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


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 15 May 2017 1:58 am     Reply with quote

LOL - so, at the end of the day, that old saying does really hold true -

"The difference between men and boys are the price of their toys"

Weather we can afford an expensive toy, or a cheap one, when all is said and done, the small boy still has just as much fun playing in the sandbox with a broken matchbox car.

Of course, nicer toys look better, feel better, function better, etc., but the majority of the time, a cheaper one will get the job done.

I really hope my wife doesn't happen across this thread though, because I'm really pining for a new D-10 Mullen... Wink
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 15 May 2017 4:00 am     Reply with quote

I guess I'm lucky , ALL of the gigs I play , which is a mind boggling 3 or 4 each month, are very Steel guitar friendly !

But, the reality is there is nobody there under 40 ! Maybe even 50 !

Whoa!
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 15 May 2017 4:13 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
But, the reality is there is nobody there under 40 ! Maybe even 50 !


I can say for sure "there is nobody under 70". LOL
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Floyd Lowery


From:
Deland, Florida, USA
Post Posted 15 May 2017 5:43 am     Reply with quote

Don Helms played a C6 tuning ? Gee, I played all his licks on my double neck fender with 8 strings on an E tuning. I had the smallest string G# 3rd string C# and the 6th was F#. Laughing
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Jeff Harbour


From:
Western Ohio, USA
Post Posted 15 May 2017 8:44 am     Reply with quote

You are correct. Don used an E6 tuning, top to bottom = G# E C# B G# E C# A. Don told me himself just a few months before he died. It is the inside eight strings of a standard C6, except up two full steps. Because of this, many players reproduce Don's licks on the C6, and then refer to Don's playing as C6. But, it is in fact E6.
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John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post Posted 15 May 2017 8:53 am     Reply with quote

Basically, you do what you can with what you've got. How many of you guys have broken a string while playing? I have! But, I just play around it. There's a whole handful of strings
to play with. I've never stopped in mid song to change a string. Again, nobody knows but you.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 15 May 2017 9:12 am     Reply with quote

When I switched from a D-12 to an S-8 six years ago, nobody other than a few of the musicians I work with even noticed. And I even tuned it to D6th! All of the things we steel players obsess over don't matter at all to the audience. Oh Well
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 15 May 2017 10:06 am     Reply with quote

Jeff Harbour wrote:
You are correct. Don used an E6 tuning, top to bottom = G# E C# B G# E C# A. Don told me himself just a few months before he died. It is the inside eight strings of a standard C6, except up two full steps. Because of this, many players reproduce Don's licks on the C6, and then refer to Don's playing as C6. But, it is in fact E6.


It is as described above, and is what I've been doing for over 4 decades.

HOWEVER... Wink the timbre of the C6 string gauges doesn't lend itself to the "Hank" sound. I have some non-pedal Hank gigs coming up and I'm going to string one neck of my SMaster to the Helms tuning and see if the "sound" can be replicated there.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 15 May 2017 11:03 am     Reply with quote

Jack Stoner wrote:
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.

Unless your stereo rig is being mixed stereo in the PA, no one is going to notice. My guess would be that 99% of the time it is being mixed mono and panned one side or the other. It might be noticeable closer to the stage, if the speakers were spread wide enough.

+1 on your first comment. Also, I hate having a bad night when the rest of the band is killing it. The vice-versa never happens.
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Jeff Harbour


From:
Western Ohio, USA
Post Posted 15 May 2017 11:14 am     Reply with quote

Herb Steiner wrote:

...HOWEVER... Wink the timbre of the C6 string gauges doesn't lend itself to the "Hank" sound...


That is definitely another factor as well. I may be historically inaccurate... but, to me Don Helms was the original pioneer of what we now call "Classic Country". It seems to me that the way Don handled a 6th tuning was the direct inspiration for what became 'pedal playing' just a short time later (when Bud Isaacs changed history).
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Rich Upright


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 15 May 2017 1:47 pm     Reply with quote

#2; & I'll prove it to you:

I used to play the Long Island country scene back in the day. There was a guy who used to follow our band around, and somehow a joke got started that he was our former & fill-in steel player. He used to love to try & impress chicks, even though he couldn't play a note on any instrument. So, we would have him come up & sit & pretend to play my steel, while I played steel licks on my Tele whenever the band leader introduced him for a "solo".

One night,during a break,unknowing to him I was sitting in a toilet stall when he was in the bathroom at the same time. Some guy came in & said to him "You know,their regular guy Rich (me) is a good steel player, but you blow him away!"

Nope; audiences haven't got a clue.
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Bruce Bjork


From:
Southern Coast of Maine
Post Posted 15 May 2017 2:05 pm     Reply with quote

Doug Beaumier wrote:
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!


I don't know if that video is still out there but it's awesome, he played one of my favorite Bach pieces, Partita #2 in D minor. According to Josua Bell regarding the Chaconne movement "not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history. It's a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect". I make a point of playing this piece at least once a year (Hillary Hahn's version), it's not Steel but it's over the top music that brings tears to my eyes.
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Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 15 May 2017 2:36 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't know if that video is still out there but it's awesome....

Yep, it's still out there...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnOPu0_YWhw
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Earnest Bovine


From:
Los Angeles CA USA
Post Posted 15 May 2017 3:46 pm     Reply with quote

Bruce Bjork wrote:
D minor .. Chaconne movement .. it's not Steel but

Actually Bach wrote the Chaconne for steel guitar and it's the best piece of steel playing on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGIx2VTfidw
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post Posted 15 May 2017 5:28 pm     Reply with quote

Rich Upright wrote:
#2; & I'll prove it to you:......



Rich, I won't bother quoting your whole story, but I love it! Laughing
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post Posted 16 May 2017 3:41 am     Reply with quote

Great story, Rich.

Thanks for the link to Chaconne.
The simplest of instruments, home built, with the most excellent tuners.

Without a picture, I'll bet the audience wouldn't know what it was being played on.
With the picture, they still wouldn't have a clue.

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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 16 May 2017 5:43 am     Reply with quote

I totally agree that other than US, and maybe a few band players here and there nobody much cares what brand or era of Steel we are playing.

I do however think that many people are aware that we are playing a Steel guitar and they are VERY familiar with the sounds we make. Even very familiar with some of the stock intro's which identify the song.

Does anyone care that a great violinist plays a million $$ Stradivarius ? Probably not but we do know that it sounds awesome and we love to listen.

We care, and thats of premium importance because even though we can probably play Flight of The Bumble Bee on a Maverick, but do we want to ? No, I know I don't. Others may want to, but not me.

Does it really matter if the audience doesn't know what brand or model instrument we are playing or what tuning ? Probably not.

But they do want to hear reasonably good music . Thats important to them .
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Last edited by Tony Prior on 17 May 2017 3:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mark van Allen


From:
Watkinsville, Ga. USA
Post Posted 16 May 2017 6:30 am     Reply with quote

Tony brings up the Strad… seems we've endlessly gone on in the same way about Push Pulls. Recent news : http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/05/08/527057108/is-a-stradivarius-violin-easier-to-hear-science-says-nope

I will say that while many people don't have a clue what they're hearing or reacting to, at every SINGLE gig I play someone, or several someones, comes up to talk steel guitar, either from a personal reference, "my dad loved steel guitar", my uncle played", etc. or… 'What is that called?" "oh, I've heard of it and never seen one". And ALWAYS… "Cool!"
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Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 16 May 2017 8:43 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
We care, and thats of premium importance because even though we can probably play Flight of The Bumble Bee on a Maverick, but do we want to ? No, I know I don't. Others may want to, but not me.

I wouldn't mind having it in my repertoire.
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Tim Russell


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 16 May 2017 10:54 am     Reply with quote

Does anyone have a clip of Flight of The Bumble Bee on steel? Sounds like something Paul would do...
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Jeff Harbour


From:
Western Ohio, USA
Post Posted 16 May 2017 11:49 am     Reply with quote

Tim Russell wrote:
Does anyone have a clip of Flight of The Bumble Bee on steel? Sounds like something Paul would do...


I would've liked to have heard Tom Morrell take a stab at it...
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Jim Fogarty


From:
Phila, Pa, USA
Post Posted 16 May 2017 3:04 pm     Reply with quote

C'mon......of COURSE the audience has a clue.

If you don't show up one gig, they'll be sure to ask.........

"What happened to the keyboard player?!?"

Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Daniel McKee


From:
Corinth Mississippi
Post Posted 16 May 2017 3:45 pm     Reply with quote

Most people are not quite sure what a pedal steel is but we are the ones who will realize something is not quite right or notice little sound issues and the audience likely won't know anything ever changed or was wrong. When I tell people about steel guitars the thing that shocks them the most is that its electric. I guess they are actually thinking about a dobro or maybe they do think its like a dulcimer sometimes. My town has a fairly large dulcimer club that plays at the court square each week so I guess most people see those and just assume steel and dulcimer are the same.
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Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 16 May 2017 4:15 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
Actually Bach wrote the Chaconne for steel guitar and it's the best piece of steel playing on YouTube

Can you explain this a little better, Dave?
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Earnest Bovine


From:
Los Angeles CA USA
Post Posted 16 May 2017 5:51 pm     Reply with quote

Barry Blackwood wrote:
Can you explain this a little better, Dave?

Dave's not here, man.
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