I think i jumped the gun a bit cos i was so excited about my minor chord progress and pentatonic stuff that i forgot to post the major chord shapes i’ve been using.

In G:

3rd fret, no pedals/levers. string 3 4 5 6 8

6th fret A lever and RKL string 3 4 5 6

10th fret A and B string 3 4 5 6

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In my last post I talked about the minor chord shapes I’d learnt.

It’s the 11th fret one that’s really interested me. I come from a 6 string guitar backround and have spent most of my playing days going up and down pentatonic/blues scales.

These scales dont present themselves to readily to a novice steel player like myself.

In the 11th fret with dropped Es, you get a minor chord on strings 6-5-4-3, being G, Bb, D, G. On the two top strings you get 1 – F, 2 – D. the b7 and 5th in the scales.

Altogether you get:

string:     6  5  4  3  2  1

scale note: 1 b3  5  1  5 b7

And the pentatonic/blues scale is 1 b3 4 b5 5 7, so that’s part of the way there with the bar in just one place.

Bring the pedals and levers into play (Es stay dropped):

  • A lever puts the b3 to a 4 on the 5th string. Bingo

  • B lever just puts the 1 to a b2. Not so useful

  • C lever is good! It lets you do a bend from the 5 to the b7 on the 4th string and the b3 to 4 on the 5th.

  • RKR lever, that drops the 2 string a semitone, drops the 5 to a b5.

Now we’re in business! without moving the bar we can go all the way up a pentatonic minor/blues scale and drop in a few bends, without moving the bar.

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Jonny also showed me some minor chord shapes that i’ve been practising.

In G min they are 1st fret with B amd C down, 6th fret with B and 11th fret with dropped Es.

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well it’s been a busy week. as you may have seen i’ve got a couple of links going and the beginnings of a tab search facility. I’m feeling a little guilty as my intention was to pool together everything i could find on the web but all i’ve done so far is lift a massive tab resource and put an interface on it.

Rebel, Ricky and Jeff. I totally confess i’ve nicked all your stuff but it’s just in the name of getting it seen so i hope you’re not too pissed off. Let me know if you’ve got any more tab I can post:D.

Another thing: who’d’ve thought that there’s a pedal steel guitar expert living down the road from me here in sunny brixton, south london, uk. Not only that, he’s an instrument engineer and willing to sort out my axe?! My A,B,C pedals are set up B,C,A so he’s gonna swap them round for me. Just goes to show what sort of contacts drinking in the prince regent can provide..

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Dear all, thanks for coming to my humble and barely nascent site.

I am a newcomer to pedal steel steel guitar but have had a growing interest in this bizarre instrument for a few years now. I bought my Marlen E9 last November and am slowly getting to grips with what it does.

This blog will be a journal of my painful passage of learning. I will endeavour to post any useful material and links that i find on the way. (Any submissions gladly received)

I’m also thinking of building a Flash type application that will play pedal steel tunes and show where the bar is and which pedals and levers are being used.