INSTRUCTION STRINGS ACCESSORIES MUSIC LINKS
 Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com for Steel Guitars, Strings, Instruction, Music and Accessories 
Forum Index
where steel players meet online
The Steel Guitar Forum

Post new topic What terms do you use to describe your backup parts?
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  What terms do you use to describe your backup parts?
Pete Bailey


From:
Seattle, WA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 9:06 am     Reply with quote

Hi everyone, I'm just getting started playing out with my pedal steel, although I've done so for a while on other instruments.

I'm hoping you all can help me be a little smarter about how to talk with other band members about what I am doing with this instrument. Or trying to, anyway...

I know about "pads" (long held swelling chords), "fills" (single line improvisations between phrases), "licks" (short distinctive rhythmic parts) and everyone's favorite, "sitting out" (not playing at all).

I can hear that there is a lot more than that going on in pedal steel backup but I have no idea how to talk about what those various things are.

When working out parts with a singer or bandleader, how do you discuss the different kinds of backup you can offer for a given section? What do you call the various types of accompaniment you can play?

Looking for any advice or opinions on the topic - thanks!

(Assume for the sake of discussion that the singer is knowledgeable about backup playing and not just a "do that thing I like, you know, the swooshy thing (waves hands)" kind of person... Wink )
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 9:55 am     Reply with quote

I've been playing in bands since 1959 and Pedal Steel in bands since Jan 1970. I've had recording producers/engineers tell me what they want and I've had to practice to learn songs/licks for shows backing Nashville singers that want you to "play it like the recording". I played, briefly, in a cover band and had to copy recordings. Otherwise I've never had a local band/singer tell me how/what to play.
_________________
Franklin D-10, Hilton VP, POD X3, MatchBro, SG Black Box, Carvin BX500, EPS-15C, Sonar DAW but migrating to Studio One 3, MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid
R.O.P.E. Member
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Allan Haley


From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 10:31 am     Reply with quote

Excellent questions. I'm very interested to hear how the real pros talk to each other- both how PSG players talk to each other, and how PSGers convey their playing to other musicians.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 10:41 am     Reply with quote

There's also " Comping" wich means playing along to the rhythm of the tune.
_________________
Fender Kingman, Sierra Crown D-10, Evans Amplifier, Soup Cube.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 10:55 am     Reply with quote

I can't think of much more than what's already been stated (mostly by yourself), other than some synonyms, for example:

Lick = Riff

Solo = Ride

Laying Out = Going potty... Wink
_________________

www.JimCohen.com
www.BeatsWalkin.com


Last edited by Jim Cohen on 2 Dec 2017 3:10 pm; edited 4 times in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Pete Bailey


From:
Seattle, WA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 11:49 am     Reply with quote

Awwwww I was hoping there would be a lot of insider nomenclature like the "reverse stairstep" and the "flying sixths". Sad
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 11:58 am     Reply with quote

Pete Bailey wrote:
Awwwww I was hoping there would be a lot of insider nomenclature like the "reverse stairstep" and the "flying sixths". Sad


Well, an empty fifth can lead to a missed stairstep......
_________________
Many play better than I do. Nobody has more fun.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Chris Templeton


From:
The Green Mountain State
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 3:09 pm     Reply with quote

Is that related to a flat fifth?
_________________
Don't Drop The Bar
View user's profile Send private message
Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 3:10 pm     Reply with quote

Oh, and...

Pickup Notes = The ones the girls swoon for... Wink
_________________

www.JimCohen.com
www.BeatsWalkin.com
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Howard Parker


From:
Clarksburg,MD USA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 3:54 pm     Reply with quote

Jim Cohen wrote:

Laying Out = Going potty... Wink


#1 "laying out" = chorus only
#2 "laying out" = verse, chorus and possibly turnaround

h
_________________
Howard Parker

03' Carter D-10
52' Fender Custom
Many guitars by Paul Beard
Listowner Resoguit-L
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 3:56 pm     Reply with quote

Howard Parker wrote:
Jim Cohen wrote:

Laying Out = Going potty... Wink


#1 "laying out" = chorus only
#2 "laying out" = verse, chorus and possibly turnaround


Geez, now you tell me! After all these years??
_________________

www.JimCohen.com
www.BeatsWalkin.com
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Kevin Fix


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 5:26 pm     What To Play and When To Play Reply with quote

I have a feeling for when to play and what to play. Working with band members that play leads and fills I have learned to watch and listen to who is playing what and when. I blend in and out as needed. If a song has a specific fill or a lead we definitely put that into place at a rehearsal.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Kevin Fix


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 5:38 pm     Laying Out And Going Poty Reply with quote

I have prostate issues and being 64 years old means I have to Pee more often. We play outdoor Festivals and County Fairs and play one and two hours straight through with no break. I was playing last summer and really had to go bad so I left early into a song and was back in time to put the fill in the last verse and put in the ending!!! Their was a porta john right behind the stage. Believe me, I scout out for a place to Pee before we start playing!!! I get teased about it all the time!!! LOL!!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 5:40 pm     Re: Laying Out And Going Poty Reply with quote

Kevin Fix wrote:
I have prostate issues and being 64 years old means I have to Pee more often. We play outdoor Festivals and County Fairs and play one and two hours straight through with no break. I was playing last summer and really had to go bad so I left early into a song and was back in time to put the fill in the last verse and put in the ending!!! Their was a porta john right behind the stage. Believe me, I scout out for a place to Pee before we start playing!!! I get teased about it all the time!!! LOL!!


See? See? THAT's what I mean by "Laying OUT"!! LOL!
_________________

www.JimCohen.com
www.BeatsWalkin.com
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
gary pierce


From:
Rossville TN
Post Posted 2 Dec 2017 7:56 pm     Reply with quote

This made me remember one time we played with Merle Travis at the Peabody in Memphis, and just before we started he turned to the guitar player and said, you can "lay out" on this one.Smile
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Barry Blackwood


Post Posted 3 Dec 2017 9:30 am     Reply with quote

Intro - turnaround(ride) - outro. Question
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post Posted 3 Dec 2017 10:52 am     Reply with quote

My backup parts, in descriptive terms..

Fatiguing
Irritating
Amateurish
Grating
Obnoxious
Putrid
Discordant
Inharmonious
Dissonant
not to mention- Cacophonous
_________________
I'm over the hill and hittin'rocks on the way down!

no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ken Campbell


From:
Ferndale, Montana
Post Posted 3 Dec 2017 11:02 am     Reply with quote

I'm going with crappy for the term I use.
_________________
Morrell E13 on a Valco Alkire E-harp.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 3 Dec 2017 11:11 am     Reply with quote

In a country band:
Kick off : Intro . The intro is also called turn around . The solo might be the turn around or a chorus or a full verse depending on how long they want to stretch the tune.

Twining means harmonizing a melody

Cha cha cha is a type of tune ending

Family key is G major
Dog is D

Crowbar whole step is a modulation.

Waylon beat is a simplified disco drum beat.

Flat tire shuffle is a drum beat
I’ll think about it and see if there is anything more interesting. It’s mostly practical and easy to yell across a loud stage.
_________________
Bob
http://liminalsoundseries.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post Posted 3 Dec 2017 11:22 am     Reply with quote

Vibrato and bar shiver
_________________
Fender Kingman, Sierra Crown D-10, Evans Amplifier, Soup Cube.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Pete Bailey


From:
Seattle, WA
Post Posted 3 Dec 2017 11:28 am     Reply with quote

Bob Hoffnar wrote:
Twining means harmonizing a melody

I had not heard this one before. That's exactly the kind of term I was hoping to learn about, thanks Bob.

Bob Hoffnar wrote:
Family key is G major

Ha! Another band I play with calls out C major as "The People's Key".

I'll tell them about this one, they'll love it.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 10:11 am     Reply with quote

I don't know if there are terms for it, but I try to keep out of the singer's range and off the bass line with chords when I'm comping, and also lay off the vibrato during vocals.

"Groove" dictates what every player should be doing to give the song its rhythmic character when they are not soloing or filling.
"Dynamics" are usually volume-oriented changes, but can also involve complexity and layering in more parts.
"Cajun Ending" - end on the IV chord.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tucker Jackson


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 11:29 am     Reply with quote

Truth is stranger than fiction. For fun, I started making up jargon to describe licks to a bandleader I work with. I probably lifted the idea of doing this from Dan Dugmore after seeing a video where he named his licks.

Wanky-Dank (n.) - A lick. The "bup-BAHHH..." AB-pedal lick that ends every country song from 1962-1972.

Wanky-Wanky (adj.) - A style. Specifically, country, laid on with extra sauce.

Wing-Ding (n.) - A fancy, whiz-bang lick.

Doo-hickey (n.) - A simple lick.

+++

Actual conversation:
"Really? You want a wanky-dank at the end of the verse? I was thinking a simple doo-hickey. Yeah, yeah, don't worry, I'll wanky-wanky it."

.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 2:07 pm     Reply with quote

Pete Bailey wrote:
Bob Hoffnar wrote:
Twining means harmonizing a melody

I had not heard this one before. That's exactly the kind of term I was hoping to learn about, thanks Bob.

Bob Hoffnar wrote:
Family key is G major

Ha! Another band I play with calls out C major as "The People's Key".

I'll tell them about this one, they'll love it.


The twinning harmony is with 2 single note lines. Not a chordal harmony. Like twin fiddles in western swing or a double lead in Motley Crew.
_________________
Bob
http://liminalsoundseries.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 2:16 pm     Reply with quote

You know the intro/kick off thing right ?

fifteen eleven, forty five fifty one... and all that.

There are thousands of drummer/groove phrases. But that is another world.
_________________
Bob
http://liminalsoundseries.com/
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

www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

Steel Guitar Music
Instrumental steel guitar CDs for your permanent collection
www.SteelGuitarMusic.com

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

advertisement