| Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com |

Post new topic College
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  College
Brad Malone


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jul 2019 5:29 pm    
Reply with quote

Did College bring about the demise of the pedal Steel Guitar? Most know that to achieve proficiency on the pedal steel is very time consuming. Most young people have to study for college if they want to get a good paying career. This time spent on college leaves little time for learning the pedal steel...most great steel players did not have college..some did not even complete high school.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Gary Watkins


From:
Bristol, VA
Post  Posted 6 Jul 2019 5:38 pm     Re: College
Reply with quote

Brad Malone wrote:
Did College bring about the demise of the pedal Steel Guitar? Most know that to achieve proficiency on the pedal steel is very time consuming. Most young people have to study for college if they want to get a good paying career. This time spent on college leaves little time for learning the pedal steel...most great steel players did not have college..some did not even complete high school.

East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN has a class that teaches pedal steel guitar.
_________________
If you succeed in cheating someone, don't think that the person is a fool. It's just that the person trusted you far more than you deserved.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Brooks Montgomery


From:
Idaho, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jul 2019 5:54 pm     Re: College
Reply with quote

Brad Malone wrote:
Did College bring about the demise of the pedal Steel Guitar? Most know that to achieve proficiency on the pedal steel is very time consuming. Most young people have to study for college if they want to get a good paying career. This time spent on college leaves little time for learning the pedal steel...most great steel players did not have college..some did not even complete high school.


When did the pedal steel die? It didn’t.

The cell phone and it’s generation might have killed some of the arts. Maybe some future pedal Steelers. But there’s some great young talent out there....and they have cell phones. College has never been an arts limiter. The opposite really. But....you were baiting me weren’t you?
_________________
A banjo, like a pet monkey, seems like a good idea at first.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 6 Jul 2019 7:30 pm    
Reply with quote

Well, I'm also gonna argue about the premise "demise of the pedal steel guitar", which I don't believe has happened. But even accepting that premise - no, college has not brought about the demise of pedal steel guitar.

Learning anything requiring serious physical and/or mental capability well takes lots and lots of time and dedication. There are lots and lots of young musicians playing all kinds of instruments at a level that is frighteningly good, at least at a technical level. They have learning and physical resources us old pharts could have only dreamed of. And I think as they mature, many become great players from every point of view. Guitar, bass, drums, violin, horns, woodwinds, even ukelele. And there are some fine younger steel players out there, but I admit they tend not to get the prominence of more "mainstream" isntruments.

I believe that lack of exposure, stylistic stereotyping, and a broad sense in the culture that the music stereotypically associated with it is "not cool", whatever that means, have been the primary issues that have hamstrung pedal steel guitar, to some extent. I've been around college students for decades (taught at Penn State main campus from the late 80s to a couple of years ago), and have been around colleges and universities most of my life. When smart college students really want to do something, nothing will stop them.

So I really believe the main issue is motivation. Not money, not difficulty, not availability - hell, anything is available via the internet, auction sites, reverb.com, you name it. Period.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jack Aldrich


From:
Washington, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jul 2019 7:35 pm    
Reply with quote

I havew a PhD, and it didn't stop me. You gotta do something with your time after work, and steel was it for me!
_________________
Jack Aldrich
Carter & ShoBud D10's
D8 & T8 Stringmaster
Rickenbacher B6
3 Resonator guitars
Asher Alan Akaka Special SN 6
Canopus D8
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 6 Jul 2019 7:44 pm    
Reply with quote

I brought my pedalsteel to college. Got a degree in composition and a chance to dig into some amazing music with the pedalsteel. I was lucky enough to have the Harry Partch instrument collection available along with all sorts of other things. It was a fantastic time and doors are still opening because of my time in school. I did a ton of work in the modern dance department with my steel too. I loved every minute of it.

I've been finding myself working as a pedalsteel player with music departments in a couple major universities on some more experimental music.

I know of 2 different universities that are currently working on new designs for pedalsteel. Its pretty wild ! Its not like they have whole departments on it or anything. But a couple professors are into it and have the facilities and time to do it.
_________________
Bob
http://liminalsoundseries.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 7:25 am    
Reply with quote

I think the corporate changing of focus to the singer has had more to do with the demise of popularity of all instrumentalists, pedal steel included. Used to be, there were lots of "bands" on the pop and country charts. But now, about all you hear on big media outlets are vocalists...with nameless stage and session musicians. Big labels no longer want to deal with 4 or 5 different personalities. There's too much of a chance of conflict and band members having differing opinions and goals.

The days when you knew each member of a band, with groups like the Beatles, 'Stones, Beach Boys, and Dave Clark Five are pretty much gone. As are the days of the Texas Troubadours, the Strangers, and the Buckaroos.

I pedal steel losing popularity? You tell me. How many chart songs in any genre can you name in the last 10 years that had a pedal steel intro? Whoa!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Brad Malone


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 2:13 pm     Pedal Steel
Reply with quote

How many people are making a living playing Pedal Steel??..it seems that even the very skilled players are not doing great. Blame the public..all they buy is noise..BANG..BANG
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 8 Jul 2019 4:56 pm    
Reply with quote

Skill is only one aspect, Brad. You also have to be at the right place at the right time, and have the right attitude. Having a few "influential" friends doesn't hurt, either! Winking
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ben Elder


From:
La Crescenta, California, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 12:28 am     Vice versa
Reply with quote

No names, but an extremely prominent steeler told me that he spent most of his time, while enrolled at [major respected West Coast University] woodshedding on pedal steel. Again, no names, but his career, credits and accomplishments prove that the truancy strategy has served him well.
_________________
Fattening the herd.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bob Blair


From:
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 7:54 am    
Reply with quote

I first learned to play pedal steel and gigged on it in Kingston, Ontario while I was in a demanding degree program. In my experience the demands of University were nothing compared to the demands of careers and families that come later.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Darrell Criswell


From:
Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 7:59 am    
Reply with quote

Bob Hoffnar wrote:
I brought my pedalsteel to college. Got a degree in composition and a chance to dig into some amazing music with the pedalsteel. I was lucky enough to have the Harry Partch instrument collection available along with all sorts of other things. It was a fantastic time and doors are still opening because of my time in school. I did a ton of work in the modern dance department with my steel too. I loved every minute of it.

I've been finding myself working as a pedalsteel player with music departments in a couple major universities on some more experimental music.

I know of 2 different universities that are currently working on new designs for pedalsteel. Its pretty wild ! Its not like they have whole departments on it or anything. But a couple professors are into it and have the facilities and time to do it.


Bob: It would be interesting if you could tell us what was the most valuable thing you obtained from your musical education whether academic or otherwise. Thanks so much!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Larry Jamieson


From:
Walton, NY USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 2:13 pm    
Reply with quote

I took my pedal steel, guitar, and bass and 2 amps to school, the Hank Thompson School of Country Music at Claremore Jr. College, Claremore, Oklahoma. While there, I got private steel lessons from Gene Craine and played in the college county band, Got lots of practice time in. 1974-1976.
The school has now become Rogers State University and country music courses are long gone.
I went on to study Radio, TV and film and Oklahoma State University and worked for 7 years as a television producer/director. Then my dad wanted me to take over his music store so he could retire. I started back in the music business in 1985 and I'm still at it. Had a great music theory teacher at Claremore, jazz musician Ken Downing.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Tony Dingus


From:
Kingsport, Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 6:39 pm    
Reply with quote

I've been teaching pedal steel, lap steel and some dobro at ETSU in Johnson City, Tn for 5 years now. One of my students, Henry Johns is playing steel and dobro in the Navy's Country Current band and they played the Texas show this year. I'm in no way covered up teaching but there's a few that love it and want to learn. I'm honored to be a part of the program there.

Tony
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dom Franco


From:
Beaverton, OR, 97007
Post  Posted 9 Jul 2019 9:01 pm    
Reply with quote

I would really like to know the actual statistics of the state of the pedal Steel Guitar today...

Those of us whom have played Pedal steel for many years (Myself over 48 years) may have some sense of the "decline of the Steel Guitar in popular music"

Country Western and Country Rock Music have long been the natural home of the Pedal Steel, but even in those genres the steel guitar was never as popular (and as well known) as the Standard Guitar.

As a Frequent customer in hundreds of music stores over many years, I saw thousands of armpit guitars and honestly rarely saw a pedal steel for sale. Unless it was in a catalog or a specialty "steel Guitar store"

Does anyone have reliable statistics as to the number of pedal steels made in 2019? How many companies or private builders are currently making Pedal Steels, as opposed to say... 30 years ago?

How many steel guitarists are actively playing professionally now?

It seems that we rarely hear a steel guitar on the radio or TV or video channel, but is it any less popular than music in the 1970's?

I don't know do you?
_________________
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYG9cvwCPKuXpGofziPNieA/feed?activity_view=3
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Brooks Montgomery


From:
Idaho, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 8:04 am    
Reply with quote

18,500 plus members here. Pretty good for an obscure dying instrument😎
_________________
A banjo, like a pet monkey, seems like a good idea at first.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 8:54 am    
Reply with quote

Dom Franco wrote:
I would really like to know the actual statistics of the state of the pedal Steel Guitar today...

Those of us whom have played Pedal steel for many years (Myself over 48 years) may have some sense of the "decline of the Steel Guitar in popular music"

Country Western and Country Rock Music have long been the natural home of the Pedal Steel, but even in those genres the steel guitar was never as popular (and as well known) as the Standard Guitar.

Does anyone have reliable statistics as to the number of pedal steels made in 2019? How many companies or private builders are currently making Pedal Steels, as opposed to say... 30 years ago?

I don't know do you?


Using 30 years ago as your gauge isn't accurate, as the biggest boom period for pedal steel was earlier. With the possible exception of GFI, all the high-volume "factory builders" are gone. I feel pretty confident saying that there are no builders now building 100-200 guitars a month. And back in the early '70s, there were several companies doing this. While it's true that there are lots of builders now, they are all small-volume builders, and the total numbers being made aren't even close to what they used to be. MSA, Sho~Bud, Emmons, and Fender all built thousands and thousands of pedal steels back in the '70s, and they are all out of business now.

As far as "popularity", I'd have to ask first what your definition of the word is. In my opinion, steel is less popular today than it was 40-50 years ago. I don't see it or hear it as much, and I think the number of players now making a living wage playing just pedal steel is probably far less than it used to be. My own narrow mind doesn't categorize multi-instrumentalists as "steel players" for the same reason it doesn't categorize a handyman as a carpenter or electrician.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 10:05 am    
Reply with quote

I think steel buyers and players, just like regular guitar players, have become predominately bedroom or just home players. Tons of guitars are being sold and the players are just using them at home or in home studios or on YouTube or just collecting them. But you don't see these being played out, on TV or hear them on radio unless you seek them out.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Brad Malone


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jul 2019 7:17 pm     Sales
Reply with quote

Remember, regardless of how good an artist is..the public decides what it will buy...if eight million kids cry "Mommy buy me this CD" the artist will do great. The kids control the music industry....Kids buy CD's...adults buy cars and houses.....for the most part.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 11 Jul 2019 12:21 pm    
Reply with quote

Darrell Criswell wrote:
Bob Hoffnar wrote:
I brought my pedalsteel to college. Got a degree in composition and a chance to dig into some amazing music with the pedalsteel. I was lucky enough to have the Harry Partch instrument collection available along with all sorts of other things. It was a fantastic time and doors are still opening because of my time in school. I did a ton of work in the modern dance department with my steel too. I loved every minute of it.

I've been finding myself working as a pedalsteel player with music departments in a couple major universities on some more experimental music.

I know of 2 different universities that are currently working on new designs for pedalsteel. Its pretty wild ! Its not like they have whole departments on it or anything. But a couple professors are into it and have the facilities and time to do it.


Bob: It would be interesting if you could tell us what was the most valuable thing you obtained from your musical education whether academic or otherwise. Thanks so much!


The main thing I got from school was the ability to walk through hundreds of doors to gigs and music that I didn't know existed before. The ear training and theory was a big help also. Studying orchestration taught me how to find what was needed and what was not needed while working on different sorts of music. For country music you need to learn a very specific vocabulary. That vocabulary is a beautiful thing but has little to do with music outside of that very small genre. In school you get real hands on experience with classical ensembles and in my case a ton of experimental modern dance. You spend years exploring in a place with everything you need easily available. While I was in school I was fascinated by early counterpoint music like Perotin and Lassus. Along with that I spent a bunch of time with the Harry Partch instrument collection. Now 20 years later my favorite gigs are a direct result of indulging in that stuff.
_________________
Bob
http://liminalsoundseries.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  
Please review our Forum Rules and Policies
Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction, and steel guitar accessories
www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

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

Click Here to Send a Donation


BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron