INSTRUCTION STRINGS ACCESSORIES MUSIC LINKS
 Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com for Steel Guitars, Strings, Instruction, Music and Accessories 
Forum Index
where steel players meet online
The Steel Guitar Forum

Post new topic bar blocking?
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  bar blocking?
Greg Earnest


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 10 Feb 2018 11:04 am     Reply with quote

I'm two months into learning pedal steel and having a great time. . . what an addictive instrument! I'm working through the Bill Keith/Winnie Winston book.

My question is about blocking. . . I have played dobro for years, so the typical dobro technique of blocking by slightly lifting the bar so the trailing fingers damp the strings is second nature to me. This doesn't seem to be the way it's done on pedal steel. . . how important is it for me to learn palm blocking? Will the bar blocking cause me problems later on?

thanks,

greg
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 10 Feb 2018 11:28 am     Reply with quote

Learn and use all methods of blocking (bar lifting, palm blocking, and pick blocking). Relying on only one or two methods may limit you when you're called upon to emulate other players.

A few players even block in front of the bar using their left thumb, but I personally haven't found widespread use of that one.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rick Abbott


From:
Indiana, USA
Post Posted 10 Feb 2018 1:55 pm     Reply with quote

I use the tip of my bar thumb to block the 7th string sometimes. Yes to what Donny said: use 'em all. Beware of overusing the bar-lift method. I came from dobro, too, and it felt so natural to lift the bar, but keeping the bar down and learning to palm and pick-block is best, I think. They all have their uses.
_________________
RICK ABBOTT
Sho~Bud D-10 Professional #7962
Gibson Console Grande, Lazy River Wiessenborn
Session 400, Bassman Amp W/Altec 418,
1953 Stromberg-Carlson AU-35
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post Posted 10 Feb 2018 6:12 pm     Reply with quote

Greg, I've had a couple of students who were bar-lifters. Neither was aware they were doing that. Both had terrible tone caused by subtle raspy noise that occurred on both the lifting and the setting back down on strings of the bar. As soon as they quit doing that, the yone improved immensely.

If you're able to do that move without added noise, then don't worry. Almost anything can work on pedal steel.
_________________
E9 INSTRUCTION
Mullen pre-RP D-12 9+10 /Li'l Izzy / Stereo Steel combo amp-preamp / JBL, BW & Telonics speakers in Telonics cabinets / Hilton and Telonics volume pedals / BJS bars / George L strings & cables / StealSeat.com pack-a-seat / Macintosh computers / This Space for Hire / Burma Shave
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bill Terry


From:
Bastrop, TX
Post Posted 11 Feb 2018 7:48 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
A few players even block in front of the bar using their left thumb, but I personally haven't found widespread use of that one.


I do that... and I never intended to, just noticed one day I was doing it. I think I read somewhere more or less what Donny said, any way you can block effectively is fair game.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 11 Feb 2018 10:23 am     Reply with quote

A Stevens type Dobro bar is pretty light. Constant lifting of a 7/8 Steel bar seems like it would be a lot of work for the left hand. Might it result in fatigue and possible stress injury? If that is going to be one of your go-to techniques for blocking, you might consider a lighter weight bar.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Rick Abbott


From:
Indiana, USA
Post Posted 11 Feb 2018 10:45 am     Reply with quote

A TriboTone, or other plastic bar is light, easy to hold and is easy to lift.

When I play my D8 non-pedal I use a TriboTone and end up lifting it a lot. Almost never lift a bar on my PSG, unless on the C6 neck...with the TriboTone.
_________________
RICK ABBOTT
Sho~Bud D-10 Professional #7962
Gibson Console Grande, Lazy River Wiessenborn
Session 400, Bassman Amp W/Altec 418,
1953 Stromberg-Carlson AU-35
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 11 Feb 2018 12:35 pm     Reply with quote

I played Dobro for years first as well and mostly bar block. I rarely palm block at all - never been able to work out the technique, but I don't play traditional pedal steel and it's relatively unimportant.

AsJohn said - if you can do it without noise, don't worry about it. *If* you can learn to palm block it might be a useful tool, but I wouldn't stress about it.
_________________
No chops, but great tone
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Greg Earnest


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 11 Feb 2018 4:54 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies, everybody!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 10:15 am     Reply with quote

I'm with Jim.
That's the only way I block, pick up the bar and let the bar fingers do the blocking.
I get NO extraneous noise. Very Happy
Erv
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  

Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction,
steel guitars & accessories

www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

Steel Guitar Music
Instrumental steel guitar CDs for your permanent collection
www.SteelGuitarMusic.com

BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles
for Band-in-a-Box

by Jim Baron

Please review our Forum Rules and Policies

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 South Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support This Forum

advertisement