Friday, October 5, 2012

Featured Player: Mickey Adams

Mickey Adams is a talented player from Dallas, TX. He is a long-time professional musician but also contributes to the pedal steel community with a series of instructional videos that he posts on YouTube. Through his videos, Mr. Adams has hundreds of high-quality lessons available to benefit beginner, intermediate, and advanced players alike. The most popular videos on his YouTube channel feature tutorials in which he breaks down and teaches iconic pedal steel parts, including absolute classics such as the intro from Al Perkins' version of Crazy Arms. Mr. Adams encourages comments from the community and even teaches songs based on requests. A complete list of his lessons can be found here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Product Review: Golden Gate Extension Nut

Some members of our pedal steel community maintain that learning a pedal-less style greatly increases their left hand dexterity. Because of this, learning on a dobro or lap steel translates into better steel guitar playing. I was considering buying a pedal-less instrument, but then I discovered the Golden Gate extension nut that raises the action on a standard guitar to allow for the use of a steel. This is a much cheaper solution than a new guitar, and it has performed very well over the past few months. Consider using this product if you want to convert guitars back and forth from regular playing to a dobro or lap steel style. Highly recommended!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Resource of the Week: the Steel Guitar Forum

This is the largest steel guitar community in the world. The webmaster charges a $5 fee to join the forum and submit content, but anyone can read posts for free. The steel guitar forum covers news, discussion, tablature, classified ads, and other topics. I recommend this discussion board for anyone who is interested in pedal or non-pedal steel guitar.

The homepage is here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Featured Player: Ben Keith

"Buddy Emmons may be the best steel player, but Ben's my favorite." - J. J. Cale

Ben Keith became famous because of his frequent collaborations with Neil Young, but his earlier career as a Nashville session musician had him playing on records including "I Fall to Pieces" by Patsy Cline. A master of understatement, Keith's style tends towards the sparse and mysterious. Some songs however, such as Young's "Albuquerque" and "Roll Another Number," prominently feature his melancholy pedal steel artistry. Keith was touring and recording right up to his death in 2010. His death marked the end of the career of a unique pedal steel player, not to mention that of an ambassador who brought the instrument to new audiences in the world of rock and roll. His pioneering work with Young and a range of other artists broadened our conceptions and suggested fresh musical contexts for pedal steel guitar.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Resource of the Week: Bobbe Seymour's Newsletter

Bobbe is a living legend. I met him at his shop in Nashville and he was kind enough to give me a lesson. It was such an honor to learn from one of the best players in the world. Because Bobbe has so much experience touring and recording with country and pop music's biggest stars, he has accumulated a tremendous amount of wisdom and anecdotes, which he reveals weekly in the Steel Guitar Nashville newsletter. Being someone with such a long history playing music professionally, it is extremely interesting to hear his analysis of musical trends and the current state of the industry.

His newsletter is available here (click the "Mailing List" link on the left hand menu).

Plus a bonus video: