Hello fellow players,
I have seen several arguments, I use that term loosely and good naturedly, on the steel guitar forum and am always astounded to see the most famous person or the most famous player always winning the argument. Unfortunately, the famous player may actually be wrong in his statements, but because he is a big famous player or recording musician, the majority of folks think he is the know all and tell all.
I am not referring to any special case here, however after going back and reading past several years of forum arguments, I have noticed this trend. Just remember, use your own mind and make your own decisions when it comes to right and wrong.
Here we are now in one of the biggest heat waves that eastern half of the United States has ever had. Records are falling daily in the southeast and the high temperature records are being bumped daily in the north and Midwest. If you double an accordion which is an instrument that is held together with hot bees wax, you can be in a lot of trouble if you put it in your trunk and pull it out later for an important overdub or TV job.
Violins are also extremely susceptible to heat. Steel guitar fretboards will fall off and formica that is glued on many guitars may also depart when the temperature gets over 150 degrees in the trunk of your car. You better believe that this temperature is very possible if you have a black car and live in the south.
We have lost some very valuable brilliant folks in the world of steel guitar recently. Folks that gave a lot to steel guitar, either in their playing or through books they have written or direct one on one teaching. Buddy Charleton comes to mind. Of course, Jeff Newman, the great Don Curtis, Don Helms and the list goes on.
One of the most notable that nobody really thinks about was an extremely valuable person in the world of steel guitar is the great Duane Marrs. Duane had many teaching tapes out and invented so many things that all steel players use today. He was among the most likable guys ever in this field.
Players and teachers today that I highly recommend and think the world of are Mike Sweeney, Mickey Adams, Doug Jernigan and of course, there are many more throughout the United States. Just listening to Buddy Emmons, Buddy Charleton and many other CDs can be a great learning experience in itself. Anything that I can do to further your efforts at learning steel guitar, let me know.
My recommendation is don’t just copy somebody’s style because every time you play a lick that is associated with him, you won’t get credit for it, he will. There are many changes on E9th guitar that are associated with certain players, so every time you hit that knee lever or use that pedal, somebody else will get credit for it.
This means when the chance for a big job comes along, they would rather have the guy that invented the style than the guy that copies it. Wouldn’t you rather be famous for something than famous for somebody? In the very beginning when you learn to play, you about have to play things that other folks have done. But remember, you’re going to be a whole lot better off studying real music than just styles somebody else has already invented and exploited.
Signing off from Nashville, Tennessee – a drinking town with a music problem.
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