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Author Topic:  Jeff Newman's Contribution
Franklin

 

Post  Posted 24 Jun 2010 6:11 pm    
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I was reading a comment on another thread about the naming of levers for tablature. I was struck by the accuracy of b0b's comment about Jeff and the evolution of teaching steel through tablature.

I wonder how many forumites understand who developed this systematic approach to teaching the pedal steel guitar. Jeff introduced tablature to the steel world.......Jeff Newman along with his wife Fran Newman started their instruction business back in the 60's. They promoted the pedal steel globally, teaching multitudes using his easy to understand tablature. I would bet that Jeff taught more players to play this instrument than all of the rest of us combined. He founded a steel guitar college that lasted a decade, or so, until he decided to retire that concept for his one on one top gun approach....He took his classroom method all over the world. His decisive approach has proven itself over decades by helping many amateurs become professionals......

I personally was honored when he asked me to go on the road and teach some advanced classes with him. I jumped at the opportunity to hang with him. It was a great learning experience...I witnessed firsthand his charismatic approach....He had a way of making everyone believe they could do the impossible. His teaching was exact and precise. Most importantly he found ways to eliminate confusion from the students mind. If you knew Jeff, you know he loved to share his knowledge and was completely committed to the promotion of playing pedal steel..He was always looking for a way to make it fresh and enticing. It was a high point in my career sharing that year with my two dear friends, Fran and Jeff.

I was just talking with Fran and she said she is moving back to Tennessee. Needless to say, we are glad to have her back in Tennessee.

Paul Franklin
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Bent Romnes


From:
London,Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2010 7:23 pm    
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Paul, that was beautifully spoken about one of our favorite people here in steel guitar world.
I share your sentiments. Jeff meant so much to all of us. I always looked forward to him coming up to London Ontario to do a seminar in the 70's. Being taught by Jeff meant you just had to understand - he was that good a teacher. He taught with the same approach as a great high school teacher.

One highlight of my life is when I went to Jeff's College in Feb 1978. Fran and Jeff had the talent to make us all feel like a big family.

My two favorite teachers through school and elsewhere was a grade 10 English teacher who based his course on the writings of Bob Dylan, and Jeff Newman who taught with the entertainment approach and also drove it home to us that this was fun stuff and at the same stuff easy. I still remember as if it was yesterday, that first seminar when he strutted up to the blackboard and wrote in huge letters: THINK SIMPLE and then proceeded to teach the simple approach.

Everything I know, I have learned from Jeff. If I haven't kept it up with practice it is purely my fault. I am amazed to discover how some little things he told us that I thought were forgotten, come back to me now, some 35 years later.

Paul, thanks a million for remembering Jeff.
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David Griffin


From:
Jimmy Creek,Arkansas via Cowtown, USA
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2010 7:47 pm    
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Paul,I concur,Jeff was a great person & great teacher. I went to two of his seminars in the 70s & still to this day use things he taught me. He told me at the last seminar I went to if I ever visited Nashville to give him a call & he would show me around. Lots of people say that but not many actually DO it.A year or so later when I came to town I called & he said"I'm doing a session today @ Hilltop,we start @ 3,don't be late!" I show up & he shows me in & introduced me to all the pickers.Pig Robbins,Ray Edenton,Leon Rhodes,Buddy Harman,Henry Strezlecki. I was in hog heaven!I got to sit right between Jeff & Leon for 2 hrs while they cut 3 songs.Leon found out I was from Ft. Worth & took a liking to me,even got me backstage @ the Opry. I'll never forget the way Jeff treated folks,everyone was equal in his eyes. We need more people like him. I miss him. Sad
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Don Ricketson


From:
Llano, Texas
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2010 8:01 pm    
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Paul, you are the greatist. Giving Jeff Newman the credit he deserves coming from you is absolutely the most honorable thing that anyone could bestow on Jeff Newman. He was de man...you are too.
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Jody Sanders

 

From:
Magnolia,Texas, R.I.P.
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2010 8:51 pm    
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Thanks Paul for the kind words about Jeff. About the time pedal steels came out, I was going thru a bad case of "burned out", and quit playing. After a few years I decided to try it again, not realizing how far behind I was as the pedal steel was going great guns. Had it not been for Jeff, and his kindness in helping me, I would not have made such a quick come-back. Sure miss having Jeff around. Jody.
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Tom Stolaski


From:
Huntsville, AL, USA
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2010 11:32 pm    
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I took an advanced C6th course with Jeff at the St Louis convention, which really jump started my understanding of the tuning. I thought that his seminar was very good.
I got a Jeffran College T Shirt and wore it the next year to the convention. My wife at the time put in too much bleach when she washed the shirt, so it came out tie-dyed and looked pretty cool. When I visited Jeff's booth, the look he gave me was priceless. Like I was an alien from another planet.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 2:04 am    
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The first Jeff Newman instruction material I bought was his "Music to get C6th by" in mid 1970. I've since bought several others and attended a couple of his semminars including one in Kansas City Mo in probably 82 or 83 that some guy name Paul Franklin was there and introduced us to his pick blocking technique.

I also worked with Bob Browning, at Little Roy Wiggins music store. Bob was the vocalist on a lot of Jeff's instruction material and also worked shows with Jeff.
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Ernie Pollock

 

From:
Mt Savage, Md USA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 4:04 am     Go Jeff!!
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I too am still using stuff I got from Jeff back in the 70's, he kind of 'turned my steel guitar world upside down' and his rhythm tracks & tabs were a God sent to me. I will always be grateful for his great ideas teaching method. He sure was 'one of a kind', and we all miss him.

Ernie Pollock
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Mike Archer


From:
church hill tn
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 6:33 am     best post ive seen
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Paul you are so right about Jeff
he was the great teacher and player
and he is still teaching right now
wonder how many lives have been touched by his
tabs and teaching MANY MANY !!
its so good to see a positive post on here for a change my hats off to you said it well
Paul you are yourself a WONDER FULL TEACHER!!
your playing is what all of us strive for
you have no way of knowing how much you have taught me in these many years ive been playing
thank you for answering my questions
and all the help and thanks to Jeff as well!!!
Mike Very Happy
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Franklin

 

Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 6:53 am    
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Thanks guys for the nice comments and stories about Jeff. b0b's statement inspired me to start this thread.

In case someone is interested in what Jeff has available they can contact Fran Newman @

JEFFRAN MUSIC

415 GUETHLEIN DRIVE

MT. JULIET, TN 37122

or call her @ 615-470-5224


Last edited by Franklin on 25 Jun 2010 8:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Brian Henry

 

Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 7:12 am    
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Back in the 80's I spent much valuable time and money with Jeff both at his week long sessions at the Hermitage and one on one. Perhaps his best production was "Just play the Melody" which is still available from Fran. In it you have the basic scales explained. I did , however white out and swop his denotations of E lever and D. It just made so much more sense. Jeff always said "Do what works for you!" Out of all my school, college and post graduate teachers he was the best I ever had. O how he is missed.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 8:44 am    
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Hear Hear Very Happy Very Happy

Jeff Newman was the greatest.
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Tommy R. Butler


From:
Nashville, Tennessee
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 8:57 am    
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b0b wrote:
Hear Hear Very Happy Very Happy

Jeff Newman was the greatest.






...AMEN
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Rick Kornacker


From:
Dixon Springs, Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 2:53 pm     Correct phone number for JEFFRAN MUSIC
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Please note that the phone number for JEFFRAN MUSIC has been corrected and is as follows: 615-470-5224. Thanks, RK
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Ernest Cawby


From:
Lake City, Florida, USA, R.I.P.
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 3:39 pm     hi
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I would not be playing pedal steel today if not for Jeff Neman's lessons, they are the best you can buy, it is better than having him sit besides you because you can go over his lessons again and again till you get it right.I was customer of the year in 1992 I have a steel bar and wallpaper yo prove it. Jeff sent them to me.

ernie
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Mark van Allen


From:
Watkinsville, Ga. USA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 4:26 pm    
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I called Jeff in 1977 to ask if his first Advanced/Teachers class at JefFran college would be over my head, and after asking some questions he talked me into it. Turned out to be within my grasp and exactly what I needed, filling in gaps and re-enforcing my direction and drive.
That week has stayed with me for more than thirty years, still inspiring. Thanks, Jeff, and thanks, Paul.
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Tommy Shown

 

From:
Denham Springs, La.
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 4:28 pm    
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Paul, I couldn't agree more, Though I didn't learn from any of his courses or had the opportunity to attend his school. But Jeff, made a big contribution to the steel guitar community through his work. I have watched some of his work on youtube. He was quite an accomplished musician.
Tommy Shown
SMFTBL
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Jack Stanton

 

From:
Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 5:46 pm    
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I had been playing (or maybe I should say I owned a steel guitar) about three months when I someone took me to a club to see the local hot player, Russ Powell. He told me about this guy from Nashville who does seminars , and was going to be out in some town in PA I never heard of the next weekend. I drove 2 1/2 hours in a rain storm.I don't remember what it cost, but it was the best money I ever spent.
The first instrumental I learned was Faded Love from "Music to Steel By". Jeff changed everything!
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Bob Kagy

 

From:
Lafayette, CO USA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 6:15 pm    
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Paul, well said. It warms my heart to read your comments.

I've used Jeff's material many times over a long period with a couple of seminars from him. It's really good stuff.
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Doug Childress


From:
Orange, Texas
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2010 6:49 pm    
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I heard about Jeff Newman in the 70's. Saw him play over the years and when I decided to play steel guitar Jeff was my choice for instruction. He probably saved me 10 years of huntin' and peckin'. He was my "teacher".
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Eric Philippsen


From:
Central Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 26 Jun 2010 3:40 am    
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I went to Jeffran College for a week, took a seminar with Jeff & Paul and another with Jeff and Buddy. Best instruction I ever had. I still have all my class notes and even go back to those from time to time. I have almost all of his courses and materials including all of his columns that he wrote for Guitar Player magazine for about a year or two.

Jeff had a true and astounding gift for teaching pedal steel. Anybody who was fortunate enough to take one of his classes quickly knew at the start that Jeff was a born teacher and a great player and performer. I miss him.

Maybe there is and I don't know it, but I wish there was another great teacher who would take his/her seminars on the road. Someone who had a similar gift. I'd travel and take that class.
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Tommy Alexander

 

From:
Friendswood, Texas 77546
Post  Posted 26 Jun 2010 5:55 am     Jeff Newman
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Here are some interesting things that some people don't know about!
Jeff, Howard Gregory (recently died),Eddie sterling and myself were raised in the Galveston and Texas city area as teenagers. We had the opportunity to take steel guitar lesson from one of the best guitars players in the country,Manuel Pedraza.
After high school, Jeff went into the military and went on to better things (as you know), Howard moved to Fort Worth and became a great unknown player, Eddie is living in East Texas as a retired school teacher and I am still trying to learn the Steel guitar.
Manuel is still living in the Texas City area, and teachs guitar and does some little gigs her and there, an also a pastor in his church.
I am not sure about his age, but he still talks about the "Ark"!
Jeff's family lived in Texas city and I knew his Dad very well and he would always call me when Jeff and Fran came into the area for a visit.
I got a call from Jeff and wanted to go out and listen to some players somewhere, and I told him about a club close to our area, so Jeff and Fran, my wife Charlotte and myself went to here a local steel player and the band. I didn't know that Jeff had his guitar in the trunk of his car, so when we got there, Fran told that Jeff had his guitar with his.
I knen the guys in the band, so I got Jeff to go get his guitar and come in and jam with the guys; his jam lasted about two hours and as Fran said, "he never really gets to do this anymore, but he had a great time"! His playing was as good as ever.
Later on, Jeff and Paul came to Houston for a seminar and I was glad that I had a chance to go for two days. It was a great seminar and Paul was his usual; a great person, player and I got to learn a few things.
That night, the jam with Paul and Jeff was unbelievable! This was a good memory.
Thanks Paul for bringing up the memories. Hope to see you in Dallas again in March..........
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Ray Minich

 

From:
Bradford, Pa. Frozen Tundra
Post  Posted 26 Jun 2010 2:14 pm    
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I just wish that filing cabinet drawer I've got full of his lessons, tapes, CD's, DVD's and accompanying instruction books would somehow... But no, gotta do my part.

Playing the steel with a revolver, that's the funniest message I've ever seen Smile
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JERRY THURMOND


From:
sullivan mo u.s.a.
Post  Posted 27 Jun 2010 6:03 am    
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Jeff was a good friend, an he set the standard for teaching steel guitar. His work is timeless.

Jerry
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Kurt Graber

 

From:
Wichita, KS, USA
Post  Posted 27 Jun 2010 8:03 am    
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Thanks for the address and phone number for Jeffs courses. When someone approaches me wanting steel guitar lessons 615-470-5224 is going to save me!!! it is so much better/cheaper to just order the beginner course from Fran. I'll keep that number in my billfold.
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