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Dave Mudgett

Central Pennsylvania and Gallatin, Tennessee
Post  Posted 14 May 2022 9:10 am    
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I've been thinking for a pretty long time about the need for an open forum on the internet for players who are on the edges of the slide/bender and steel guitar world to get together. I am, at this point, a totally committed steel guitar player. But my gateway drug, going back a long, long time, was definitely slide guitar and benders, and I still play them. And I strongly suspect that there are are a bunch of others here and out in the greater musical world with the same background.

There is, to my knowledge, no open forum for slide guitar. There was actually a "slide guitar forum" for a little while, but it went down several years ago. The Big Road Blues forum/website had a fair amount of slide guitar discussion. It was pretty blues-specific and appears to be completely gone now. The gear page has an 'official slide guitar thread', but it hasn't been active for the last few years. Benders have even less coverage. But otherwise, discussions about slide guitar and benders are relegated to scattered threads on various forums, and get buried deep very quickly. And I have never found any real 'community of interests' on these topics like there is so palpably for steel guitar on this forum.

I guess there is some interest in this on facebook in the form of at least one facebook group. I personally find a lot of facebook groups to be pretty scattered, transitory and cliquish. But my bigger issue is that the platform is, IMO, weak in terms of supporting substantive, threaded discussions and establishing a searchable history of these discussions and the information contained therein.

So - when b0b and I got together a couple of weeks ago near Pittsburgh, I brought this up, and we're giving it a whirl. Thanks b0b!

I've started to aggregate past threads on these topics into this section. I've started with about 20 slide guitar threads that I could readily find, mostly in the Music section. I'll expand to the benders and other related topics shortly. There are quite a lot of threads out there, but some of them are 'hiding' from the search function. I'll gradually ferret most of them out with more detailed google searches.

I'd like to foster a community of players who have interests in slide guitar, benders, and related approaches, and tie this in to our experience with steel guitar. I also see an opportunity to bring players who are, currently, primarily oriented towards the guitar/slide/bender side of things into the steel guitar world. Clearly, there are differences in technique, sound, and history between these approaches to music. But I also think there is a lot of common ground.

So this section will be open to any topics that discuss slide instruments, benders (on any stringed instrument), and relationships to steel guitar. This could include the physical instruments, playing techniques, transference of ideas and techniques between these types of instruments, players who explore this area, and anything else that might be related. I will be very reluctant to move topics out of the section unless they are clearly placed there by mistake and would get a better response elsewhere.

I'll keep this thread open for comments.
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Richard Alderson

Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 3 Jun 2022 6:47 am    
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This is a great new section. Now we can have Tabs for Howling Wolf's Little Red Rooster and Duane Allman on the Forum. Slide guitar and steel guitar share some intrinsic features in common: shared open tunings, resonator guitars, slides and steels and a mutual heritage.
Derby SD-10 5x6; GFI S-10 5x5; GFI S-10 5x5; Zum D-10 8x7; Zum D-10 9x9; Fender 400; Fender Rumble 200; Nashville 400; Telonics TCA-500.
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Dave Mudgett

Central Pennsylvania and Gallatin, Tennessee
Post  Posted 9 Oct 2022 9:18 pm    
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I had some time this evening, so I dredged through the Music section looking for threads on guitars and even banjos (e.g., Buck Trent) with benders. I did this dredging a while ago for slide guitar threads, and I've been meaning to do the same for some of those older bender threads.

I know this is a steel guitar forum. But I also know some of us are into slide guitar and benders on non-steel guitars. And that includes me.

Anyway - if that includes you, you might wanna peruse through some of these older threads. There have been some interesting discussions going on over the years. I don't think there's a real online 'discussion central' for slide guitar and benders. I think this could be a good place for that. I'll try to pull together some of my slide and bender guitars and post some of that. I have a bunch of stuff that I play pretty often.
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Rich Peterson

Moorhead, MN
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2023 12:39 pm    
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I support this. I used palm levers on my fretted guitar before I had the opportunity to pick up an MSA Classic at a price I could afford. 44 years ago.
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BJ Burbach

New York, USA
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2024 6:03 pm     almost steel
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So I played E9 pedal steel for a few years, a long time ago but mainly have stuck with bottleneck w/benders and dobro since.
I was Johnny Winter fan and got a pedal steel when I saw Jerry Garcia play it. I mostly listen to Celtic and free jazz, but play country blues.
I discovered Andy and that led me to the forum and with all of the great posts and support I have changed everything.
Many new tunings and even got an 8 string lapsteel. I almost don't know which bin to post on, because I play some regular electrics on my lap
and have more in common with those lapsteel guys now. It seems like one big thing to me.
Anyway, this is such a good place and I don't know where I fit, but it is all really good.
Great people.

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Dave Mudgett

Central Pennsylvania and Gallatin, Tennessee
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2024 10:09 pm    
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BJ - yup, I came up through blues guitar. Johnny Winter was my hardcore intro to slide guitar in the late 60s. But that quickly prompted me to search out the original masters like Fred McDowell, Robert Nighthawk, Earl Hooker, Bukka White, Robert Johnson, Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, and lots more. I agree - whether played Spanish style with a slide, on the lap, or on a console - they all seem of the same family to me. Sure, there are stylistic differences that tend to manifest themselves, depending on the playing style and cultural differences. But they all have that ZING of a slide or steel bar on steel strings.

This section was started about 18 months ago, and this section has been slow to get really going. There has been a lot going on - b0b getting sick and passing, as well as many trials and tribulations in my own family. I'll try to get on this section more.

I think you'll find this forum useful. There are a lot of interesting and knowledgable people here, and many who are very willing to help out on anything steel guitar related.
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