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Steel Guitar News March 5. 2012

Hello fellow players,

This is an email I got from Mac McCarthy. Read it and I’ll answer his questions below the message.

Hello Bobbe,

Thanks again for “Bobbe’s Tips”! It’s the one email I really look forward to getting each week.

A few months ago, I received my Bobro and nylon bar from Steel Guitar Nashville. Bobbe, this thing makes my Mullen sound more like a dobro than a dobro! (if that’s possible) The dobro sound can be most authentic sounding on a standard E9th pedal steel if you can force yourself to stay off the pedals and use a few more slants than you would normally use. That being said, I love just a touch of the pedal effects with the Bobro … which I guess gives you the “pedalbro” sound that you hear so much on recordings these days.

Thanks for the innovation! Now I’ve got a “three-in-one” guitar for just a very small additional investment!

If you can, tell us a little bit about how the Bobro came into being. Did you engineer it? How long has the Bobro been around? Do you know of any steel players working in Bluegrass bands using a PSG and Bobro? Being an acoustic bass player, I can appreciate the non-electric aspect of traditional Bluegrass, but many bands are using electric bass these days. Seems to me a PSG/Bobro would fit right in!

I used to blame the heavy stainless Emmons bar I’m using for my inability to play fast. Your nylon bar I use with the Bobro disproves my theory! ha I don’t wear shoes when playing, so it can’t be the heavy shoes slowing the pedal action. Maybe it’s the heavy picks.

I hope your health is good these days!

Mac McCarthy
Roswell, Ga.

Thank you Mac McCarthy for your questions. As far as the Bobro goes, I experimented around with a Boss pedal and kept experimenting until I found a combination that worked. All the parts come from Boss. I just assemble them differently.

I thank all you guys for your replies and things that you have to say about my newsletters and communications. I am learning something about myself and how the human mind works by having been forced into a wheel chair recently. It seems like a fall that I had in my garage last Christmas time damaged more than I thought. It’s kind of hard to play steel guitar from a wheel chair but then again it may be more the humiliation of me trying to act big and tough when I know I’m not.

If I didn’t have you guys out there to talk with, read my newsletters and talk with, I’d be way down the totem pole in mood. Actually, my attitude is great. I’m still at the store everyday although my hours have been cut back. I’ve had to sell one of my airplanes, the Piper PA28. I still have my PA2220. It’s hard to fly in a wheel chair being a tail wheel airplane, but I would if the FAA would let me.

I am doing technical things at the store like wiring steel guitar pickups. As a matter of fact, Mr. Duke Durham just sent me a question that several of you have recently. Could you please tell me what the original pickups in the D-10 Professional Sho-Bud? Is there a wiring diagram for the two pickups and the neck selector switch? The answer is not that I know of. I can get someone to send you something to get you going.

Here is an email I got from Stephen Patt from the west coast steel guitar community.

Bobbe, thanks for the wisdom and the laughter–and yes, I agree with you about the lapse in taste that can lead to a diarrhea of notes….mostly, sadly, from a lack of confidence. Jimi Hendrix painted himself into a similar corner with the theatrics–playing the guitar behind his back, burning the guitar. And yes, he was insecure–told me he wanted to just sit and play a set, see what the music did for the crowd. Reminds me of Eric Clapton at the first Crossroads Festival, listening to young Eric Johnson’s amazing set…he turned to his stage manager, and whispered–“He’s quite good…but why does he play so many bloody notes?”
Yup, in full agreement….Stephen “doc’ Patt

Doc, I try to write my newsletters with humor because that’s the way I normally communicate with people, and yes I agree with you about the lack of taste that results in a diarrhea of notes. I personally would rather hear too few notes than too many. The things that impress me about other players is how well they can play just a few notes tastefully.

Check out our monthly specials at http://www.steelguitar.net/monthlyspecials.html and we’ll try to save you a lot of money.

Your buddy,

Steel Guitar Nashville
123 Mid Town Court
Hendersonville, TN. 37075
(615) 822-5555
Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
Closed Saturday and Sunday

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