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Post new topic A beginners journey learning the PSG.
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Author Topic:  A beginners journey learning the PSG.
James Wolf


From:
Georgia
Post Posted 4 Jun 2013 7:24 pm     Reply with quote

Brett Day wrote:
Tim, I've been playing steel for thirteen years and there are some areas where I still feel like a new guy. You've chosen an amazing instrument...the steel guitar is an instrument that when you sit behind it and play it for the first time, you become amazed by how beautiful it is. We steel players don't do the contest thing where we'd say things like, "I can play faster than this guy"-we play because it's a wonderful instrument and we want to have fun with it. Don't worry about mistakes because all steel players, including the pros make mistakes too. Don't ever stop playing because the more you play, the more amazing your experience will be.


Well said good sir!
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Jack Mitchell


From:
Arizona, USA
Post Posted 4 Jun 2013 10:28 pm     A moment of silence Reply with quote

Tim...I'm not sure you realize you just glossed over some advice from the best steel player on the planet...Mr. Paul Franklin. Maybe you should take a deep breath and listen instead of constantly rambling.

I too am a newbie...70 years old and been trying to learn steel for two months. I'll bet I have spent more time studying and practicing than you have spent talking.

Good luck and God bless you but you can't talk yourself into being a steel player.
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Daniel Policarpo


From:
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Post Posted 5 Jun 2013 2:55 am     Reply with quote

I like what Paul Franklin said here, "Wanda told me I could teach myself how to play all of the songs I love once I learn how the instrument is played and where all the music is located...Wanda taught me songs like "I left my heart in San Francisco"... "Perdido".."Autumn in New York". ..."Hawaiian Sunset" ...etc..Instead of the songs I requested to learn".

that is an important decision to make. I remember Mickey Adams saying something similar, about being able to locate the music, he talked about how for months all he learned were scales basic standards, theory stuff and he started fussing at the teacher and the teacher said something along the lines of , "but now you can teach yourself that." And that is why I continue with my Winnie Winston and scales and harmonies and chords and all the other stuff I think is still pretty damn fun. Can't help but sneak a little Brumley in there. Wax on , Wax off!
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Tim Vandeville


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 5 Jun 2013 9:28 am     Re: A moment of silence Reply with quote

Jack Mitchell wrote:
Tim...I'm not sure you realize you just glossed over some advice from the best steel player on the planet...Mr. Paul Franklin. Maybe you should take a deep breath and listen instead of constantly rambling.

I too am a newbie...70 years old and been trying to learn steel for two months. I'll bet I have spent more time studying and practicing than you have spent talking.

Good luck and God bless you but you can't talk yourself into being a steel player.


Jack,

I didnt gloss over anything. He made a post and I responded..simple as that. I actually agreed with his post. I dont know what you were expecting but I dont change how I respond depending on a posters playing ability. I wouldnt do it in a live conversation and there is no reason to do it here.

As for the rest of your post..Ill just chaulk it up to one of those moments in life where you shake your head and chuckle.

Take Care
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Daniel Policarpo


From:
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Post Posted 5 Jun 2013 7:17 pm     Reply with quote

Tim, we're at that early sponge stage, not that we're soaking up everything that we come across, but more like there's an awful lot of holes for people to be poking at.

Mr. Green
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Tim Vandeville


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 30 Jun 2013 5:34 pm     Reply with quote

Update time...The last lesson was to take a song and use the harmonized scales against it. The song I used was "He Stopped Loving Her Today". It didnt turn out to bad. For where Im at Im content with it.

Next up is Melody..Melody...Melody. The whos...whats...and whys were went thru. For me the main part was when the Prof showed me how it dosent have to be note for note perfect to sound good.

The next homework assignment was to take a song...figure out the melody..tab it out..and add in the fills. I chose "Am I That Easy To Forget" by Jim Reeves. That turned out better than I expected. I did make one huge mistake though. I tabbed out the whole song (single note melody) and then got the brilliant idea to download and check it out against the sheet music for the song. Rolling Eyes I had the first line as (scale tones) 51243251 while the sheet music had it 51243211. Thats when the over thinking kicked into high gear. I kept relistening to the first line and over and over again. I kept hearing the 5. Then the doubt started in..I was wonder if I was actually hearing it wrong. Finally after wasting way to much time on it I left it as is when I emailed it to the Prof. I didnt even check the rest against the Sheet music. During the next lesson when we went thru it..I was right. The singer sang it slightly different than the sheet music. Note to self...stop with the over thinking things
. Mr. Green

Next it was suggested that I start and try to play with live musicians. Its not because Im a superb player (because Im not). Its because I have a decent handle on the basic fundamentals and it will speed up the learning process for me. So I checked online and couldnt find anything that would be a good fit for me. Then I put an ad on craigslist and recieved a whole whopping 1 reply. It was from a lawyer that I never heard of saying I won a lottery that I never played from a country Ive never been to. All I had to do was pay the taxes first. Laughing

On to plan B. I ordered some CDs from a member of the forum. Its "Texas Dancehall Classics" by Steve Alcott. Very well done with live musicians. The intro is left open for me to play..then the singer sings 2 verses and then there is a long period for me to fill in with the melody..chords..scales ..or whatever I choose. Ive really enjoyed them and its a great fill until I can figure out the live musician thing locally.

Thats about it. Next up is Minor Chords and the song Silver Wings.
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Jack Stripling


From:
Pasadena, Texas USA
Post Posted 17 Jul 2013 9:44 am     Beginner Steel player also... Reply with quote

Taking a 1st lesson with Jody Cameron in Angleton, Texas at the end of this month, and pretty excited about that. Im age 54, and I used to play Tuba in community bands and orchestras in the Houston Area until about 4 years ago, so My background is being a horn player (Trumpet/Tuba).

I love classic country, my stereo never comes off "Willies Place"...

I want to start from the beginning, and go from there...
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Tim Vandeville


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 17 Jul 2013 1:07 pm     Reply with quote

Welcome aboard the train of extreme frustration and ultimate satisfaction Jack. Very Happy

Its great that your taking lessons from someone right from the start. If your instructor will let you..try to video or audio record the lesson for your own use. It has helped me out a bunch to be able to review a lesson because at times I dont catch all the info the first time around.

Have fun.
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Chris Templeton


From:
The Green Mountain State
Post Posted 17 Jul 2013 1:27 pm     Reply with quote

JUST DON'T DROP THE BAR!
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Don't Drop The Bar
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Chris Templeton


From:
The Green Mountain State
Post Posted 17 Jul 2013 1:29 pm     Reply with quote

JUST DON'T DROP THE BAR!
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Don't Drop The Bar
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Jack Stripling


From:
Pasadena, Texas USA
Post Posted 18 Jul 2013 5:17 am     Hello: Reply with quote

Hello Tim, I have been following your posts, how are things, playing in a band yet?

and chris, yes, i will try not to drop the bar, but im sure everyone does at least once, just dont do it in front of people.
Im an old horn player, and if we drop our mouthpeice, its the same situation...
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Michael Strauss


From:
Delray Beach,Florida
Post Posted 20 Jul 2013 2:22 pm     Reply with quote

Try Bandmix.com I know there are others out there, just do a search. Good luck.
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Carter S-12U, Sho-Bud LGD (80's), Fender Jazz King, Korg Pandora Toneworks PX4D, Modulus Q6, Ampeg B5R, Lapstick Travel Guitar mod to lapsteel
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Jana Lockaby


From:
Kaufman, TX
Post Posted 24 Jul 2013 6:50 am     Reply with quote

Hi Tim. Just checking in to see how things are going. Have you found anyone to jam with yet? I was extremely lucky, in that respect, as I was allowed, and encouraged, to sit in with some guys I really had no business sitting in with. I was waaaaay out of my league, but God bless em for tolerating me, encouraging me, helping me, and pushing me to the extreme limits of my playing many, many times.
I'm really not sure which was more educational, the lessons, or the jams. Those guys, I was jamming with, were real pros, and they taught me things I'm not real sure I would have learned in lessons, or at least understood in a lesson. Playing in real life, real time, real people, is a whole different ball game from back up tracks. If you can't find anyone to jam with, playing along with CDs is better than nothing, IMO, at least, I think it really helped me, but you can get spoiled with CDs too. There's just nothing like playing live with others.
I can't tell you how many times, the guys would play a song, I would go home learn it, and the next week, well, they'd do that song in a different key. It was sink or swim for me. It took a while, but, eventually, they began to notice what I was playing, must have liked it, and began making me take solos. thanks to their experience, they were aware of the signs that my solo was about to become a train wreck, and helped me by humming, or picking the melody, or just completely saved me by taking over, whichever the case called for. I owe a lot to those guys. Good luck and hope you find some folks to pick with soon.
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Craig Schwartz


From:
McHenry IL
Post Posted 24 Jul 2013 7:05 am     Reply with quote

Well said Jana, Doing open mic nights are also another surprise for everybody to try and adlib, laugh and have a great time with others who are feelin the music, At minmum you should know your major chords, If you know more, its a plus, but not necasary to have fun while trying your first get together. You`ll definitly surprise yourself, Good & Bad , you just have to accept it, its a lot of fun.
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Jack Stripling


From:
Pasadena, Texas USA
Post Posted 24 Jul 2013 7:14 am     Hello Jana Reply with quote

Hello Jana

What part of Texas you in? Im in Pasadena, near Houston. I read your post, and I too am looking forward to getting with a band and learning more. Taking 1st lesson friday with Jody Cameron in Angleton.

I find it very intersting that ladies are drawn to the steel guitar also...
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Jana Lockaby


From:
Kaufman, TX
Post Posted 24 Jul 2013 9:06 am     Reply with quote

Hi Jack. I'm in Kaufman, halfway between Dallas and Athens. I play, mostly, dobro, as, around these parts, there are numerous steel players that are oh, sooo, much better than I. I do play psg and lap steel, just don't get to play those out as much as I'm asked, or expected, too play dobro. I don't care as long as I'm playing. The guys better look out though. A few more minor adjustments to my psg, and I'm going to be torturing their ears for a while, whether they like it or not. lol Sometimes, you just have to dive in head first. I didn't pick steel so much as it picked me, but that's a long story. I always loved it, as I grew up with western swing.
I've never really met jodie, but have heard him play numerous times. He's great, and I hear he's a great teacher too. Enjoy your lessons.

In regards to the jam thing, Yes, you need to, at least, know the major chords of whatever key, because they wont always tell you. They can look at each other, see what chords are being fingered on the guitar, but if you can't see? You learn fast to figure it out. lolit really frustrated me bak in the beginning, but now, I think they did me a real favor by not telling me what key. I know what to do now, and can, usually, quickly figure it out. It sure makes life a lot easier if they just tell you what key up front. lol
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Jack Stripling


From:
Pasadena, Texas USA
Post Posted 24 Jul 2013 9:18 am     Hello Reply with quote

Hey thanks for the reply.

Im 54, and up until 5 years ago, I played Concert Tuba, in a orchestra, and some community bands around Houston, but due to a layoff, (I have had many thru the years in the engineering business) had to sell the 4500.00 horn. Used to play Trumpet before that.I still have one of those...

I do miss it.

But now Classic country, and Country swing is on my plate now. Diving in head first...

I have a triple neck Remington console. One day a PSG...
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Tim Vandeville


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 24 Jul 2013 1:20 pm     Reply with quote

Hi Jana...things are going great here. Havent found a jam to play with yet and I am actually ok with that for now because between taking lessons, practicing and great riding weather, extra time is short right now. I have about 2 months left and I will be finished with John McClungs course and that will free up some time for me. For me the timing is perfect because summer is over..the bikes are put up..and its the beginning of the boring part of the year Very Happy .I will then be able to start seriously applying everything Ive learned. So for now its on the backburner.
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Tim Vandeville


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 5 Aug 2013 12:15 pm     Reply with quote

Time for the August update.
Here is a good news/bad news story. A couple of months ago my brother moved to Michigan for work. He has played guitar for about 20 years. He came into town last weekend and was going to play a gig with the band he was in before he left. We got to talking about how things are going and then he asks if I want to sit in with them that afternoon at the gig. He said he would help me out by giving the chord progressions and key before each song. Now my brain is screaming hell yeah but my mouth said no. I figure that whoever hired them wasnt paying to have someone fumble around on a steel guitar. Who knows...maybe I just used that as an excuse and just didnt have the confidence in my playing abilities. I questioned whether I did the right thing for 2 days. In the end I know it was the correct decision. He will be back in town next month and is going to see about setting up a full band jam session for me. Im good with that. I think that will fit me better to be in a no pressure setting for the 1st time.

Still hammering away on the minors. Lesson for next week is cancelled so John can finish getting ready for the "Men Of Steel" show. Just gives me more practice time. Very Happy
I learned the song Silver wings. The tab was 5 pages long because it went thru playing the same thing different ways. The easiest way for me to learn it was to learn the 1st page and then load the backing track into the Amazing Slowdowner. Then I would loop the music for the 1st page and practice until I had the notes and timing down. Then onto page 2 and rinse and repeat.

Now Im working on Amarillo By Morning and then its Amazing Grace again but this time not in single note style.

Thats it for this month.
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Jack Stripling


From:
Pasadena, Texas USA
Post Posted 5 Aug 2013 12:33 pm     hello Reply with quote

Cool Tim, You just have to jump off and do it...

I remember when I used to play horn, and got up on the stage with the Orchestra to play live for the first time since high school...you make mistakes, but that makes you better...and the stage fright finally goes away...

just bought an MSA Classic D10 8+4 from Steel Guitar Nashville, it will be here next month. great shape, good price...

cant wait...
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Gene Jones


From:
Oklahoma City, OK USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 6 Aug 2013 8:50 am     Reply with quote

Tim, apparently you are doing well in taking advantage of everything available about learning to play the steel guitar.

Lest you become discouraged, just remember that the original icons that today's steel players admire (including Buddy Emmons) learned to play in an era before there was any formal instruction available.

Learning opportunities consisted of listening to the radio, ghosting the side of a bandstand listening to a steel player, and buying recordings that featured a steel player.

They essentially learned by playing along with recordings and the radio and then applying their individual interpretations. You have the advantage of bypassing the trial and error methods because there is so much instruction available today, but, you still must have the motivation to learn before you will succeed.

Hang in there my friend, and someday the future steel players may be listening to your playing to inspire them in their learning.
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Dean Rimmer


From:
New Mexico, USA
Post Posted 6 Aug 2013 9:34 am     Reply with quote

stage time...show up n play with anyboby that will let you....paid or not.....really helps the learning curve...
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Tim Vandeville


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 7 Sep 2013 5:17 am     Reply with quote

OK folks I am heading into the homestretch for the blog updates. The original plan was to do it for a year so November will be the final monthly update. I should be finished with the course at that time also so the timing is perfect.

Now on with the show...

My brother did come back into town over the Labor Day weekend and that’s the weekend the wife and I were up at the cabin so the get together didn’t happen. So now it’s on to plan B. I have no clue what plan B is at this time. If my past is any indication everything has a way of working itself out. Usually plan B for me comes out of left field where I would least expect it.

Amarillo By Morning and Amazing Grace (version 2) are now in the books and Im finally getting the hang of the minors.

Next up is walk up and downs, playing along with "Playing for Keeps" using the walkups/down, playing harmonics with the bar on the strings, Intro,Lick and Solo for "Someday Soon".

At the last lesson I had my skype recorder going and after 45 minutes I had a window open saying something went wrong and the recorder shut down. At first I was worried until I checked the folder where it is automatically saved and saw it was in there. After the lesson I went to replay it and the dang thing won’t play. All the other ones play fine but something went wrong with this one when the video recorder shut down on its own. To say I was a little upset would be the understatement of the year. Oh well..what are you going to do. My brother’s job is computers so I’ll send it to him and see if he can get it to open.

Light bulb "on" moment of the month.
Playing along with a song has been a major struggle on my part. John helps me out but for some reason Im not catching on. It doesn’t sound like it should to me. So I remember Dave Andersons site ( http://www.onlinelessonvideos.com/home.php?cat=279 ) for downloadable instructiuon and see he has one called Backing a Band or Singer. I bought it and the light finally came on for me. It was exactly what I needed for things to make sense.

A few weeks ago I ordered a Lil Izzy. It made a big difference for my sound. Now I realize what everyone has been talking about when they say string separation using it. Great product and now all I have to do is remember to unplug it after I practice. Very Happy I have it set up as steel...Lil Izzy...pedal...Nashville 112 amp. I just had to turn the high and presence down a tad.

That’s it for this month.
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Tim Vandeville


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 8 Oct 2013 1:11 am     Reply with quote

As the song goes "Its The Final Countdown"...

Skype recorder update..I sent the file to my brother and he couldnt get it to work either. So I deleted the program and then reinstalled it. It still wouldnt work for some reason. So I then went to my favorite part of the computer....system restore. I restored to a date 1 month prior and viola...the skype recorder worked great again.

Apparently trying to teach me the steel takes a toll on John because he had to take a vacation Laughing. With the one lesson cancelled, I decided to take a one time fill in skype lesson with forum member John Anderson. Very good instructor. Easy to follow along with and breaks things down to my level. We went over some intros and chromatic scales.

I decided to purchase a delay pedal and went with a BOSS DD7. Very easy to dial in after watching this video from Bobbe Seymour. Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiCzLhXQWP8
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyU4EuXXY1Q

In the last lesson I had with John we finished up on Chapter 11. We then took a song that Ive never heard before and didnt have any steel in it and broke it down. So my homework now is to fill in the blank areas without going overboard. In other words (mine)..use the KISS method..(Keep It Simple Stupid). Thats one of the things I like about Johns teaching methods...nothing is set in stone. Im sure we could have went ahead on to chapter 12 but its nice to take a detour once in awhile.

Next up is some licks, some more single note blocking exercises and learning several ways to play the major 6th. The end of the course is just about here and my brain is full. Very Happy

Still having a great time learning and practicing. Thats it for this month...Final update coming up next month.
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David Anderson


From:
St. Louis, MO, USA
Post Posted 8 Oct 2013 4:03 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words Tim, glad to hear the instruction is helping! Dave
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