The Steel Guitar Forum is an invaluable asset to steel guitarists, enthusiasts, and to the instrument itself. It is a fountain of knowledge; and for an instrument with such a steep learning curve, we should all be enjoying a drink from this fountain. Full of advice, details, experience, intelligence, players, and so much more, The Steel Guitar Forum is a truly phenomenal community.
Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks for browsing the forum, which have helped me improve as a pedal steel player. The Steel Guitar Forum allows a player to process useful steel guitar information in the brain, then take it to the instrument and translate it into music. This is a valuable system that all steel guitar players can benefit from using: and with today’s technology you can utilize it from pretty much anywhere, at anytime.
There is a wealth of information on the forum: years and years of great discussion, caring advice, and intelligent players add up to form a community that is unparalleled compared to many other instruments. If you are a steel guitar player, chances are that any other steel player you’ll ever meet in your life will be kind and generous to you for sharing a passion in this magnificent instrument. This is important because encouragement is the backbone for this instrument; due to its difficulty and rarity. The steel guitar is like an endangered species: it is rare, low in numbers, yet important to the environment. Luckily for us, no one wants to see any kind of rare, endangered species die! Especially other musicians, who will graciously invite a steel guitarist onto the bandstand in hopes of being spotted with such an atypical animal.
As steel players, we’re similar to gold dust; every little bit counts, and it all adds up over time. There’s still gold to be found in the world, and thanks to the Steel Guitar Forum, we have a map to help us discover it.
Here are some tips for maximizing your time on The Steel Guitar Forum, and utilizing the information contained within it:
Use The Search Function:
Even after browsing the forum for years, I still to this day discover helpful information from many years past. There are so many variables involved with playing or learning about this instrument, that the top page of most recent discussions is unlikely to hold all the answers you are seeking. Treat the search function like you would when searching for anything else on Google: be specific with your search wording, and try to find a more exact answer or topic regarding your question. Are you wondering how to shape your fingerpicks, so that they’re comfortable and properly adjusted for good right hand technique? Then don’t just type in fingerpicks. Type in: shaping fingerpicks to be more comfortable. These searches will both yield good results, but they will be different results, and the search more adjusted to your needs will get you on your way more efficiently.
Find All Posts By A Member:
How many other places in the world have such incredible, world-class, legendary musicians posting their advice for free to other aspiring players? I mean really: Steel Guitar Hall of Famers, professional players, road warriors, and many other players who have years and years of expertise and experience, all sharing their knowledge because they want to be generous. This is too good to be true. We’ve even had “The Big E” grace us with plenty of posts: 1470 to be exact, all from one of the greatest players to ever grace the earth. You can read all of them on the forum, and they’re all thoughtful and helpful, just as he was as a person. This would be like Jimi Hendrix having posted a lot of advice to many guitar players on a forum! The guitar players would’ve freaked out!!!
Many other great players, and legendary ones, have posted and continue to do so on the forum. Do yourself a favor: read more of the posts from players and people who make an impact on you. Just like you listen to music selectively, do the same when considering advice and players to listen to on the Forum. Most of the advice is helpful, but some of it will be more helpful to you personally as a player/person. Are you interested in restoring a 1970’s pedal steel from a particular builder/manufacturer, and there weren’t many designed with this style and different mechanisms? Chances are, there is a particular forum member(s) who has been working on these steels for over thirty years, and is the best person on earth to give you helpful advice and feedback on your project. You can search for their particular posts too to gain more insight into their expertise.
To find all posts by a member:
-Go to a topic or thread that this member has posted on (or search for one).
-Click on that member’s profile button at the bottom of their post.
-In their Total Posts category, click “Find all posts by …”
Have Fun, Be Positive, and Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
Most importantly, have fun while you’re on the forum. Also, try to be as positive and helpful as you can if you’re posting. I quickly leave topics that become negative in energy, or contain people bashing one another. Criticism and opinions are important on forums, but usually only if they are constructive and helpful.
Also, with so many experienced and intelligent veteran players on the Forum, I know it can be intimidating for newer players to reach out and make posts about questions they may have. I know this because I was once like this. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about learning the instrument, as most members on there enjoy helping others pick up the steel guitar.
After all, getting more people to learn and play this instrument is the only way for our species to survive. Maybe if more people begin playing steel guitar, and we take them under our wing, we won’t end up like the Dodo birds.
Share the steel guitar love/knowledge, and thanks to b0b and everyone involved for making The Steel Guitar Forum such a great community to be a part of!