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Post new topic Is this comedy or for real?
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Author Topic:  Is this comedy or for real?
Michael James


From:
La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 8:54 pm     Reply with quote

I can't figure out if this guy is just being funny or he's completely clueless? The video has 85,500 + hits?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHI2jaLzWfY
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 3:29 am     Reply with quote

I don't know, but I have seen enough rock guitars butcher lap steel to know that he might be serious.

He has shall we say unusual bar technique?
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 7:18 am     Reply with quote

I think he's serious, and that's the sad part. This the downside of Youtube, the internet, and instant video recording. Any amatuer with a smartphone can display his poor technique and bogus information to beginners. This contributes to the dumbing down of steel guitar playing IMO. Having said that, I do like David Gilmour's playing, a style that this guy is trying to explain and emulate.
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 8:26 am     Reply with quote

Yeah

This guy is one of the most famous buskers in and around the UK.

Massive views good intentions no formal education or interaction with the forum so good on him for figuring things out a bit.

I think I even bumped into him before at an open mic night in Camden back in the days when I was as clueless about Lap Steel Guitar. I use to call it "lap Slide".

Ben Harper was the best "Slide guitar player I knew"

The moral of this story is "Education is truly a valuable tool"

We all start somewhere. I remember he was always a nice and humble guy so I think he just needs a point in the right direction to help him learn faster.
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Michael James


From:
La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 9:44 am     Reply with quote

New word of the day for me "Buskers". I'll start using it in conversation. We don't use that term in the mid-west US. I like it.

It was the way he was holding the bar that made me think it was a joke. All you have to do is spend three minutes watching Youtube videos and you'll see the basic technique most people are using. I thought the only way your technique could be that bad is if you did it intentionally.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 11:47 am     Reply with quote

"busking" is a new to me too. I first heard the term here on the steel forum. We used to call it playing on the street for tips! I've never done it though.
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George Piburn


From:
The Oklahoma Hills, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 12:35 pm     Over Hand Bottle Neck Reply with quote

My View on this Open E - D type tuning , is what I call "Over Hand Bottle Neck" --

In the eyes and ears of this Steel Guitar Community, should have a classification of it's own separate in every description from Steel Guitar.

It really descends from normal guitar bottle neck playing.

I agree that a few players have made hit songs out of it,
eg: David Lindley with Jackson Browne, David Gilmore - Pink Floyd - others, and because of this aspect , it does deserve a category of it's own.

Lumping this in with Actual Steel Guitar Playing - History - Technique - and so on waters down (dumb's) the Integrity of The Art Form Steel Guitar.

So far as the study , - techniques - bar type - there are loads of You Tube and other resources based on Normal Guitar Players.

Very Little based on Steel Guitar playing.

If separated into it's own classification , the need to make insulting commentary about people trying to promote the tuning - based on Steel Guitar Playing Technique and History, would evaporate into more positive discussions and education.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 2:10 pm     Reply with quote

I agree 1000%, George. It's basically bottleneck (guitar) style, major chord tunings, simple slides, single notes, loads of distortion and other effects. It's far removed from the masterful steel playing of Jerry, Kayton, Alvino, Buddy, Speedy, and so many others. I just hope the music of the masters isn't forgotten over time.
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 2:15 pm     Reply with quote

He's sincere and from his point of view, trying to help others. He's what they call in corporate speak, "An unconscious incompetent." In other words, he doesn't know what he doesn't know.

That said, there are players whose technique may be completely wrong in terms of formal theory yet manage to make a sound on the instrument and find an emotional connection with listeners. That emotional connection is to be envied. Gary Myrick is one of those guys who is "doing it wrong" but it kind of comes out right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GF7LCg22QM
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 2:23 pm     Re: Over Hand Bottle Neck Reply with quote

George Piburn wrote:
My View on this Open E - D type tuning , is what I call "Over Hand Bottle Neck" --

.........

Lumping this in with Actual Steel Guitar Playing - History - Technique - and so on waters down (dumb's) the Integrity of The Art Form Steel Guitar.

So far as the study , - techniques - bar type - there are loads of You Tube and other resources based on Normal Guitar Players.

Very Little based on Steel Guitar playing.
.


Andy Volk wrote:
He's sincere and from his point of view, trying to help others. He's what they call in corporate speak, "An unconscious incompetent." In other words, he doesn't know what he doesn't know.
.


Doug Beaumier wrote:
I agree 1000%, George. It's basically bottleneck (guitar) style, major chord tunings, simple slides, single notes, loads of distortion and other effects. It's far removed from the masterful steel playing of Jerry, Kayton, Alvino, Buddy, Speedy, and so many others. I just hope the music of the masters isn't forgotten over time.


Lots of these rock players playing "lap slide" (good term for it) have no concept of complex tunings, slant bar techniques, behind-the-bar string pulls, etc.

They heard rock and blues players, but really have never heard - nor seen - real steel guitar players.

I like your ideas that it really should be considered a separate instrumental style.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 3:23 pm     Reply with quote

It kinda mirrors what has happened to music in general, in the past few decades. In the 30s, 40s, 50s, songs had strong melodies and interesting chord progressions. Steel guitarists had to devise tunings to cover many styles, many chords, etc. They eventually added foot pedals. In the rock era, 60s and beyond, it seems like rhythm and the beat have become more important than melody and chords. Hence a different style of steel playing for rock/blues/funk. That's my take on it anyway.
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Robert Allen


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 3:58 pm     Reply with quote

Doug Beaumier wrote:
"busking" is a new to me too. I first heard the term here on the steel forum. We used to call it playing on the street for tips! I've never done it though.


I have, in Look Park which I believe is in your back yard, Doug. They told us it was illegal unless we kept moving. So we'd play 2 or 3 songs and move 10 feet. I don't think we made much money that night. But we didn't get arrested, either.
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 4:19 pm     Reply with quote

Hi Bob, yes, Look Park is about three miles from my house! I've played there a few times in the outdoor theater and in the banquet hall. I played my Fender quad on that gig.
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 4:23 pm     Reply with quote

Doug Beaumier wrote:
"busking" is a new to me too. I first heard the term here on the steel forum. We used to call it playing on the street for tips! I've never done it though.


There are actually 2 meanings, at least in the UK.

Playing in public for tips is the most common one, I guess, but it can also mean improvising, or making it up as you go along as in "What do you want me to play on this song?" "Oh, just busk it, it'll be fine"
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 4:32 pm     Reply with quote

Michael James wrote:
New word of the day for me "Buskers". I'll start using it in conversation. We don't use that term in the mid-west US.

They have used that term a half-day upriver from you in and around the Twin Cities environs for decades. Even used to partake in the practice myself.

That heavily processed sound is reminiscent of Peter Green's "Albatross," which is a great song for lap steel. Have to admit though, that I know nothing of Dave Gilmour's "slide playing." It's not just you 'Sconnie guys who need to get out more.
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Robert Allen


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 5:11 pm     Reply with quote

Doug Beaumier wrote:
Hi Bob, yes, Look Park is about three miles from my house! I've played there a few times in the outdoor theater and in the banquet hall. I played my Fender quad on that gig.


Ah yes, the outdoor theater. No shade, hot sun, stone slab beneath, dobro cover plate at the boiling point. More like playing in a bar-b-que pit than an outdoor theater stage.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 13 Jan 2017 3:20 am     Reply with quote

Doug Beaumier wrote:
In the rock era, 60s and beyond, it seems like rhythm and the beat have become more important than melody and chords. Hence a different style of steel playing for rock/blues/funk. That's my take on it anyway.


Since so much rock music was taken from blues, it's no wonder slide guitar styles have influenced "lap slide" playing.

I always thought these were the advantages of playing in the lap and of playing slide guitar-style:

In the lap you can use slant bar techniques and such.

In guitar position you can use other fingers to play chords, lines, or "behind-the-slide" stuff like Sonny Landreth.

I sort of prefer the lap version.
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 13 Jan 2017 6:39 am     Re: Over Hand Bottle Neck Reply with quote

David M Brown wrote:


Lots of these rock players playing "lap slide" (good term for it) have no concept of complex tunings, slant bar techniques, behind-the-bar string pulls, etc.

They heard rock and blues players, but really have never heard - nor seen - real steel guitar players.

I like your ideas that it really should be considered a separate instrumental style.


This is how I started playing. I learned new techniques as I needed them, and it was the result of doing research here on the forum and elsewhere, as I really had no exposure to the right way of doing it.

I don't believe in the idea of separating it into a new classification--there is already enough division between pedal and nonpedal playing, to the point where you can see the obvious biases people have. Divisiveness is not a good thing, IMO.

I use all of the elements at my disposal--standard steel guitar techniques, guitar techniques, slide guitar, and even a few of my own--but it is only in the service of the music I am making. In other words, anything goes if that's the way I hear it.

I can give examples of times I eschew certain techniques--one is vibrato. I learned to use my vibrato sparingly, because that's how it fits into the music I'm making. It's a stylistic choice. Others have asked "why don't you use more vibrato?", which is a legit question, since it is one of the steel guitar's greatest attributes. And I worked hard on getting my vibrato right. I worked just as hard to cut back on it.

I haven't had a good cup of coffee yet today, so maybe my opinion is not clearly formed. And i admit to not watching the original video that is the subject of this thread. I'll shut up now. Laughing
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Larry Carlson


From:
My Computer
Post Posted 13 Jan 2017 7:48 am     Re: Over Hand Bottle Neck Reply with quote

Mike Neer wrote:


I don't believe in the idea of separating it into a new classification--there is already enough division between pedal and nonpedal playing, to the point where you can see the obvious biases people have. Divisiveness is not a good thing, IMO.



That I will agree with and as a new lap steel player have noticed fairly often.
It came as a bit of a surprise to me but it isn't nearly as bad as when folks learned I play a mountain dulcimer.
One would have thought I had grown a third ear off the top of my head...Rolling Eyes
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 13 Jan 2017 8:21 am     Reply with quote

I still think there should be some way to distinguish this simplistic bottleneck style from the more complex steel guitar artistry of the masters. I know that sounds elitist or snobbish to some people, but I don't mean it that way. I'm just having a hard time thinking of rock-slide players lumped together with names like Joaquin, Speedy, Emmons, Byrd, etc. Just my opinion, sorry if it offends anyone. (That's a Washington apology..."I'm sorry if You were offended" Laughing
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post Posted 13 Jan 2017 8:31 am     Reply with quote

I get what you're saying. Yeah, as a genre, it's different music. As far as the instrument goes, though, it is what it is. Segovia, Thurston Moore, Jimi Hendrix and Derek Bailey all play/played guitar, as differently as they all played. In the realm of Rock music, it's not often that a traditional steel guitar approach is utilized.

BTW, I would still have to classify David Lindley's approach as a traditional approach, rather than a slide guitar style. It isn't Hawaiian, and it ain't Western Swing or Country style playing, but it's legit--maybe closer to Sacred Steel.
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