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Author Topic:  Jeff Newman's Contribution
Steve Broatch

 

From:
Newcastle, England
Post  Posted 27 Jun 2010 8:53 am    
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Jeff's instructional material is great value too. I bought his Up From The Top Series 4 years ago when I first started out. I still use it now.

He presents his courses in such a simple and logical way which makes it easy to develop your own ideas over. As simple or complex as you like. His enthusiasm is infectious. I always feel inspired after watching a Jeff Newman DVD.

Steve
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Peter Dollard

 

Post  Posted 27 Jun 2010 9:48 am     A Given Purpose
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It always bothers me when I think of Jeff now; that someone would hop in an ultralight airplane that you could order thru the mail and just fly in it without some kind of safety check on the engine by the factory. I realize it was an activity he loved but the activity that made him a great player and steel teacher was staying on the ground and helping all of us advance beyond our wildest dreams. Each time he would come out to California it was like a magical experience: he always had new tunes, new ideas, and he was the best motivator I had ever seen. If he wanted to he could have been king of the Tony Roberts school of motivators except with a real product, steel instruction. Fran always said he would pick one kid out in the class to Be his "target" someone to kind of argue with him. Well one day he asked how many chords "Jambalaya" had, I responded with two and off he went talking about the augmented and diminshed possibilities in the song. I never thought about our little exchange except a couple of years later a Woodshed Workshop came out with Jambalaya presented in new way I had never heard. Perhaps my fundamentalist(two chord) definition spurred him on. I only know this from the forty plus year old copy of Music to get C-6th by to the last seminar he ever did he did more singlehandedly to help students, steel manufacturers, and all the people who can now play a lick or two or 2000 than anyone else who ever taught steel. I miss him and April is still the saddest month of the year....Peter
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Don Sulesky


From:
Citrus County, FL, Orig. from MA & NH
Post  Posted 28 Jun 2010 3:42 pm    
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I miss Jeff so much.
I was at a stand still in my learning process until I attended my 1st seminar with Jeff in 1990.
I then took 6 more from him at the PSGA shows.
It was like a light bulb went off in my head when I attended his 1st seminar with him.
I have his "Up from the top" series as well as many of his Woodshed tabs.
I now use his method of teaching to my students and find that they pick up the steel well using his way of explaing this complex instrument.
I also attended a seminar with you Paul in 1988 In Armonk, NY.
What a joy it was and I have it all on tape.
Thanks for starting this thread about the greatest of all steel teachers.
Don
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Bill Howard

 

From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jun 2010 10:58 am     JEFF had this ability
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I was going to buy a new Steel Guitar in 1987 so at the end of the convention I went up to Jeff who was dressed in a Tuxedo....I said Jeff if you were going to buy a Steel Today WHAT would you buy??.
He looked at me like I killed his dog for a second then he smiled and said ,"Now you KNOW I can't tell you that I would have half of these Guys mad at me.
BUT if MY Neighbor were to Buy a New Steel Today He would No doubt buy a Franklin or a ZUM no doubt even today 2 of the highest priced Steels you can own.
Jeff made you feel like you knew Him forever,He would always tell me a little story of some sort and always tried to remember something personal about you and was really good at that:0. Charlie Louvin told me a Steel player got killed in an Ultra lite plane crash, but didn't know who,I saw Tommy White at Louvin/E Tubbs Theatre He told me it was Jeff and I was very sad,Jeff was the Steel Guitars AND the Players BEST Friend, Miss You Jeff!
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Joe Rogers

 

From:
Lake Charles, LA USA
Post  Posted 30 Jun 2010 4:50 pm    
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There were 3 things about Jeff's teaching that I absolutely loved:

1. It was totally immersed in humor, thus taking the heat off of a beginning student's constant feelings of inadequacy.

2. He didn't teach a student how to play; he taught a student how to teach himself/herself to play. This was a far more valuable gift for the student after leaving the classroom.

3. He was brilliant in that he knew that holding back any information only held back his own playing. He once shared with me that the more "nuggets" he let out of the bag, the more inspiration he received from the responses of his students.

An entire generation of steel players owe a debt of gratitude to Jeff for what he left behind. Thanks for starting the thread Paul. I do miss him....

Joe Rogers
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Herb Steiner

 

From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post  Posted 2 Jul 2010 9:36 am    
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Without going into how Jeff Newman changed my life as a friend and mentor, I will say this:

Jeff Newman is, IMHO, one of the most important steel guitarists of all time, in a league with Buddy, Jimmy Day, Jerry Byrd, and whomever else you care to name.

Most business people work to get a bigger piece of the pie. Jeff wanted to make the pie BIGGER. He exponentially grew the size of the steel guitar community. There would be very few steel guitar shows if it wasn't for Jeff Newman. There would be little of any steel guitar instruction courses produced by dozens of steel guitarists if it wasn't for Jeff.

Jeff taught thousands of steel players. These players in turn taught many more players, as did the students of those.

Buddy and Jimmy showed us what to play. Jeff showed us HOW to play it.

I dare say there might not be enough of a community to have a Steel Guitar Forum if it weren't for Jeff, though Jeff certainly was no fan of the Internet, which he was very open in complaining to me about.

I haven't read this entire thread, so I don't know if I'm being redundant, but I don't care. The man was a dear friend to me. I miss him often and deeply.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 2 Jul 2010 9:53 am    
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Herb Steiner wrote:
I dare say there might not be enough of a community to have a Steel Guitar Forum if it weren't for Jeff, though Jeff certainly was no fan of the Internet, which he was very open in complaining to me about.

That may be true, but I must tell a little story here. I was sitting at a guitar in the Carter booth at ISGC, and Jeff walked up to me and said "stand up". I did, and he gave a big brotherly hug. Someone probably has a picture of that.

While Jeff was no big fan of the internet, he surely appreciated the impact that the Steel Guitar Forum has had with regards to expanding the steel guitar community. He made that much clear to me that day.
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 2 Jul 2010 10:05 am    
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Jeff was the closest thing I've ever had as a Mentor. He really cared about developing me as a musician and as an artist, not just as a 'steel player'. I am eternally grateful to Jeff for his guidance.
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Barry Gaskell

 

From:
Cheshire, UK
Post  Posted 2 Jul 2010 2:22 pm    
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Hi Guys
I must concur with all that's been said about Jeff Newman. His reputation and playing and the respect he has from the worlds best steelman says it all. His contribution, to my mind, is incalculable.
However, in an interview in 'Country Music People' in August '75, when Curly Chalker was asked about his opinion of Jeff Newman, he said, and I quote " I don't like his steel playing and I don't think he's a very good player"
Curly is certainly one of my heroes, but I wonder why he was so scathing about Jeff Newman. I know of these players only by reputation and their rcorded work. I admire them both tremendously.
Barry
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 2 Jul 2010 11:48 pm    
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Everybody's got one. Some people have two.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2010 1:06 am    
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Well I have a different spin. As a budding novice Steel learner back in the early 70's I recall seeing some Jeff Newman material, maybe it was a book with a photo of Jeff playing a Sho-Bud. it would have been at the Sho-Bud store on Broadway probably , can't really put my finger on it. I came to learn that I could actually buy Steel guitar instruction items from Jeff, so I did. Then I went to a seminar in Long Island and sat there in a day long school with about 60 other players just like me ! Then I started getting his Newsletter... Another time I went to a seminar and there was Mike Auldridge and Dan Pendleton , sitting in the group watching and listening to Jeff just like the rest of us. I was just overcome with amazement, two professional players sitting in this same classroom with me, a rank novice !

ya see, I just naturally assumed that Jeff was the main resource, I didn't know any better !


my favorite Jeff story...

I was able to see Jeff a few times in recent years, not just at St Louis but at Saluda,. One time John Fabian called and asked me to go to the Saturday Jeff Seminar with him so I packed up the gear and headed south. John and I set up right next to each other and we became part of the class. Jeff was going over some routine phrases in the Key of A, up and down the fretboard, kinda fun. I started playing one of the phrases in the OPEN AB peds in position, Jeff notices and stopped the class, looked at me and said..what are you doing ? John like a little kid looked at me and said "now you did it".. Jeff came over and said " who said you can play in the open position ? you are out of tune.."..well,now the only thing I could think of to say was "Doug said I could and I'm tuned to 441/442". He stuck right to script, "Doug who " ? Did I say you could play in the open position, did I tell you to play in the open position" ? Then he looks at John and says " what are you laughing at ? Then he growled and me and went back up to his Steel and continued the class. John looks at me and says.." I think he likes you "

I know I liked him ! A once in a lifetime man...

t
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Bent Romnes


From:
London,Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2010 6:13 am    
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Barry Gaskell wrote:
Hi Guys
Curly Chalker was asked about his opinion of Jeff Newman, he said, and I quote " I don't like his steel playing and I don't think he's a very good player"
Barry


Tony, would it be this book? This is the first steel instruction book I bought - back in Sept of 1971.



As to Curly's remarks about Jeff -IMHO they don't pack much of a punch. Although I love Curly's playing , he was one of the greatest in the world, The majority has spoken. One negative in one million? 2? 3? positives love and adore Jeff.

Curly, bless his soul,had a sharp tongue and a rather difficult personality at times from what I have read. I think we can just let those remarks die, never to resurface. Jeff still lives in all of us as the teacher, human being, player and hero he rightfully is.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2010 8:03 am    
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Right. I've heard that Curly had the same opinion of Tom Brumley. I think it was the jazz musician in him. Some jazz players have an attitude towards players who don't play jazz. It's really nothing against Jeff, IMHO.

Jeff called me out in a class too, when he noticed that I didn't have an X lever. I became an example to the class of how not to play. Laughing I think he knew instinctively which players were secure enough that he could pick on them harmlessly. He was a real Christian gentleman in that way.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2010 8:42 am    
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Bent yes that's it ! I don't think I bought that one but that's the first one I ever saw. I bought other things from Jeff such as 'Music to get C6th by' and I still have it. My C6th approach( like I have one ) came directly from Jeff.

bob , what, no X Lever !!! What were you thinking ?

John Fabian told me several times that Jeff called out on people in LOVE and he did it with people he was comfortable with.

In my above story, that same night I was playing Telecaster with the LIVE band, I guess I must have been playing some Steel licks on guitar and Jeff ran up to the stage, yelled at me and told me to go home immediately, which of course I did not do.

t
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2010 8:53 am    
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I still don't have an X lever, Tony, but after that experience I added the B lower change to a pedal on my guitar. I gotta admit it's really useful. Jeff was right. Very Happy
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Paul E. Brennan

 

From:
Dublin, Ireland
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2010 9:02 am    
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I count myself very fortunate to have spent a week studying with Jeff. As other posters have said, he wasn't just focussed on the mechanics of playing the steel. He was concerned with ensuring he gave the student the information and the insights necessary to figure things out for themselves.

He's also one of my favourite steel players of all time.
Is this not sheer genius? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1s054PrC-o
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Mike Wheeler


From:
Delaware, Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2010 9:32 am    
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I had just bought my first real steel guitar back in 1971 and was struggling with it...not knowing much of anything about good or bad habits. I just loved the sound and was using it on the bandstand in my rock band...you know, CSNY, New Riders, etc. A few years later I heard about Jeff and his teachings. I signed up for his seminar at the St Louis convention and was floored when Buddy walked in and took the stage with Jeff.

Jeff ran the show and would defer to Buddy for technical examples and humorous digs. Jeff loved to poke fun at Buddy. Someone asked if Buddy could really play as good on an old student guitar. Well, Jeff borrowed the worst beginner guitar in the room and put it on the stage. Then told Buddy to sit down and start playing. Jeff didn't allow him time to check out the steel's copedant, and immediately pushed the play button.

Buddy was laughing and scowling at Jeff as he started picking as if he was playing the Blade! Whoa! Everyone was astounded, he never missed a note, or chord, and sounded incredibly good. When Buddy had finished playing a couple songs, Jeff said "Well, now you can see there's really no need for 2 necks, a bunch of effect pedals, and a bunch of pedals and knee levers! You can play as good as Buddy Emmons on the guitar you have right now!!"

I'll never forget that. It's just one example of how Jeff could always fire up your confidence and enthusiasm for the pedal steel, even if you were a total beginner.
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Russ Tkac


Post  Posted 3 Jul 2010 9:58 am    
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I never took a class with Jeff but wish I had. I sent him a note once asking about the C6 sound that I loved and he sent me a pretty hard reply about getting ready to starve and such. I appreciated his frankness but think he could have put a little sugar on it. lol:

Not so much what you say but how you say it. Curly might have heard what Jeff thought of C6. Smile

Russ
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Paddy Long


From:
Christchurch, New Zealand
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2010 2:40 pm    
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When I first started playing steel in about 1978 finding anything out about the instrument in this far flung corner of the South Pacific was impossible, until I discovered Jeff's stuff... in 1982 I set out on an epic journey to Nashville and spent a couple of weeks with Jeff at his advanced class ... This was a major turning point in my professional musical career and Jeff made a huge impact on my playing - both in attitude to learning and how to approach music itself.

I will forever be indebted to him, and I still use his stuff to pass on to others the "right stuff" Very Happy

And I just loved his wicked sense of humour !!!!!!!!!!!
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Barry Gaskell

 

From:
Cheshire, UK
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2010 5:34 pm    
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Hi b0b
In the same interview, the interviewer, Bob Powell, threw a number of players in to the hat and asked Curley's opinion of them. Of Tom Brumley he said "I think that Tom is one of the best E9th players that there ever has been. Going back to Buck Owens' earlier records like 'together again' and 'cryin' time', I don't think an E9 can be played any smoother or any tastier than Tom did".
Barry
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David Weaver

 

From:
Aurora, CO USA
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2010 8:02 pm    
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I spent a week at his woodshed a few months before his death. Pictures and comment at www.davidw.smugmug.com.

During my week with him, he said he would take me to breakfast. As we walked into the restaurant, I argued with him that I should pay. He gave me a cold look and said "You ever have a little bitty guy beat the S##T out of you ??!!"

So much fun and laughter that week. I still think of it and smile.
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Bill Mayville

 

From:
Las Vegas Nevada * R.I.P.
Post  Posted 4 Jul 2010 10:49 am     Paul's comments
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Mr. Franklin
I sometimes wonder how you were brought up.Your upbringing also fly's out when you speak.I wish we had some others like that ,(and we do) but not very many!!
Reading some articles can be boring sometimes.
When you write,you are speaking with so much class, even when not agreeing with some-one.
The class stays when you hear Paul play to Brent Masons,fabulous guitar playing.
I guess that;s it for today.

Bill Mayville
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Alan Miller

 

From:
, England, UK.
Post  Posted 5 Jul 2010 10:57 am    
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I didn't know Jeff Newman gave us tab for pedal steel, what an immense legacy.
Would I be correct in saying most of us learned to play from tab which then enables us to find positions and sounds ourselves without deep musical knowledge.
I have five of Jeffs courses bought from Gerry Hogans , I bought them when I had a spare few Im still working on the first two, had a sneaky look at three and four but havn't opened the fifth course.
They are excellent and even on DVD he clearly makes you understand that if you work hard and practice you can do this..... no question.

I had a Paul Franklin cassette tape course many years ago when I first got a pedal steel. It had on it "Oh lonesome me" you will no doubt remember it Paul you sang the words in several keys and taught us the "fills" which were extremely fast!!
You did say "Im no singer but I need to sing this to give you the timing so bear with me".
Very impressive playing but it was way beyond a beginner so I gave it back to my friend who had loned it to me and got some slower John Hughey Lloyd green tapes.
I think all of the top players have given us the benefit of their skills over the years in tape and DVD form and all are appreciated but Jeff Newman was teacher No1.
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Ron Sodos


From:
San Antonio, Texas USA
Post  Posted 6 Jul 2010 9:04 am     What Jeff did for me
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I went to Jeff's school in Hermitage in 1979. I spent a week there thanx to my wife who saw my passion and desire and treated me to the cost of the trip from Tucson AZ. It was one of the best weeks of my life. I learned so much more than just licks. I learned an incredible amount of theory and things that have stuck with me for a lifetime of playing. Jeff invited Buddy Emmons with Bucky Barrett and Ralph Land to play for us in a private concert. It was the time of my life getting to watch Buddy about 10 feet away for a couple of hours. He also took us downtown Nashville to watch Doug Jernigan closeup. What an exposure for a young player. I am still as passionate about playing than ever maybe even moreso. I only wish Jeff was alive so I could thank him over and over. I did however get a chance to thank Fran a couple of years ago in St Louis.

Ron Sodos
Albuquerque NM
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 6 Jul 2010 11:32 am    
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Well, Curley wasn't the only one who could dish it out; I still have a copy of a Buddy Emmons interview in which he's pretty scathing about a couple of guys!

That was many years ago, though, and I can't imagine him doing so nowadays. In, I think, the same interview Buddy talks of an unkown youngster from the Detroit area in glowing terms; Paul-somebody, I seem to recall...

Smile
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