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Steel Guitar News January 28. 2013

This is Bob Hempker with today’s newsletter. Something we haven’t really touched on much is studying other players copedent. This can really help us in figuring out how different people play different things. We have the two common pedal setups, the Jimmy Day setup and the Buddy Emmons setup. But people set their knee levers up differently.

Some people have some changes that wouldn’t be considered standard. Basically all it takes is for someone to use a particular pedal change on somebody’s hit record then the popularity of that pedal change takes off and the next thing you know it’s being used by a lot of different players.

One example would be the E to F knee lever. Lloyd Green was the first to use it that I can recall. He played it on the Tammy Wynette song “D.I.V.O.R.C.E.” Hal Rugg used it on Loretta Lynn’s “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ With Lovin’ On Your Mind.” Those were some early recordings the change was used on. The F knee lever is pretty much a standard knee lever now. I really can’t imagine playing without it.

Another change that’s pretty much a standard thing now is lowering the sixth string a whole tone. Many players, myself included have split tuners on their guitar which enable us to use it with the pedal that raises the third and the sixth to get a dominant seventh with the pedals down or an Em with the knee lever activated and your second pedal down.

Some guys have changes on their guitar that are somewhat unique to them. Ralph Mooney lowered his third string a half step and some guys are doing that. Many guys have picked up on the idea of raising the first string a whole tone. A lot of guys today are using what they call the Franklin pedal which lowers five, six and ten each a whole tone.

I’ve got it split to where I lower five and ten a whole step with my fourth floor pedal and I lower six with my left, left knee lever. That way I can use them together if I need to, but then there are other things I can play splitting them up.

I was looking at somebody’s copedent the other day and I noticed them raising their fifth string up a step and a half. I can see the uses for this change, but personally I don’t know where I would put it. My guitar is loaded up pretty good the way it is.

I have a good friend that started raising his ninth string up a half step on the same knee lever he lowers his sixth string a whole step with. There are some nice things that can be done with that.

I know another player that instead of lowering his fourth and eighth strings together, he raises the seventh string a half step on the knee lever that he lowers the fourth string a half step with.

It’s also interesting even if we play a D-10 to study some of the changes that guys do with a single neck 12 or single 14. We can get all sorts of ideas by studying other people’s copedent. Don’t be closed minded about doing things a certain way. There is always something you can learn from anyone if you watch what they do.

Let’s talk about steel guitar wives for a bit. I’d like to hear from you guys about your experiences with steel guitar and wives or girlfriends, if they are supportive, unsupportive, encouraging, discouraging, can’t wait to hear you play or scream, moan and groan when you do. Let me hear your stories.

Again, I’d like to thank everyone who let us list them as a teacher and encourage new players who might be interested in lessons to check out our list at www.steelguitar.net/teachers.html


Steel Guitar Nashville
123 Mid Town Court
Hendersonville, TN. 37075
(615) 822-5555
Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
Closed Saturday and Sunday

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