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Post new topic Steel guitar rodeo?
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Author Topic:  Steel guitar rodeo?
Susan Alcorn

Baltimore, MD, USA
Post  Posted 21 Feb 2019 1:11 pm    
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As someone who has rarely frequented steel guitar shows, but thinks about them, I've been wondering about how to make the experience even more . . . participatory for those who own/play a pedal steel, and also those who don't - perhaps add to the festivities with a steel guitar rodeo (where no one, hopefully, gets hurt).

Possible events:

Set up and tear down contest - who can set up and tear down a pedal steel guitar the fastest? Separate categories for single neck, double neck, three pedals, seven or more, different makes of pedal steel? There could be another event to see who can most quickly change strings and retune the guitar (separate category for keyless and push/pull, though black Emmons guitars should be probably be excluded).

Or, a relative of Easter egg hunt, have contestants drop their thumb picks on a multicolored carpet (special category for clear thumb picks) and seeing who can retrieve them most quickly; and also dropping fingerpicks on a wooden or cement floor and seeing how far they bounce (an alternative to this might be to drop a set of picks on the floor while a number blindfolded volunteers randomly walk in that area.
, the winning contestant being the one who is able to retrieve his or her picks , or have contestants walk blindfolded and the winner could be whoever steps on a pick, but maybe that's too mean).

And, like the old Hawaiian guitar orchestras, maybe have one hundred steel players (pro and amateur) all playing "A Way to Survive" together

Just trying to help. Any other ideas?

"So this is how you swim inward. So this is how you flow outwards. So this is how you pray."
- Mary Oliver

Last edited by Susan Alcorn on 21 Feb 2019 2:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Tim Sheinman

Brighton, UK
Post  Posted 21 Feb 2019 1:44 pm    
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How about...

1. Contestants try and identify which steels are tuned in just or equal temperament.

2. Guess the price a poorly maintained Fessenden goes for on the forum, with the closest guess winning the guitar.

3. Stairlift. Winner is the person who can get their entire rig up a flight of stairs (you could use one of those airport stair trucks for this).
Williams Ext.E9, ToneTron, Hilton
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Jim Cooley

The 'Ville, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 21 Feb 2019 2:27 pm    
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If we play "A Way to Survive" so that he owner of the last pick not stepped on is the winner, THAT would be mean.
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Donny Hinson

Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2019 10:39 am    
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I dunno. I'm not sure that playing games, especially those involving physical exertion, would go over well with our aging demographic. However (and I'll probably get slammed for this), I do think that collectively, we're in a real rut, and that's not helping the instrument. I watched a couple of steel jams on YT, and it just struck me...after hearing about 15 similar renditions of the same song...is this really the best we can do? All the players seemed to emote more or less the same style and sound, and it got sorta tedious about half-way through. I was hoping for a Chalker, Mooney, or Sneaky Pete rendition of the song, just to get some kind of variety, but it wasn't in the cards. (I'd have probably even welcomed a banjo player, near the end. Laughing )

Just a thought...how about a show where no song gets repeated?

(Flame suit ON!)
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Jim Cohen

Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2019 12:19 pm    
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How about no player can repeat a song they played on last year's show...?

Several years ago I suggested that a string mfr sponsor a string changing competition. Winner gets a free set of their strings. Nobody picked up on the idea.

We could guess the weight of an unknown steel in its case. Or guess by how many cents a string is off-pitch (Peterson sponsors?)

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Gary Lee Gimble

Fredericksburg, VA.
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2019 12:26 pm    
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Donny Hinson wrote:
I'd have probably even welcomed a banjo player, near the end. Laughing )

Geez Donny, thanks for for the invite....

Assorted gear and a set of hands...
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