Visit Our Catalog at for Steel Guitars, Strings, Instruction, Music and Accessories 
Forum Index
where steel players meet online
The Steel Guitar Forum

Post new topic It all begins with one note
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  It all begins with one note
Mike Neer

Post Posted 6 Sep 2017 7:33 am     Reply with quote

I think it does. Take one note and learn to make it sound beautiful. Or sad. Or happy. Just master the expressiveness of one single note. Then move to another note. Master going from one note to another and all the different ways of doing it.

Later on, when you are playing some blazing lines, you will always have your mastery of a note to bring it all home.

This is how I would start off a student on steel guitar, no matter how old or experienced.

Then, make it two notes. Rinse. Repeat. Forever and ever ahem.
My Steel Instructional materials site
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
C. E. Jackson

Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 6 Sep 2017 7:41 am     Reply with quote

Interesting, Mike. I had never thought of that.

C. E. Smile
My Vintage Steel Guitars
My YouTube Steel Guitar Playlists
My YouTube Steel Guitar Songs
A6 tuning for steels
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
David Mason

Cambridge, MD, USA
Post Posted 6 Sep 2017 10:07 am     Reply with quote

I've actually noticed a telling, slighty sad way to tell which of my (6-string) guitar students were going to keep AT it after the initial charm wore off, about the nine-month-to-two-year level* where they realized that WORK was what distinguished good from... not-gonna-be-good players. Hard work, with ATTENTION. And that is, the gonna-bees can really get OFF on a single note of their own, and they can really be entranced by certain tones of recorded musicians and want to know the HOW of that end. The look-at-me-go flap-fingerers just, well. Hmm.

I have fairly extensive collections of "the best* note ever played" and "the other best** note ever played" and the other other best and "the best THREE*** notes ever played" etc; and they can already UNDERSTAND that idea.

*(Steve Morse Band, album "The Introduction", the first note of the solo on the slow part of "Huron River Blues." Actually the whole dang song.
** Miles Davis, album "Star People", title song, 1:45, the held one that keeps changing tone. Actually the whole dang solo...
***Duane Allman, "Mountain Jam," the slide solo after the bass solo that's after the drum solo, after Duane informs Dickey that in NO WAY are they playing a duet, not right NOW, not for a little while, and after grand celestial hound-doggie stuff; at 25:50 or so, the root, b3/3 ->root... surprise, actually the WHOLE DANG SOLO is IMMACULATE. I almost detect a pattern?)

B) Kala Ramnath. ANY note. Incredible vibrato & pitch control, it's like listening to a hibernating dragon:
Or ANY other track/concert/even her doodles are terrifying. The FIRST note of the FIRST raga the FIRST time I heard her she immediately zoomed to the top, displacing some not-incidentally talented peep.

*(The ones who figured out it was going to be HARD at nine months were already better then than the two-year fellows.)

Tho: As I myself have changed around (somewhat drastically, healthwise) and I've seen many others turn many, often unexpected, even drastic corners, I ALWAYS encourage people to at least keep the toys AROUND, you'll likely need them eventually. Instruments will get you through times of la, la and so-forth.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Geoff Cline

Southwest France
Post Posted 7 Sep 2017 5:39 am     Reply with quote

Totally agree Mike. For me, it was seeing/meeting Albert King...and then watching as, with sweat running down his face and the band just chugging, Albert waited...and waited and then blew the roof off the place with one note!

Literally life changing for me.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dennis Detweiler

Solon, Iowa, US
Post Posted 7 Sep 2017 9:03 am     Reply with quote

I'm closing in on 50 years of playing steel. My notes are all sad! Laughing
1976 Birdseye U-12 MSA with Telonics 427 pickup, 1982 U-12 Zum with Truetone pickup wound 18K, Revelation Preamp, TC Electronic M-350 Processor, Carvin HT 400 Stereo Rack Head, 15" Eminence EPS-15C, ShoBud Pedal, 1949 Epiphone D-8. And, too much extra gear.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Christopher Woitach

Portland, Oregon, USA
Post Posted 7 Sep 2017 10:47 am     Reply with quote

The old school Indian classical players would do that for a year..
Christopher Woitach
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  

Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction,
steel guitars & accessories

Steel Guitar Music
Instrumental steel guitar CDs for your permanent collection

BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles
for Band-in-a-Box

by Jim Baron

Please review our Forum Rules and Policies

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

Support This Forum