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Author Topic:  A Young Man's Question For You Folks
Matthew Begay


From:
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Post Posted 14 Apr 2017 6:54 am     Reply with quote

I've been playing the steel guitar for a year and a half now. I started at 18 years old and now I'm coming up on 20. My personal hero is Carson Chamberlain (the guy who played with Keith Whitley on the road). I also got to meet Tracy Byrd and his band mates including Marty Broussard (freaking fantastic man and musician) who had let me purchase his MSA a couple months later. I did get to play a little bit of Highway 40 Blues and Don't Take Her She's All I Got with them in front of a live crowd!! What other kid my age can say that they've been there? Recently I've just been so busy with family, friends, college, girls, and work I haven't had time to really work on my technique. I'm always strapped for money with my 2nd term coming up, car payments, and steel guitar payments, I don't have any left for lessons.

I figure once I'm finished with college and done paying off the last steel guitar, I can fully take advantage of lessons and be able to extend my comfort zone.

My question to you guys is, what keeps you guys going and how did you find the perseverance to keep playing?
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Craig Schwartz


From:
McHenry IL
Post Posted 14 Apr 2017 7:50 am     Reply with quote

Theres conditions that are unannounced, only you know what those conditions are that make you a responsible young man,

Ive heard that if you want to make God laugh,
Try to plan your own life !

Being obsessed with steel is a love that misses you when you dont have your pix on, rush home and practice, give it all the attention that you can because there will be conditions that arrive on your front doorstep , good and bad , just stay happy that youve found something that you can honestly say that you love , and keep practicing when you hit the 10,000 hour mark you will not need someone elses chops cause you'll have your own ideas about how to use there ideas hah.

peace
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Kyle Everson


From:
Tennessee
Post Posted 14 Apr 2017 1:03 pm     Reply with quote

Matthew, I was in a similar boat when i started playing steel. My advice is to learn, note-for-note, your favorite parts on records. Learn who played on which cuts, and study each player's style and approach. If you run into a stumbling block, just keep scrolling the track back until you've got it. If you get stuck for real, this Forum is a great place to connect with guys that can help you. We've all been there. Lessons are very important to get you past those hurdles, so just save up and plan for them periodically. In the meantime, sit behind your guitar and have fun. Best of luck!
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 14 Apr 2017 1:08 pm     Reply with quote

find the band, and play as many gigs as you can...
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 15 Apr 2017 12:56 am     Re: A Young Man's Question For You Folks Reply with quote

Matthew Begay wrote:


My question to you guys is, what keeps you guys going and how did you find the perseverance to keep playing?


Easy answer.

As musicians, playing music is what we do, As Pedal Steel players, each day is an opportunity to learn something new or improve on what we may already know.

It's what we do, it's who we are.

Playing in a band and/or playing music with others which challenges your skill set will keep the drive "alive".

Sit behind your Instrument everyday, even if it's only 15 min. Being a musician is not a part time life even though it may be a part time job ! Smile

stay the course.

t
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Gary Lee Gimble


From:
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Post Posted 15 Apr 2017 4:13 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
I've just been so busy.... college..


My response certainly doesn't answer your question, but for sure, they be aint nuffin worse than a dumb musician....
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Floyd Lowery


From:
Deland, Florida, USA
Post Posted 15 Apr 2017 4:53 am     Re: A Young Man's Question For You Folks Reply with quote

Tony Prior wrote:
Matthew Begay wrote:


My question to you guys is, what keeps you guys going and how did you find the perseverance to keep playing?


Easy answer.

As musicians, playing music is what we do, As Pedal Steel players, each day is an opportunity to learn something new or improve on what we may already know.

It's what we do, it's who we are.

Playing in a band and/or playing music with others which challenges your skill set will keep the drive "alive".

Sit behind your Instrument everyday, even if it's only 15 min. Being a musician is not a part time life even though it may be a part time job ! Smile

stay the course.

Tony has said as well as it can be said. I might add, get your education and a career day job to help support your desire to play. The market for making a living on a steel guitar in the future does not look all that great to me. You would at least have something to fall back on. Find that 15 minutes at least every day.

t
Smile
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Bobby Hearn


From:
Balsora, Texas, USA
Post Posted 15 Apr 2017 7:06 am     Reply with quote

Most importantly, stay in school. At 20, this stuff will be there.
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post Posted 15 Apr 2017 9:13 am     Reply with quote

You have plenty of time.

And what Damir said. When there's time.
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Bobby Boggs


From:
Upstate SC.
Post Posted 15 Apr 2017 7:18 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm always strapped for money with my 2nd term coming up, car payments, and steel guitar payments, I don't have any left for lessons.


All the above is good advice. But if money is a problem? Have you learned all the free stuff on the net? My guess is no. Even though there's a lot of not so great stuff out there. There's still ton's of good stuff. Things I would have killed for when I was starting out. Maybe you guy's that follow the online teachers can drop some links?

As for one on one teaching. Never had that privilege. But in my opinion would be a plus only, if the teacher is a very good player. And not every good player is a good teacher. And visa versa.

AS for being pushed for time. The bad news. It's not likely to get much better in the long term. If, you follow the pattern of most males. You know, A day job, house,wife, Kids, and all the things that come with that package. Whoa!

So enjoy what could be the most care free days of your life. And good luck.

b.
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Jim Reynolds


From:
Franklin, Pennsylvania
Post Posted 15 Apr 2017 11:10 pm     Reply with quote

You will never regret the time spent on music. Learn while your young, as you get older, it doesn't come as easy, nor stays with you. The steel is the most beautiful instrument you could chose, but the hardest. Building your knowledge now, is the most important, and sounds like you have a good handle on it. Damir is so right, the more you play in a band the faster it will come. Never give up, and nothing is more important then practice.
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Marty Broussard


From:
Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA
Post Posted 17 Apr 2017 8:31 pm     Reply with quote

Matthew, someone already said it but I'll say it again here. ( I told ur parents this backstage in New Mexico)....STAY IN SCHOOL... that's the Same promise I asked my kids to make to me and they are all college graduates with good careers AND they can play anytime they want. Don't just stay in school--make the grades---and ANYTIME I can help you and/or we're playing a show in ur area you are welcome to sit-in. I'll even send you the SetList ahead of time so you can prepare.

I have loads of instructional material that can keep you busy for all the time you'll be in school. Just call me next week and I'll tell you what I have and get what you chose over to you.

Lastly, the music business is tough. I GOT LUCKY. Tracy remembered me from our early days in Beaumont and offered me a job. BUT, in the 25 years that past I worked into a possible early retirement, paid all of my kids education, and I'm still young enough to learn new things on steel.

Stay in school, keep your hands moving on the guitar, and with ur talent it will all work out.
Btw, Mickey Adams and a guy named Steel Picker have GREAt free learning and insightful material on YouTube. It will keep you engaged/learning for years.

Call me anytime.

My best regards,
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"Technique is really the elimination of the unnecessary..it is a constant effort to avoid any personal impediment or obstacle to achieve the smooth flow of energy and intent" Yehudi Menuhin

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench,a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free,and good men die like dogs-there's also a negative side."


Last edited by Marty Broussard on 18 Apr 2017 5:43 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jim Reynolds


From:
Franklin, Pennsylvania
Post Posted 17 Apr 2017 8:37 pm     Reply with quote

Marty, not being smart, just funny. It's YOUR not ur. My spell checker won't even recognize it.
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Mickey Adams


From:
Bandera Texas
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 10:52 am     Reply with quote

Matthew, I will be in Santa Fe the 30th.....if you'd like to come up here and hang out for a day with your guitar...PM me...Mick
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Rich Upright


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 4:36 pm     Reply with quote

Chicks is what keeps me going. Chicks like steel players.

Or, at least they USED to when I was younger.
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John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 5:43 pm     Reply with quote

Simple answer..... The love of the Pedal Steel Guitar and the way it sounds!
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 19 Apr 2017 10:11 pm     Re: A Young Man's Question For You Folks Reply with quote

Matthew Begay wrote:
My question to you guys is, what keeps you guys going and how did you find the perseverance to keep playing?


For me, it was an addiction. I couldn't stop. I never thought of it as "perseverance". I'm sure my first wife did, though.
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Bryan Staddon


From:
Buffalo,New York,
Post Posted 20 Apr 2017 10:35 am     These kind of people! Reply with quote

In my 60 years on earth beautiful caring friends and family keep me keeping on. Reading through this thread, I see I'm not the only one so lucky. A simple thing like reading through these responses totally lifts my soul! All of you are just so awesome.
Mr Broussards' offer,Mickeys offer( I don't know him but I look at his smiling mug on you tube almost every day, for free) Tony Prior always has good advice, Damir always has kind words,and I'm pretty sure Charlie McDonald and I could be friends, I just haven't met him yet and do pay attention to bOb I'm gathering evidence to prove that he is the Dali Lama in disguise, who else could deal with all of us knuckleheads at once. So my advice stay in school, and keep musicians as friends, look for people like these, then take that loving caring attitude and pour it all into your steel, I can't wait to hear you wail!

P.s. Watch out for oboe players,something weird is going on there!
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post Posted 21 Apr 2017 4:14 am     Reply with quote

You're a lucky young man, Matthew--and I stress 'young.' To have sat in with Marty and band is a great start.
I think the musicians you play with will be the biggest single factor in your ability to happily persevere, but that's not the word I'd use.
But your words are fine; your education shows. If we old farts keep stressing education, it's because you show talent and smarts.

It sounds to me like perseverance is what you're having to do now--so much to do. There will be plenty of time. Keep your duckies in a row.

But yes, I consider Bryan to be a virtual friend. We could hang. There are a couple of hundred people on the forum I'd like to meet.
I hope as you go along, you'll find the depth of associations and families as amazing as I have.
No matter who, we agree that Steel Guitar Forum is the best thing since sliced bread and love to praise the Lama of Cloverdale
for providing this place. Having an enthusiastic player of your age is fresh air. Keep breathing. Don't do it all at once. One note at a time.

And welcome!
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Franklin


Post Posted 27 Apr 2017 10:05 am     Reply with quote

Hi Mathew,

Frustrations are normal and I don't recall a period of time where I was completely frustration free.....A good practice technique is to review everything. I think you will find new things you perhaps overlooked the first time through....I redundantly review everything I learn, including how my picks are shaped...Physical changes happen at all stages of musicianship...For instance: as my confidence grows a relaxed or tense posture can creep in. Reshaping the picks may be needed?

Tips: I constantly change the focus of my studies to deal with my weaknesses. I always seriously listen to music whether practicing or not. By "seriously" I mean listen to dissect the rhythms, phrasings, chord structures etc. This helps with ear training when I actually sit down to play...

Because I love Jazz and don't get enough chances to play it, I take notes from the lessons I own. I build my own books of reference for things I am learning or have learned and I take my study book along wherever I suspect I will have spare time to review...

About study without instruments in hand: In sessions when I write arrangement notes or chord charts, its amazing how much easier it is to play a songs structure than when someone hands me a prewritten chart. The first goes to developing memory while on the job.

The memory is the students greatest asset.


Paul Franklin
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Kevin Fix


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 27 Apr 2017 4:45 pm     Addiction? Reply with quote

I became addicted to PSG 35 years ago. I was 39. I am currently working a county fair gig. Stay pretty busy. Having a blast. Used to play Honky Tonks and large clubs. I like the outdoors now. Took awhile to get used to playing outdoors. Whole new world of sound and tone.
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Kevin Fix


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 27 Apr 2017 4:47 pm     Wife Reply with quote

bOb had a good one about his first wife. I guess I am lucky. Still have the same wife!!!! 44 years.
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 27 Apr 2017 8:42 pm     Reply with quote

I keep playing because I've never gotten the impression that I had a choice. It isn't really "optional"...
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Frank Freniere


From:
Chicago, IL
Post Posted 28 Apr 2017 3:42 am     Reply with quote

What b0b and Jim said.
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Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 28 Apr 2017 9:04 am     Re: A Young Man's Question For You Folks Reply with quote

Matthew Begay wrote:

My question to you guys is, what keeps you guys going and how did you find the perseverance to keep playing?


Speaking personally, If I wasn't busy practicing all the time, I'd be jet setting around the world, hob-bobbing with royalty and international celebrities, eating in gourmet restaurants ans sleeping with super models.

Who wants to do that? Yeech.
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