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Author Topic:  Pedal Steels Will Soon Be A Dime A Dozen
Craig A Davidson


From:
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin USA
Post  Posted 25 Feb 2020 11:54 am    
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Looks like a Miller.
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Jeff Evans


From:
Cowtown and The Bill Cox Outfit
Post  Posted 25 Feb 2020 12:09 pm     Return of the $2000 Push-Pull
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The Return of the $2000 Push-Pull is kinda nice for the buyer.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 25 Feb 2020 12:11 pm    
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Not so good for the seller though.
That one just slipped through the cracks!
Erv
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 25 Feb 2020 2:09 pm    
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David Mitchell wrote:
Bill what I meant to say is "ten years from now" not today.


This is good to know, I'll get rid of mine in 9 years ! Laughing I'm not actually going to worry about it, I'm hoping I'll still know what a Pedal Steel is in 10 years ! Then I'll work on still having a Drivers License ! Until then I'll still play my bi monthly show until it comes to an end. Very Happy

Things change all the time and it is indeed a struggle for this Instrument, not because of price or functionality, but rather VERY LIMITED exposure. The music has changed, the Instrumentation has changed.

I haven't heard many bands really replace Paul Butterfield lately either. Down goes the Blues harp.

80's Music was built on the Iconic DX7, now the DX7 is a button ! Laughing Very Happy
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 25 Feb 2020 4:08 pm    
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Tony Prior wrote:

Things change all the time and it is indeed a struggle for this Instrument, not because of price or functionality, but rather VERY LIMITED exposure. The music has changed, the Instrumentation has changed.


I think this is key. How are younger musicians going to want to play a pedal steel if they don't hear one being played in the style of music they like? For me it was first hearing Steve Howe from Yes playing one on their '74 album, "Relayer". Then it was Al Perkins playing "Torn and Frayed" on the Stones "Exile on Main Street". Years later, when I heard Jerry Garcia play "Dire Wolf" I decided to take the plunge.

If someone really wants to learn pedal steel, they'll eventually overcome the price and availability issues just like any instrument. Maybe they'll start out on guitar, then start playing some slide, then pick up one of those, "Pedal Steel Licks for Guitar" instruction books. Then eventually decide to get the real thing.

Problem is if there's not enough new music out there with pedal steel, that initial connection to the instrument may never happen and guitarists may never know what they're missing!
_________________
Check out a couple of songs on youtube featuring my Mullen G2 SD12 played without fingerpicks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-rEGK1dN7U&t=189s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dM-3F6NPXQ

Check out my prog rock band Mutiny in Jonestown's music at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/

Check out the Mutiny in Jonestown progressive rock album that has Fender 400 pedal steel on every song at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/album/the-daemons-mock-me-while-i-sleep
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Charley Bond


From:
Inola, OK, USA
Post  Posted 25 Feb 2020 4:21 pm    
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Dennis Montgomery wrote:
Tony Prior wrote:

Things change all the time and it is indeed a struggle for this Instrument, not because of price or functionality, but rather VERY LIMITED exposure. The music has changed, the Instrumentation has changed.


I think this is key. How are younger musicians going to want to play a pedal steel if they don't hear one being played in the style of music they like? For me it was first hearing Steve Howe from Yes playing one on their '74 album, "Relayer". Then it was Al Perkins playing "Torn and Frayed" on the Stones "Exile on Main Street". Years later, when I heard Jerry Garcia play "Dire Wolf" I decided to take the plunge.

If someone really wants to learn pedal steel, they'll eventually overcome the price and availability issues just like any instrument. Maybe they'll start out on guitar, then start playing some slide, then pick up one of those, "Pedal Steel Licks for Guitar" instruction books. Then eventually decide to get the real thing.

Problem is if there's not enough new music out there with pedal steel, that initial connection to the instrument may never happen and guitarists may never know what they're missing!


How are younger musicians going to want to play a pedal steel if they don't hear one being played in the style of music they like? If Country Music gets too much farther away from it's core (2 more inches), it's dead & our instrument will be an historic moment in time.

Today, when my wife & I go do some dancing & they don't have a steel guitar, we don't even pay the cover charge. We just tell them we aren't interested & why...
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Donny Hinson

 

From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 25 Feb 2020 5:32 pm    
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Quote:
Today, when my wife & I go do some dancing & they don't have a steel guitar, we don't even pay the cover charge. We just tell them we aren't interested & why...


That's certainly a laudable viewpoint, but they probably won't notice (or care about) two less patrons. In essence, I think we (read: many of us) have shot ourselves in the foot by being so musically narrow-minded. It's also been about 25 years since the pedal steel has had any real presence on radio or TV, so there's no impetus for young people to get into learning. Another (societal) problem affecting music in general is the proliferation of smartphones, and all their mindless diversionary apps. Many young people today have the attention span of a beagle for anything that demands study and dedication like really learning to play an instrument.

Pity. Oh Well
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Michael Sawyer


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 25 Feb 2020 8:22 pm    
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[quote="Donny Hinson"]
Quote:
Another (societal) problem affecting music in general is the proliferation of smartphones, and all their mindless diversionary apps. Many young people today have the attention span of a beagle for anything that demands study and dedication like really learning to play an instrument.

Pity. Oh Well


You nailed it.Regardless of the type of music,there aren't alot of young musicians, at least in my general area.
I am seeing an awakening, though,from younger audiences, that the FM radio " country", is crap,for the most part.
Artists like Cody Jinks,Whitey Morgan and the 78's,Creed Fisher have a strong following here,but they ain't on the FM dial.By the way, my 3 kids are 32,28,and 25...none of em plays an instrument.
I think there's still hope fellas.
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Jim Cooley


From:
The 'Ville, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 25 Feb 2020 8:50 pm    
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At a dime a dozen, I'll take a gross.
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David Mitchell

 

From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 1:22 am    
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Hope I'm still around 10 years from now. Already had Leukemia and Prostate cancer. If I can hold on a little longer I can buy a semi truck load of steel guitars real cheap. Donny is correct. Most young people ain't into anything that requires learning and dedication.
The wood working industry saw the demise of true master craftsmen a century ago. Just go to an antique store and look at the elaborate carved furniture. It's a dead art. Stained glass making is just about totally gone. Young people want instant gratification.
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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 3:54 am    
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David Mitchell wrote:
Young people want instant gratification.


Many many things have been erased from the landscape. Many excellent social , cultural and historical events.

The new generations, if its not a IPhone app, they ain't interested.
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Jim Pollard

 

From:
Cedar Park, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 7:15 am    
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I haven't made the jump to pedal yet, but I'm not too far from you. Keeping my eyes open for something that I just can't justify NOT buying. At which time I'll address the issue of not having a place to set up a pedal steel!
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Larry Dering

 

From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 7:43 am    
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Only a few years ago the audience boohoo Joe Wright for playing older rock tunes on his pedal steel. He was extremely good at it. More recently the Robert Randolph rock and blues was all over the forum. Peavey even had a signituature amp for him. He was our latest hope for recognition after Paul Franklins stint with Dire Straights. In my area the gigs are few and I play 6 string guitar more than steel. Live music as a whole is suffering from lack of exposure. I stopped listening to radio long ago because of the trend of Bro Country. Is there any newer rock bands making music? Can we really fit in with the current music trends? I have a mass accumulation of stomp pedals and rack processors that are collecting dust.
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David Mitchell

 

From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 8:12 am    
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Karaoke put a lot of local musicians out of work. When I starting gigging professionally in 1972 there was no karaoke, plenty of gigs available for a steel player and no one went to jail for drinking a couple of beers. Only a public menace on the road got pulled over.
Everything has changed. I'm fortunate to have got in on the tail end and live that life a while. I'm no longer interested in playing anywhere and that's mainly due to age and a different mind set. Music is really a young people's thing both in the players and the listeners. It's the young that alter what we hear from day to day and the young purchase music regularly and pay to attend concerts regularly.
It's a shame the young would rather hear their music come out of an electronic box rather than a bandstand full of genuine artist.
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Gabriel Edell


From:
Hamilton, Ontario
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 8:26 am    
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Dennis Montgomery wrote:
Tony Prior wrote:

Things change all the time and it is indeed a struggle for this Instrument, not because of price or functionality, but rather VERY LIMITED exposure. The music has changed, the Instrumentation has changed.


I think this is key. How are younger musicians going to want to play a pedal steel if they don't hear one being played in the style of music they like? For me it was first hearing Steve Howe from Yes playing one on their '74 album, "Relayer". Then it was Al Perkins playing "Torn and Frayed" on the Stones "Exile on Main Street". Years later, when I heard Jerry Garcia play "Dire Wolf" I decided to take the plunge.

If someone really wants to learn pedal steel, they'll eventually overcome the price and availability issues just like any instrument. Maybe they'll start out on guitar, then start playing some slide, then pick up one of those, "Pedal Steel Licks for Guitar" instruction books. Then eventually decide to get the real thing.

Problem is if there's not enough new music out there with pedal steel, that initial connection to the instrument may never happen and guitarists may never know what they're missing!


I’m noticing more and more steel in “Americana” music (of which a large chunk would have been called “country music” 30 years ago). And Americana seems to be growing steadily in popularity. I live in a medium-sized Canadian city and there’s a healthy, if small, music scene here and there are a handful of steel players in their 20s and early 30s. So I think there’s hope.

No, there’s almost no steel in modern country. But there are few live instruments at all in that genre now – it’s made the same way most pop music is these days. Don't wait for it to come around. Listen to different music instead.
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David Mitchell

 

From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 8:35 am    
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That's true. Instruments sale when there is stars that play them. No rock stars of pedal steel that I know of but many could easily be one if given the chance.
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Butch Mullen

 

From:
North Carolina, USA 28681
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 10:31 am    
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If things are so bad, why do we have over 19,000 members on the forum? Butch in NC
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 11:58 am    
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Donny Hinson wrote:
Many young people today have the attention span of a beagle for anything that demands study and dedication like really learning to play an instrument.

Pity. Oh Well


Agreed. This isn't just a problem challenging the future of pedal steel, but is a common sentiment on Ultimate Guitar (the site for metal & rock guitarists). It's almost a daily topic on how there are no "guitar heroes" popping up to take the place of the 60's/70's/80's giants that are slowing down or ending their careers. While there are a healthy amount of guitarists carrying the torch, we're all under the radar and none break through the media ceiling to the point of being noticed - or certainly not asked to perform the super bowl halftime show Winking

I think part of the bigger picture problem is the steady disappearance of music programs in our elementary and junior high schools and I've been railing about that for years. It used to be music was considered another form of artistic expression worthy of exposing our kids to as part of their basic education. Now it's just this disposable commodity of lip sync'd and autotuned rubbish that gets shoved down everyone's throats...and if that's all a kid is exposed to when growing up, no wonder none want to dedicate themselves to learning an instrument, pedal steel or not.

I'm not a country guy (other than 60's west coast country-rock) but I can appreciate the pedal steel parts of any country song. Up here in WA, it's common to hear what I guess is called, "new country". This stuff is horrific! It usually starts with a country/rockish verse and then comes the horrible middle section where the singer sort of raps with a country accent over this sort of country-hip-hop abomination. And not a pedal steel to be found or heard anywhere Sad

Rock/metal guitar may be in trouble of losing the ear of kids wanting to step up and learn, but I think pedal steel is in even deeper trouble of being left behind. As I asked earlier...how is someone going to want to learn pedal steel if they never hear one?
_________________
Check out a couple of songs on youtube featuring my Mullen G2 SD12 played without fingerpicks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-rEGK1dN7U&t=189s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dM-3F6NPXQ

Check out my prog rock band Mutiny in Jonestown's music at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/

Check out the Mutiny in Jonestown progressive rock album that has Fender 400 pedal steel on every song at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/album/the-daemons-mock-me-while-i-sleep
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George Seymour


From:
Notown, Vermont, USA
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 5:29 pm     Re: Return of the $2000 Push-Pull
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Jeff Evans wrote:
The Return of the $2000 Push-Pull is kinda nice for the buyer.


Yup..in the next ten years there will be a flood of steel guitars..$2000 for that Emmons was on the very low end and was snatched quickly.. and there are others that have not sold because they are too high for what the market will bear. Interesting to watch..to a certain degree. One thing I know for certain is that nothing stays the same..
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Brian Fox

 

From:
Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 7:01 pm    
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As being a younger player (37) and still very "green". I can say the issue I had getting started was the price point. Musically I have always like older Hank, Waylon, Conway Twitty, Buck Owens etc I have always loved the sound of the pedal steel unique like no other. I purchase a "lil bud" for around 300 bucks 2 years ago to see if I liked it and bingo! Purchased a Williams Guitar in December and haven't looked back. Also formed a honky tonk band so I am learning as we go. I am a pretty good musician overall with a lot of band and musical experience. The learning curve is still steep. I have been scraping the internet for sources including this site and have had some good success. On top of all that trying to juggle a 3 year old and wife plus another heavier rock band.LOL

In a blind squirrels nut shell so to speak I believe a lot of good points have been touched on here but for me the hardest thing to justify on a new hobby was the price point and time. But I am making do.

I think newer Americana bands and bands like County Side Of Harmonica Sam (great pedal steel player) are still incorporating a lot of pedal steel. Just need to know where to look...
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Russell Adkins

 

From:
Louisiana, USA
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 8:06 pm    
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Im thinking pedal steel guitar will always be here and like the old saying goes all big trees will fall one day but that dosent mean it wont get up again if ya get my meaning there , that saying can be applied to many things . It will forever catch someones ear and besides you can do things on a pedal steel that no other instrument could ever do. I was told that the piano was king of instruments , how many notes on a piano 88 well how many ya got on a pedal steel a heck of a lot more can a piano bend a note or two , nope it will never happen , can a piano do a slide nope not today . What do I know anyways ha prices will always go up and down and deals will always be around somewhere. just blowing smoke here .
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David Mitchell

 

From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 26 Feb 2020 8:51 pm    
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I don't think the pedal steel will ever go away completely.' Like bagpipes and banjos they will continue to be sold and played but not at the degree they were 100 years ago.
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post  Posted 27 Feb 2020 7:21 am    
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Except that banjos and bagpipe players young 'n old (especially banjo) outnumber steelers by a very, very wide margin!
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David Mitchell

 

From:
Tyler, Texas
Post  Posted 27 Feb 2020 7:40 am    
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Ross Shafer wrote:
Except that banjos and bagpipe players young 'n old (especially banjo) outnumber steelers by a very, very wide margin!


That's very true and also very scary.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 27 Feb 2020 7:47 am    
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There are as many guitars players now as there ever were. They are just not playing out, they are bedroom and home studio players. They are buying TONS of guitars of all brands.

I think the same applies to steel players although I agree that steel player numbers may diminish, new steels are still selling and just look at the long lead times on getting delivery on most of them. I don't play out any more and just bought another pedal steel for my "bedroom".
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