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Post new topic How exactly did Speedy do his shtick?
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Author Topic:  How exactly did Speedy do his shtick?
Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2002 2:27 pm     Reply with quote

'Been listening to alot of Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant the last 3 weeks or so.

So, for those in the know, what EXACTLY was Speedys setup?

How did he get the really fast doo-waps (the fast treble to bass to treble thing)?... footpedal or knob (where was the knob located, ect...)?

Also, sounds like he has a shorting switch wired in... Like sometimes he does a 12 fret slide up, but it's all chopped up like he's hitting a shorting switch or button very quickly.
How was it wired and where was it located?

Is there a link to this info?

Is there a Seedy West emulation kit, or How To video available somewhere?

Thanks in advance for the details!
Pete B.

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Joey Ace


From:
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 7 Dec 2002 5:02 pm     Reply with quote

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HowardR


From:
N.Y.C. & Fire Island
Post Posted 7 Dec 2002 5:39 pm     Reply with quote

Joey...you are "Ace"
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chas smith


From:
Encino, CA, USA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2002 6:16 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
Also, sounds like he has a shorting switch wired in... Like sometimes he does a 12 fret slide up, but it's all chopped up like he's hitting a shorting switch or button very quickly. How was it wired and where was it located?
He damped the strings with one hand and bounced the bar with the other. Said it sometimes hurt his wrist to do it. This was back before effects boxes, when you actually had to be able to "pull it off" manually.
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Ron Randall


From:
Dallas, Texas, USA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2002 6:53 pm     Reply with quote

I think it was called the Speedy West bar slam. He would slam the bar down hard with the guitar volume way up, then slide up. Or slam it several times in rapid succession, sounding like gunfire to me.

He would slap the strings with his right hand and slam the bar down with his left hand to do some drum type licks.

I have tried it enough to get the idea, before the wife started screaming "turn that thing down".

That Bryant was a hell of a guitar picker, too.
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 7 Dec 2002 8:57 pm     Reply with quote

My first pedal steel, a Gibson Electraharp, which was a 1950s model (like me, come to think of it! ) had two little buttons on the top: one did a rapid switching from bass to treble, and the other shut the sound off and on. They were the so-called "Speedy West" buttons, designed to emulate his tricks. But, of course, Speedy was the genuine article and did them as described above.
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Gene Jones


From:
Oklahoma City, OK USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 8 Dec 2002 3:54 am     Reply with quote

Way back in those days when Speedy was doing all of those innovative sounds with Kay Starr, Tennessee Ernie and others, I used to practice for hours trying to duplicate those staccato passages (with the volume pedal down and the left hand rapidly bouncing while moving from chord to chord positions), but I always fell far short of the original.

But, for the record, Forum member Jody Carver successfully duplicated that Speedy West staccato delivery and even adds his own enhancements to the style. For some examples, listen to his Hot Club of America album on Dave Van Allens website!
Gene Jones
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Al Marcus


From:
Cedar Springs,MI USA * R.I.P.
Post Posted 8 Dec 2002 12:34 pm     Reply with quote

Yeah, we used to slap the bar down a lot with high volume and use the tone control to sound like a brass section.

We Didn't have any effects in those days, late 30's , 40's. I might have an old copy of reel to reel where I did that. But it wasn't a good recording .

Alvino Rey was the first to do it(he is now 94). Ask Speedy, and Reece who they listened to in the early days.....al
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Jussi Huhtakangas


From:
Helsinki, Finland
Post Posted 8 Dec 2002 10:38 pm     Reply with quote

Speedy is featured on those early Merle Travis' Snader Teletranscriptions, they're available on video and DVD ( by Stefan Grossman's label ). He can be seen playing his Bigbsy and pulling off some of those licks. Even hotter are the Tennessee Ernie Snaders, they feature both Speedy and Jimmy, and believe me, you DO want to see that. I think Mike Ihde had those for sale at some point.
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Lucky Oceans


From:
Fremantle, W Australia, Australia
Post Posted 8 Dec 2002 10:39 pm     Reply with quote

Speedy once told me that to make his bar 'chatter' along the strings, he tensed his entire left arm and held the bar as if he was squeezing the leg of a chair. I'm assuming that he meant he squeezed the muscles of his arm until they went into spasm, but it feels so unhealthy that I've never been game to try it over an extended period.
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Bob Strum


From:
Seneca, SC
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 3:47 am     Reply with quote

Lucky, you're right. Speedy told me that the spasms of his left arm were the requirements...but he also said the pain was intense. Regards, Bob
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 5:42 am     Reply with quote

Ah, the things we do for our art...
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Jody Carver


From:
KNIGHT OF FENDER TWEED
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 7:19 am     Reply with quote

Lucky & Bob

That is the clue,I do the same,its a tense
few moments. But it does the trick.
The same thing can be acheived by tensing the muscles in your neck,gritting your teeth
and that is the way. Im serious. I had no idea how Speedy did that,I too thought it was
a cutoff switch,But I did it the way I did & later found that Speedy did the same.

Hey Jim Cohen..do you not recall seeing me do that in Armonk back in 1988? I beleive you did.

Jody. I used to be nervous and jerky,,now Im not nervous any more,,just tense when I see a Dr. with a rubber glove,,Oh My

[This message was edited by Jody Carver on 09 December 2002 at 07:39 AM.]

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Dave Van Allen


From:
Doylestown, PA , US , Earth
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 8:47 am     Reply with quote

yikes- the things folks will endure for art.

thanks for the info Jody!


"you gots to suffer if you want to play da St Louis blues..."
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Dirk B


From:
Harrisburg, MO, USA
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 10:27 am     Reply with quote

A year or two ago some guy on "no peddlers" was selling a device to emulate the maxchine-gun sound of Speedy's playing.
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Paul Warnik


From:
Illinois,USA
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 12:12 pm     Reply with quote

For those of us who can only Idolize Speedy the "cut-out" or "interruptor" switch makes it alot easier than the "stiff arm technique" I have Vance Terry's '51 Bigsby which is so equipped

[This message was edited by PAUL WARNIK on 10 December 2002 at 06:28 AM.]

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Lynn Kasdorf


From:
Waterford Virginia, USA
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 1:33 pm     Reply with quote

Buddy Emmons does one of those staccato things on an early non pedal recording (Buddy's Boogie maybe?).

As to the stiff arm technique, I wonder if Speedy used a particularly light bar? It would be easier to bounce I should think.

I've tried and tried to do it, and just can't seem to get the bounce very fast.

There is also the thing where he slams the bar down with the left hand, then mutes by slamming the right hand down. repeat. Like playing drums on a table top. This was mentioned in an earlier post, but I think it is a differnt technique than the stiff-arm staccato thing.

Speedy was amazing...
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Bobby Boggs


From:
Upstate SC.
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 3:17 pm     Reply with quote

Well I guess you do learn something every day.I thought,actually was told it was a combination bar hop and "interruptor" switch thing.If there was no switch involved. Speedy was even better than I thought.Incredible!..
Oh BTW I got to find the site.I want to hear Jody do this.Looking forward to it..------bb
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Gene Jones


From:
Oklahoma City, OK USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 3:26 pm     Reply with quote

....when Speedy was doing this, there wasn't even any reverb, much less any other special effects!...except the "ma-maaa" with the little finger on the tone control!.... www.genejones.com

[This message was edited by Gene Jones on 09 December 2002 at 03:29 PM.]

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Gene Jones


From:
Oklahoma City, OK USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 3:27 pm     Reply with quote

....deleted duplicate post....

[This message was edited by Gene Jones on 09 December 2002 at 03:28 PM.]

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chas smith


From:
Encino, CA, USA
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 6:42 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
I've tried and tried to do it, and just can't seem to get the bounce very fast.
There was a break I used to do where I had to chatter up the neck and I would pass the bar to my right hand, hold the nose with my ring finger and the other end with my thumb. Then with my first and second fingers on top I would bounce it delicately up the neck while I damped the strings with my left hand. The worst part was the "hand off".
Quote:
There is also the thing where he slams the bar down with the left hand, then mutes by slamming the right hand down.
Actually he slaps the strings with his right hand first and then does the 'bar slam'.

[This message was edited by chas smith on 09 December 2002 at 06:44 PM.]

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Jody Carver


From:
KNIGHT OF FENDER TWEED
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 10:03 pm     Reply with quote

Chas
I never heard of that being done before. I use the tension and Speedy did as well. I dont like to dis-agree but in this case I must.If what you did worked,more power to you
but,the tension straight out arm move is the
way I do it and Speedy used the same.

Caffeine helps too.
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 10:11 pm     Reply with quote

Jody, I'm sure I must have seen you do this in Armonk in 1988, but to tell ya the truth, I saw a lot in 1988 that I can't recall anymore. Even more from the 60's (You remember what they say about the 60s, don't you? "If you remember the 60s, you weren't really there."
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chas smith


From:
Encino, CA, USA
Post Posted 9 Dec 2002 11:10 pm     Reply with quote

Jody, I could never get it down with the left hand, for some reason. The right hand worked really well and when I got up to the 24th fret I'd rake the strings with my left hand fingers and slide the bar down, for the 'behind the bar pick/slide' that Speedy did and hand the bar back to the left hand. I put in some practise time for that one.
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Gene Jones


From:
Oklahoma City, OK USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 10 Dec 2002 7:16 am     Reply with quote

..I wonder if trying to play that back then is whats wrong with my left thumb today?
Gene
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