Right Hand and blocking

Wow! The excitement of it! My first blog, my first response. Thank you Greg you made my day:>> Greg, it turns out, is another newcomer to the pedal steel guitar here in South London.

Anyway, i hadn’t blogged for a while and Greg inspired me to get back on the case.

I’ve been doing a bit of right hand practising recently. Trying to develop my ‘bounce’ trying to get my palm blocking going, trying to develop some articulation and speed.

Hard work, I’ve found.

I’ve been basing most of my practising on instruction from Winnie Winston’s Pedal Steel Guitar and Jeff Newman’s Right Hand Alpha video.

The idea here is simple: you play a note, then just before you play the next one, you block(damp, mute.. i found the terminology a bit confusing) all the strings with your palm to stop them ringing. Then you play the next note, and only the next one cos you’ve stopped all the other ones.

You end up with you right hand going up and down and this is known as your bounce.

And it’s pretty hard work trying to develop your speed but it does come on in the end.

One of the key things here is to try and make you right hand little finger remain uncurled while you’re playing. This keeps your right hand flatter and means that you block more strings. It’s hard work though.

I remember learning to play the 6 string and trying to stop my little finger on my left hand from sticking up. Seemed impossible at first but just happened in the end, so I hope the same happens here.

Another little tip that came up in the Jeff Newman video was that if he is playing a pair off strings, he will use his thumb and finger rather than two fingers as it produces a better tone. More of a bell like chime than using two fingers. Try it, it works. Very Eric Johnson!

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