| Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com |

Post new topic I don't play at Steel Guitar Conventions
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  I don't play at Steel Guitar Conventions
Bo Legg


Post  Posted 2 Sep 2019 11:08 pm    
Reply with quote

I've been ask many many times why I don't play at Steel Guitar Conventions.
Let me say this before I give you my answer.
So you think you've mastered your PSG. But your fingers are not bleeding from practice and you lost the war on motivation.
Folks tell you how good you are and you start believing it.
So you begged your way into a Steel Guitar Convention line up and everyone told you how great you are and you're so giddy you don't notice the "I feel sorry for you" look while they're saying it!
Folks are just not going to come up to you and say "you suck". But they damn well will say it behind your back!

Why I will never play at a Steel Guitar Convention:
My Daddy told me a long long time ago
"never never ever sign up for an ass kicking!!!!"
View user's profile Send private message
George Kimery


From:
Limestone, TN, USA
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 5:48 am     I don't play at steel guitar conventions
Reply with quote

I only play at a local jam where most of the pickers are my friends and really enjoy it. I don't think I'm good enough to play the regional or national jams. I play very simply and 90% of the time on one or two strings. I am not a steel players steel player.

If I make a mistake, I figure the other players understand that I am nervous playing in front of other steel players and will understand. I don't care if they talk about my playing behind my back.

For a steel jam to work,there has to be enough guys willing to play to help out the cause and to give back. To me, the bottom line is if somebody would like to help out and play but are afraid of messing up or being criticized behind their back, I think they are taking it way too seriously. Just have a good time and when you mess up, just laugh it off. I've seen Buddy Emmons do this and nobody thought any less of his playing.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 6:23 am    
Reply with quote

A lot can be said about this dilemma. As my martial arts teacher used to say "Everyone needs to be humbled - at least once". I used to be a decent barroom player, but I've always known my limitations. (Most everyone has them.) I'll play with locals, but I'd no more get on stage with the "greats" than I'd try to go on the ballfield with major sports players. Those guys have been doing it dillegently all their lives, and it shows!

Little story: One well-known and recorded player (but not a "top tier" guy) did that, and he was slightly embarrassed when the top dogs played a really hot number, and he just couldn't hang in there with them. It might have been an opportunity to get a good-natured laugh and take it with a sense of humor. But when an audience member made an audible comment about his attempts, he got rather upset and just left the stage.

As the old saying goes, "There are players, and then there are players" - those who've really mastered the instrument. IMHO, it's good to know the difference. Wink
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 7:42 am    
Reply with quote

"A man needs to know his limitations!"
Whoa!
Erv
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Alan Bidmade


From:
Newcastle upon Tyne UK
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 8:46 am    
Reply with quote

I don't play at 'em either - coz I'm rubbish (but love playing steel anyhow). Don't suppose I'll be asked either. Cool Laughing Rolling Eyes
_________________
Ben-Rom #017 'Lorelei', Guild D25, Epiphone 'Joe Pass', Roland 40XL, Goodrich VP

First name Alan, but known as Nick
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Alan Bidmade


From:
Newcastle upon Tyne UK
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 8:47 am    
Reply with quote

I don't play at 'em either - coz I'm rubbish (but love playing steel anyhow). Don't suppose I'll be asked either. Cool Laughing Rolling Eyes
_________________
Ben-Rom #017 'Lorelei', Guild D25, Epiphone 'Joe Pass', Roland 40XL, Goodrich VP

First name Alan, but known as Nick
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jack Goodson


From:
new brockton,alabama (home of me and don helms
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 9:42 am     steel shows
Reply with quote

i remember about three or four years ago at the gulfport mississippi show i played my last two songs on fiddle, the last song was orange blossom special. right at the end of the song the crowd started going wild, screaming, etc, my wife thought they did,nt like it and i was getting trashed. but i was getting a standing ovation, imagine that. anyway it has not stopped me from from playing steel guitar....thanks jack
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Johnny Cox


From:
Lives in Schulenburg Texas
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 10:39 am    
Reply with quote

I used to do them but don't much now. I enjoyed the Southern Illinois show last year as well as the Phoenix show. My problem with some of them are the politics of some of the organizations or their leadership. One in particular said to a friend of mine that I would never be on his show again. Oh well. I would much rather play in a jam room or play a gig.
_________________
Johnny "Dumplin" Cox
"YANKIN' STRINGS & STOMPIN' PEDALS" since 1967.
Sho-Bud and MSA pedal steels. Telonics and Sho-Bud amplifiers and volume pedals.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Paul Sutherland


From:
Placerville, California
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 11:00 am    
Reply with quote

I assume there is no pay, unless you're a big name player. Which means I would actually pay to play (gas/air fare, motel, meals, etc.) That doesn't fit within the bargain I've struck with my wife.
_________________
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dick Wood


From:
Springtown Texas, USA
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 11:42 am    
Reply with quote

I have a hard enough time playing without having a couple hundred pickers breathing down my neck counting every clam.
_________________
Cops aren't paid much so I steel at night.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Dennis Brion


From:
Atwater, Ohio USA
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 11:51 am    
Reply with quote

Hey Johnny i watched your sweet memories video, can't imagine someone telling you that you can't play their show! Ridiculous!
_________________
1969 Custom built d10, Fender 25R practice amp,Dunlop pedal, Peavy Special 130 w/15" Blackwidow, Gretsch resonator, 41 Gibson 7 string lap steel, Epiphone flat top, 67 Epiphone Olympic
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Carl Williams


From:
Oklahoma
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 11:59 am    
Reply with quote

I’ll second your thoughts Dick. I was asked one time if I was a musician and I thought about it and thanked the gentleman for the thought but told him I was only a musical equipment owner...Steel..,Fiddle...Piano...Whoops—Banjo. I’ll be okay. More power to you if you have the chops to play shows. After I heard Herby Wallace play in Dallas I almost sold my steel! Ha. CW
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 1:11 pm    
Reply with quote

Johnny Cox wrote:
One in particular said to a friend of mine that I would never be on his show again.


That mentality is sad. While it does take someone, or several someones, who are invested in making any event a success, I'd like to think MOST such occasions are put on for (and "belong to") those who participate, either playing or listening. When an event becomes "my" event, it's starting out with one strike against it already IMHO.
_________________
Many play better than I do. Nobody has more fun.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dennis Brion


From:
Atwater, Ohio USA
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 1:22 pm    
Reply with quote

I went to a steel jam in Louisville, Ohio of course not like those major convention/steel shows. Have to say there were great players and just one brave newbie, everyone knew how hard it was for him to try and handed out tons of encouragement. It was very nice to see!
_________________
1969 Custom built d10, Fender 25R practice amp,Dunlop pedal, Peavy Special 130 w/15" Blackwidow, Gretsch resonator, 41 Gibson 7 string lap steel, Epiphone flat top, 67 Epiphone Olympic
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bo Legg


Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 1:45 pm    
Reply with quote

I don’t approach the E9 in a conventional or recognizable style but I compensate for it by never playing anything the same way twice. Smile
View user's profile Send private message
Lee Warren


From:
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 2:01 pm    
Reply with quote

Bo Legg wrote:
I don’t approach the E9 in a conventional or recognizable style but I compensate for it by never playing anything the same way twice. Smile


So, you play jazz ..? 😂
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Greg Lambert


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 2:37 pm    
Reply with quote

You will generally find that the pros dont criticize any player. Anyway I think the proceeds of the So. il. convention all go to the shriners hospital. So its a good cause and a lot of fun. A Great bunch of guys run the show.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 3 Sep 2019 8:11 pm    
Reply with quote

I’ve always played terribly at these shows but I think it’s a good thing to get up and give people a taste of what makes us all individual players. I feel a little more at home with the east coast rhythm section but I’ll have to make it out to Arizona one day to see some pals. I love the hang.
_________________
Buy Steelonious!
My Steel Instructional materials site
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
David Nugent


From:
Gum Spring, Va.
Post  Posted 4 Sep 2019 4:13 am    
Reply with quote

On occasion events beyond your control may contribute to embarrassing moments. Drove from Richmond Va. to North Carolina one time to play at a steel jam. Have occasional bouts with arthritis and after the long drive, naturally it decided to kick in just as I began my set. Played like I started learning that morning and could not even finish the first tune.
View user's profile Send private message
Dick Hitchcock


From:
Wayne, Nebraska
Post  Posted 4 Sep 2019 5:53 am    
Reply with quote

I am far from being in the league of the really good players, but I still stumble through a show or two. I have made more really good friends, and have enjoyed some really nice people at these shows. It seems to me that no one is out to judge, but to have fun. And it is fun. The steel guitar community is a very caring group, and I am proud to be part of it!
_________________
Justice Pro Lite 4x5.... NV112 amp.... Steel seat.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Barry Blackwood


Post  Posted 4 Sep 2019 9:09 am    
Reply with quote

Quote:
I don’t approach the E9 in a conventional or recognizable style

If you don't want to sound 'recognizable' as a steel, why bother playing one? Confused
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Steven Hicken


From:
Leeds, United Kingdom
Post  Posted 4 Sep 2019 10:16 am    
Reply with quote

Well, here's my two cents.

Everybody at some point in their life regardless of craft is going to be criticized and many don't feel good enough.

Over here in England we have a game called football. (Or as you Americans like to call it, wimpy soccer). Laughing

We have league football which consists from county level to professional level. Hundreds of leagues down is the bottom and the top is the Premier League. Leagues don't cross over. Teams in the individual leagues play each other and are relegated or promoted at the end of each season based on performance (unlike most US sports).

We do however have cup tournaments with crossover of teams which is where my point is going...

League 10 down in the pyramid makes things interesting. These guys compete in a national tournament called the FA Cup which is eligible from league 10 up to the Premier League. Players at this level will not be a pro footballer. They will be semi pros with day jobs. Anybody from league 6 and below will be semi pro players due to the size of the teams they play for and also personal ability.

Players in this league thrive on the early competition of similar level of teams so they can have a chance at playing the best teams football have to offer. Usually league 10 teams will get beaten by the leagues above in the early rounds of the cup but some will sneak through. If everything goes to plan, these "lesser" teams from division 10-6 can get drawn against world famous teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and even my beloved Leeds United who are hopefully going to get back to the Premier League after a millennium financial collapse we've only just recovered from. Heck, even the pro players in league 4 absolutely thrive for the day to play these names of teams.

On these special occasions, fans of the small clubs will turn up in numbers and cheer their underdogs on. Neutral fans and fans of the big club will always write off the underdog but sometimes they can get egg on their face. With grit and pure determination the underdogs sometimes beat the much better teams by a narrow margin.

However...the underdogs a lot of the time will break hearts and be absolutely battered losing 5-0.

My point you may ask?

Well,

These semi pro footballers win either way.
If they win as the underdogs they are overnight heroes.

If they lose? They get to feel honored they have shared the hallowed turf with some of the finest names football has ever produced. They may have been humbled, but they can tell their grandkids the story in the future. "I played against Jamie Vardy when I was a footballer". In fact...Jamie Vardy came to be a world beater after being spotted in a Semi Pro team.

If you are at a level where you are a good and competent player, there is no reason why you shouldn't share the stage with the top boys, if you are invited to. People may talk behind your back but at the end of the day, if I had a tenner for every hate comment I've received on my YouTube videos, I'd be able to buy all you guys a drink at Legends Corner. It all spans from jealousy. The big guys are usually highly humble and would say to you "well played mate", and maybe give you CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK, just as you would if you played on stage with some kid who was just starting out. There are so many different levels of player, and it is great to cross paths with the pinnacle, however nervous and having a feeling of "not belonging" you may feel.

I'll tell you another story. (I know I'm rambling now) but I played Country 2 Country this year on the Supporting Stages at the 02 Arena London.

I was spotted by a band manager and it is a gig I had dreamed of doing ever since 15 year old when I started playing. I had never played a proper "gig" in my life, only watered down family gigs. Some can say I did it backwards "I never paid my dues".

A few weeks before my rehearsal (audition), I had a meltdown. I blew up in front of my parents on a family day out saying I wasn't good enough and that I was going to drop out as the band's steel player. Anyway...I fought my feelings and I absolutely smashed it even with all those nerves in the rehearsal. Then we played a gig at a posh nightclub and I smashed that too (also nervous as hell). The band loved me and we went on the play the 02 (which I was even more nervous about).

Being on the road was a new experience for me and I didn't sleep the night before my 10:30am spot. I was running on empty and coffee got me through that morning. Well, I was shaky in the soundcheck, really shaky. I said to myself "Come on Steven, get it together... you're playing S**T!". Sound check finishes, band goes away to chill and have a refreshment. Anyway, I stay on stage fine tuning my Show Pro trying to channel my emotions in the correct way. Over the intercom is a cookie cutter country pop song. All of a sudden all I hear is "doo, doo, dooooo". I instantly recognized it as Lloyd Green on Remember When. The steel solo continued and I was in awe. Some earlybird audience members were looking at me as the young steel player onstage and I'm like "don't look at me, that's my hero playing". I continued to look round thinking is this really happening. The solo finished and suddenly the song disappeared. No, Alan Jackson coming in. It was followed by another cookie cutter track. It was so uncanny how that solo among all the Luke Bryan songs came out. I'm religious but not OTT with it...and I don't know, that kinda felt like a spiritual moment.

That motivated me and inspired me. I went on to smash the gig and do myself justice.

Now again, the point?

I guess I kinda never felt like I belonged. I was playing at a world famous place with some very talented musicians round me. I was just some kid that got lucky in my mind. I was hanging backstage after though, tucking into my complimentary food and having a beer. I had so many musicians coming over to me "ohh we saw you play steel, that instrument of your's is beautiful and you played great". It was at that moment I felt like I belonged. What was really inspiring is that an insanely talented guitarist come up to me and said "I've just started playing pedal steel but wow, I'm no where near you, you're mental."

Both of these highly rambled Steven Hicken Juniorisms tie into the same point.

Never decline a show because you don't think you aren't good enough or you don't belong. Just do it. You might have jealous haters but even your heroes have haters.

Just go for it.

I apologize in advance for any spelling errors or bad grammar because I have food waiting on the table Surprised

Many thanks

Steven Hicken Jr.
_________________
"19 years old huh? I've got socks older than you."

2015 Show Pro "Steven Hicken Jr."
Peavey Session 400 Limited.
http://www.therykers.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Larry Dering


From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 4 Sep 2019 3:36 pm    
Reply with quote

Well stated Steven. It shouldn't be a competition. We are aware that there is better players in house. It's your time to play and good or bad is your opinion. Others will criticize some may admire your efforts. I've heard the best players mumbling after a spectacular performance that they were off, or stink. We are often harder on ourselves than the listener.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Kevin Fix


From:
Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 4 Sep 2019 5:38 pm    
Reply with quote

I don't play at them anymore. Had a bad experience. I was playing at a Steel Guitar Show back in the mid 90's. Their was about 30 Steel Players there. I had a great time and met a lot of great guys and players. Their was one Pedal Steel Player that was there that was a pretty good player, and he knew it. The man was very arrogante. He refuse to talk shop. He also made rude comments about some players and their playing. I remember when I finished my 20 minute spot he was up after me and he made the comment over the PA that he will show everyone how it is done. The problem with a guy like that is that he forgot where he came from!!! I have no use for people like that. Almost 40 years of playing Pedal Steel, if asked, I will take the time and shake a hand and answer or show a guy anything he wants to know. More than happy to help a guy and point them in the right direction. FOR FREE!!!!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
John De Maille


From:
On a Mountain in Upstate Halcottsville, N.Y.
Post  Posted 4 Sep 2019 8:43 pm    
Reply with quote

I play steel shows..... when I'm asked to. I like meeting with my old Steel playing buddies and perhaps meeting some new ones. I don't care who plays better than I do or who doesn't. I don't consider it a competition at all. That's not what they're about. And, I don't tolerate obnoxious players, no matter what stage of progression they're at.
Mostly, I like the entertainment of steel guitar music and hearing all the possible different approaches people have. I like seeing the intense concentration a new player has in completing a piece or the ease at which a seasoned pro can dance up and down the neck making wonderful sounds. If I can possibly enlighten someone's interest in my playing or answer anyone's questions, I'm happy to do so. i believe that's what they're all about.
I'll continue to play them as long as I'm asked too.
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