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  PEDAL STEEL used without pedals?

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Author Topic:   PEDAL STEEL used without pedals?
Ray Montee
Member

From: Portland, OR, USA

posted 08 November 2004 07:44 PM     profile     
Just to test your musical strengths, have any of you pedal players attempted to play an entire dance gig, without even hooking up your pedal bar or pedals?

If yes, what might you have discovered?

If NO, can you imagine for just a moment, doing so?

HOW MANY TUNINGS can you hold your own in...
one, two, or four or five?

Why did you select your favorite tuning? Answer please, in non-musical terminology.
Let's keep it emotional and/or on the audible page.

Eric West
Member

From: Portland, Oregon, USA

posted 08 November 2004 09:12 PM     profile     
What's a "dance gig"?

EJL

Jim Phelps
Member

From: just out of Mexico City

posted 08 November 2004 10:29 PM     profile     
.

[This message was edited by Jim Phelps on 18 November 2004 at 09:37 AM.]

Peter
Member

From: Cape Town, South Africa

posted 08 November 2004 11:36 PM     profile     
I bet this will be moved to "No Peddlers".
David L. Donald
Member

From: Koh Samui Island, Thailand

posted 09 November 2004 12:38 AM     profile     
Well this is a no brainer in No pedalers...
Played lapsteel in C6 all night before.
On PSG no pedals it is more sttrings. and more fun.

I think E9 would work OK, but E13 would be more fun.

Tony Prior
Member

From: Charlotte NC

posted 09 November 2004 04:07 AM     profile     
I can hold my own in 1/2 of a tuning..

How would I play the ride in HWY40 Blues without Pedals ? I can barely play it with Pedals !

could I play, make that jam along with the band all night without Pedals ? probably..but would it be the same ? Not even close..I would be lagging behind searching for the signature licks and phrases..and then probably looking for a new gig...after my band mates..who will probably no longer be my friends invite me to leave the stage

Pedal Rods..Don't leave home without em'...

t

Jerry Hayes
Member

From: Virginia Beach, Va.

posted 09 November 2004 05:05 AM     profile     
I've never played an entire gig without the pedals but in one band I was in we did a couple of tunes without them. I did Steel Guitar Rag without using the pedals so I'd get a more authentic sounding rendition of the song. Also we did the Don Ho song "Tiny Bubbles" where I'd just depress the A & B pedals and play it out of the A6th tuning with only bar movements. It's a lot of fun to do that stuff. On some rock things which require distortion I like to play without pedals and you get a great slide guitar sound by moving the bar instead of using the pedals. You can destroy a guitar player on that kind of stuff. I like to use just a taste of reverb and my ProCo Ratt distortion unit for that stuff....Have a good 'un, JH

------------------
Livin' in the Past and Future with a 12 string Mooney Universal tuning.

Dave Van Allen
Member

From: Doylestown, PA , US , Earth

posted 09 November 2004 08:48 AM     profile     
Anybody here tried eating a steak dinner without a fork and sharp knife?

sure you can grab it with your fingers and gnaw chunks off it, and satisfy your hunger. But will it be pretty? I think not.

poor analogy I admit...
playing steel guitar without pedals is not nearly so primitive as eating with one's hands...

edited for smileys ;

I'm J_O_K_I_N_G!!!

[This message was edited by Dave Van Allen on 09 November 2004 at 11:31 AM.]

Ray Montee
Member

From: Portland, OR, USA

posted 09 November 2004 09:30 AM     profile     
I'll bet Tom Morrell and his friends will re-evaluate his overlooked playing handicap as described herein.
Joaquin Murphy likely never realized what a disservice he was making to his audience and band-mates; Noel Boggs, too.
Dave Van Allen
Member

From: Doylestown, PA , US , Earth

posted 09 November 2004 11:46 AM     profile     
Ray;

Your original question seemed aimed at us pedal steel playing schlubbs on the forum who can't get thru the night with out "mashing pedal A" several hundred times...

invoking the names of acknowledged maestros of the un-pedal steel raises the bar so to speak.

yes I have performed entire gigs on un-pedaled steel guitar and at no time would anyone lstening have mistaken me for Joaquin, Tom Morell or Noel Boggs; or even a passably competent un-pedal player from years past.

"I admit I am powerless over pedals and my playing has become unmanageable" Step 1 of PSG Anonymous' 12 Half-Step Program (© Dave Van Allen

[This message was edited by Dave Van Allen on 09 November 2004 at 11:47 AM.]

Tom Campbell
Member

From: Houston, Texas, USA

posted 09 November 2004 12:23 PM     profile     
Buddy Emmons did that at the Dallas Show last year. He was awsome...as usual! Oh yea, he didn't anounce that he was going to play without pedals because he didn't want to field all the questions.
Dave Burr
Member

From: Tyler, TX

posted 09 November 2004 01:43 PM     profile     
Tom,

You need to read down to the bottom of this thread... Buddy said he did that but he was only joking... Read here: http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum15/HTML/006097.html


Respectfully,
Dave Burr

David Doggett
Member

From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

posted 09 November 2004 01:46 PM     profile     
Well I mostly play rock club or folk club gigs, not dance gigs, but I sometimes play maybe half of the songs on B6 using only my LKR equivalent of pedal 6 (haven't really figured out much to do with the other B6 pedals on my uni), and E9 blues or rock without much pedaling, and Dobro. It's only modern country or bebop that needs the pedal sound. But I do love it for that, and would never give it up. Also, it's not much talked about here, and I don't play it in public, but for classical music, the pedals and levers really make a lot of stuff possible. They almost make steel guitar a real chromatic instrument.
Tom Campbell
Member

From: Houston, Texas, USA

posted 09 November 2004 04:13 PM     profile     
Woops!. Got me on that one...and a few others no doubt. I stand corrected!!(grovel-grovel) But...he probably could.
chas smith
Member

From: Encino, CA, USA

posted 09 November 2004 04:24 PM     profile     
I play with a rock band that leans towards "metal" and I play a D-12 (was-a-Dekley) with no pedals, it still has knee levers, but I don't use them:
F#
D#
G#
E
C#
B
G#
E (F#)
E
B
B
E

and
G
E
D
C
G
G
C
C
G
G
C
C

The 2 low C's are .090 strings. I have to move the bar around a lot, and that's always a crowd-pleaser.

[This message was edited by chas smith on 10 November 2004 at 09:18 AM.]

Bobby Lee
Sysop

From: Cloverdale, North California, USA

posted 09 November 2004 07:00 PM     profile     
quote:
HOW MANY TUNINGS can you hold your own in...
one, two, or four or five?

Many more than that. Each pedal/knee combination is a different tuning, from a non-pedal perspective.

When I want to emulate the classic non-pedal sounds, I basically have a triple neck in my E9th:

A pedal only for E13th
A+B pedals for A6th
E lever for B6th (similar to C6th)

The trick is to not make any "pedal sounds". I change pedal positions in between licks, the way that Leon McAuliff or Noel Boggs switched necks.

Most of the music I play requires pedals, but now and then there's a call for some "old style" playing. That's when I use the technique described above. Here's an example:
http://soundhost.net/b0b/radio/Sagebrush_Shuffle.b0b.mp3

------------------
Bobby Lee - email: quasar@b0b.com - gigs - CDs, Open Hearts
Sierra SD-12 (Ext E9), Williams D-12 Crossover, Sierra S-12 (F Diatonic)
Sierra Laptop 8 (E6add9), Fender Stringmaster (E13, C6, A6)

Tony Prior
Member

From: Charlotte NC

posted 10 November 2004 02:30 AM     profile     
Bobby,you are very deep there buddy..

I press the B pedal and hope the string doesn't break, you press it to achieve another tuning!

geesh..

t

[This message was edited by Tony Prior on 10 November 2004 at 02:31 AM.]

c c johnson
Member

From: killeen,tx usa

posted 10 November 2004 04:07 AM     profile     
To have pedals on a guitar and not use them is too difficult for me. I I tried and tried several yrs but I would find myself hitting a pedal when I really did not want to. My hat is off to those who can ignore the pedals. CC
Gerald Menke
Member

From: Brooklyn, NY, USA

posted 11 November 2004 06:02 AM     profile     
Good post Ray, I certainly wouldn't subject an audience to what I sound like playing without pedals, but I do practice playing this way from time to time. Looking back, I wish I had done more of this kind of thing when I was getting started, so that I would have had a better sense of just what the pedals were designed to accomplish.

I find the tighter string spacing on a PSG (compared to a dobro or lap steel) makes some of the slants WAY more challenging, the angles get mighty ACUTE for some of them, forward slant being acute, reverse being obtuse, I guess. Thanks for starting this post, I am going to try practicing more often this way. What if someone stole your pedal rods, then what would you do?

best,

Gerald

John McGann
Member

From: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

posted 11 November 2004 06:15 AM     profile     
If it were a Western Swing gig, I'd miss the variety of chords the pedals allow, but for soloing I think I would be OK as at this stage, I solo single-line stuff on C6 without the pedals. That said, I would bring my D8 Dual Pro rather than play non-pedal on the D10...not only string spacing, but the sound and tone of the string-thru pickups is different that the D10 and is just a great sound that I'd prefer for that style.

It is safe to say that E9 country playing relies a lot more on the pedals/levers for everything...and why the heck not...

Each (pedal or non-pedal) has it's own strengths. I am learning a lot about the pedals by playing non-pedal; you can really "see" what you don't have available!

------------------
http://www.johnmcgann.com
Info for musicians, transcribers, technique tips and fun stuff.

Joaquin Murphey solos book info and some free stuff : http://www.johnmcgann.com/joaquin.html

Gary C. Dygert
Member

From: Frankfort, NY, USA

posted 18 November 2004 09:23 AM     profile     
A pedal steeling friend of mine, who started on nonpedal, has problems with his legs & feet. When they act up, he just plays without pedals. This guy knew Jerry Byrd back in the 50s.
Brett Day
Member

From: Greer, SC, USA

posted 18 November 2004 10:09 AM     profile     
When I started out on pedal steel four years ago, I didn't use pedals, but now I use them a lot, but sometimes I still play without pedals. Brett, Emmons S-10, Morrell lapsteel
Bobby Lee
Sysop

From: Cloverdale, North California, USA

posted 18 November 2004 02:40 PM     profile     
C6th is easier without pedals than E9th.
clive swindell
Member

From: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK

posted 19 November 2004 02:39 AM     profile     
I went to see Robert Randolph live a few weeks ago and OK he plays a different tuning and a different style, but I never saw him use either a pedal or a knee lever.

I may be wrong - has anyone else noticed?

Ernie Pollock
Member

From: Mt Savage, Md USA

posted 19 November 2004 05:49 AM     profile     
I have used my homemade 10 string B6th with C# on the 1st string several times for things in the park here in my little town. The preacher that I played for never even noticed the difference or mentioned the fact that it was not a pedal steel. Since then I have added a couple of knee levers to that guitar, so that I can make a 7th chord, the standard C6th knee lever change, and lowering the bottom Eb to a D to get half of the standard 6th pedal change, what a challege this guitar is, but so much fun!!

Ernie Pollock http://www.hereintown.net/~shobud75

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