ChrisLarcombe

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here's one post from the Adios Lounge blog. It's just one of a long, detailed series about Clarence and his various bands and gigs. I've found a huge amount of good (but largely unknown) music out of those links.

This is so interesting. Will have a big ol' read when I next get the chance.
 

Silverface

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but I am a fully left handed player and from literally the first day I picked up a guitar, I have known that.

Your reply was thoughtful and exactly what I was hoping for!;)

Surprised?

I've found about 90% of lefties that are rank beginners can easily become right handed guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass etc players.

Then there's the other 10% that feel like utterly retarded, uncoordinated (none of the preceding were insults or meant to denigrate ANY members of society...), fallen-from-a-parallel-universe folks that feel like they might as we quit if right-handed were the only option.:cry:

I feel awful for them because their options instrument-wise are SO limited, and being a collector of many unusual/bizzare instruments that are hard enough to find RIGHT handed (vintage Airline and National electrics, coral/Danelectro electric sitar, and cable-pull Fender Pedal Steels, for example) I can feel their pain on an exponential level.

So you just deal with it. I'm REALLY stoked someone your age (and I know several others) discovered Clarence, Bob Warford and the "West Coast" school of bender playing - where the bender isn't a "gadget attached to a guitar" or a "mechanical guitar effect" but changes the instrument into something else entirely. When I play a stock Tele, Strat or Les Paul I play "guitar" - but when I play one of my Pull Strings or Slingshots my brain goes into a different gear, and I don't play "guitar licks" or follow a "You too can connect pentatonic patterns on the guitar fretboard":mad:line of thinking - I play a TOTALLY different musical instrument, with its own feel, attack, patterns and so on.

When I hear players try to use a bender to play pedal steel licks I cringe:confused: - same with many of the (mostly Southeastern) players who seem to use a bender as an "on off" switch. These are also things Clarence mentioned to me to avoid like the plague. He did the "pedal steel" thing for the first year or so and realized it was absurd to try to cop licks from an instrument so physically and mechanically different...and THAT's when the "light went on" and he started really developing his distinctive way of playing.

Marty Stuart tries to copy it on his "tribute" songs or when playing with Mcguinn - but he only gets it in bits and pieces, mostly because he fills spaces with "guitar playing" - which Clarence avoided. Plus, while he has Clarence's old guitar it doesn't sound right except when copping 1968-mid '69 Clarence bits, because at that point Red Rhodes installed the boost coil bridge pickup (later called the Velvet Hammer VHTBX), which Marty doesn't have (either the pickup was broken when Marty got the guitar or he *thought* it was broken because of the weird, quirky way it operates and is wired - but regardless, he had it rewound and now it sounds like a really good Tele (and the "tone chamber" in the back is part of that). I've never talked to Marty and have no idea why he didn't talk to Red Rhodes about the electronics when Red was alive. Heck, I'd be almost willing to give him one of mine, install it and teach him how to use it(there's quite a learning curve) but I can't get out anywhere to see him to talk about it. Oh, well....

Enough rambling - you're doing a great job! Keep it up - I found I could get more gigs asee a weird, twisted Pull String player than as a "regular" guitar player, and in m case not so much in country music.

....and FWIW I sometimes use the bender instead of "behind the nut" bending on Nashville West - and by '71/73 Clarence would throw bends in himself when playing live - in fact, he rarely played it the same way twice.:D
 

ChrisLarcombe

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Then there's the other 10% that feel like utterly retarded, uncoordinated (none of the preceding were insults or meant to denigrate ANY members of society...), fallen-from-a-parallel-universe folks that feel like they might as we quit if right-handed were the only option.:cry:

This is exactly me! :(

So you just deal with it. I'm REALLY stoked someone your age (and I know several others) discovered Clarence, Bob Warford and the "West Coast" school of bender playing - where the bender isn't a "gadget attached to a guitar" or a "mechanical guitar effect" but changes the instrument into something else entirely. When I play a stock Tele, Strat or Les Paul I play "guitar" - but when I play one of my Pull Strings or Slingshots my brain goes into a different gear, and I don't play "guitar licks" or follow a "You too can connect pentatonic patterns on the guitar fretboard":mad:line of thinking - I play a TOTALLY different musical instrument, with its own feel, attack, patterns and so on.

This is so important, and I completely agree with everything you say really. To get the most out of the B-Bender as a tool within music, you have to treat it with respect. You are never going to get anything meaningful out of it if you treat it like a gadget. It is capable of bringing beautiful, wailing melodies out of your guitar that would never be possible otherwise, and this is something that should be taken seriously, of course!

It really is a whole different ball game. Some people may see this is as a negative, thinking that they want to simply build on their existing guitar playing, by adding some fancy 'hot steel licks' with the bender, but when you realise it's potential and start working towards utilising it as best as you can do, the fact it's a whole different instrument becomes a joy. I know I, at least, am loving it.

Enough rambling - you're doing a great job! Keep it up - I found I could get more gigs asee a weird, twisted Pull String player than as a "regular" guitar player, and in m case not so much in country music.

Thank you man, that means a lot coming from such an experienced and knowledgeable player, and person, such as yourself!
 

T Prior

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Would be a honor to hear what they think, any of em'! I've definitely heard off T Prior before, very knowledgeable fellow, see his responses all over the B-bender forum, so it was a pleasure to hear off him!

Ha ! Thx ! Chris great thread, excellent playing ! Thx for what you are doing. I would have responded earlier but LIFE got in the way.

As a guitar player and Pedal Steel player for near 5 decades, a few things come to mind. When I began my Steel journey I spent all my time early on trying to cop licks , I didn't actually study the Instrument and really capture what was in front of me. I was copying , not creating. And with that comes a ROAD BLOCK. So after half of my tenure it dawned on me that the Instrument requires much more study of whats in front of me rather than just floating along. What do these pedals and levers actually do for the player ? Well, a MASSIVE amount , INFINITE. well beyond what we are copying from a record. Once we do sit and study the instrument, the BELL goes off and all of a sudden the sky turns bright and we can see way past the heavens ! The Instrument is not the road black, the player is. The player determines how much we want to get OUT of the instrument not the Instrument.

Let talk about the B Bender, first off its just a 6 string guitar, What is our knowledge ? If its just so so, then what do we expect to do with the Bender ? Something miraculous ? I dare say ..uhh NO.

The "gadget" comment way above is totally accurate and spot on,. if we treat it like a GADGET, Novelty etc, what exactly do we think is going to happen ? The Guitar is laid out in fretboard pockets based on root positions, if we only know 1 or 2 root positions, well then that's what we play. Our playing is directly proportional to those 2 fretboard positions. The bad news is B bender phrasing is not limited to just 2 fretboard positions. Actually thats where many new Bender players get in trouble. We are not expanding, we are trying to fit the Bender into a small box rather than open the door to a new world.

The B or the G pull or release, is an extension of what we know. If we don't know much then we are not extending much. If we know some, then we extend some, if we know a lot, then we extended a lot. Its all proportional to what we may know on the 6 string, WITHOUT the Bender. Its a very strange thing , playing an instrument. We adlib, we improvise automatically. We don't plan it, we just do it. How do we explain this ? I certainly don't have the answer. Those that have an advanced knowledge ( study) of the fretboard seem to do this with finesse, we talk about those players all the time. Those that have a limited fretboard study, it comes across as very repetitive or maybe worse, it doesn't come across at all. Thats not a bad thing, its where we all began the journey.

Chris has a good thing going on here. But its still up to us individually . Nobody buys a B Bender, goes home and plays like Marty, well. other than Marty . If all we want to do is play a few Pedal Steel " style " licks now and then , well not much study will be required. But if we want to incorporate the B or G pull into our style, add to what we already do, its probably best to figure out what we do, how much do we know without the puller on the guitar. Whats our reference ?

I think my friend Silverface ( Jim) has been saying this for a long time now, all I'm doing is repeating it ! ( again) :)

We can acquire one of these INSTRUMENTS ( not gadgets) , put in some study, some hard work , and grow into a new player. Its called evolution .

If we don't , the Gadget ends up on Reverb or Ebay.

Chris keep up the good work ! :)
 
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Ray G

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Excellent job, Chris, I am impressed with your work and just now subscribed to your YouTube channel. I’ve have been playing for a long time now and just when you feel a bit jaded someone from the younger generation comes along who really appreciates someone like Clarence... thank you, Chris.
 

ChrisLarcombe

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Excellent job, Chris, I am impressed with your work and just now subscribed to your YouTube channel. I’ve have been playing for a long time now and just when you feel a bit jaded someone from the younger generation comes along who really appreciates someone like Clarence... thank you, Chris.

Thanks so much Ray, that means a lot! I've got more youtube videos on the way, life has just been preoccupying me with various other things the past few weeks. Thanks for the sub, and hope you're all good. :)
 

Ray G

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I play a TOTALLY different musical instrument, with its own feel, attack, patterns and so When I hear players try to use a bender to play pedal steel licks I cringe:confused: - same with many of the (mostly Southeastern) players who seem to use a bender as an "on off" switch. These are also things Clarence mentioned to me to avoid like the plague. He did the "pedal steel" thing for the first year or so and realized it was absurd to try to cop licks from an instrument so physically and mechanically different...and THAT's when the "light went on" and he started really developing his distinctive way of playing.

Silverface... I get what you are saying about not trying to use a bender to sound like a steel player but not sure what you mean about “using the bender as an On / Off switch.” Interested only as to avoid bad habits with bender use. Thanks.
 

Silverface

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not sure what you mean about “using the bender as an On / Off switch.”

That just means using it for fast, (usually) musically irrelevant "up/down moves" done for no particular reason except to say "look, I have a bender!"
 

telebender

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I've had a b-bender for several years, but have been mainly interested in bluegrass in recent years, flatpicking, mando and dobro. I just came across your videos and they lit the fire to get my b-bender tele out of the case and learn some of these songs. Have always wanted to learn Nashville West, but just never got around to it. Hope to fix that.

Very impressed with your playing, and how a young guy in the UK finds Clarence White and bender. Keep up the good work.

I wasn't able to get to your tab page. I'd like to get the tab files for Nashville West, Hummingbyrd and your version of Buckaroo.

Thanks!
 

ChrisLarcombe

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I've had a b-bender for several years, but have been mainly interested in bluegrass in recent years, flatpicking, mando and dobro. I just came across your videos and they lit the fire to get my b-bender tele out of the case and learn some of these songs. Have always wanted to learn Nashville West, but just never got around to it. Hope to fix that.

Very impressed with your playing, and how a young guy in the UK finds Clarence White and bender. Keep up the good work.

I wasn't able to get to your tab page. I'd like to get the tab files for Nashville West, Hummingbyrd and your version of Buckaroo.

Thanks!

Here's a link to my website: https://christianlarcombe.wixsite.com/chrislarcombemusic

Glad you've dug up the bender and started playing again!
 

Silverface

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You are never going to get anything meaningful out of it if you treat it like a gadget.


I want to repeat this AGAIN because it is SO darned full of musical truth! God bless ya' for saying that!

I think my friend Silverface ( Jim) has been saying this for a long time now, all I'm doing is repeating it ! ( again)

Shut up Tony - or someone is eventually gonna figure out we're one guy with a split personality that differs only in name! :lol:

I'll add - other ways to use a bender as a unique RANGE of instruments that do not otherwise exist:

1. I use a McEwen Slingshot on my old Roland-Ready Strat and synth module (I also installed MUCH better Strat pickups - some custom winds - and a better neck - which gave me the germ of an idea for my Glaser/Fender Custom Shop "butcher block" Strat.

But the synth setup lets me play "bent" keyboard pads; "bent" baritone sax or entire horn sections; "bent" Hammond organ BASS pedals etc etc...playing them all unlike the original instruments (which I can play) AND unlike a guitar "with a gadget".

2. Paul made me a custom Slingshot to match the unique neck bolts on my old Variax 500, giving me the opportunity to play 27 different bender instruments (NOT 27 different guitars with a bender gadget).

I've used those and my Evans and Parsons guitars on recorded tracks for people - but stupidly never got copies (most were for commercials, bands I didn't know the name of (and didn't ask) and a few film projects.

It's hard to do most of that stuff with a "guitar that has a gadget attached."

PS - do not be afraid to use "over the top" effects pedals with it - or a Leslie 16/Vibratone (WITH the original crossover!!!). those can really spark your "non guitar style" creativity!
 




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