Mike Neer released an album last year called ‘Steelonious‘ – a bunch of Thelonious Monk tunes arranged for lap steel. I think it’s one of my favourite steel guitar albums ever. Great band and great steel playing!
These are excerpts from his blog, it is chocabloc with information
This guy, Bilal Khalif is writing some really great blog posts on getting complex chord changes out of the lap steel. He’s been tackling a bunch of jazz standards and working out how to play the melodies and chords..
Developing vibrato is a never ending quest on the pedal steel. I find I keep going back to it to work out what I’m doing wrong. It’s a frustrating process.
What I’ve been concentrating on recently is how I hold the bar – I’ve known for years that I haven’t been holding it right but couldn’t work out what was wrong.
Recently after I’d stopped playing I’d found my bar hand thumb had got sore, and that had me thinking.
What I’ve been trying out now is just using the the ends of my first and second fingers to control the round end of the bar. Keeping it straight then requires minimal force from either your hand or your thumb depending on if you’re going up or down the neck.
This feels right:
This is where it begins Opening Bars ..
He’s certainly done his homework, and bought into the well held tradition of pedal steel puns!
Thank you Matt!..