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  Bar Slants (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Bar Slants
Dave Grafe
Member

From: Portland, Oregon, USA

posted 15 June 2005 10:24 PM     profile     
I'm just curious, how many pedal players still throw in a bar slant now and then?

Myself, I on the E9 I'll grab the 9 string as a dominant 7th in the bottom and use a slant on strings 5 and 6, with and without the A pedal.

For me this was originally inspired by a riff in the bridge section of TB's Recording of Bud's Bounce and I just took it from there and crawled.

I do it now and then in a number of other situations. With no C6 neck to mess with a man has to adapt and improvise.

Like I said, curious....

------------------
Dave Grafe - email: dg@pdxaudio.com
Production
Pickin', etc.

1978 ShoBud Pro I E9, Randall Steel Man 500, 1963 Precision Bass, 1954 Gibson LGO, 1897 Washburn Hawaiian Steel Conversion

[This message was edited by Dave Grafe on 15 June 2005 at 10:28 PM.]

Marty Pollard
Member

From: a confidential source

posted 15 June 2005 10:45 PM     profile     
No.
Never.
Ever.
EVER!

And if you (any you, not just Dave) can't do it without intonation problems, you should never do it either!

Stephen Gambrell
Member

From: Ware Shoals, South Carolina, USA

posted 15 June 2005 10:50 PM     profile     
As a dobro player, sometimes I simply FORGET that there's a pedal there to do that stuff. Only problem is reverse slants, when my whole body spins around...
Klaus Caprani
Member

From: Copenhagen, Denmark

posted 15 June 2005 11:03 PM     profile     
I rarely do bar slants. Ofcourse on lapsteel I have to from time to time, but I don't think I ever pull one off without intonation problems.

------------------
Klaus Caprani

MCI RangeXpander S-10 3x4
www.klauscaprani.com


Dave Grafe
Member

From: Portland, Oregon, USA

posted 15 June 2005 11:11 PM     profile     
You gotta USE that bullnose if you want to grab more than one string up there and have it be music.
Dave Grafe
Member

From: Portland, Oregon, USA

posted 15 June 2005 11:27 PM     profile     
Anyway, Marty, I was slantin' bars regular long before I had pedals, if I ever thought it would sound bad I sure wouldn't do it.
Ron Steenwijk
Member

From: Greensburg,PA

posted 16 June 2005 12:32 AM     profile     
Regularly.It has nothing to do wether you have pedals or not.Sometimes a song just sounds better with barslants.Having pedals under your guitar does not mean that you have to use them.
Take Lloyd for example.I know of no steel player that uses more slants than he does.And he sounds great.

Ron

[This message was edited by Ronald Steenwijk on 16 June 2005 at 12:32 AM.]

Tony Harris
Member

From: England

posted 16 June 2005 02:27 AM     profile     
I was watching Merle Haggard's live DVD the other day. Not very much of Norm Hamlet's steel work, but I did see him slant the bar oncde or twice.
David Mason
Member

From: Cambridge, MD, USA

posted 16 June 2005 04:04 AM     profile     
There's a whole family of forward slants on the C6th neck that work both with and without pedals. They're easier to play higher on the neck and with a longer bar, for obvious reasons. I like to play out of the slant positions and change the angle of the bar to fret notes.

Like, in C6th, fret a G note on the 15th fret of the 6th string, a B note on the 16th fret of the 5th string, and a D on the 17th fret of the 4th string for a G major chord - you can lower the 3rd string for a G7. Then change the pitch of the notes by moving the angle of the bar, and going across the strings, not just up and down – of course, you combine it with slides too. Control is hard, but that's what practice is for?

Backward slants seem less useful to me, because the C6th tuning is fairly close in its voicings to begin with and slanting the bar backwards tends to give you diatonic scales at best*, which I find easier to get by moving the bar unless you want a special effect. I mostly use 1 1/4" and 1 3/8" acrylic bars.

*(Or warpy sitaresque sympathetic-string shimmers which I actually like better, ex. "Back to the Light" on Bruce Kaphan's "Slider" CD)

Bob Carlucci
Member

From: Candor, New York, USA

posted 16 June 2005 04:31 AM     profile     
Never.. and I feel like I'm missing something..bob
Herb Steiner
Member

From: Cedar Valley, Travis County TX

posted 16 June 2005 04:57 AM     profile     
I slant the bar fairly frequently on E9, either to get certain dominant-type chord fragments, or to get moving lines in the lower register.

I also slant the bar when sitting in on someone else's guitar and the knee levers are not where I want them, or they don't exist at all, like on a Maverick. I was playing a guitar like that at ISGC one day and Al Petty walked past and said "Herb, you're showing your age."

Bear in mind that I started on non-pedal steel where slant bar technique is not only common, but required. My first three pedal steels didn't have knee levers, and I only got my first lever in 1968 on a Sho-Bud.

When I'm playing non-pedal steel, like I have for the last 2-3 months with the Hank Williams play, I slant the bar approximately 30% of the time.

------------------
Herb's Steel Guitar Pages
Texas Steel Guitar Association


Jack Stoner
Sysop

From: Inverness, Florida

posted 16 June 2005 05:16 AM     profile     
I started out on lap steel where bar slants are the rule. I still use them occasionally on both E9th and C6th.

Those that way don't do it on a pedal guitar, watch the Big E.

Billy Gilbert
Member

From: Texas, USA

posted 16 June 2005 05:40 AM     profile     
Acouple weeks ago I sat about 10 feet from Herb Remington as he played a single neck E9. He seemed to use slants as much as he did the pedals.
Gary Spaeth
Member

From: Wisconsin, USA

posted 16 June 2005 05:43 AM     profile     
it sure separates the men from the boys. Kayton Roberts is my hero where bar slants are concerned.

[This message was edited by Gary Spaeth on 16 June 2005 at 05:45 AM.]

Webb Kline
Member

From: Bloomsburg, PA

posted 16 June 2005 05:52 AM     profile     
I see people coming out of bars slanted quite often.
john buffington
Member

From: Owasso Ok USA

posted 16 June 2005 05:55 AM     profile     
Often especially on E9th. Lloyd Green does them very tastefully as does Dickie Overby who also has total command of bar slants.
They sound great in some songs, adds a lot of feeling IMHO.
John Buffington
Howard Tate
Member

From: Leesville, Louisiana, USA

posted 16 June 2005 06:13 AM     profile     
It's very hard for me, but I've watched Pee Wee Whitewing and John Hughey do it. I don't think I'll tell them it's wrong.

------------------
Howard, 'Les Paul Recording, Zum S12U, Vegas 400, Boss ME-5, Boss DM-3, DD-3, Sierra Session D-10
http://www.Charmedmusic.com

Ray Minich
Member

From: Limestone, New York, USA

posted 16 June 2005 06:36 AM     profile     
Yep, not frequently, but a good move to have in the pocket. Handy for a change-up when needed. Comes from formative years at a 6-string with A tuning and no pedals. Try to play "Together Again" with no pedals and see how far you get without slantin' the bar.

Dave, TB's recording of "Bud's Bounce" is why I do this at all. (Ah, yes... 1963...)

[This message was edited by Ray Minich on 16 June 2005 at 06:38 AM.]

Robert Thomas
Member

From: Mehama, Oregon, USA

posted 16 June 2005 07:01 AM     profile     
I started by using slants in the 40's and still do a lot of them, even after I started playing e-9 and c-6 PSG. I find them invaluable at times. For some I guess it is a problem, but for myself as I grew up on them and feel very fortunate to have that ability. They provide a whole new sound that is different then the pedal sound. It is well worth the effort to learn how. It might help if you get a six string steel and set down and force your self to learn how they can apply in your playing technique.
Keith Cordell
Member

From: Atlanta

posted 16 June 2005 07:23 AM     profile     
I had convinced myself that I could avoid them by going to pedals; then I went to visit Bobbe Seymour... He played us a bit of a song using some beautiful slants. I don't think it's possible to sound like that with pedals. So now I get to spend a significant portion of my practice time figuring them out. I am not sure whether to thank Bobbe or go choke him...

Just kidding, Bobbe...

------------------
MSA Classic 12, Peavey Delta Blues, Proco Rat, Robert Randolph - Shubb bars


Marty Pollard
Member

From: a confidential source

posted 16 June 2005 07:40 AM     profile     
Yes, Lloyd DOES do them perfectly.
As I said, if you do them right, knock yourself out!

Lloyd's intonation is always perfect.
**** ******, OTOH, is probably a good example of why NOT to use slants. He's always had intonation problems.

I guess it's similar to playing stoned; perhaps some of you only THINK it sounds good...

Oh, and Together Again and Bud's Bounce w/out slants?
No prob.

[This message was edited by Marty Pollard on 16 June 2005 at 07:41 AM.]

Larry Bell
Member

From: Englewood, Florida

posted 16 June 2005 08:23 AM     profile     
I find it interesting that someone asks "who does this" and someone else, without fail, answers, "if you do you're a dumba$$" or "if you can't do it perfectly you shouldn't do it at all". That kind of judgmental nonsense has run many wonderful people away from this forum. (sorry, had to say it)

Yes, I use bar slants for the same reason that Buddy has mentioned several times: it ISN'T PERFECT and that little bit of dissonance or bar buzz can add a lot of life to a phrase. Particularly the move that preceded the F lever -- a backward slant on E9 raising 8 1/2 step while playing 6 and 5. It's impossible to get all three notes perfect, but it sounds really cool, IMHO.

------------------
Larry Bell - email: larry@larrybell.org - gigs - Home Page
2003 Fessenden S/D-12 8x8, 1969 Emmons S-12 6x6, 1971 Dobro, Standel and Peavey Amps


George Redmon
Member

From:

posted 16 June 2005 08:52 AM     profile     
i use forward slants "occasionally" mostly on
"Older" tunes...i like the Don Helms feel to some of the older tunes..on those occasions i actually feel that "Pedals" are out of place and inappropriate...here here for our non peddler friends...as my old music teacher use to tell me 40 years ago with a pointer in her hand.."Tastefully George....
Tastefully young man"! Whack!
"..if you can do'em...use'em"!

------------------

Whitney Single 12 8FL & 5 KN,keyless, dual changers Extended C6th, Webb Amp, Line6 PodXT, Goodrich Curly Chalker Volume Pedal, Match Bro, BJS Bar..I was keyless....when keyless wasn't cool....


[This message was edited by George Redmon on 16 June 2005 at 08:56 AM.]

Gene Jones
Member

From: Oklahoma City, OK USA

posted 16 June 2005 09:02 AM     profile     
*

[This message was edited by Gene Jones on 25 October 2005 at 04:12 AM.]

Brandon Housewright
Member

From: Statesboro, Georgia, USA

posted 16 June 2005 09:16 AM     profile     
I love slants and reverses. Use them very often now. I went from a 12 string 3+4 to a 10 string 3+2 just lowering E's and using Bobbe's Z lever. You have to slant for lots of things and it sounds better to me.
Tom Campbell
Member

From: Houston, Texas, USA

posted 16 June 2005 09:43 AM     profile     
I've watched Herb Remington play many times (he's here in Houston). He plays a single neck 10 (with pedals) tuned to A6, and uses forward and reverse slants constantly. You have to remember Herb is from the pre-pedal era and is a master of slants. The combination of slants and pedals offers a lot of color to one's sound.
George Redmon
Member

From:

posted 16 June 2005 09:55 AM     profile     
Read the new "Bobbe's Tips" and i quote
"The steel player who isn't using slants and reverses is only playing half his guitar."
Bobbe Seymour June 16, 2005.
I agree!

------------------

Whitney Single 12 8FL & 5 KN,keyless, dual changers Extended C6th, Webb Amp, Line6 PodXT, Goodrich Curly Chalker Volume Pedal, Match Bro, BJS Bar..I was keyless....when keyless wasn't cool....


Marty Pollard
Member

From: a confidential source

posted 16 June 2005 10:32 AM     profile     
quote:
"if you do you're a dumba$$" or "if you can't do it perfectly you shouldn't do it at all".
Hey, if the shoe fits...
quote:
that little bit of dissonance or bar buzz can add a lot of life to a phrase.
Actually it'll add a lot of death to your career in most bands I've worked in.
quote:
It's impossible to get all three notes perfect, but it sounds really cool, IMHO.
No; no it really doesn't.
quote:
That kind of judgmental nonsense has run many wonderful people away from this forum.
To be frank, that kind of 'cool' bad intonation is what runs so many away from steel guitar in general.
quote:
(sorry, had to say it)
Me too.
Dave Grafe
Member

From: Portland, Oregon, USA

posted 16 June 2005 02:22 PM     profile     
Whoa there pardner, you got that bit plumb stuck in yer teeth!

It is interesting that only in the minds of provincial western musicians is the concept of every note being precisely "in tune" to some mythical set of perfect intervals a condition for defining musicality.

Many cultures around the world have scales with more than twelve "notes" per octave, some don't even recognize pure tone "notes" as being musical at all but desire buzzers and other resonators to turn a simple vibration into a complex waveform which they find pleasing, even though its components are most definitely not "in tune" by anglo-european standards.

Marty, are you by chance familiar with the concept of the "blue" note? Most likely of African origin, it is an integral part of playing the blues and it can only be acheieved by deliberately ditching the euro-classical "rules" of scale intervals.

Bobby Lee
Sysop

From: Cloverdale, North California, USA

posted 16 June 2005 02:35 PM     profile     
If you were already a steel guitarist before you got your first pedal steel, you probably have no problem with bar slants. If, on the other hand, you went directly from b@nj* to pedal steel, it's unlikely that you'll ever grasp the more advanced uses of the left hand.

I use a bar slant whenever I need a moving note that pedals don't provide. What am I supposed to do, stop the gig or session while I add another pedal or lever to my guitar, just to get one move?

If you remove bar slants from the list of playing techniques, you'll have either a very limited musical lexicon or a very complicated machine.

------------------
Bobby Lee - email: quasar@b0b.com - gigs - CDs, Open Hearts
Williams D-12 E9, C6add9, Sierra Olympic S-12 (F Diatonic)
Sierra Laptop S-8 (E6add9), Fender Stringmaster D-8 (E13, C6 or A6)

Roger Edgington
Member

From: San Antonio, Texas USA

posted 16 June 2005 03:25 PM     profile     
Like many on here I grew up with non pedal and so I will do a slant now and then. It's the reverse slants that worry me a little about dropping the bar cause I don't practice them enough. OK, sometimes I suppose I slant the bar a little when it should be straight. Does that count?
Marty Pollard
Member

From: a confidential source

posted 16 June 2005 04:30 PM     profile     
quote:
Marty, are you by chance familiar with the concept of the "blue" note?
Could you conceal your condescension a little better, Dave?

For your information Dave, the tones you're referring to are nothing more than the flatted third and flatted seventh, not the flat flatted third or flat flatted seventh. Yes Dave, I most certainly DO know what I'm talking about.

If you play guitar in western music (as opposed to eastern traditions) you may bend a note from the second to the minor third or from the minor third to the natural third and yes, there are an infinite number of 'microtones' in that movement.

However, if you never arrive at your destination note and if you let that poorly intoned note ring against the other instruments, it's BAD. It just is.

So, am I to surmise that you play music in the eastern tradition?
If so, congratulations; I'm sure it's quite challenging and I hope to learn more about it someday.

In the meantime I'm going to continue playing music in the European tradition which actually DOES care about intonation (and not randomly BTW; it's a physics thing) and in which unresolved bends and microtones are unacceptable.

Also, the reason I don't use slants is because I'm not good at them firstly and secondly because, again, I can get any voicing I want without them.

BobbeSeymour
Member

From: Hendersonville TN USA

posted 16 June 2005 07:14 PM     profile     
Marty Pollard, welcome home! I missed you, now----->
Bobby Lee,I have never agreed with you more!


Yep, if you aren't using slants and reverses, you are only playing half the guitar.
There is an awful lot of music you are not playing. Ever see Jimmy Day play? Lloyd Green Play? Or any great player for that matter,
Again b0b, yep!


By the way guys,California's own Bobby Black came by today and we played my 10 string "Super Slide" for over an hour, both of us pulling it away from the other one, and yes, Bobby is a great "Slants and Reverses" kinda' player.
Yep,,,,, Bobby Black, what a great guy, great player and great friend to all steel players.

[This message was edited by BobbeSeymour on 16 June 2005 at 07:16 PM.]

erik
Member

From:

posted 16 June 2005 07:20 PM     profile     
marty says:
quote:
unresolved bends and microtones are unacceptable.

It works well in lead blues guitar depending on where you go after it, IMO. I mean how many people do you ever hear cry in tune?

------------------
-johnson


Ron Whitfield
Member

From: Kaaawa, Hawaii, USA

posted 16 June 2005 07:21 PM     profile     
"hmph..., don't need no pedals" Jerry Byrd

Al Terhune
Member

From: Newcastle, WA

posted 16 June 2005 08:10 PM     profile     
Oh, I love using slants. I remember b0b five or so years ago saying on the forum that using a slant sometimes sounds better than using a pedal, and I found that to be true. Marty's right, though -- getting good intonation is something that takes a lot of practice with slants, but, hey, I've done lots of practicing and have good intonation. And like Bobbe mentioned in his latest newsletter, I played lap almost exclusively the past six years, in which using slants is imperative. When I went back to my pedal, I was amazed at how much better it made me, to go without pedals for a few years, and how adding slants with the pedals gave me some sounds that made me do a lot of smiling.

It's true -- for me, anyway, without forward and reverse slants, you're using half of your guitar -- maybe less. An exciting thought for those who don't use slants and want to broaden their horizons.

Al

BobbeSeymour
Member

From: Hendersonville TN USA

posted 16 June 2005 08:54 PM     profile     
Al, yep, playing non-pedal will make your pedal steel playing better, great statement! And so very true!
Dave Mudgett
Member

From: Central Pennsylvania, USA

posted 16 June 2005 09:35 PM     profile     
I tend to use bar slants minimally on the gig, because I'm not that good at them yet. Yes, out-of-control pitchiness drives me nuts too. But I do work on them at home because they add another dimension of expressiveness. It's not always the one that I want, but particularly on swing and blues, it can a lot. I'd rather have a large palette than a small one.

Quote: "... the tones you're referring to are nothing more than the flatted third and flatted seventh, not the flat flatted third or flat flatted seventh."

I flat out disagree that the so-called "blue notes" should always be resolved precisely to a just- or equal-tempered western chromatic note. I have been playing blues guitar since the late 60s - no matter what new things I do, I still basically view myself as a blues guitar player. I've listened to and played a lot of blues guitar. Listen to Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Earl Hooker, Little Walter, Buddy Guy, Gatemouth Brown, Albert/B.B./Freddy King, or any of the other blues masters, and you will hear them mess around a lot between the minor and major 3rd, the flat 5th and the 5th, and the 6th and the flat 7th a lot. They resolve where they bloody well please, thank you. Quite honestly, the different ways a blues player resolves blue notes is part of that player's signature.

Sometimes they want full resolution and hit it straight on the chromatic note. Other times, they want tension, and resolve away from it. Yes, it's a dangerous technique in the hands of a hack. That's what separates the masters from the wannabees - knowing exactly what works when and how to tame it.

Another issue in resolving away from a note is what to play with it. If the accompaniment is spare and stays out of the way, there will be no beats, and it can sound great. Ever wonder why the great blues bands have an accompaniment style that paves a wide highway around which the soloist can wander? When I hear a blues band where every sonic space is filled and soloists resolve every single note to a western chromatic, I say 'inexperienced'.

As mainstream steel moves into other styles like blues, this tradition will move with it. I suppose some will hate it, that goes with the turf, I guess.

Mike Sweeney
Member

From: Nashville,TN,USA

posted 16 June 2005 10:46 PM     profile     
Dumbass? Well, let's see here. Starting out on a lap steel I had to slant the bar. I slant the bar now to augment what the pedals do and to get moves I don't have on a pedal. The main problem I've found with people who badmouth any technique is they don't want to put in the painfull amount of time it takes to perfect it. Most people with that mindset thinks the guitar should do it all. That ain't the way it works.
Myself, personally could care less if someone wanted to use barslants or not. That's their perogative. But to call someone who uses such techniques a dumbass is somewhat ludicrous.
Everyone has a right to there opinion however shortsighted it is but they need to clean up there own yard before they ridicule there neighbor about what his looks like.
I'll say this though, If you're going to use forward or backward slants you should get it as close to in tune as you can. There is no sloppiness that practice can't cure.

Mike Sweeney www.freewebs.com/steelguitarmusic/

------------------
Mike Sweeney

[This message was edited by Mike Sweeney on 16 June 2005 at 10:47 PM.]

Marty Pollard
Member

From: a confidential source

posted 16 June 2005 10:47 PM     profile     
Dave, sounds like you've got about 5 years more experience than I do playing blues figures (mine mostly on steel though).

When you say, "...you will hear them mess around a lot between the minor and major 3rd, the flat 5th and the 5th, and the 6th and the flat 7th a lot", that's pretty obvious. At root, what I believe is happening is that when a note is slurred in a particular direction, our ears/brains fill in the blanks just like our eyes do with visuals. Essentially, we 'resolve' the implied notes ourselves as listeners.

The exception is what proves the rule.

But we may be a cross purposes; I'm talking about unacceptable intonation problems in MOST of the bar slants I hear, not about blue 3rds and 7ths.

[This message was edited by Marty Pollard on 16 June 2005 at 10:56 PM.]


WHOA DUDE! Take the time to read the posts, ok? It was Larry Bell who used the term DUMBASS.

Other than that, I guess we're in agreement, eh? Your last paragraph states that if it's not done RIGHT, it sux (which sounds like badmouthing to me). Welcome to the club.

And you're right, I don't want to put in the time to learn to do something I can already do in a more efficient and pleasant manner. I suppose I could learn to play lefthanded but why would I?

Also please enlighten me. What are those mysterious chords or voicings you're getting with these slants? sus2? sus4? dim? aug? 6? 7? Maj7? min? 9s? 11s? 13s?
Heck, I get all those with my standard E9 3x4!

quote:
on the E9 I'll grab the 9 string as a dominant 7th in the bottom and use a slant on strings 5 and 6, with and without the A pedal
Ok, fact is, this can't be done ANYWHERE NEAR to correct intonation of all three notes. I don't have my guitar in front of me but I don't need it to know that if 9 is correct and 6 is correct, 5 is gonna be EXTREMELY sharp; like HALF A FRET sharp!?! That's NOT good.

[This message was edited by Marty Pollard on 16 June 2005 at 11:02 PM.]

[This message was edited by Marty Pollard on 16 June 2005 at 11:17 PM.]


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