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How do you like it now? (Details)



Post new topic Are you getting better or worse now ?
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Author Topic:  Are you getting better or worse now ?
Richard Tipple


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 10:19 am     Reply with quote

After reading another thread on,,How old are you,,I got to wondering how many of us think our playing is , better or worse, now we are in our (I will say later years) of playing 50s,60s, ???

Im my case ,at 66,,I feel I have evened out. My speed picking is maxed out, I cant seem to speed pick any faster no matter how much I practice & I am a middle of the road speed picker.

I find sometimes the old hands, feet, Etc.just dont seem to coordinate like they once did Sad

But I will keep at it till I cant Smile
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Richard Sinkler


From:
Oakdale, California
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 10:31 am     Reply with quote

Definitely worse. Mild stroke has affected my right side. My right hand is weak. I lean to the right when I play, which makes my elbow drop. This makes my hand very difficult to hold in place. Sometimes I go to pick a string and miss it. Speed picking is now half-assed picking. The leaning to the right also tries to pull my left hand to the right. It really sucks. I've tried to find a way to counteract the leaning problem, including sitting my right butt cheek on a foam wedge to tip my body to the left, but nothing seems to work.

62 years old
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Len Ryder


From:
Penticton B.C.
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 10:40 am     Reply with quote

Speed Pickin' is great but when you listen to the 'Older Well Known" players you understand it's "Feeling, Phrasing and Touch" that really counts. The likes of Emmons, Hughey, Jay Dee, etc. etc. come into mind.
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Dick Wood


From:
Springtown Texas, USA
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 11:23 am     Reply with quote

I'm almost 62 and have to say my playing is better now than in recent years due mostly to learning some new things instead of relying on worn out licks.
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David Nutt


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 11:31 am     Reply with quote

Age 73, been playing since the early 70s, my playing is going backwards at a pace, I experienced a few major health issues 5 years past, that has definately played a part, however! I still do what I can manage each day, it frustrates me that I cant pick the way I once could but still get a lot of enjoyment from my time spent playing.

Dave.
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David Nutt


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 11:33 am     Reply with quote

Age 73, been playing since the early 70s, my playing is going backwards at a pace, I experienced a few major health issues 5 years past, that has definately played a part, however! I still do what I can manage each day, it frustrates me that I cant pick the way I once could but still get a lot of enjoyment from my time spent playing.

Dave.
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Brett Day


From:
Pickens, SC
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 2:51 pm     Reply with quote

I'm thirty-five, but I'm not the fastest steel picker, mainly because of the cerebral palsy in my left hand, but I'm happy with how I play. I'm happy to play steel, even with cerebral palsy in my left hand. There are some songs I do okay on, but there are some songs I don't play too well, but that's okay. I have to do those songs I don't play too well differently.
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Rick Barnhart


From:
Arizona, USA
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 2:55 pm     Reply with quote

I don't think speed equals better. Taste and tone are most important to me. (and no, I'm not very fast, haha)
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 3:29 pm     Reply with quote

I feel I am a much smarter player these days, not necessarily faster. Trying to be a better overall musician.
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Bill Miller


From:
Gaspe, Quebec, Canada
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 3:31 pm     Reply with quote

I'm sixty, been playing for twenty-seven years and I get better with each passing day. But I'm still not much good. I practice at least an hour a day and as long as I enjoy it and make some progress I'll keep at it.
Here's an observation: I don't play but four or five gigs a year now and never did do it full time. But I always notice after playing a four or five hour gig I'm sharper the next day. Could be that onstage you really have to knuckle down and concentrate more than at home. It makes me wonder how much better player I would be if I could gig full time for a year or so. Performing really forces you to focus and the benefit lasts.
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Rich Upright


From:
Florida, USA
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 4:38 pm     Reply with quote

I play out every week, but unfortunately the pay in Florida is so poor, the musicians & bands here so substandard & the audiences so musically ignorant that I could be as good as Buddy & very few here would notice the difference. As a result,I had lost the desire to practice; my steels or guitar didn't come out of the case between gigs, so I had felt I had not progressed as a musician in the last few years. Then, to add insult to injury, a band I was with about 25 years ago posted some old videos on YouTube, and I couldn't believe how much better I played back then; I was much faster & never hit a clunker.

But, last year I joined up with my old band, and they are the best band in the area, so I have been inspired to start getting better. Even looking for a banjo to get back into playing 5-string, which I had done for years.
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Larry Lenhart


From:
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Post Posted 15 Feb 2017 8:08 pm     Reply with quote

I have never been a fast picker but I think I play with more confidence than ever before...I do work a lot on the steel-at least 4 to 6 hours practice a day...I worked really hard on non pedal steel for a couple of years hoping to help my technique...not sure that I accomplished that, but it did give me more experience. I have done a lot of playing out, even played in 3 steel shows and that makes you work hard to get ready, or at least it did me. I think both my E9th and C6th work has gotten better, but at 69, I am motivated every day to work harder and learn more and try to improve my skills. Still not any where near good, but I am having more FUN than ever, and thats what counts to me...I have been working at steel for over 45 years now.
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Bill Ferguson


From:
Norcross, GA USA
Post Posted 16 Feb 2017 5:20 am     Reply with quote

I am about to be 70 (whew) and I find that my playing has leveled out.
I have always strived for touch and tone and not the "speed" picking.
I do ok on fast songs, but have to scale back from what I hear on records. But that is ok with me. It is when I walk off a stage and someone (especially another steeler) say, "man, you have the best tone I have ever heard"
Makes it all worthwhile.

I have told my wife to be honest with me. Not when I just have a bad night, but to listen out for my overall playing. When she thinks I am going backwards, that is when I will hang it up.
I want to be remembered for the good playing, not the bad. And we all know that when people remember you, it will be for the last time they heard you.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 16 Feb 2017 7:25 am     Reply with quote

My serious steel playing started in 1968 and probably peaked in the 1980s. I listen to some tapes from live shows of my band during that decade and frankly, amaze myself at some of the stuff I came up with and could not even conceive of doing today.

But in terms of being a musical communicator, I'm hopefully in my prime. Instead of attempting to impress the hotshot pickers in the audience or next to me onstage, I'm trying my best to sing the song on my guitar and have my listeners hear the lyrics I'm conveying to them without words. IOW, I've matured as a player, which is about time after a 49 year career as a professional musician.

I urge players to acquire, if possible, any recording by Jimmy Day, but especially CD by Bobby Black entitled "The Steel Guitar of Bobby Black." Bobby plays with such beautiful melodicism that I called my old friend to tell him that CD changed my whole approach to playing music. His response, typical of BB, was "oh, man... come on." Wink
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T. C. Furlong


From:
Vernon Hills, Illinois, USA
Post Posted 16 Feb 2017 9:23 am     Reply with quote

Herb, Right on! Great advice to all of us who from time to time struggle with keeping up our chops.

I used to play with pretty good agility and speed. I can still do some of that and my right hand mostly complies. What I do to keep progressing is: record my playing and get hyper-critical of every nuance. Thankfully, I get enough session work where I can record tracks at home and really spend the time to get it just the way I think it should be. That's good and not-so-good because if I'm not mindful, I can get caught up in a trap of playing every note perfectly which might get in the way of a soulful fluid vibe. Also, I'm a little afraid of what this might do to playing out live (which I don't do as much of lately).

I do have a method that works pretty well. I learn the song and record myself from start to finish without stopping. I go back and listen and if I think I can do a "front to back track" better, I'll do it again. I then take it phrase by phrase and make corrections and tweaks hoping to maintain the fluidity. Seems to work.TC
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Dean Rimmer


From:
New Mexico, USA
Post Posted 16 Feb 2017 9:31 am     Reply with quote

n old friend told me ....if 'ya can't play good play fast....sooo.'dere is 'dat
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Tim Whitlock


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 16 Feb 2017 10:01 am     Reply with quote

Good question and I have been wondering about how others my age are getting along. At age 62, having played non-stop weekend gigs on steel guitar since 1994. I finally quit live performance. My knowledge of theory and the fretboard is better than ever and continues to grow, but I have lost that burning desire to perform I've had since I was a teenager. The last couple of years I started positively dreading to pack up for a gig.

So to answer the OP's question - I have always practiced a couple of hours every day but since I quit it's gone to a couple of hours a week and my playing has suffered - most noticeably in the right hand. I feel bad because I think I may later regret not playing out while I'm still relatively healthy enough to do so. Maybe some inspiration will come along but lately I am finding a lot more fulfillment spending more time doing things with my wife than spending half the weekend playing in a bar and the other half recovering from the late nights (and I'm not even a drinker).
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 16 Feb 2017 5:33 pm     Reply with quote

Tim Whitlock wrote:
lately I am finding a lot more fulfillment spending more time doing things with my wife than spending half the weekend playing in a bar and the other half recovering from the late nights (and I'm not even a drinker).


same here, but since I'm single, I spend my time with my daughter, and I enjoy every second, and wouldn't have it any other way...




then...




and now...
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Paul Wade


From:
mundelein,ill
Post Posted 17 Feb 2017 7:00 am     playing steel Reply with quote

Herb Steiner wrote:
My serious steel playing started in 1968 and probably peaked in the 1980s. I listen to some tapes from live shows of my band during that decade and frankly, amaze myself at some of the stuff I came up with and could not even conceive of doing today.

But in terms of being a musical communicator, I'm hopefully in my prime. Instead of attempting to impress the hotshot pickers in the audience or next to me onstage, I'm trying my best to sing the song on my guitar and have my listeners hear the lyrics I'm conveying to them without words. IOW, I've matured as a player, which is about time after a 49 year career as a professional musician. right on herb. and T.C. my playing has leveled off also. have not played out in two years mostly teaching. but will have my first gig in two years in April with my old band better get game plan going

I urge players to acquire, if possible, any recording by Jimmy Day, but especially CD by Bobby Black entitled "The Steel Guitar of Bobby Black." Bobby plays with such beautiful melodicism that I called my old friend to tell him that CD changed my whole approach to playing music. His response, typical of BB, was "oh, man... come on." Wink
Smile Smile
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Bill L. Wilson


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 19 Feb 2017 10:22 pm     Hopefully Better. Reply with quote

I'd like to think I'm a much better player than when I started out in Jan. '74.
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Ray Montee


From:
Portland, Oregon
Post Posted 22 Feb 2017 1:45 pm     most discouraging.............lately. Reply with quote

At age 80 with one recent heart attack......my playing has deteriorate horribly. This saddens me as it has long been my motivator for living.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 22 Feb 2017 2:10 pm     Re: playing steel Reply with quote

Paul
If you're going to quote me, please do it correctly.

I've amended your "quote" of mine to reflect what I actually wrote. [quote="Paul Wade"]
Herb Steiner wrote:
My serious steel playing started in 1968 and probably peaked in the 1980s. I listen to some tapes from live shows of my band during that decade and frankly, amaze myself at some of the stuff I came up with and could not even conceive of doing today.

But in terms of being a musical communicator, I'm hopefully in my prime. Instead of attempting to impress the hotshot pickers in the audience or next to me onstage, I'm trying my best to sing the song on my guitar and have my listeners hear the lyrics I'm conveying to them without words. IOW, I've matured as a player, which is about time after a 49 year career as a professional musician.

I urge players to acquire, if possible, any recording by Jimmy Day, but especially CD by Bobby Black entitled "The Steel Guitar of Bobby Black." Bobby plays with such beautiful melodicism that I called my old friend to tell him that CD changed my whole approach to playing music. His response, typical of BB, was "oh, man... come on." Wink


This is what was added by someone and was included in your quote of mine:

"right on herb. and T.C. my playing has leveled off also. have not played out in two years mostly teaching. but will have my first gig in two years in April with my old band better get game plan going"
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Son, we live in a world with walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with steel guitars. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg?
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Roger Rettig


From:
An Englishman in Naples, FL
Post Posted 22 Feb 2017 4:26 pm     Reply with quote

Yes, it did look as if you'd momentarily lost your usual grasp of good grammar.

Smile
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 22 Feb 2017 4:33 pm     Reply with quote

My playing's not as fast or as clean as it was when I was playing in clubs several nights a week. Working with a live band hones your playing to a degree that you just can't do any other way. Nowadays, I'm lucky to play 5 to 10 times a year. Though I don't have that old "edge" and drive, I do feel that my touch and smoothness on my backup work is better.

I'm happy I can still play occasionally, and the only thing that makes me feel bad is that I haven't passed on what I know to very many people. I never was a gear-head, but nowadays, many players seem more interested in changing/modifying their gear than they are in just learning how to use what they already have to play good music.
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Junior Knight


From:
Eustace Texas..paddle faster..I hear Banjos...
Post Posted 24 Feb 2017 5:05 pm     Reply with quote

I will be 68 in July. I have always been blessed with good health but having said that I have problems with my feet now. My playing..to me..has been going down hill for about the last 6 or 7 years. I left the great band I had been working with for the last 2 years..Jeff Woolsey and The Dancehall Kings..so I'm not playing much soooooooooo...
I sound like a vacuum cleaner....I SUCK!!!! lol
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