I'm under the impression that a grooved bar (without the concave end of a bullet) to be of most use particularly in the pedal situation, given that these folk have all sorts of levers and pedals which to alter pitch and therefore, would not necessarily need to slant (is this correct?). And additionally, I'm unsure as to why a dobro player would need a grooved bar in preference to a bullet, my understanding is that they need to slant?

Whilst I'm still at the beginner level, I have found the grooved bar to be the most comfortable for me, but very awkward and inaccurate with respect to slants. Just in the last few weeks though, I have put aside the grooved bar in favour of the bullet, and have found (much to my surprise) that I could actually hold the thing AND do a fairly passable slant, in the process. Hooray for me - some progress at last.

If I could get a grooved bar with a bullet nose and concave thumb hold, I'd probably go for it, in preference to all others - unless there's a better way?

regards,

john
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Ryan Barwin


From:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 18 Jan 2010 12:25 am     Reply with quote

A grooved bar is good for dobro because dobro players lift the bar very frequently and at a high speed....it's easier to hold, and better for pull-offs and hammer-ons.

Pedal steel players play with the bullet end of the bar and move it backward and forward to follow the notes they're picking. When they play chords, the top note is played with the end of the bar. This allows a lot more control and better tone. It's very difficult with flat-nosed bar because it gets caught on the strings.
This video of Buddy Emmons shows it pretty clearly...look at his left hand, starting at 3:58.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhLqe2xbqS8
You can do this on non-pedal steel too.

It's best not to use a grooved bar with a bullet end. When you do a backward slant, your index finger is a pivot. You can't do that if it's laying across the top of the bar like you would with a grooved bar.
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Steinar Gregertsen


From:
Arendal, Norway
Post Posted 18 Jan 2010 2:18 am     Reply with quote

John Ed Kelly wrote:

If I could get a grooved bar with a bullet nose and concave thumb hold,


That's the Shubb SP-2. Was my favorite bar for years, and I still use it occasionally. The only thing I can't do as accurately with the SP-2 as with a bullet bar is reverse slants. Regular forward slants, split slants,- no problems. But those reverse slants are tricky, I need a bullet bar for those... (I've seen dorbo players do reverse slants at high speed though, so I know it can be done..).

I don't care much for the "You must do this" and "You can't do that" school of thought. I surely wouldn't walk up to Darrick Campbell or David Lindley and tell them they're using the "wrong" bar..
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Roman Sonnleitner


From:
Vienna, Austria
Post Posted 18 Jan 2010 2:53 am     Reply with quote

Another SP2 user here - and I use slants A LOT; admittedly, reverse slants are slightly trickier, but forward slants are just as easy as with a bullet bar.
BTW, I HAVE tried bullet bars, but still prefer the SP2 - all a matter of tastes and preferences, as always in music and art, there's no "right" or "wrong" here!
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Morgan Scoggins


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 18 Jan 2010 9:09 am     Reply with quote

I use a BJS Jerry Byrd bar like Paul. After two years of trying everything, I have reached the conclusion that the bullet nose bar is the best for nonpedal steel. The Stevens and SP bars are ok if you have a problem with gripping the bar, but they limit what you can do on a steel guitar. I had myself convinced that, due to my age and arthritus, I needed a SP 1 bar.I hung in there and stuck with the BJS JB bar and eventually learned how to hold onto it.
Just try to play some of Herb Remington's double reverse slants and you know you need a bullet nose bar
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 18 Jan 2010 10:41 am     Reply with quote

This topic comes up a lot. HERE is a recent discussion.

I vote for a round bar w/bullet nose.
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Chase Swan


From:
Largo, Florida
Post Posted 18 Jan 2010 12:55 pm     Reply with quote

I usually use a 3/4" Tribotone bar. I find their "B" weight to be quite nice. They make almost zero noise and they sustain forever (plus you can get really cool colors!). They can be pricey, but if you're serious about steel consider it an investment!

If you want a bar made of steel, don't waste your money on a cheapo dunlop bar. My experience was that they scratch very easily and are super noisy. BJS would be a better bet.


Cheers!
Chase
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 18 Jan 2010 1:23 pm     Reply with quote

Bill,
For a $20 paypal donation to the forum I'll sell you a John Pearseģ Thermo-Cryonicô Tone Bar - Lap Steel/Hawaiian Guitar

Length: 2-7/8" Diameter: 3/4" Weight: 5.2 oz, 148g


http://www.jpstrings.com/braccess.htm#TCBar

Its used but is in fine shape. I'm going to the post office in the morning anyway so let me know if you want it.
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William Rasch


From:
Vermont, USA
Post Posted 18 Jan 2010 4:59 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks Bob I'll take that offer. Check your mail. Donation made
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Rickey Mitchell


From:
Fresno the center of California
Post Posted 18 Jan 2010 5:40 pm     Reply with quote

I've been playing weissenborn copy for a few years now. I played bottleneck most of my life. I've got a bullet bar and a dunlap lapdawg I prefer the lap dawg.
if I was going to play a lapstill with more then six strings I'd probably use the bullet bar.
If you worry more about the tools your building with than what your building, you'll never get anything buildt.
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Last edited by Rickey Mitchell on 18 Jan 2010 7:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steinar Gregertsen


From:
Arendal, Norway
Post Posted 18 Jan 2010 6:02 pm     Reply with quote

Rickey Mitchell wrote:

If you worry more about the tools your building with than what your building, you'll never get anything buildt.


Good one! Cool
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Rickey Mitchell


From:
Fresno the center of California
Post Posted 18 Jan 2010 7:02 pm     Reply with quote

Thank you very much Steinar.

However I must admit my little saying was inspired over the years from personal experience.
By the way, I was just listening toyour new CD on your web site earlier today. Iíll be ordering it payday. Very tasteful, very well done all the way around.


Thanks again.
Rickey(Noel)Mitchell
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Les Anderson


From:
The Great White North
Post Posted 19 Jan 2010 2:14 am     Reply with quote

I use both the bullet and a Stevens bar (groved)for my steels (D8 & D10).

Generally I use my BJS under normal conditions; however, when my hands get cold, I grab my Stevens bar.

I say go with what is comfortable in your hands and gives you confidence. Some people have a terrible time holding onto the polished round bars even in warm temps. You can always switch a later date when you want to expand your playing abilities and range.

Here is something for you to keep in mind, William. The audience has no idea whether or not you are snagging strings, doing proper slants or losing your grip on your bar. Only you will notice and feel it.
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Steinar Gregertsen


From:
Arendal, Norway
Post Posted 19 Jan 2010 4:48 am     Reply with quote

Rickey Mitchell wrote:
Very tasteful, very well done all the way around.


Thanks! Very Happy

I had a strange bar experience this Christmas (no, not one of those "bar experiences", those days are behind me.. Laughing ).
For the first 4-5 years I played I used an SP2 for the most part, but 'converted' to a Tribotone bullet bar about 2-3 years ago, also occasionally using a glass bar from Diamond Bottlenecks.
But for whatever reason, probably just for kicks, I grabbed my SP2 for a gig this Christmas, and it was like coming home! I played much faster (and I don't mean dobro style hammer ons and pull offs) and with a new relaxed confidence. So now I'm practicing reverse slants with the SP2, I know it can be done, I've seen and heard it... Wink

I guess the 'moral', for me, is use whatever suits your style of playing and makes you comfortable. Personally I don't do much reverse slants, usually find what I need with forward and the occasional split slant, but then I'll be the first to admit that my style is pretty much an extension of my bottleneck slide playing, never spent much time practicing the "classic" style(s).

The day I decide to start studying the styles of the old masters, I'll definitely pick up one of my bullet bars. But for now I'm pretty happy having rediscovered the SP2.
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Rickey Mitchell


From:
Fresno the center of California
Post Posted 19 Jan 2010 9:29 am     Reply with quote

Steinar reminded me of something. Like Steninar, I played bottleneck for many years, I still do. For those who play bottleneck their finger of course goes though their bar, be it metal or glass. A bottleneck bar is very easy to hang on to. My first few weeks of trying to play lap steel, I continued to use my bottleneck slides until I got tired of them flying off my finger. It was the angle. The first bar I bought was a bullet bar. I really missed the way bottleneck bar stayed on my finger and I hated my awkwardness caused by my attempts at picking and laying down with the bullet bar . Problem wasÖ I couldnít hold on to it. Iím not sure which one when it was or it was but I finally got hold of a grooved bar or a Shubbs style bar. The bars Iím most comfortable with and Iím using now are a Shubbs SP1 now as well as the lapdawg. My reason for the Sp1 as itís longer and Iím learning some Charles Mingus compositions and some others that require 9th cords.
William, comfort is the point Iím trying to make here. Whatever bar you decide on make sure itís a comfortable one. Once youíve done this youíll add a year or more to your learning curve. I recommend a Shubbs SP1 and a bullet bar with a grove.
I hope this helps William.
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