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Post new topic Good steel for a young beginner?
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Author Topic:  Good steel for a young beginner?
Joseph Carlson


From:
Grass Valley, California, USA
Post Posted 1 Jan 2018 5:00 pm     Reply with quote

My 8 year old son has expressed an interest in learning pedal steel. Rather than start with him on 10 strings and pedals I thought it would be better to get him a 6 string lap steel and see if he likes it first.

Any tips on what would be a decent starter instrument for not a lot of money?

Also interested in any methods geared towards a young beginner as well as suggested tunings. I'm thinking C6 would be a good choice.

Thanks!
Joe
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Robert Allen


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post Posted 1 Jan 2018 7:54 pm     Reply with quote

Perfect age. I started taking lessons when I was 8 years old. Depends on what you mean by "Not a lot of money". My first lap steel was an old Stella brand guitar. The strings were so high I didn't need the raised nut. My dad paid only a couple dollars for it.
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 2 Jan 2018 3:54 am     Reply with quote

A cheap Chinese make.There are loads online around $100.

An amp get him a cheap practice 5w amp

a bullet bar

MOST important some Headphones.

Decide if you want him to take lessons/you will teach him (harder)

OR

get him a 10 string pedal steel and insist/force lessons upon him as most classical parents do.

OR let him mess around with it and get him some tabs.
_________________
http://ilapsteel.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/ilapsteel

Stefan aka Bilal Khalif
Bill Hatcher custom 12 string Lap Steel Guitar
E13#9/F Bebop Tuning

Head & Hands to Steel your Heart.
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Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 2 Jan 2018 3:56 am     Reply with quote

oops of course fingerpicks and a thumbpick. Laughing

Lots of luck to you I am teaching my 3 kids and getting them to focus is hard at that age but usually with an external teacher it is easier.
_________________
http://ilapsteel.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/ilapsteel

Stefan aka Bilal Khalif
Bill Hatcher custom 12 string Lap Steel Guitar
E13#9/F Bebop Tuning

Head & Hands to Steel your Heart.
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Chase Brady


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 2 Jan 2018 8:04 am     Reply with quote

Did you look at the classified ads here? I see Skip Ellis has a couple for $100 each. I don't know him, but personally, I'd put much more faith in a homebuilder that advertises here than I would in an E-Bay seller.
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Ron Ellison


From:
D.C.
Post Posted 2 Jan 2018 9:06 am     Reply with quote

http://www.kekulamele.com/
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Joseph Carlson


From:
Grass Valley, California, USA
Post Posted 5 Jan 2018 3:07 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks all for the replies so far. I located a good first instrument in the forum classifieds. We should have it next week some time.

Still looking for a good method to use to get him started.

Would love to find a teacher locally rather than teach him myself, but I doubt there is anyone around here that teaches steel.

Thanks!
Joe
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Paul Honeycutt


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 7 Jan 2018 6:23 am     Reply with quote

I think that one of Andy Volk's C6 books would be a good place to start. Maybe some of the other guys who do video lessons might be good as well. Also, get your kid listening to steel guitar. He needs to get that sound stuck in his head and want to create it himself. If the borderline obsessive desire and passion isn't there he may as well go play baseball with his friend.

My old friend Richard Sinkler who plays pedal steel (and hangs out on the pedal steel part of this site), when he was first starting out, played an acoustic guitar with raised strings and a panhandle for a bar, followed by a two or three neck National console and then a ZB Custom PSG.

I remember going to to a park in the Oakland hills where we drank gin and 7up (don't tell our parents!) and played songs on cheap acoustic guitars and watching his brain smoke figuring out how to play licks that sounded like music. He also used to sit at his steel for hours with a stack of country albums wearing out the grooves figuring out licks and solos.

My point is that it's a process. All along the way he'll be picking up things that will be the foundation of what he becomes as a musician. I wish him the best.
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Joseph Carlson


From:
Grass Valley, California, USA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 4:56 pm     Reply with quote

The new lap steel showed up today. He seemed pretty stoked. Pretty good bar technique for a beginner!


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Brooks Montgomery


From:
Idaho, USA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 5:04 pm     Reply with quote

That's awesome. Can't wait to see him in a gig a few years down the trail.
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A banjo, like a pet monkey, seems like a good idea at first.
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Jason King


From:
Missouri, USA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 5:52 pm     Reply with quote

Best of luck. Stick with it young man!
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Skip Ellis


From:
Bradenton, Fl USA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 8:02 pm     Reply with quote

I'm proud he's learning on one of mine - makes it all worthwhile. We need a video as soon as possible.
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Homebrew Teles
Martin 000-18
BOSS Katana 50 amp
Understanding wife of 42 years
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 16 Jan 2018 8:39 pm     Reply with quote

Great photo! And he does look pretty stoked.

Finding a lap steel teacher in Nevada County, or for that matter even driving to Sacramento, might be like a needle in a haystack.

But you should get ahold of Pete Grant in Auburn. He might be willing to take on your young man.

Mike Witcher in Oakdale - one of the greatest dobro players on the planet who also plays lap steel - a good candidate, though I think Mike's areas of expertise would be in Open G and Open D.

The question is, what kind of music is he interested in? Does he want to play more rock sounding stuff or does he like country music? So it's going to be about the tuning and the genre.

There's the internet - Troy Breningmyer and his Lessons With Troy has some good beginner videos in different tunings.

https://www.lessonswithtroy.com/

I started in San Jose in the 1960s at age 9 or 10 at a music studio toward the end of the era when one could actually sign up for lap steel lessons, and we began with the classic Hawaiian tuning of Low Bass Open A then moved on to others - it wasn't like there was any choice in the matter.

I would think that starting on lap steel before moving onto the pedals - an E based tuning would be a good option. Going from C6th lap to E9th pedals - kind of a whole different deal. But it all helps.

Nowadays with different teachers you might be more able to "pick your poison."
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Mark
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post Posted 17 Jan 2018 2:03 am     Reply with quote

Skip Ellis wrote:
I'm proud he's learning on one of mine - makes it all worthwhile. We need a video as soon as possible.


Skip, that is a mighty handsome guitar that young man has there, nice build........I wish him the best and hope he sticks with it.
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currently own, 4 Gronertone lap steels.
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Rick Barnhart


From:
Arizona, USA
Post Posted 17 Jan 2018 4:45 am     Reply with quote

Young ones getting interested in steel are always my favorite topics. I only wish I'd started at that age.
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Clinesmith consoles D-8/6 & D-8, Pettingill Teardrop, Pettingill P8 Deluxe, BJS & Zirconia
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