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Author Topic:  Most people in the audience don't have a clue...
Tim Russell


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 5:06 pm     Reply with quote

I was thinking about my old 60's push pull today, looking at some old pictures...and I remembered something. We played a three day Gospel/Country music concert back in the 80's...I think this was '89 or so.

My D-10 push pull was an awesome guitar. However, this night, the neck selector switch malfunctioned, only giving me the C6 to play...which was a disaster, because I knew "next to nothin'" on that neck at that time, and I'm not much better now, for that matter... Rolling Eyes

Anyway, I hobbled thru it as best I could, and most songs probably sounded identical as I kept repeating the same "safe" string/pedal combinations, the only thing I knew.

Funny thing about it was, several people commented on how much they enjoyed my playing. I even asked a few folks in the audience, and a couple musicians, what they thought - I told them my main neck was busted and I had to play the backup neck.

They all told me it sounded great.

So...Either..

1. They were all being nice to me, sparing my feelings.
2. Most audiences don't have a clue.
3. A 60's push pull can make even a slouch of a player sound great!
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 5:40 pm     Reply with quote

Similar things have happened to me. I learned a long time ago that audiences pay more attention to what we wear, how we look on stage, how we interact with them, than how we sound. And they certainly don't hear the difference between E9 and C6. Most of them don't even know what instrument we are playing! Your "safe" and simple playing on C6 was probably perfect for the audience. Listeners seem to relate more to basic steel sounds, simple slides, than hot licks and complicated playing.
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Brendan Mitchell


From:
Melbourne Australia
Post Posted 13 May 2017 7:19 pm     Reply with quote

Or maybe the most simple lines and phrases appeal to the average punter more than the complicated stuff a lot of us want to play to show off our dexterity and knowledge or whatever . Its ok if you are one of the greats who can play the complicated stuff and keep it melodic and beautiful .
edited to say " what Doug said " !
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Bruce Bjork


From:
Southern Coast of Maine
Post Posted 13 May 2017 8:04 pm     Reply with quote

Happen's to me all the time, I think (I Know) my timing was off, missed notes etc. but as my son (who's a much better musician than me) says, "just keep playing Dad, they're not listening anyway".
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John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post Posted 13 May 2017 9:50 pm     Reply with quote

I agree with what Doug said. I can have a good night or a bad night, the crowd doesn't care. After all, I'm not the star the band is. I'm just the backup guy. So, if I play hot licks all night or I stay in my comfort zone, no one knows. Some of the band members might make a comment or not, but, that's all. In actuality, we'd really like to play our best all the time, but, that doesn't always happen. We're our worst critics, mostly.
Let's face it, we like getting accolades especially from other musicians, particularly steel players. It's nice being recognized as a tasteful player from our piers. But, that doesn't happen, a lot.
You should be glad and happy, that, you pulled it off on your off neck. It means that, you're a versatile steel player, who, can face a diversity and conquer it. Not all can do that and probably would have panicked and lost it.
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Dave Hopping


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 11:33 pm     Reply with quote

The OP might not have sounded good to himself,but most likely his having to concentrate that hard made the band sound just a bit better.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 14 May 2017 12:34 am     Reply with quote

I think we underestimate our audiences, especially on the regular rotation gigs.

They probably have no clue about brands and such, Push Pull vs All Pull, why would they ? They are dancing and listening. BUT they know about Steel guitars and how they sound in a song.

I think it would be like us asking a cook about what oven he or she used, all we care about is the food when it's done and ready to eat ! The oven, to us, is irrelevant.

On my rotation gigs, I get requests for Instrumentals all the time, we have them built in to every set, every gig.

THEY KNOW.

And it's a good thing Smile
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 14 May 2017 1:02 am     Reply with quote

The way the vast majority of the audience know you are having problems - tuning, tone, malfunctions, licks that didn't quite come off - is not by what they hear. Most of them wouldn't know if you did a whole song in the wrong key. They know by what they see - the grimaces, signs of frustration, looks exchanged between bandmates.

If you look like your having fun, so will the majority of the audience.

The minority in the audience that do notice problems will think "well, the band pulled it off, crowd enjoyed it so it wasn't so bad". Any steel players in the audience will know what's happening and feel your pain - maybe have a beer with you on the break.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 14 May 2017 2:30 am     Reply with quote

The worst part, you can have what you think is a great night and someone will tell you "you don't sound like yourself tonight" or the opposite a bad night and someone will tell you "you sound great tonight".

However my own personal thing. I've seen and heard Steel players with "stereo" systems, multiple speakers, etc and to them it makes the sound better. I didn't hear any difference and to the audience 99% don't know or could care less. I had a "stereo" system and the only thing it did was make me carry more (and heavy) equipment.
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David Mason


From:
Cambridge, MD, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 3:52 am     Reply with quote

Maybe C6th is just so much BETTER than E9th!

DUCK... run... Ka-Boom! etc.

(Afore I go total A-OOGAA Dive! here, ask a few non-pedal peeps why they DON'T play the E9th neck and it's five licks*... you may find a concentration of them down at the Un-employment Bureau, sometimes comically referred to as the Employment Bureau.)

*(the one where you slide DOWN to the thing and pull UP and go "ting!" and the one where you slide UP to the thing and let DOWN and go "Ting!" and the one where you go "TING!" first then slide up to the... aw heck just buy "101** Steel Guitar Samples" for your 'pooter, by the last employed steel guitarist ever.)

**{Ya I know, it's multiplicative. Up, down, sideways, "ting" first vs. "ting" after, times each other, gotta take your boots off to count that high. I hope. But don't. Even "ting" in-between for you daredevils! Etc. With math skills like that why'nt you get a real job. etc?}
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Floyd Lowery


From:
Deland, Florida, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 7:16 am     Reply with quote

I am convinced most non steel players don't have a clue as to what you are using for sound or what tuning you are playing in. The "so called" musicians want to tell every one they come in contact with how much they know, and many want to be able to tell the steel players what they should be playing and what tuning they should use.
In the late 70s I was playing 7 nights a week on a Twin with 2 12inch JBLs. The cones cracked after I had been using it for about 7 years and I was the only one could tell the difference.
I've been playing a 12 string universal tuning for a long time and a few years ago I had a lead player and singer tell me when I quit the band, I would do a lot better if I played an E9th tuning. He asked me when I joined the band what tuning I had. I told him it was E9th, but when I dropped my Es it was B6 instead of C6 like on a double neck. All he heard was I was playing B6th tuning.
I think steel players work hard at getting the right sustain, echo, tone, and fullness that we as individuals want to hear. In other words we want to satisfy ourselves. That is who really cares.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 8:06 am     Reply with quote

I agree that most of our gadgets, special speakers, cabinets, etc. are just to please ourselves. The audience hears the total band sound, and the singer in particular.

I'm reminded of a gig I did recently. I played guitar on the gig, but I also brought along my S-10 and Nashville 112 to play on a few songs. Just the S-10, a passive volume pedal, into the amp. When we took a break, a steel player friend of mine came up and told me "It sounds great!, I love the tone you're getting". I explained to him that it was a bare bones setup because I was only playing a few songs on steel. He said, don't change a thing! That made me wonder.... do I really need my black box, Quilter amp, Boss delay, Hilton volume pedal, extension cabinet....???
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Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 14 May 2017 8:19 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
Funny thing about it was, several people commented on how much they enjoyed my playing. I even asked a few folks in the audience, and a couple musicians, what they thought - I told them my main neck was busted and I had to play the backup neck.

They all told me it sounded great.

So...Either..

1. They were all being nice to me, sparing my feelings.
2. Most audiences don't have a clue.
3. A 60's push pull can make even a slouch of a player sound great
!

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The most important thing you can bring to a gig is your talent.
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Steve Spitz


From:
New Orleans, LA, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 8:32 am     Reply with quote

Just a guess:

I think a typical bar crowd, not steel geeks, connect with the C6th sound. Some folks havent heard much steel, but can identify the 6th tuning as similar to what theyve heard on Hank Williams recordings.

Everyone has heard the Hank recordings, but they might not own Charlie Pride live at panther hall, and as epic as we think Lloyds work is,to the average Joe, not as familiar.

I play as much C6th as I can on my gigs, and I think the average listener relates to it, and they like it!

Not meant to be a pointless E9 vs C6 debate, just my obervations of playing C6 at gigs.
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Bill Miller


From:
Gaspe, Quebec, Canada
Post Posted 14 May 2017 8:38 am     Reply with quote

I've always found it remarkable that such a high percentage of any given audience is partly or completely tone deaf. And a good many are rhythm deaf as well, although probably less so. It seems like more people can relate to catchy, infectious beats that make them feel like hitting the dance floor. Whether or not the band is hitting all the right notes, and in tune, is noticed by a lot fewer. I find I try and play for the person in the audience with the most discernment. There may not even be such a person but it's always a good idea to assume there is at least one individual out there who knows whether you're doing a good job.
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Jack Aldrich


From:
Washington, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 1:38 pm     Reply with quote

Long ago, before I started plying steel, I had an epiphany on performing in general. I know what I want to do, and I'm not successful at it. This bums me out. However, the audience only hears what came out, not knowing what I meant to do, and they may actually like what came out.
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Eric Philippsen


From:
Central Indiana, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 1:41 pm     Reply with quote

Just my 2 cents worth from playing a few years. Much has already been said.

- The overwhelming majority of those in an audience are not musicians and none play steel. They don't know an E9th from a C6th tuning and, aside from perhaps a passing
curiosity, don't care. And that's ok.

- Some of us might remember the old show "American Bandstand" with Dick Clark. He would often ask people why they liked a new song. Their answer? "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it." Perhaps toss in a hook or two and some catchy lyrics and there you go. No one ever answered, "l liked the steel fills on the 2nd chorus."

- We musicians, myself included, keep on fooling ourselves that a new or different piece of gear will surely set the crowd on fire. And then we're amazed when there's little to no reaction from them. They don't hear it because most hear the band as a WHOLE rather than individual instruments, let alone the steel player's new amp. And that's ok, too.

- The vast majority in the audience are paying a huge amount of attention to the visual. Always have and even more so than in the past.

- Unless your name is on the marquee it's not about you.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 14 May 2017 2:00 pm     Reply with quote

Interesting comments, but keep in mind that most folks who are country music fans are familiar with the sounds of Steel guitars on records, which is dominant E9th. They have to go back to Hank Sr to be familiar with Dons C6th tones. Since that period, it's been dominant E9th tones that they, we, have been familiar with.
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Steve Spitz


From:
New Orleans, LA, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 2:54 pm     Reply with quote

Agreed Tony , but I find that a large part of our crowds arent really country music fans .fact, Most of the folks I end up playing for have never seen a steel guitar. They arent familiar with much.

Lucky for me! Im the best steel player theyve ever seen, live. also the worst...
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Glenn Demichele


From:
(20mi N of) Chicago Illinois, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 4:50 pm     Reply with quote

I think I know. The simpler the lick you play, the more it sounds like the stereotypical steel.
I'll bet your C6 licks were very simple.
My buddy TC Furlong once told me a funny story (jump in TC). He was playing the Bugs Bunny on Broadway show, where a full pro orchestra was playing the cartoon movie music live behind the cartoon projected on a giant screen. TC of course picked the right amp and guitar, but his only job was to do the Looney Tunes gliss at the end of the theme song. He said he never got so many compliments on his playing from the "band".
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 14 May 2017 5:11 pm     Reply with quote

at the and of the gig at some club close to Nashville, i was approached by the waitress who asked me if I was playing a dulcimer .... this is a topic that was discussed already many times before, and Im just going to say that from my personal experience, most people have no idea what the steel guitar is, and most of them don't care... the fact that you are playing $5000 guitar, trough $3000 amp means something only to you, and probably nobody else.... tone? nobody cares ...
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 5:33 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
nobody cares ...

That reminds me of the Joshua Bell story. The world-class violinist played for 45 minutes in a D.C. subway station, playing 6 Bach pieces. Over 1000 people walked by and no one paid any attention to him!
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Tim Russell


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 5:46 pm     Reply with quote

LOL -

Damir & Doug,

Look at all the $$$ we have wasted over the years. Why, I could have just purchased a beat up Maverick, a used $50 amp and called it a day.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 14 May 2017 5:52 pm     Reply with quote

Tim Russell wrote:
LOL -

Damir & Doug,

Look at all the $$$ we have wasted over the years. Why, I could have just purchased a beat up Maverick, a used $50 amp and called it a day.


and you are correct.... nobody would pay any attention, or actually had an idea what that is, unless is another steel player or some musician who is familiar with steel guitars...Maverick and $50 amp would have been sufficient for 99.9% of bars and clubs I ever played in my 20 years....if you let Buddy Emmons play that Maverick you may be surprised by what comes out of that 50 bucks amp ...
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Last edited by Damir Besic on 14 May 2017 6:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Randy Schneider


From:
Central Texas, USA
Post Posted 14 May 2017 6:11 pm     Reply with quote

Tim Russell wrote:

Look at all the $$$ we have wasted over the years. Why, I could have just purchased a beat up Maverick, a used $50 amp and called it a day.


And Tim, if you'd had that Maverick, there wouldn't have been that pickup selector malfunction...
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