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  Chronology of PSG Developments...? E9 and C6

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Author Topic:   Chronology of PSG Developments...? E9 and C6
Dave Van Allen

From: Doylestown, PA , US , Earth

posted 25 September 2003 07:40 PM     profile     
The thread on "splitting" the E9th pedals has sparked me to want to clarify in my mind the timeline of approximate dates on which the following events happened:

let's say we start with "Slowly" in 1953
that was on 8 strings? 2 pedals? (what changes?)?

when did , and am I correct in this, Mooney add the high G#? did he go to 9 strings or delete a lower string to do it?

And just when did BE SPlit the pedals and JD do it the opposite way?

My understanding is that Buddy E added the two E9 chromatics that are now strings one and two, first in postions 9 and 10 (WHEN?) and then moved to 1&2 (WHEN?)?

8 string C6th: what pedals came first?
when was the "boo-whah" change developed?
10 string C6?
The first 8 string Sho~Bud?
Was there a 9 string Sho~Bud?
The first 10 string Sho~Bud?
first knee lever? what change?

were 10 Strings the standard by the time of the first Emmons P/P(1964?)

just trying to understand what went on before I was old enough to see it happen first hand...

[This message was edited by Dave Van Allen on 25 September 2003 at 07:42 PM.]

Donny Hinson

From: Balto., Md. U.S.A.

posted 26 September 2003 03:11 AM     profile     
This old thread explains all the E9th stuff...
C Dixon

From: Duluth, GA USA

posted 26 September 2003 05:56 AM     profile     
I have no idea the dates any of the above happened. I will comment on C6.

There is NO doubt in my mind that the 5th, 6th and 8th pedals were rooted in what a lapsteeler had previously done. Yes, Jerry Byrd with his incredibly accurate "split slant" style, had used the changes that pedals 5 and 6 achieve.

IE, pedal 5 lowers the 5th sring a half a tone resulting in a D9th chord. Pedal 6 lowers the 6th string a half a tone which give us an F9th chord. These changes were what JB had been doing for years on his lapsteels. Still does. In other words, one cannot play Jerry Byrd stuff without utilyzing these two chords using Jerry's "split slant" technique.

Also, Jerry invented the C6/A7 tuning, which in essence is the 8th pedal. So, to me, Jerry is responsible for it along with the above 5th and 6th pedals even though he never played pedals.

True, on a D-10 you have the bottom strings which JB never had. And it was only natural that the 10th sring be lowered all the way down to an A note*; IF the upper string change was going to achieve the JB tuning. Since the "3rd" note (C# in this case) is rarely used in the bass register on stringed instruments

But I seriously doubt its purpose was "BooWah" when it was first created. I simply believe Buddy happened to use that lick on "Night Life" and instantly coined a musical phrase for all time. Cuz the whole world calls it BooWah now.

So I must give the credit to Jerry for pedals 5, 6 and 8.

Pedal 7; I have no idea who came up with it. But because it fits perfectly as a western swing pedal, I imagine its creator might have been Juaquin Murphy, Bobby Garrett, PeeWee Whitewing or Bob White. Then again, it may have been someone else. I realy have no idea. Was it Buddy?

Pedal 4 is an oddball and a mostly unused pedal by most players who have it. How it came into being; or who created it, I have no idea. Many players today have removed it and replaced it with other more useful changes.

The knee lever (and only lever for a long time) on C6 that lowers C to B, I believe was because of JB's diatonic tuning where he placed a B note in between his formely C and A notes.

One must remember that at the time the PSG was fast evolving, Jerry Byrd was revered by most of those involved. And just about everyone used Jerry's tunings. This is why I feel as I do.

May our precious Lord richly bless all the above and all of you,


* It is interesting to note, that JB now has a low A note when he uses his 8 string C6 tuning. It is possible that Jerry had this before Buddy's "Night Life", but I don't think so.

A (same note as the 10th string when pedal 8 is engaged)

[This message was edited by C Dixon on 26 September 2003 at 06:09 AM.]

Jeff Lampert

From: queens, new york city

posted 26 September 2003 06:57 AM     profile     
Whatever the original intents, pedal 7 turned out IMO to be the truly inspired pedal of them all, because (as I've remarked about in the past) in the context of string 9 to string 3, it extends the stacked thirds, which is the essense of traditional classical (and therefore jazz) chord-building theory. It is maybe the most important reason for the affinity of the tuning to playing traditional jazz harmony. Someone was a wiz to come up with that.

Jeff's Jazz

Jerry Roller

From: Van Buren, Arkansas USA

posted 26 September 2003 08:06 AM     profile     
The forerunner of the chromatic strings on E9th was the 7th string F# was an octave higher. That trend did not last very long.

[This message was edited by Jerry Roller on 26 September 2003 at 08:07 AM.]

Dave Van Allen

From: Doylestown, PA , US , Earth

posted 26 September 2003 12:16 PM     profile     
Thanks for finding the old thread Donny...

I am clearer on the sequence and reasoning of the events but still not on the chronology... what dates/years did these developments occur??

[This message was edited by Dave Van Allen on 26 September 2003 at 06:11 PM.]

Al Marcus

From: Cedar Springs,MI USA

posted 26 September 2003 10:29 PM     profile     
Jef-Thank you for noting that about Pedal 7. I also think that pedal extended the possibilities for jazz on Pedal steel.

The one and only Alvino Rey first used that pedal 7 and did a lot with it. That was on a Gibson Electra-Harp in around 1939-1940. I then had it on mine in 1946. The Maj7pedal, if was a moving pedal too. I used it a lot in Woody Hermans' "Four Brothers", "Early Autumn" and many

My Website.....

Roger Shackelton

From: Everett, Wa.

posted 27 September 2003 03:16 AM     profile     
I met Bob White in 1975 at Scotty's. He told me he believed he was the first steel player to play a 10 string guitar. In the mid 50s he had a Bigsby triple neck guitar w/ 2 ten string necks & one 8 string neck. Bob plays Bb-6th, but I heard pedal 7 on
C-6th was attributed to him.??


Herb Steiner

From: Cedar Valley, Travis County TX

posted 27 September 2003 08:03 AM     profile     
I too had always referred to P.7 as the "Bob White pedal," but I'm impressed with Mr. Marcus' statement that Alvino Rey had the change first. Alvino certainly was the pioneer with pedals, and Al Marcus was there from the git-go as well. It's quite probable that Bob White got the change from Alvino Rey's setup.

Question for Mr. Marcus: It's been documented that Jerry Byrd invented the C6 tuning. Did Alvino have that change on a tuning other than C6?

Herb's Steel Guitar Pages
Texas Steel Guitar Association

Earnest Bovine

From: Los Angeles CA USA

posted 27 September 2003 08:17 AM     profile     
Alvino had it on an E6 which you can see at

I hear it on a 1946 recording as I mentioned in this thread

C Dixon

From: Duluth, GA USA

posted 27 September 2003 09:05 AM     profile     
It is interesting to note that most all "6th" tunings follow basically the same format. IE, A6th, E6th/13th and C6.

What is even more interesting is; as many have found out playing musical instruments; the specific notes and what's on top can make an identical chord sound as though it was a totally different tuning as we perceive sounds played on the steel guitar.

Such is the case with Jerry Bryd's C6 and Herb Remington's A6. To some, that have not analyzed it, they would say these two tunings are totally different, yet they are basically the same, and depending upon where you begin spelling, they are identical; albeit it, a different key.

I have great respect and admiration for Al Marcus and Ernest Bovine. I believe now that Alvino did create the 7th pedal from a purely technical point of view. I will add though that I have never perceived Alvino using pedals the way Bob White or any other D-10 (C6) player did (does).

In all my recollection of hearing Alvino, he used pedals as a spanish guitarist would do, IE, play a fingered strummed chord; mute the strings; regrip; play a different chord; mute; play a different chord, etc, etc.

The P7 sound that I first heard Bob White do behind Hank Thompson, (as he pumped the pedal) is the sound I mostly attibute to western swing. If Alvino ever did that lick, I do not recall it. Not saying he didn't.

I was never sure who came up with the 7th pedal. I sure do appreciate all the comments about it. My sincere thanks to Al and Ernest for their facts of the past,


Dave Van Allen

From: Doylestown, PA , US , Earth

posted 02 October 2003 07:27 AM     profile     
thanks for the info so far, but I am still trying to put dates to developments...


Al Marcus

From: Cedar Springs,MI USA

posted 02 October 2003 07:50 PM     profile     
As Ernest mentioned , Alvino Rey used A straight E6 tuning. E was the top note.He had 9 strings on his Electra-Harp, the 9th string was a low E. I had only 8 strings.

As Jeff , mentioned about P7, very important pedal for pop and Jazz. When playing a old pop tune "Holiday for strings" P7 is used a lot and also in comination with P5 and 6 for diminished chords with the p7 moving in and out.

Good post. I wish we had this Forum and all this input when I was trying to figure out what Alvino was doing.
I used to stand by the bandstand and watch him the whole night and figuring out his tunings and pedals. Everything was secret in those days. Not like all the info available

My Website.....

William Steward

From: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

posted 02 October 2003 09:09 PM     profile     
Ed Packard has made the most wonderful and scientifically methodical study of the evolution of various necks and changes. As I learn more about the instrument I keep going back to his spreadsheets to discover why and when certain changes evolved. He might send them to you if you are really interested and ask nicely.

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