Ya wanna hear everything I know about the pedal steel guitar? Do you play guitar? We'll start there. -more
Much music, going back as far as we can trace it, has certain characteristics in common.
The names of the notes are arbitrary, to enable us to talk about this stuff, but
You know the song, probably.
OK, lets look back at our guitar neck now.
Each fret shortens the string by the smallest interval common in music in one common tradition, "Western."
All over the world, for reasons nobody knows,
Of course, all humans came from Africa, and it is entirely possible that we had already settled on these soundscapes before the first dispersal.
--real brief break, BRB
Strings vibrate, they push and pull on the air, we hear sounds, maybe music.
In older scales there were just 5 inique notes plus the repeat. We still use these scales.
The extra two notes are handy, though.
They are called the root note, the dominant note, and the sub-dominant note.
They got these names because humans seem to be wired to respond to the in recognizable ways.
It might or might not start on in.
We are wired to want "resolution" in our music. A song picks us up from where we were,
That final step, that is the resolution. The song ends. It ends on its root.
But we have more than 3 notes.
The notes are like people. Some get along better than others.
There are two other (out of a possible 7, remember)
This principle applies to the sub-dominant note (4th, 6th, 8th) and the dominant note, (5th, 7th, 2nd)
And then there are minor chords and so forth -
If there were no pedals, if that were a lap steel, that would be the drill: start on whatever the root fret is, move bar up 5 frets, 7 frets, 10 frets
The problem that one encounters as one attempts to gain proficiency on the non-pedal, lap, steel guitar is that moving the bar that far, fast enough, and stopping it
If you play within your limitations there aren't *too many* sour notes.
What fun is that?
We can beat inertia and time itself, just by pulling a few strings tighter or letting them loose
Way easier than 7 or 10.
Guitar players, this part's for you:
F# D# G# E G# B F# E D B
1. 2. 3 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
So you've got an E chord on 8, 6, 5, or 6, 5, 4, or 5, 4, 3
In E the chords are E, A, B.
Now you move it up two frets to get a 5, or dominant chord.
Move back down 2 frets to resolve.
There are a few other chords that would go in any but the simplest songs.
That was a freebie. It took some time, after these geniuses invented this instrument, before one of them started using the soaring slow changes that are so characteristic of the pedal steel.
I said that about the lap steel too.
I have played a bunch of stuff. Of it all I love the pedal steel most. Harp rates high too.
I don't have any recent recordings, and I just started it in March this year, so...