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Any pedal steel players here?

Dickey

Senior Member
Messages
1,844
In addition to guitar, bass, & 5 string, I am a pedal steel player too; been playing for over 30 years; have worked with some top artists. Just wondering if there are any other PSG players here? BTW I play an Emmons Double-10 with 8 pedals & 4 knees, & a Mullen Herby Wallace Pro double 10 with 8 pedals & 5 knee levers.
 

Gallus

Member
Messages
1,290
Yep. I play a bit of steel. I have a single neck Emmons Black Rock; 3 pedals, 4 levers. I've never gone the whole hog and got a twin neck. Great instrument, though. Fun to play.
 

Lotis

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,420
Well I am a pedal steel owner. Justice 3x4. Im working at becoming a player!
 

hubberjub

Member
Messages
4,598
I play pedal steel almost exclusively, at this point. I started with a Carter Starter (which I still have), moved to a Sierra D-10 Crown (which I still have), downsized to a Sierra S-10 (which I still have), and have been playing a Carter D-10 for the last few years. As you can see, I don't really get rid of equipment. Though I've used a rack system in the past, I have a Ken Fox modded Peavey Nashville 1000 that I keep in the rehearsal studio. I gig with a 1973 Fender Vibrosonic Reverb and use a Goodrich volume pedal.
 

Steve Hotra

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,143
Yep...I own a Rittenberry SD 10. Number 0006.
More of a guitar / singer / keyboard player.
IMO, the pedal steel guitar is different from most instruments.
Using knee levers and floor pedals to make chords is a challenge.
I play through a Mb200 into a Sica 15" speaker cab, a Mesa Express 5:25 or a Jazzkat Tomkat.
 

hubberjub

Member
Messages
4,598
IMO, the pedal steel guitar is different from most instruments.
Using knee levers and floor pedals to make chords is a challenge.
To me, that's what makes the steel easy to grasp, initially (not master). Being able to hit most any chord in the key without ever moving your left hand is pretty amazing.
 
Messages
1,806
Last week I had a young man approach me at a gig, he had ordered a Zumsteel Stage One. I sat him down at my steel during load-out and gave him a lesson. Hands and feet each have a job, and the coordination between all four takes practice and dedication. I hope when he gets the steel he'll be inspired and sticks with it. As the old-timers age out or pass on, we need young people playing pedal steel for the instrument to survive.
 

Bogner

Senior Member
Messages
6,669
I want to get into playing pedal steel BADLY. I have always loved it. Any advice on what to get and where to get it? I am willing to spend the cash on a nice rig as I believe in buying it right once. Any help would be appreciated. PM me if possible. Thanks!
 

BuddyGuit

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,085
I'd like to learn. It's such a good sound. However, as with any instrument, there is still so much to learn on guitar. By the way, our pastor's father-in-law owns MSA pedal steel.
 

Steve Hotra

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,143
I want to get into playing pedal steel BADLY. I have always loved it. Any advice on what to get and where to get it? I am willing to spend the cash on a nice rig as I believe in buying it right once. Any help would be appreciated. PM me if possible. Thanks!
Bogner,
That was my dream, too.
I finally was able to purchase a good used "pro" model.
I had to sell off some guitars, but it is so worth it.
I would join the pedal steel guitar forum.
They had a sellers section, that will help you get started.
I have been playing for 6 years, and still have the passion to keep learning the psg.
It never gets old.
Steve
PS I am unable to send you a pm due to your settings.
Feel free to start an conversation with me.
 

pale fire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,769
Assuming you all know about the Steel Guitar Forum? I am not a PSG player, but used to use a lot of the same type of gear for playing acoustic / electric in bands (in other words, how do you keep a good clean tone at volume and also have a warm sound - Steel Players know all about this!). I had (the aforementioned) Ken Fox build me a cabinet and he does great work....
 

rah3

Member
Messages
1,383
Just getting back into learning and playing Pedal Steel. I bought a BMI 12 string keyless and working away at E9th/B6th Universal. I might be able to play something musical in about 2 or 3 years! LOL

- RAH3
 

Steve Hotra

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,143
Just getting back into learning and playing Pedal Steel. I bought a BMI 12 string keyless and working away at E9th/B6th Universal. I might be able to play something musical in about 2 or 3 years! LOL

- RAH3
Nice purchase!
BMI makes great guitars!
 

Dickey

Senior Member
Messages
1,844
I want to get into playing pedal steel BADLY. I have always loved it. Any advice on what to get and where to get it? I am willing to spend the cash on a nice rig as I believe in buying it right once. Any help would be appreciated. PM me if possible. Thanks!
Not sure how to PM in this forum. A lot of the major builders are out of business now, like Emmons, Zumsteel, Franklin, Carter,Sho-Bud. Since most pro steels are built out of the owners garage or backyard shop, there is no telling how long a manufacturer will be around. Mullen seems to be the choice of most pros nowadays; they are in Flagler,Colorado. They have a nice operation going; more of a factory than a backyard shop, and their steels are top of the line pro guitars. Their customer service is fantastic; When you call you talk to an actual person, & they are always very eager to help or make a problem right. Other current manufacturers are Rittenberry, Rains, Williams,Justice,MSA,etc.

I would avoid student or intermediate models & go pro, if you can afford it. You can buy a good used single 10 for under 2 grand; a good double neck for under 3 grand. Seems like as the steel demographic ages, prices of single necks are going up; sometimes a good single will go for as much as the same model double. That's cause us geezers no longer want to carry a double to the gig; they can weigh anywhere from 50-90 lbs.

Here is what you want: 10 strings (forget 8 or 12; they are oddball & WILL work for you, but best to learn on the STANDARD setup.) Assuming you buy a single, you want a MINIMUM of 3 pedals & 4 knee levers. 2 of those knees should (& will) lower & raise your "E" strings (4&8). The "E" levers should (& most likely WILL) be on the left knee, although it can be changed if they are on the right. The guitar should be (& most likely WILL be) Set up EMMONS style, as opposed to DAY style (refers to what the pedals do, "Emmons" & "Day" are just backwards from each other; no biggie) but any seller should be able to easily swap the copedant for you. Buying a guitar currently in production will insure you getting parts, like additional knee levers, in the future. There are plenty of suppliers who keep a supply of parts from defunct manufacturers; just might be harder to locate something. Steels have 2 types of necks--wood & metal. I much prefer the sound of a metal neck; more resonant & bell-like. Wooden neck steels just sound blah to me; again that's just opinion. Same with keyless steels; it's a great idea for saving space & weight, just never heard one I liked the sound of. Again; just my opinion, not a rule.

As far as amps--steel amps have the exact opposite characteristics of what guitar players want. We want tons of CLEAN headroom,usually achieved best with solid-state, and preferably a single 15" speaker. Peavey is the amp of choice, like a Nashville, Vegas, Session 400,500,100,etc. But any amp with good, clean reserve power should work. Bass amps also work well sometimes. Twin Reverbs have been steelers choices for years. There are plenty of boutique steel amps, like Quilter,Milkman,Lil Walter, but why spend thousands when a Peavey will get the job done!

Get a good volume pedal. The Boss or Ernie Ball you use for guitar will not work well for steel. You need a Hilton, Goodrich, or Telonics. They have the best taper with zero tone suck, and made to be played sitting down. You want a "stand alone" pedal, not one that attatches to your pedal rack, as many contemporary guitars don't have that feature. Try one of these & you'll never go back to your guitar pedal again. Get a ROUND bar made for pedal steel, not a "Stevens" bar that they use for lap steel. An interface buffer (Lil Izzy, Matchbox,etc) between the steel & volume pedal will give you that sweet tone; not a necessity, just many steel players opinions. As far as effects, mostly reverb or delay, but it's your call. Good luck & lemme know if I can help any other way.
 
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pale fire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,769
....speaking of amps (see above); I have a Fender Steel King (bought new about 10 years ago) that is now discontinued that is a great amp for steel / acoustic guitar / keys (1 - 15" speaker modeled after the old JBLs)...that was my main amp for lots of gigs....it is solid state but with an aural exciter in front of it I thought it was pretty darn good. Shouldn't be too hard to find one on eBay for not much $$$. I also did a complete restoration of a Music Man RP100 with 1 - 15". Took it down to bare wood, then new tolex and grill cloth and every part that couldn't be saved / polished was replaced (corners, handle, etc...). Has tube power section with two US power tubes in it. The built in phasor is pretty cool, and it is better than the FSK for electric guitar, but for steel I might go with the Fender. I also did the power amp (World), pre-amp (Sarno) rack set up that lots of steelers like....it was great (and loud) but took a bit of dialing in
 

hubberjub

Member
Messages
4,598
Dickey, why don't you care for a volume pedal that attaches to yourpedal rack? I don't use one, but they do seem sort of convenient, and most racks can easily be drilled for one.
 

Rockinrob86

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,839
I enjoy playing pedal steel, although I got to a level of proficiency and kind of moved on... I've been playing my Wurlitzer electric piano, Hammond organ, and drums much more than the steel guitar. I should probably circle back to pedal steel soon!

I have a Fessenden SD-10, and run it direct into either an Ampeg Gemini I or an Ampeg V4, depending on the headroom needs


This is a song of mine I overdubbed pedal steel on


It's funny to me that I've played guitar for 20 years, but the only time I've heard myself on the radio was a track I played pedal steel on for a friend! And I don't even like the performance!
 
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pale fire

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,769
I enjoy playing pedal steel, although I got to a level of proficiency and kind of moved on... I've been playing my Wurlitzer electric piano, Hammond organ, and drums much more than the steel guitar. I should probably circle back to pedal steel soon!

This is a song of mine I overdubbed pedal steel on


It's funny to me that I've played guitar for 20 years, but the only time I've heard myself on the radio was a track I played pedal steel on for a friend! And I don't even like the performance!
Rob - nice stuff; see that you are in Tampa too...just sent you a message
 




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