Steel Guitar News October 8. 2012

Hello fellow players,

This is Vic Lawson with today’s newsletter.

Music is a language so the only way for people that don’t speak it is to feel it through our emotions. That’s why it’s so important to learn to play from the heart. Once you’ve learned to translate what you feel into your instrument, that’s when you can touch people with your playing.

Think about being somewhere where you hear a conversation in a foreign language. You really can’t understand what they are saying, but if they start to raise their voice, you know they are frustrated, or if they are sobbing, you know they are sad. It’s the same with the language of music.

When I play with a good band, I sometimes thing about this. I hear so many subtle things come together in a moment and wish everyone could appreciate what just happened. I believe that’s why a lot of players tend to play just for each other, because we get it! But that’s where playing from the heart comes in. If we learn to do that, the audience doesn’t have to technically understand it, but they can feel it.

You don’t have to know how to make biscuits to know whether they taste good. But as long as we can appreciate it, that’s all that matters.

So think about this and the next time you play try to play with enough emotion that people will say “Wow! That made me cry.” Or try to play so your music gets them dancing. You will feel the satisfaction and that will make you a better player.

As a professional steel player, you’re constantly being challenged to learn new material on short notice. I played 12 hours on Saturday and 4 hours last night, I’m playing three shows this week with Darryl Singletary and Justin McBride so the next couple of nights will be spent learning Darryl Singletary’s material.

I’ve played for Darryl before but unfortunately I didn’t retain it so now I have to refresh myself and do it in a hurry. The older I get, the harder it is to retain things, so what I do these days is learn the signature licks, solos and fills the way I want to play them so I don’t have to copy everything note for note.

I make generous use of my Tascam Guitar Trainer. It’s really the best tool for the job and I’d be hard pressed to keep up if I didn’t have it. A good suggestion for anybody learning new material is when you start having to replay the same part to remember it, get up and take a 10 or 15 minute break and come back. That gives the material time to sink in before you start cramming new material in on top of it.

It’ll be three fun shows. If anybody wants to come out and say hi, we’re in Austin, Texas Thursday night at the country fair. We’ll be playing from 8 to 10 PM. Friday night we’ll be at the Cotton Club in Granger, Texas playing from 8:30 until midnight. Saturday night we’ll be in Delhi, Louisiana at the Cooterville Mud Rides playing from 11 PM until 1:15 AM. Come and say hi if you can.

For Columbus Day we have reduced all of our tracks CDs to $9.99, down from $15. Time to load up so you can practice playing with emotion.

Check out our monthly specials at

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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