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Author Topic:  Practice Tips From Pete Grant
Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 6:21 am     Reply with quote

Pete Grant is a terrific pedal, lap steel and Dobro player from California and a really great guy. I consolidated some of Pete's practice advice from a couple of old SGF posts:

o Sing whatever you play.

o Sing something -- a short line -- then play it. Do that a lot.

o If you practice scales, then do them so they are interesting for you to listen to, including making up little phrases from a short part of the scale, like 4 or 5 notes.
o Listen to how other instruments phrase, like saxophone, and especially voice. Take a George Jones CD and play note-for-note and bend-for-bend with George. Aretha Franklin is also an excellent choice.

o Take something you play well and change the dynamics of it. Accent parts you wouldn't ordinarily accent. Exaggerate the dynamics so that you're REALLY LOUD and really soft. Do smooth changes in volume; also, do sudden changes in volume. Play around with it. A sudden drop in volume can really grab the listener.

o Use other contrasts in your soloing. Play something high, drop down an octave or so and more softly play an answer to what you just played. Maybe make one phrase with a usual amount of notes, then your answer phrase could be fewer than half the notes of the first.

o Accuracy first. Take something you're trying to bring up to speed (or just get faster) and find the most comfortable tempo where you can play everything in that piece well. If there's a stumbling block, work it out; fix it. Then fan out the tempo: play it a little faster, then a little slower; then play it faster yet and slower yet.

Continue that until your slow is very slow. The slow gives you the precision. It also gives you the opportunity to play LOUD with your fingers. This gives you a greater dynamic range. You need that. If you can pick loud, you can always pick softer. If you always pick soft, well...you can pick soft or softer. The technique really works, and it works faster that continually pushing your speed.
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Luke Sullivan


From:
Yosemite,CA, USA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 7:15 am     Frank's vibrato. Reply with quote

Thanks for these very useful ideas. I recall learning here on the forum, that Frank Sinatra's stellar vibrato might be good to study and apply to our steeling technique.
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Joseph Carlson


From:
Grass Valley, California, USA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 9:10 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing. I had the pleasure of running into Pete in downtown Nevada City the other day. My kids were asking if he was famous since I was pretty stoked to meet him!
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Mark Roeder


From:
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 11:54 am     Reply with quote

Those are all great tips
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 1:15 pm     Reply with quote

The man speaks ...,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9llA_3qNIH0
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 4 May 2017 1:20 pm     Reply with quote

That's good stuff. That video deserves more views.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 5 May 2017 5:42 am     Reply with quote

I've met Pete at music workshops...he's very nice and quite a player in his own style.
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Chris Templeton


From:
The Green Mountain State
Post Posted 5 May 2017 10:32 am     Reply with quote

Nice work Peter!
I like the way Pete establishes the note with the bar, then adds vibrato.
If I see someone starting out with a lot of vibrato, this often implies that the person isn't confident that the note(s) are in tune and usually isn't pleasing to my ear
Yesterday, I was reading this "old school" jazz guitarist's, Sonny Sharrock's, ideas on improvising, soloing and chops, among other things, and thought some may to want to read it, especially you C6ers.
http://www.jazzguitar.com/features/sharrock.html
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post Posted 11 May 2017 7:45 am     Reply with quote

I have become a gigging D-Tuning Dobro Player in 2017, much due to Pete's comments about the D-Tuning on this forum.
Glad to read his thoughts.
I have found getting really good at intervals and melody lines goes a loooong way with regard to taking a Dobro solo.
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