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Pedal Steel- My nine year old is interested in learning. HELP!

BridgetteDawn

Member
Messages
1
I told my kid she had to put down the video games and pick up an instrument. We went back and forth and I told her about steel/pedal steel and she likes the sound. She knows nothing about music but that we both love it. I'm not musical so all of this will be very new to us both. She knows it is difficult and lots of practice goes into being good.

Now, I need to know where to start! I don't want to make a huge investment from the jump, in case she backs out. We are in AR and so far no luck on lessons at our local music center. Again I say help!
 
Messages
2,148
Last winter i got into pedal steel. Kinda slacked off this summer in practice, but its still on my list of things to do this coming winter......

Been playing 6 string guitar about 30 years. Im 47 yrs old. My experience with learning steel is to buy lots of books to help learn. Also i signed up for the online course. Paul Franklin Method. Having guitar playing experience definitely helps with some of the theory and fretboard know how on the steel.

There is an online forum...Steelguitarforum.com that would be reeeeeaaally helpful in steering you in the right direction as to a beginner steel to buy. They aint cheap.
 

C-4

Member
Messages
13,496
Also, youtube will be helpful with lessons, instructions, and explanations. It might be difficult for you, but I suggest learning with your daughter in the beginning to help keep her focused. You will have to understand what is being taught to help reinforce what she is learning.

If you do not learn with her, if she has a problem, it might cause her to lose interest in it. But with both of you learning, you will be able to help each other, and it's good bonding time for the two of you.
 

retro

Member
Messages
1,674
Back in the early 70’s I bought a Sho-Bud 3-pedal Maverick...wish I would have kept it.

I agree with the suggestions above to check in at the pedal steel forum.

Stage one steel guitars might still be worth looking at also. He’s in Branson,MO.
And maybe close?

And perhaps look for a used Carter Starter...3 pedals 4 knee levers.
 
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sbrett

Member
Messages
835
I just started in March myself. It's not easy even for an experienced musician. It takes at least a year to just suck on it. I opted for the Paul Franklin course--there's a private facebook page where you can post videos and Paul frequently jumps in to critique, offer advice, etc. It's not cheap but it is worth it. It really helps to have some theory though.

There is a guy that has some great beginner steel lessons on youtube. Troy Brenningmeyer I believe. You can purchase the full lessons for $10 each. Those were extremely helpful as a beginner steel player. The Winnie Winston Pedal Steel guitar book is a great guide. Maybe buy the book before you get a steel. Steels are expensive, frustrating, and very rewarding. Don't get a crappy one or it'll be very discouraging.
 
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2,177
Peadal steel is not just a more complex version of lap steel. The two instruments are taught with very different techniques, tunings, and approaches to both harmony and melody lines.
yes, but there is something to be said for tackling lap steel first, especially for a young one.
 

BadHat

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,826
I can't think of a tougher instrument to start out on. Pedal steel is hard!
 

radcliff

Member
Messages
1,994
Peadal steel is not just a more complex version of lap steel. The two instruments are taught with very different techniques, tunings, and approaches to both harmony and melody lines.
As previously said, there is a big advantage to starting on lap steel. When you start on pedal steel you’ll quickly realize you suck at all four limbs - fingerpicks, bar technique, the pedals, and the volume bit. It can be overwhelming.

Lap at least gets you going on the bar and the hand muting techniques that will be crucial.
 

tamader74

Member
Messages
3,679
It was suggested a long while back, that I might make a decent pedal steel player...and that came from one of the premier pedal guys in Mi.,...and after I figured out that it was more a heavy 'machine' moreso than a guitar,...

...his theory got pitched...BY ME (LOL). I did buy, after several attempts with Lap steels...a 6 string Console steel, and to be quite truthful I believe if it hadn't been for me getting pretty ill, I would be a playing it...and as a matter of fact that IS the reason I've held on to it,...

...it is a late '50s/early '60s Professional Dual 6 Fender Console (the dual in this application stands for the 2 Tele. pups, and NOT for it being a Double neck), and is in Great condition as it has ALL it's Badges, stickers, OHSC, etc., and you can tune it to C6, E9, or to straight out 440 E,...

...most that played this model used a Volume pedal for the swells, and I've seen models just like mine get almost a pedal steel sound/tone, and Vibe with an accomplished player on it. I like the fact that the legs (which are the old SAE screw specific style...which means each of the 3 legs will only go in their specific 'hole', and not the others) give a little edge to where when you lay your hands on the guitar,...

...it gives the player the same 'Feel' as playing a Pedal Steel, this type of steel may be a good starter for her...as it will give her that 'Feel', and getting a volume pedal with help her comprehend a bit more of just what she'll grow into,...

...but in the end, getting our Children into playing ANY Instrument over Video games is a AAA+ achievement in itself, and please do anything to keep her going and inspired. Tom
 

nmiller

Drowning in lap steels
Messages
6,709
As previously said, there is a big advantage to starting on lap steel. When you start on pedal steel you’ll quickly realize you suck at all four limbs - fingerpicks, bar technique, the pedals, and the volume bit. It can be overwhelming.

Lap at least gets you going on the bar and the hand muting techniques that will be crucial.
yes, but there is something to be said for tackling lap steel first, especially for a young one.
I entirely disagree. I've played lap steel for many years and I'm currently working on pedal steel. The former does not help with the latter. They require two totally different techniques.
 

radcliff

Member
Messages
1,994
I entirely disagree. I've played lap steel for many years and I'm currently working on pedal steel. The former does not help with the latter. They require two totally different techniques.
But you have worked on your pitch, your right-hand muting, and if you got into behind-bar bends or hand levers - those basic raises are at least a preview.

Sure, the string spacing is different and the bar is a whole different type, but if you’re going from open E lap to E9 steel, there’s at least a basic fretboard layout.
 
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5,037
I had a ShoBud Pro I messed around with for a couple months before selling. The saying "it takes 2 years before you suck" at the pedal steel is very true. The instrument demands extreme dedication in a way I've not felt with others...you can 'fake it' with guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, banjo, mandolin...you can't even come close to doing that with pedal steel to play it traditionally.
I don't think playing lap steel would be a transitional thing to do if she is really, really set on the pedal steel sound. Theres certainly a lot of technique that you could spend years perfecting on a lap that would transfer to pedal but pedal is far more involved...laps are quite cheap though so maybe it would be a good spot to start? Pedal steel requires a good deal of concrete theory which prohibits a lot decent guitar guitar players from transferring over with ease.
There is also the issue of starting price, bad steels are pretty expensive, a Maverick typically go for like $800 and are really limited, most steel players recommend getting at leas 4 knee levers and 3 pedals as a starting setup, which will put you closer to $1500-$2000 for a beat one, over $2000 for a new one.
 
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nmiller

Drowning in lap steels
Messages
6,709
But you have worked on your pitch, your right-hand muting, and if you got into behind-bar bends or hand levers - those basic raises are at least a preview.

Sure, the string spacing is different and the bar is a whole different type, but if you’re going from open E lap to E9 steel, there’s at least a basic fretboard layout.
Muting? Bends? Levers? No, I never touched any of those. Very few players do. Few non-pedal players use E9 either. Going from open E to E9 is not simple; it requires re-learning most of the fretboard. If you're going to buy a lap steel as prep for a pedal steel, you're just wasting money and time. It's like picking up a mandolin first because you want to learn guitar - not enough of it translates to be worthwhile.
 

radcliff

Member
Messages
1,994
Muting? Bends? Levers? No, I never touched any of those. Very few players do. Few non-pedal players use E9 either. Going from open E to E9 is not simple; it requires re-learning most of the fretboard. If you're going to buy a lap steel as prep for a pedal steel, you're just wasting money and time. It's like picking up a mandolin first because you want to learn guitar - not enough of it translates to be worthwhile.
I respectfully disagree with the mandolin/guitar analogy.

If you are enjoying your pedal steel experience and never got into the bend and muting aspects of lap, it sounds like you’ve found a better instrument match for your style.:beer
 




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