Learning to Play
Hi, I'm Brad Bechtel. Sorry, I'm not related to any of the Bechtels at the Bechtel Group. I play lap steel guitar.
I maintain a page devoted to the steel guitar called Brad's Page of Steel. This site has been up and running since April 1994. I like guitars and amplifiers in general, lap steel guitars specifically. The internet has given me the opportunity to share what I know and have learned with others. Some people have other things that interest them such as Mentos frequently asked questions or collecting Disneyland squished coins. My hobby happens to be steel guitars. It's cheaper than drugs in the long run.
I grew up in Southern California, in the same town where Fender got started (Fullerton). Then I moved to Corona, where Fender is now. Now that I live in San Bruno, is Fender going to be close behind?
Steel Guitar Sites
Quasar Steel Guitar is one of the best sites out there. His Steel Guitar Forum is THE place to talk to other steel guitarists. He always has the newest links, including a bunch of pedal steel guitar tuning and pedal/knee lever settings. Carter Steel Guitars has a great site, more geared towards pedal steel guitarists. Joe Wright's web site contains more information about the pedal steel guitar, including some excellent training material. Moose Music by Dave Van Allen has a good selection of articles about subjects such as country rock steel guitar, the Alkire E-Harp, and MIDI steel guitar. He recently added some cocktail steel guitar album covers. Tom Bradshaw's Pedal Steel Guitar Products is a treasure trove of steel guitar supplies, recordings, etc. Canadians (actually, everyone)should investigate Al Brisco's Steel Guitars of Canada. Highly recommended.
Paul Beard Guitar has a very nice site, with a bit of Shockwave and a lot of good pictures of accessories and other items. Fuzzy Pedal Steel Guitar Company in Japan makes Excel pedal guitars and Jerry Byrd model frying pan electric lap steels. Tut Taylor's web site is an ever-changing, excellent site showing off both his good graphics skills and his line of Dobro-related recordings, guitars and accessories.
I think it's the Society for Advancement of Country Music (Slovenia)which used to host the annual Dobro® Festival in Trnava, Slovakia. Anyway, this guy sent me a bunch of articles about the Dobro® a while back, most of which are no longer on my site since they're on his site. If you were looking for the articles about John Dopyera or the Resophonic Guitar in America, that's where they are now. There's now also the official Dobrofest web site in Trnava if you want more information about next year's event.
The Shubb Company sells capos, slides, tone bars, etc. So does the Jim Dunlop Company. Dunlop carries all kinds of weird stuff, like Echoplex tapes and MXR knobs.
People Who've Asked To Be Here
Besides all the people listed on my regular steel.html page as fine players of the guitar with the bar, you should check out some of these folks:
The St. Louis band Wagon has a lap steel player, Steve Rauner, although the web site is run by Chris Peterson, the fiddler. The Henrys are a very fine Canadian band featuring the Kona guitar playing of Don Rooke. Brett Lovins plays steel in his band Twang Factor 4.
Elliott Randall, the former guitarist with Steely Dan and the Plastic Ono Band, has a very interesting web site.
Check out Pete Grant's web site, especially his ten string Zephyr guitar. Pete is a good friend and excellent musician.
Veterans of the Texas Playboys, both Leon Rausch and Tommy Allsup have pages devoted to their latest works at Southland Records' web site.
MusicMan Oldies is a retailer of vintage vinyl of the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's.
Mike Hays, the program director for radio station WJMA, has a site called the Twang Zone. Listen to really good music online!
J.K. Lutherie is a Mail order company that specializes in Guitar related items. They have a small sellection of books and videos on steel guitar, and hundreds of others on guitar in general.
Some of the following links may not work. Some of the following links may take you to places where you don't want to go. Sorry, that's the way the internet works. If you find a dead or incorrect link, don't be surprised.
Amps, Tubes and Effects
Other Music Sites of Interest
If you have questions, suggestions for improvements, or additional information, please let me know.