Fills and taste

Your job as a steel player, or a guitar player, or any other lead instrument, is to make the singer and the song sound good. You complement the performance of the song, you don’t detract. But, damn, I’ve worked with so many pickers who don’t understand this basic concept. It’s astounding, really. You play your fills between the lines the singer is singing, mostly. You don’t play walk-ups and walk-downs and big loud chords over the vocals. Damn, listen to a record once in a while, and hear how it’s supposed to be.

And, by all means, don’t play a bunch of garbage when the steel player is doing a solo. If you can’t play something that complements and enhances what he’s doing, then just lay the fuck out. Don’t play. Light a cigarette, take a drink of your beer, smile at the audience. But don’t fuck with the steel player. He won’t like it.

Can you say “taste”? Do you even know what it is? Do you understand this concept? If you don’t know. then just lay the fuck out.

Author: Cal Sharp

Nashville pedal steel guitarist for over 30 years. Credits include Stonewall Jackson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Red Sovine, Faron Young, Ernest Tubb, Ray Price, Johnny Russell, George Fox, Vern Gosdin, Del Reeves, Gilley's, the Palomino Club and a few others. Retired from the road, playing sessions and clubs locally. I also develop websites, like this one and other music-related sites. Contact me if you need a website. Email: cal at caligraphics dot net or fill out the contact form.

2 thoughts on “Fills and taste”

  1. How true! It is so distracting to see a fiddle player who won’t quit. or a lead guitar who walks all over the singer and other musicians.

  2. Cal,
    I wish I could use you lines in the Newsletter. BUT!!!!!!
    I believe you think the same way I do!!!!
    “Shut up back there”
    Terry Bethel

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