My New Universal

I picked up my little Universal 12 string last weekend.

A long time in coming and a lot of work done in preparation (moving from three picks to four, watching an *awful* lot of Jeff Newman instructional videos about C6 and the Universal tuning, getting into pick blocking, etc.)

I sit down at it for the first time and think is this really a good idea?

I’m basically an E9 player do I need these extra strings and changes?

Do I need the extra octave?

Am I really gonna use the C6 sounds?

After a week I love it 🙂

I am still very early on in my understanding of C6 but with the few pedals I’ve got (pedals 5,6,7,8) and the lower B (or lower C on a C6) lever, there’s so much useful stuff that you cant do on E9.

Also it seems like a lot of the single note playing on C6 is in the open position, which is basically the dropped Es position.

What’s the big deal here? Well it means that it applies very directly to what I can do on E9. My concern was that the Universal wans’t *really* that universal, it was just a way of getting two tunings on one neck.

This may be true of the C6 foot pedals, they only really make sense with the Es lowered (although pedal 7 is useful on E9, and pedal 6 is nice for dropping the middle E to a D in E9), but all the soloing that goes on on the C6 side of Universal drops straight on to the lowered E position on E9.

Also, the lower B knee lever, this seems to unite both tunings. Some uses on E9, like dropping two frets and lowering B for a 9th chord, or getting Lydian sounds on the open position, or getting a #9 sound in combination with the B pedal.

But then when you go into C6 land and drop the Es, you get a minor chord (G#m at fret 0) dropping the B then gives you another minor chord down a 4th at D#m.

This is where these two tunings really come together as one. This D#m chord is a natural and logical extension of E9 and also sits in the heart of the C6 movement.

On my setup I have the lever that lowers Es also lower the 2nd string from D# to C#, raising this takes the D#m chord

Posted in Pedal Steel Guitar, Uncategorized

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