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Post new topic Universal Steel Forum a place for Universalist nuts
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Author Topic:  Universal Steel Forum a place for Universalist nuts
George Geisser

 

From:
Branson, Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2020 11:57 am    
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I haven't kept up with alot of posts in the past but have searched lots of posts and can't seem to find any where a lot of information,thoughts and ideas were exchanged pertaining to this unique beast. Has there been any attempts at a sub group or forum either on SGF or elsewhere on the net? Any help appreciated George
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Dennis Detweiler


From:
Solon, Iowa, US
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 6:06 am    
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Several years ago there was a U-12 Forum started by ?? I joined it, but I think it fell apart. Likely from a low turnout.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 7:10 am    
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I think this is a worthwhile idea George. While many of the same things are available on the more common tunings, there are aspects of having all these possibilities on one tuning that one can certainly explore.

I haven't played Unis for a while, but I recall many times I came across interesting phrases and licks that I might not have found otherwise.

Learning material, tab etc. is an issue with Uni tunings as well because of the string/note/fret positions. Everybody says it's easy enough to convert, but it's hard to read and convert in real time and an annoyance to have to re-write.

I may be in the minority however. I don't see a sub-section forthcoming here, but perhaps someone could start something online somewhere.

Discussions among like minded players are almost always helpful and insightful. I'd be interested in participating. I'm not Universal equipped at the moment, but I have been off and on and the very real possibility exists that I may be again.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 7:35 am    
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Facebook? Nah. IMO, Facebook is useless for serious discussions about anything. It's for lightweight contact, 25-words-or-less trivial political blurbing, and promotion/marketing. Which is where the vast majority of the culture is. This deficiency, IMO, is the fundamental nature of the structure of the way Facebook was set up. And the reason it's been so successful is that it absolutely caters to the vapid nature of most mainstream "discussion".

Separate subforum here? Nah - there are already too many forums to browse through. And there have been plenty of universal-specific discussions here. When I google

universal E9/B6 site:steelguitarforum.com

I get "about 1260" results. That ought to keep you busy for a while. And anybody can start any discussion anytime they want.

Separate "universal pedal steel" forum somewhere else? Go ahead and build one if you like, but I don't think it's viable. There are a helluvalot more slide guitarists out there, and a slide guitar forum doesn't even seem to be viable. There have been a couple, and they got no traction. As far as I can see, there's nothing out there now. I have been thinking about building one, but my bet is that it would be an exercise in futility.

As far as the standard 12-string E9/B6 universal goes - I don't think it's enough different to warrant a "special" place. Of course, there are differences. But there are a lot more commonalities than differences. I play both E9/C6 doubleneck and an E9/B6 universal. For most things that I do, they are mostly interchangeable. Yes, a really good player who really has truly mastered a loaded-up D10 will notice a significant difference. But I don't think most players are there or ever will be.

Steel guitar is steel guitar - some are just slabs of wood with strings, some have pedals, some have levers - and they are all frequently tuned and set up differently. But there is a great deal in common - especially tonally and technique-wise - with all of them. I think it's useful to use each type for what is special about it, and also to learn to focus on the techniques that are, perhaps, maybe more critical for one but useful for all.

All my opinions, of course.
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Bill McCloskey

 

Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 9:36 am    
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To Dave's post ,as someone who has run discussion forums for decades, I've been asked by others what makes a good discussion forum. My answer, and I had to learn this the hard way with numerous failed forums: it has to be a subject that has a LOT of moving parts and those parts have to change all the time, requiring further discussion. My most successful discussion list was for email marketers. Email is something that has a lot of moving parts: design, copy, delivery, vendors, AI, response tracking, measurement...etc, etc etc.

And each of those parts changes yearly, sometimes monthly, sometimes daily: new rules, new technology, new measurements. It seems amazing but I kept a very very busy discussion list, sometimes with 50 posts a day, on just email and ran it for nearly 20 years. Trust me, by the time I sold it last year, I really hated talking about email. but those in the industry didn't. Made a nice living at it for the last 10.

If you don't have those two criteria: lots of moving parts to discuss and lots of changes happening with those moving parts, nearly impossible to generate the kind of volume you need to hold anyone's interest.
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John Sluszny

 

From:
Brussels, Belgium
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 10:12 am    
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Why not a Forum section (topic) in this Forum with "Universal E9/B6" or "Universal Tuning" ?
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Bill McCloskey

 

Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 10:43 am    
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I think that idea has been addressed. The sgf already has a pedal steel section. Not c6, e9, sacred steel, etc sections.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 10:45 am    
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Quote:
Why not a Forum section in this Forum with "Universal E9/B6" or "Universal Tuning"?

Because there are already too many sections now, there is a lot in common with both E9 and C6 on a double neck, and because the tuning doesn't define the steel guitar or the music made with it.

And if you go there, it simply begs the questions: Why not a section for "Sacred Steel Tuning, Hawaiian Styles, Western Swing Styles, Blues Styles, and other different tunings and styles? How about slide guitar? Right now, there's no place on the internet for slide guitar, which is, IMO, a type of steel guitar playing. Some argue no, but that requires a very arbitrary separation that I do not make.

For example, why is this not lap steel playing? Because it's a round-neck guitar and he's playing with a [edit - not metal, I see it's glass - would a metal slide make it steel?] slide on his lap? https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=359098. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. IMO, once you start making arbitrary separations like this, it never ends.

And, beyond all that, it would further divide rarther than unite. There are few enough of us steel players as it is.

The tuning or playing style do not define the instrument. IMHO.


Last edited by Dave Mudgett on 24 Jun 2020 11:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Daniel McKee

 

From:
Corinth Mississippi
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 11:48 am    
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Im not a huge fan of the multitudes of facebook groups that have been started in relation to pedal steel. They seem to repeat the same information over and over. Also a lot of drama in some of those (not all though). I do agree that universal hasn't been discussed as much as other setups but it like keyless is a field many have just always been unsure about. Personal opinion only, I've never seen a forum or group I liked or had as good of an established membership group as this forum.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 12:45 pm    
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I like Facebook and use it my own way, for my own enjoyment. But I find the steel guitar groups, with one or two notable exceptions, to be so filled with bad attitude and misinformation and DISinformation. I once watched while a novice asked for the best place on the internet to get steel guitar info and a respondent did not even say "the SGF". Because he had been booted from the forum (and I'm not even talking about the most well known crooked exile).

It is exceedingly rare for there to be a Universal question that has not been asked multiple times before and isn't already in the SGF archives. Anything new fares perfectly well as a new Pedal Steel question
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2020 2:43 pm    
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I maintain that the modern Universal is a tuning to itself even though it shares components with both conventional E9 and C6, but what if your goal is for neither of those, rather something else?

It's obvious that the single neck universal 12 tuning range can do things that cannot be done on 2 separate 10 string tunings ala E9 and C6. That might be somewhat accomplished by switching necks, pedals etc. back and forth but only with a B6 tuning on a separate neck, not C6.

I think it's a worthwhile venture but limited by the population of the community so probably not enough interest to warrant a site or section. That doesn't mean it isn't still a good idea.
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George Geisser

 

From:
Branson, Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 6:18 am    
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Jerry Overstreet wrote:
I maintain that the modern Universal is a tuning to itself even though it shares components with both conventional E9 and C6, but what if your goal is for neither of those, rather something else?

It's obvious that the single neck universal 12 tuning range can do things that cannot be done on 2 separate 10 string tunings ala E9 and C6. That might be somewhat accomplished by switching necks, pedals etc. back and forth but only with a B6 tuning on a separate neck, not C6.

I think it's a worthwhile venture but limited by the population of the community so probably not enough interest to warrant a site or section. That doesn't mean it isn't still a good idea.

Thank you Jerry, this is the direction from which I was coming exactly. I think the Universal is a critter, while very simular to and certainly a "Pedal Steel" , has further potential b/c of its unique combining of necks. I'm not trying to reinvent SGF and so appreciate Dave Mudgetts concerns of division and further subgroups and "Forum" was probably the wrong type of site. I was thinking more of a resource place for the things that made the Uni different so as to maximize the potential of the Uni.
And the over1200 search will be beneficial for sure.

This is my 1st Uni , In wish I could find the pic of me riding it while playing the fiddle! Again thanks for your insigjt
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 12:15 pm    
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To me the universal is a way of combining two instruments into one to save space and weight, and that's all.

I don't see it as some other instrument, just a clever way of switching instantly between E9 and B6, with the E9 extension as a bonus.

If you think about it, the A & B pedals were invented as a quick change between E9 and A6 without having to change necks, and now at last we have three necks down to one! We needed all-pull changers with plenty of holes to get there, but we've finally arrived Smile
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Douglas Schuch


From:
Valencia, Philippines
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2020 3:24 pm    
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Perhaps a good starting point, if someone is interested, is to compile a "compendium" of Universal tuning posts - this involves searching through the forum(s - remember there is the early one still searchable) for content related to the Universal tuning, and sort it into topics. So, for example, there might be a topic on placement of the E raise and lower levers. There might be another on E-lever locks. I recently posted a partially complete compendium I was working on a number of years ago on Sho-Bud repair/maintenance - you can refer to it as a guide (second post is the compendium):

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=358100&highlight=

If utilized, this could be a valuable resource for those studying Uni ideas. It stays here on the forum, which seems the best place to insure it's availability for the long-term and lets be honest - are there topics that have not yet been addressed that a new forum would deal with? Possibly, but very few, I think.

I agree with the other assessments of the Facebook groups - FB is a terrible place to archive info. And indeed, questions get asked that are, at best, partially answered, and at worst, wrongly answered, when 15 minutes search here would provide a ton of info on the same topic. It would take another 10 years to build up the wealth of info that is on this forum in a new one - the only problem here is sorting through the over-abundance of info that is there for the true nuggets of valuable advice. That's where a compendium can help.

I don't play Universal - tried it and just felt like it was not the right match for me. So I will leave it to you guys to sort out.
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One with pedals, one without, and one with a resonator. And happy with what I've got.
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George Geisser

 

From:
Branson, Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jun 2020 1:12 pm    
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Thanks to all and to Doug I checked into your Compendium on Sho Bud repair and maintenance and see where forum is the wrong term,group for what I'd like to see happen. I'm not motivated enough to put in the work to accomplish a universal site so will do like suggested and weed through what's all ready on SGF.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 29 Jun 2020 3:41 pm    
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When I decided to give the universal a try I was in the lucky position (!) of not being able to buy one, so I had to build one which of course involved designing a copedent within the limited changes I could engineer.

It might be helpful if I were to set down what I did. At the moment the weather's good and I'm working out of doors, but it's bound to rain at some point, so I'll give it a go Smile
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Williams keyless U12 7x8, Telonics rack and 15" cabs
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