| Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com |

Post new topic Beginner musician question?
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Beginner musician question?
Darrell Criswell


From:
Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 28 Dec 2018 11:01 am    
Reply with quote

For someone who is a relative beginner who wants to play pedal steel, is it easier to learn basic musicianship, such as chord progressions, ear training, learning to hear chords, scales etc. on a fretted instrument such as guitar or mandolin? Or is it just as easy to begin on dobro or pedal steel??

And if fretted instruments are the best would guitar be easier than mandolin or vice versa?

Thanks so much for your advice.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bill McCloskey


Post  Posted 28 Dec 2018 11:17 am    
Reply with quote

Best way to learn is to get a good teacher. There are a number of courses (Paul Franklin) and great teachers on this forum who give skype lessons.

But to answer your other question about basic musicianship. Piano in my opinion is the best instrument to learn how chords, scales, modes, and keys all work together.
_________________
Beard MA-6, Beard MA-8, Beard R model, Beard R Vintage Model, Eharp, Adams 8 string dobro, Sonny Jenkins custom 12 string lap steel. 12 string super slide
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 28 Dec 2018 11:41 am    
Reply with quote

Firstly, I'd forget about mandolin...unless you just want to play bluegrass music.

That said, I think just buying a cheap guitar will probably give you a quicker introduction to playing music. You'll learn basic chords, timing, and music structure, and your expense will be minimal (as opposed to pedal steel). You can find guitar players just about anywhere, and you can steal a little knowledge from each one.
Wink

After a year or so, you can start looking at pedal steels...if you still want to go that route.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 28 Dec 2018 11:41 am    
Reply with quote

I agree with Bill. The piano is all laid out in front of you. 🎹

I myself, started on drums. 🥁
_________________
CLICK HERE to visit my website with Mickey Adams videos.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bill Moran


From:
Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 28 Dec 2018 1:20 pm    
Reply with quote

Richard Sinkler wrote:
I agree with Bill. The piano is all laid out in front of you. 🎹

I myself, started on drums. 🥁


I'm sorry ?
_________________
Bill
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 28 Dec 2018 3:00 pm    
Reply with quote

I have never learned to play piano properly but it's a great tool for finding out how the mechanics of chords function. You can play any combination of notes which you can't on a guitar.
_________________
Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Williams keyless U12 7x8, Telonics rack and 15" cabs
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jerry Horch


From:
Alva, Florida, USA
Post  Posted 28 Dec 2018 3:29 pm    
Reply with quote

Play and learn the instrument you really like hearing and have a real want to learn , and play like. You have to be "hooked" on it in your heart and keep the drive to get it, then..you'll stay with it and learn..a good instructor to actually watch play is a real big help...dont get frustrated and stay with it. We're all still learners.
_________________
Franklin D10 /Walker Sterio Steel JBL's /DigiTech Quad4/ Korg Toneworks/ Dobro DM 1000 / Santa Cruz Guitar VA
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 1:33 am    
Reply with quote

I agree with Bill about the piano. That being said, if your heart really lies with pedal steel, I'd start on it as soon as I could. I say this because it's a very complicated instrument to digest, and there is the fear that if you start getting good at something else, and then try to switch to pedal steel, it may be too much of a challenge to keep your interest. Also, there isn't much you could learn on guitar or mandolin or whatever, that will translate well to pedal steel. I had 45 yrs of guitar/bass and not a bit of it (except knowing the music side of it) helped me with pedal steel. I feel pretty
sure there are other guys who've had this experience on here. I wanted to play pedal steel most of my life but was just too good at other things to change horses in the middle of the stream. I kind of wish I'd started on pedal steel and left everything else alone - just my 2 cents.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 1:34 am    
Reply with quote

I would never discourage anyone from playing ANY instrument, The physicals may be different but the basic theory is exactly the same. The Mandolin may very well be popular in Bluegrass but is is exactly the same theoretically .

G,C and D is still G, C and D.

The root of understanding any instrument is to be able to connect the SIMPLE dots. Meaning I, IV and V better known as C, F and G etc... It doesn't matter what instrument we learn this on, I learned it on a Ukulele . I heard the different voicing's and then was able to apply the SOUNDS ( chords) to the guitar, then Elvis songs, then the Ventures etc..

The Pedal Steel is an incredibly intelligent instrument in it's basic simplicity ,it gives us the I ,IV and V chords ( C,F and G ) right in front of our noses. But we have to be able to understand the basic language . When do I play C, when do I play F and when do I play G.

thats on US , not the instrument.

Quite frankly, simple chords on a Mandolin are a same day event ! Tuning the dang thing may be a different subject. Laughing

IF you can hear and distinguish the chords and timing of a simple Country Song, I, IV and V, on ANY instrument, you will be be able to repeat it on a Pedal Steel. Granted, it may sound god awful for a few months but the basic elements and positions are the starting point. Thats what we build on.
_________________
<b>Steel Guitar music here >>> http://www.tprior.com/five.htm</b>

Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
Pro Tools 8 and Pro Tools 12
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 2:20 am    
Reply with quote

I totally agree with everything you said Tony - you can learn the "music" side of things on a harmonica, or anything else. But, if he's at all ADD like me, he might want to consider starting with, and learning on what it is he really wishes to play. That way, when things start coming together, he won't have to relearn the execution of the music on an entirely more complicated instrument - that's what kept me away from it for so many years but, like I said,.. I'm a little compulsive/obsessive I suppose.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Darrell Criswell


From:
Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 5:05 am    
Reply with quote

Thanks so much everybody for the advice, I learned a lot.

But there was one question that I find quite interesting that I don't think anyone addressed.

Do you learn chords/sounds better with a fretted instrument initially since you don't have the issue of where to place the bar like you do on a steel or dobro. I messed with the fiddle a bit and got worried that I might be learning some of the sounds wrong, although my teacher told me I was overall doing well, I realized it was incredibly easy to start fingering wrong and after a while you starting hearing something wrong as right...I hope that made sense and thanks again.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 5:27 am    
Reply with quote

It's true Darrell, if you play a C chord on a fretted instrument, provided that it's in tune, you will have an accurate C chord. On an instrument with a slide or bar, you'll have to adjust the pitch with your eye, and ultimately with your ear - which will develop your ear, and you will need that to play a non-fretted instrument. In the old school of music, students are at least acquainted with how the piano is laid out, as sort of a beginning point of reference to all other instruments. But, that's kind of an intensive musical training which usually starts at a young age. It's up to you really. If you think your ear needs some initial training, a fretted instrument may be the way for you.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bruce Bjork


From:
Southern Coast of Maine
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 6:05 am    
Reply with quote

A guitar that’s tuned properly will always have the proper intonation for the chords you finger. On the the other hand as a beginner you’ll find it hard to use three fingers to play the chords and transition between them. On the Pedal Steel, laying the bar over the third fret will voice a G chord on 8 of the 10 strings, the key is to find that position on the third fret. Same is true for the Dobro, actually easier, strumming it open on all 6 strings voices a G chord, fifth fret a C, seventh fret a D etc. I’ve been teaching guitar (three years now) as part of a music therapy program for combat vets and I can tell you learning chords on a fretted instrument is hard initially. I’ve played Dobro for 25 plus years so my transition to Pedal Steel wasn’t that bad. Good Luck.
_________________
Banjo, Dobro, Guitar, Justice Pro Lite 3x5, BOSS Katana 100.
"Use the talents you possess; the woods would be very silent indeed if no birds sang but the best"
View user's profile Send private message
Bill McCloskey


Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 8:06 am    
Reply with quote

So much of this depends on your age and musical aspirations. Do you want to perform in a band setting, church setting, jam setting, or just at home entertaining yourself?

Are you relatively young? or pushing retirement age? Do you want to be able to improvise? Or do you want to just copy licks from tab?

Pedal Steel is not the instrument I would choose for a first instrument. It is just too expensive, difficult, and heavy and relies on so much extra equipment such as amps speakers and pedals.
_________________
Beard MA-6, Beard MA-8, Beard R model, Beard R Vintage Model, Eharp, Adams 8 string dobro, Sonny Jenkins custom 12 string lap steel. 12 string super slide
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 9:17 am    
Reply with quote

Bill Moran wrote:
Richard Sinkler wrote:
I agree with Bill. The piano is all laid out in front of you. 🎹

I myself, started on drums. 🥁


I'm sorry ?


Lol. Lucky for me, I wanted to be a musician, so I had to change to another instrument. 😂 Really, I have great respect for good drummers.

I still believe the piano would be a good place e to start.
_________________
CLICK HERE to visit my website with Mickey Adams videos.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  
Please review our Forum Rules and Policies
Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction, and steel guitar accessories
www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

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

Support This Forum



BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron