Footless Volume Control; Noiseless Pickup Swap

April 25, 2013

This is Bob Hempker. I had a reply to the newsletter that I’d like to share with you. Here it is:


It is somewhat funny that you have posted this story about volume pedals as I have the reverse problem. At age 18, I lost my right foot and ankle in an accident and because of that I am unable to operate a foot volume pedal. I have been playing PSG now for 5 years and for the most part never use a volume pedal. As you can imagine, sustain is nearly impossible for me; however, I have started using a Hilton foot pedal, mounting it on a stool beside me and using my forearm to depress the volume pedal when wishing to increase volume and create sustain. I am currently working with a technician and attempting to build a volume control device the I can operate with my pinky on my picking hand. We have not finished the first one yet so I have no idea if this is going to work or not. Do believe not having the volume pedal has forced me to work on controlling my notes from my picking hand, including sustains.


Kenny Burford
Lexington, MO

This is Vic Lawson. I got a disturbing call yesterday from a member of a production team going out on a big tour this year. No names were mentioned. He asked me if we had noiseless pickups in stock. He wanted to buy a couple because their steel player’s rig was causing noise.

He didn’t even know enough to call it a humbucker. All he could do to explain what he wanted was to call it “noiseless”.

I asked him what kind of guitar the steel player had and what the steel player was looking for in a pickup. He didn’t know. The man answered, “I really don’t care what he wants. It’s about my job and making it easier on me.”

Come to find out, he planned on changing the pickups without the steel players knowledge or consent. I would be highly upset if a sound man changed the pickups on my guitar without me knowing about it. Besides, any modifications to my guitar are my business and not the sound man’s.

I said I’d prefer to talk to his steel player so I could find out what kind of guitar he had and what he was looking for. Again he stated that it wasn’t about the steel player, it was about him.

I politely refused to sell to the man. I told him we serve the needs of steel players, not sound engineers. Apparently it’s about sound men and what their needs are and has nothing to do with the music.

For all I know the guitar could have been a 68 pushpull with a single coil pickup that sounded great and changing to a humbucker pickup would have altered the sound and led to who knows what kind of other problems.

So if any of you go to a big show or concert and think the steel doesn’t sound good, don’t necessarily blame the steel player.

I was appalled at the whole conversation. I wish I knew who the steel player was but like I said earlier, no names were mentioned.

Bobbe is doing well and still taking it easy. We hear from him every day. He’s home taking care of his health which is exactly what he needs to be doing. We thank everybody who’s asked about him. He does receive all the notes and emails.

I personally thank all our loyal customers and appreciate the business.

Listen To Steel Guitar Music Streaming 24 Hours A Day!

Steel Guitar Nashville
123 Mid Town Court
Hendersonville, TN. 37075
(615) 822-5555
Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
Closed Saturday and Sunday

This entry was posted in Bobbe's Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.