| Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com |

Post new topic Secondary Instrument
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Secondary Instrument
Corbin Pratt


From:
Nashville
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 8:27 am    
Reply with quote

What does everyone think is the best secondary instrument? Lap steel, dobro, keys, mando, banjo, etc. I play guitar as well, but most groups I play in already have guitar players so I'm exploring other options.
_________________
CP in Nashville

76' Emmons Push Pull SD-10, Milkman Half and Half, Strymon Pedals, Kemper
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 8:38 am     Re: Secondary Instrument
Reply with quote

Corbin Pratt wrote:
What does everyone think is the best secondary instrument? Lap steel, dobro, keys, mando, banjo, etc. I play guitar as well, but most groups I play in already have guitar players so I'm exploring other options.


For hobby bands, I am coming to learn more and more that it is percussion. For small acoustic folk/country music groups, percussion seems to be the afterthought and it is a great thing for a steel player to supply on songs that don't need steel guitar. For full electrified bands, finding a reliable drummer who is willing to play what the songs need seems to be constant struggle.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Corbin Pratt


From:
Nashville
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 8:42 am    
Reply with quote

Very interesting Curt. That never crossed my mind. I assume you mean shakers or tambourines?
_________________
CP in Nashville

76' Emmons Push Pull SD-10, Milkman Half and Half, Strymon Pedals, Kemper
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 9:29 am    
Reply with quote

fiddle and/or mandolin.
_________________
MSA: Magnificent! Stupendous! Awesome!
-----------
Please visit my web site and Soundcloud page and listen to the music posted there.
http://www.mikeperlowin.com http://soundcloud.com/mike-perlowin
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 9:36 am    
Reply with quote

Corbin Pratt wrote:
Very interesting Curt. That never crossed my mind. I assume you mean shakers or tambourines?


For the quiet music, yes that and the assortment of other handheld percussion instruments. I think having a cajon and knowing how to play it would really come in handy for those situations too. For the rest, I'm talking about learning to drum enough to be able to hop behind a kit on the fly.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Len Amaral

 

From:
Rehoboth,MA 02769
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 9:44 am    
Reply with quote

Mandolin, I'm getting one very soon.
_________________
I survived the sixties!
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Tom Dillon


From:
La Mesa, California, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 10:29 am    
Reply with quote

Fiddle
_________________
Tom Dillon

MSA Legend, On-Trak, fiddles
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Dom Franco


From:
Beaverton, OR, 97007
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 10:59 am    
Reply with quote

Get a leslie/organ simulator... It's like a completely different instrument that is small and easy to carry.

A little bit of practice is required to play keyboard parts on the steel. (It's better not to mash the pedals) Just play backing chords and lines and all of a sudden you can be playing Jazz, Rock, blues etc.

I was able to get tons of gigs because I played through a leslie speaker and "could double on organ" when the song wasn't "country" or just didn't need pedal steel.
_________________
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYG9cvwCPKuXpGofziPNieA/feed?activity_view=3
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 11:16 am    
Reply with quote

Percussion is a good, interesting choice. Bongos or conga. I wish I had a set up I could just bang away on sometimes.

It’s kind of dangerous to say around here, but banjo is an excellent choice imo. The picking hand technique is very similar, and you could leave your picks on. I don’t play one, but a banjo picker friend of mine once said, “it’s just a funny-sounding, funny-tuned guitar”.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 11:47 am    
Reply with quote

Fred Treece wrote:


It’s kind of dangerous to say around here, but banjo is an excellent choice imo. The picking hand technique is very similar, and you could leave your picks on. I don’t play one, but a banjo picker friend of mine once said, “it’s just a funny-sounding, funny-tuned guitar”.


You're misspelling it. Over here, the correct spelling is "bango."
_________________
MSA: Magnificent! Stupendous! Awesome!
-----------
Please visit my web site and Soundcloud page and listen to the music posted there.
http://www.mikeperlowin.com http://soundcloud.com/mike-perlowin
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 11:51 am    
Reply with quote

Trumpet. Let me explain. In our band the bass player sometimes changes to acoustic guitar and I go on to bass. When we do Roxanne, I do a 16-bar jazzy intro on trumpet before I pick up the bass. Apparently this is the best thing I do. But they still appreciate my steel playing. Apparently.
_________________
Make sleeping dogs tell the truth!
Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Williams keyless U12 7x8, Telonics rack and 15" cabs
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 12:31 pm    
Reply with quote

Fred Treece wrote:
Percussion is a good, interesting choice. Bongos or conga. I wish I had a set up I could just bang away on sometimes.


The other responses appear to be focused on instruments involving transferable skills. My comment about percussion is strictly based on what I have found is most likely to make you useful and welcomed for more casual playing.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Anthony Campbell


From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 12:39 pm    
Reply with quote

While a secondary instrument sounds fun in theory, unless you're getting paid for two player's cuts, schlepping twice the amount of gear isn't very fun.

This is from personal experience.

I usually say "pick one" to people who say I should bring more than one thing to practice or a show, and it's always keys/organ.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 12:56 pm    
Reply with quote

I think what has the highest "utility" depends on the playing context.

Of course, guitar is ubiquitous - but a lot of steel players play guitar. And if you play pedal steel, why not transfer some skills to the nonpedal context?

But for someone wanting to be more versatile and marketable in a country music context, I'd definitely say fiddle. Good country/bluegrass fiddle players are hard to find. I wish I played, but with everything else I do, it's too late for me to start. And if you play fiddle and guitar, you might as well play mandolin since it's laid out like a fiddle and uses picking technique similar to most guitar players. And banjo does frequently creep into even mainstream country music.

Style-independent, I'd say bass and drums. I play enough of both to function at a basic level if I need to, and I think I know enough to evaluate whether or not I'm really dealing with a good bass player or drummer. To me, bass and drums are the key to a good band, at least in the styles of music I prefer to play.

But almost any mainstream instrument is worthy. Keyboards are the key to understanding music theory IMO. I did 8 years of piano before I switched to guitar. I can still play some, but have never really worked on it since. Woodwinds/brass like sax and trumpet (and many others) are generally welcome in many musical contexts. If I want to think about how to compose melodic solos, I listen to horn players. And to me, that's a good enough reason to learn an instrument - to let it channel you.

But I, personally, can only take on so many varied instruments without becoming a total dilettante. So for me it's guitar, steel, banjo, bass, and drums. I started to play mandolin in the 90s, but in the end, I prefer the others.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Paul Sutherland

 

From:
Placerville, California
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 1:08 pm    
Reply with quote

Lap steel is a piece of cake. It may force you to work on slants, but that's not a bad thing. The rest of the techniques are virtually the same. It can be amplified to whatever volume is needed without feedback issues. And you can probably use the same amp. I just use the second channel on a Fender amp. It also doesn't take up much stage space. I just lean it against whatever is handy. My lap is not a high value instrument so a little road wear is not much of an issue for me.

Dobro requires more techniques that are unique to the instrument. Simple stuff is no problem, but if you want to sound like Jerry Douglas, good luck. The main problem I encountered with dobro is feedback. If the stage volume of the band is too high the cone starts oscillating and you're done. I've spent a lot of money buying the best equipment available and still can't use the instrument except with acoustic instrument oriented bands. Plus it's a lot of extra gear to haul.

As has been mentioned before, Banjo uses a lot of the same right hand technique as PSG, and you already have your picks on. I can get my banjo very loud and can keep up with almost any band. But it does involve bringing more gear to the gig. Banjo is heard in a lot of modern country music, if that's what you want to, or have to play. The power guitar still plays all the solos, etc., but the banjo is in the background providing texture.
_________________
It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.


Last edited by Paul Sutherland on 15 Jul 2020 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Greg Forsyth

 

From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 1:33 pm    
Reply with quote

I like Fred's suggestion - congas and bongos. Add the Irish Bodhran to that.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Chris Willingham


From:
Idabel, Oklahoma
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 2:10 pm    
Reply with quote

Another vote for fiddle! I'm biased tho Smile I'm usually playing at least three instruments on a gig. Lotta fun for the show. Sucks to haul everything, but I've gotten used to it.

It's really fun to take steel licks and move them to another instrument and vice versa. Sometimes it works well and sometimes it doesn't, but it's opened up new, different ways of thinking, musically, for me at least.
_________________
Mullen G2 Del signature 9x5, p2p Bad Dawg 2x12, Quilter TT12 and a bunch of fiddles
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Asa Brosius

 

Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 2:17 pm    
Reply with quote

I think it's pretty genre dependent- often steel is the secondary instrument. In my world, there's an assumption that if you're a steel guy, you can operate a dobro/lap steel as well, and probably strum an acoustic.
Generally, for utility person stuff- I'd say the ubiquitous Nord keyboard would be a smart move- synth/string pads, EP sounds, piano/organ, maybe percussion triggers.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 3:32 pm    
Reply with quote

Curt mentioned the term “transferable skills”. Fiddle...? It is not an instrument a guitar or steel player can just pick up and start playing - at least not this one. Unless you already play, and play well, please don’t subject your band mates to the horrors of bad fiddle. “Bango” is definitely the much simpler choice.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Glenn Suchan

 

From:
Austin, Texas
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 4:08 pm    
Reply with quote

I'd have to say, harmonica. Easy to carry enough 'harps' to cover all keys plus a good mic to plug into the house mains. Besides, everyone enjoys a harmonica player, right? Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSQvsb2sFdE


Keep on pickin'!
Glenn
_________________
Steelin' for Jesus
View user's profile Send private message

Rick Barnhart


From:
Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 5:09 pm    
Reply with quote

Don’t we all play bass?

_________________
Clinesmith consoles D-8/6 5 pedal, D-8 3 pedal & A25 Frypan, Pettingill Teardrop, & P8 Deluxe.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 6:04 pm    
Reply with quote

Quote:
Don’t we all play bass?

Maybe - but most guitar players don't play bass well. My experience, anyway. Dear Lord, please spare me from the guitar players who play lead bass in the context where a real bass player is needed.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 6:29 pm    
Reply with quote

Plus, shouldn’t there already be a bass player in the band if you’re playing steel?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 6:55 pm    
Reply with quote

Fred Treece wrote:
Plus, shouldn’t there already be a bass player in the band if you’re playing steel?

Not always. Sometimes I'll do a semi-acoustic thing with a singer/guitarist and no bass player, but there might be songs on which a bass is needed more than guitar or steel. And I sometimes need to play bass when the bass player doesn't show up - mostly rehearsals but not always. My take is that bass is sometimes more important than steel.

There was a blues duo around here - harp and guitar - who actually preferred to call me to play drums than a real drummer. I'm not good enough to overplay. Ha! But I can keep time, and it was usually just snare and hat. I keep a bop kit set up in my garage.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Rick Barnhart


From:
Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 15 Jul 2020 7:05 pm    
Reply with quote

This particular forum is home to such talent, someone once joked that there are guys on here who play lefty bass, as a hobby.
_________________
Clinesmith consoles D-8/6 5 pedal, D-8 3 pedal & A25 Frypan, Pettingill Teardrop, & P8 Deluxe.
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

Email SteelGuitarForum@gmail.com for technical support.


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