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Pedal steel interval on a whammy pedal?

Occam

Member
Messages
4,267
I've always thought that pedal steels were really cool sounding and outside of playing a B-bender Tele once in a shop I really have no idea what intervals they're bending. I figure there are probably a lot of them but there have to be a couple that are probably the most common. I was thinking, how possible is it to get those sorts of bends on a whammy pedal and rocking from one harmony to another? If anyone knows of a sound clip or video of someone trying I'd love to hear but I can't seem to find one.
 

Tim Bowen

Member
Messages
3,481
Probably the most common "pedal steel emulation" used by guitar players is a sus2 resolving to a major third, within a major or dominant 7th chord - so a whole step, as noted above. I had been "faking pedal steel" on Telecasters long before I had a B bender Tele. Nonetheless the bender mechanism can indeed sound more 'mechanical' (like a pedal steel) than traditionally bent notes. On my B bender Tele, I do have the throw set for a whole step, but I've also practiced falling short of the entire bender throw, in order to get half step bends; a common half step move is to suggest/imply a sus4.

I did in the past own a BOSS PS-2 Pitch Shifter, and for grins & giggles I did set up a whole step move, and it did a passable emulation of the mechanical sus2 to 3rd resolution thing.
 

Steve Hotra

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,189
No... There's a lot more to the bending of notes on a pedal steel than what that pedal offers. Slide bar, blocking, and pedal steel tuning plays into it. Get a slide bar, tune to open E major tuning and start there.
 

Tim Bowen

Member
Messages
3,481
Well, I play lap steels that are tuned to open D and C6 tunings; they are lap steels, not pedal steels. As for getting the aforementioned whole step sus2-->3rd 'mechanical' bend (minus the pedals & levels of the pedal steel), the move is more easily achieved with a guitar in standard tuning, with or without a bender, than it is with open tuned slide guitar, in my opinion.

Open D has the same string-to-string interval pairings as open E, only a whole step lower in pitch; the tuning, low to high, has intervals of R/1 - 5 - R - 3 - 5 - R. So, as far as that whole step bend, the tuning doesn't support this move in actual polyphony, meaning that you don't get the sus/resolution bend AND simultaneously have neutral root & 5th along for the ride (like with a pedal steel or B bender guitar) - and neither will a pitch shifter pedal allow this; it's just that maybe the pitch shifter is possibly more capable of implying the mechanical nature.

What needs to be kept in mind is that it's not the slide bar that's creating the classic pedal steel bend sounds, it's pedals & levers. If you listen to Don Helms' work with Hank Williams Sr. or steel on old Patsy Cline records, you're hearing lap steel, not pedal steel. And I love that stuff, but you're hearing lots of 6's and 9's, not the mechanical sus2 & sus4 stuff.
 

Lullabies

Member
Messages
2,054
2nd down mode on the pitch bend (right) side ... That down is a full step down

That is if you have a Whammy V... Not sure if he previous whammys had the 2nd down mode
 

bigdeal

Member
Messages
151
you can't pitch bend one note in a chord with the whammy pedal, that might cause a problem
 

dhdfoster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,124
you can't pitch bend one note in a chord with the whammy pedal, that might cause a problem
This.

It's not too amazing that a pedal steel can bend notes, but it is amazing that they can bend just one note in a chord. That's the sound.
 

ChipOnly

Member
Messages
2,291
I do fake pedal steel bends with my M9's expression pedal and it's pitch shift. I'll just play one note, set the shifter to half wet, and have it raise the pitch a step when heel down and two steps (major 3rd) when toe down. You can do some cool stuff with this method and other intervals too.
 

Tim Bowen

Member
Messages
3,481
So, as far as that whole step bend, the tuning doesn't support this move in actual polyphony, meaning that you don't get the sus/resolution bend AND simultaneously have neutral root & 5th along for the ride (like with a pedal steel or B bender guitar) - and neither will a pitch shifter pedal allow this; it's just that maybe the pitch shifter is possibly more capable of implying the mechanical nature.
Polyphony has been addressed.
 






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