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KIDS AND THE PEDAL STEEL GUITAR

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Steelman36, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. Steelman36

    Steelman36 TDPRI Member

    7
    Jun 8, 2017
    Dallas Texas
    • Posted by Hank Ruf February 3 - Filed in News - #pedal steel guitar - 3,697 views
      As a professional steel guitar player for over 50 years, it has always been my hope that the

      interest and enthusiasm for this great instrument would expand and attract more and more young

      players. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be what’s happening. You may not agree (and

      that’s OK) but, in my opinion, here are some reasons why:

      1. COST: parents are not able or willing to spend thousands of dollars on a steel guitar for

      their kid; especially if they aren’t convinced he/she will be committed to learning and

      playing that instrument.

      2. MUSIC LIMITATIONS: a great majority of people think of the steel guitar as an

      instrument only played with country music. Not everyone is into that form of music.

      3. DISCOURAGMENT: so many times I have seen and heard folks (especially us older

      ones) make discouraging remarks when a player wants to play music that is different

      from what is considered “traditional” steel guitar music. In other words, if you don’t play

      in the same style as Lloyd Green, Buddy Emmons, Jerry Byrd, or some of the other old

      time great players, then you are playing wrong. Where is it written that every player has

      to play like every other player?

      Here are a few simple solutions to these obstacles (I’m sure there are more):

      1. Instead of spending thousands, you can spend a few hundred dollars for a small, 6 string

      pedal steel guitar that young (as well as older) players can learn on. These smaller guitars are

      also lighter and easier to set up. Then, if it doesn’t work out, you’re not out so much

      money. Also, the Stage One guitar has been in production for over twenty years. About 1100 have been sold as of October, 2016. They were formerly produced by Mr. Bruce

      Zumsteg, the builder of the wonderful ZumSteel professional pedal steels. The Stage One are great pedal steel and sell for $1049. I have played both and you can't go wrong buying either of them.

      2. The steel guitar is not limited to country music. Whatever music a person likes, the steel

      guitar can be played in a manner that works with that style of music. Young people need

      to be made aware of this.

      3. Every musician should be able to play their music in the style they choose. The steel

      guitar is not a “one size fits all” instrument. If you don’t want it to die out, then be a little

      more open minded.

      Most young people are exposed to the pedal steel guitar through a family member or friend.

      They are not going to learn anything about it through their music programs at school. So, if you

      are truly interested in keeping the pedal steel guitar alive, when you have the opportunity,

      introduce it, and encourage the kids you come in contact with. They are the future of the pedal

      steel guitar.

      Written by Hank Ruf

      the Steel Guitar Network

      http://steelguitarnetwork.net/
     
    teleMc and Nickadermis like this.

  2. teleMc

    teleMc TDPRI Member

    15
    Apr 14, 2017
    Orem, Ut
    # 1 is an issue. " . . . you can spend a few hundred dollars for a small, 6 string

    pedal steel guitar . . . " Please provide a link our something. I'm very interested.
     

  3. Grux

    Grux Tele-Holic

    Age:
    38
    710
    Jan 10, 2017
    Clarksville, TN
    4: Because they hate the sound of a pedal steel...like me.

    This isn't taking a shot at you, I just don't like it. Never have, never will and no desire at all to learn it. I'm sure its complicated and very hard to play but I just don't get it.
     

  4. Rustbucket

    Rustbucket Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2016
    Arizona
    I think the main problem is most young people don’t view it as “cool”. I LOVE the sound of a pedal steel in many kinds of music, but didn’t appreciate it until I was in my late 20’s.

    The biggest proponent of learning that instrument should that there will typically be a shortage of skilled players in most areas, so you should be in high demand once you become proficient at it.
     

  5. Deeve

    Deeve Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 7, 2009
    Ballard
    Love me some steel.
    Sacred/singing steel or country.
     

  6. steve v

    steve v Tele-Holic

    512
    Jun 18, 2009
    Eagle Mills, NY
    Last I heard, Doug (Stage One) wasn't even taking orders because he needed time to catch up with existing orders. I'm not saying that in a bad way, I'm saying that there are still plenty of people buying pedal steels.

    I don't think you will ever see too many kids getting into steel, but as they get older any they expand their musical horizons, perhaps they will realize what a cool instrument it is.

    Maybe the 6 shooter ? You can do a lot with those two pedals

    http://www.fessendensteelguitars.com/guitars.html
     

  7. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Tele-Afflicted

    I concur that pedal steel fits easily into any style of music.

    This is the title track of an album that I recorded back in 1995. Not exactly country, but the pedal steel is right out front on it.



    - D
     

  8. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    69
    Nov 3, 2003
    North Louisiana around Many
    I picked up a lap steel 30 years ago and tuned it in E
    and would bend the bar to try to make it sound like a pedal steel as much as possible. I am a lead guitar player so that's my main thing. So I never played the lap out anywhere, just used it for recording when I needed to add a steel part.

    I always wanted to play a pedal steel but never ended up getting one. I always wondered how much a leap it would be to the pedal? Platefire


    Harmony Lap Steel 003.jpg
    Harmony Lap Steel 004.jpg
    Harmony Lap Steel 002.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
    crossroader and StrangerNY like this.

  9. rburd2

    rburd2 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    37
    Sep 13, 2016
    Georgia, US
    I think the pedal steel is a glorious instrument. However, my one interaction with a pro pedal steel player in which he mentioned his six knee bars had me thinking, "But you only have two knees!"

    I would love to play pedal steel but I have enough trouble with six strings in standard tuning and a tune-o-matic bridge. Add slide bar, different tunings, and multiple leg actions, and I am lost! :)
     

  10. Platefire

    Platefire Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    69
    Nov 3, 2003
    North Louisiana around Many
    Yeah, me too! The complexity of all you got going on a pedal kept me at Bay however if I had happened on a super deal on one would probably went for it. Platefire
     

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