This is Bob Hempker. We’ve been talking about how modern electronics have changed music and steel guitar in particular. Things we now take for granted didn’t exist a few short years ago.
Take electronic tuners for instance. Years ago you had to spend several hundred dollars for a strobe tuner that was way too big to be carried to a gig. Now we have Peterson strobe tuners barely larger than a pack of cigarettes and they are becoming a de facto item in almost everybody’s pack-a-seat. All I had to work with back in the day was a tuning fork and my ear. We didn’t have the luxury we have today.
We’ve also got the incredible Tascam GB-10 which a lot of players consider to be about the best self-teaching tool you can find anywhere. You can slow a song down to half speed without changing the key or you can change the key without slowing it down or any combination of the two. This was impossible a decade ago. We never dreamed such a device could exist.
Electronic drum machines and metronomes have tightened up the timing of bands all over the world. Play with a metronome ticking away and your playing will get tighter and tighter. One tip to help improve your timing is while you’re driving, start counting the beat to a song on the radio, then turn the volume down for about 15 seconds. When you turn the volume back up, see if you’re right on the beat or if you’re dragging or pushing the beat. This is something you can do every time you’re behind the wheel.
Consider how the internet has changed so many things and how it’s helped steel players. We can communicate in ways never before possible from newsletters like this one, to instant messaging to sharing videos on YouTube. We can exchange ideas and learn from each other even though we may live thousands of miles apart and have never met each other face to face.
Think of how modern electronics have changed the gear we use. Amps have become smaller, lighter, cleaner sounding and more reliable than ever before. Rack mount gear and stomp boxes have given us every imaginable combination of effects.
Electronic reverb has given us steady dependable sound. With the old spring reverbs, if the drummer had a heavy foot or if the singer started jumping up and down, it could trigger the reverb unit. It’s hard trying to play something pretty with a spring reverb going in and out.
Cell phones mean we can be anywhere and get a call for a gig. You don’t have to miss a job because you weren’t home sitting by the phone when the call came. We can also check our tour itinerary, check messages and always be up to date with what’s happening when and where. Thanks to cell phones, we no longer get important information after the fact.
We want to wish everyone a Happy Easter and since we’ve been seeing everyone else’s Easter Sale, we came up with one of our own. From now through Monday, every Bobbe Seymour video or CD is buy one, get another one free.
In order to work around the limitations of our shopping cart, after you place your order, email firstname.lastname@example.org and tells us that you ordered a video or CD and also tell us which video or CD you want for your free one.
Steel Guitar Nashville
123 Mid Town Court
Hendersonville, TN. 37075
Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
Closed Saturday and Sunday