Pedal Steel Guitarist
ABOUT THE INSTRUMENT
3-D image by Jerry Gleason
By contrast the pedal steel guitar allows for an unlimited number of different chords and inversion. This is accomplished by a system of pedals and knee levers that mechanically alter the tuning while you play. This means that the notes don't consistently appear in the same place. Middle C for instance appears in 4 different positions on the same string. The pedals can work in the same direction as the bar movement or in the opposing direction, thus it is not only possible but quite common to raise the bar a whole step and have the pitch raise by 2 steps, or a step and a half, or stay the same, or even lower.Another way of putting it is that there is no fixed relationship between the left hand position and the resultant pitch, but rather a continually shifting relationship.
This is one instrument where you have to watch your hands, and you also have to listen very carefully to what you are doing to make sure your intonation is correct. In country music circles where it is commercially used, this is considered to be the instrument that separates the men from the boys.
© 2003- 2018 Mike Perlowin