I’m still working on getting my steel guitar in tune. I’ve tried all kinds of ways to tune over the last 30+ years, and I’m still not happy with it. But the good news is that I’m getting closer and closer closer to A-440, and that seems to be a good thing. The B to C# pull is the bugaboo.

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.