Headphone amplifiers, fad pedals and levers

Hi guys and gals,

I have received over a hundred emails on my last tip concerning mental preparation before playing a very important job. One thing I left out as Charlie Vaughn of Atlanta emailed me about is another thing that definitely affects your mental ability. This is the pressure or stress of outside events such as IRS notice in the mail, divorce or breaking up with a girlfriend, meeting your soon to be ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, death of someone close to you. Try to deal with everything as much as possible before the gig and try to detach yourself emotionally from the rest at least during the time of the gig.

I have noticed on a couple of the steel guitar forums that people are inquiring about a self-powered headphone that can be plugged into the guitar directly or into the output of effects that also may be used for tuning up in a crowded area when you don’t want to be heard. However, it seems mostly people use these headphone amplifiers for practicing at the house when they don’t want to disturb fellow family members. This item is very handy for many uses and being as portable as they are, they can be used going down the road in the car, van or bus and seems to me to be an indispensible part of a steel players necessary equipment … easily carried in your steel guitar case or pack-a-seat. The unit I sell retails for $39.95 and my regular website price is $34.95 and I will sell one to anybody on my mailing list who needs one for $29.95 … if you need one, just follow this link.

This is something I have touched on before but everytime I see another inquiry on this subject, I feel like throwing my hands up in the air (but I won’t because I wouldn’t have anything to catch them with!). This has to do with fad pedals or knee levers … a fad pedal or knee lever is one that is installed on a guitar that adds very little musically and cannot be used in conjuntion with other knee levers or pedals and is just used for “the lick of the day”. To simplify what I’m trying to say here … don’t install another pedal or knee lever on your guitar just to play one lick you heard on a record and also remember that everytime you play that lick somebody else get’s credit for it anyway. Remember, we are playing musical instruments, not lick machines. Remember this also … what is a great lick to us as steel guitar players is not a lick to the average listener, it’s just steel guitar music to them. They give you no more credit for what you think is a great lick than for what might be simpler but what would fit the song better. Why add the lick of the day pedal when there are thousands of licks that your guitar is capable of playing but you haven’t learned yet?

Most fad “lick of the day” pedals don’t have a very long life span anyway. Licks have a way of getting old and dating your playing. Good music doesn’t.

Your buddy,



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