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Author Topic:  Knee Lever Names
Jeff Metz Jr.


From:
York, Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 1 Aug 2013 11:07 pm     Reply with quote

Wow this topic really opened a can of worms! No wonder I was confused! I guess there is really no "correct" terminology. I might as well get comfortable calling my knees whatever I want lol. Thanks guys for the help.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 2 Aug 2013 7:12 am     Reply with quote

Dickie Whitley wrote:
...I think it's making a mountain out of a molehill. I also think this very detailed "technically correct" stuff like E# (Really?) is really creating nightmares for newbies. I'm sorry I don't have an E# on my guitar and nobody is going to convince me I do. My 2 cents, YMMV.


Well, technically you do. If you knew how scales and chords are constructed, you would see that there is indeed proper usage of E#,Fb, Cb, B# depending on the scale. Scales, chord construction, and some harmony theory are the minimum required elements of music theory that I believe (my opinion, mind you) that any musician should know. I really don't want to turn this into a theory thread, just wanted to make you aware. The reason the lever is labeled E to F is because the basic tuning is an E9 chord, thus basing the tuning on the E scale. An F note would not be named an E#, as the F is a flatted 9th note (or flatted 2nd, but I have never heard of an E flat 2 chord, but have heard of , and played E(7)flat9 chords). But in the C# and A scales, the F would be properly called an E#. In the A scale (and A augmented chord), it would be an E# because you are sharping the 5th tone E. One thing that confuses this issue is, every chord chart I see and even the pedal steel chord finder program that Karlis Abolins (sp?) created (guitar map, which I refer to a lot) call out an A+ chord as having an A, C#, and F note.

I feel that just this little bit of theory will make any (beginning or experienced) player a better player. Any student I have is REQUIRED to know this stuff.
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Herb Steiner


From:
Briarcliff TX 78669
Post Posted 2 Aug 2013 7:15 am     Reply with quote

I refer to the levers as the "E raise," "E lower," "D# lower," "F# raise," etc.

Also I refer to the pedals as "pedal 1, pedal 2" etc. Makes them more consistent with the C6 pedals.

I find the whole idea of letter names as confusing and an anachronism of past teaching methods.

In my tab, I've been taken to task about my use of the "#" and "b" symbols instead a "A, B, etc." I don't get it, since the symbols I use (a Jimmy Crawford invention for steel tab) actually tell the player what the pedals/levers do. Yes, they're "only" symbols, but actually impart more information than do "A, B, C," which are only symbols in and of themselves.

It's an upstream swim, but I persevere. Wink
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Richard Sinkler


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 2 Aug 2013 8:00 am     Reply with quote

I also use that method that Herb uses. Even though the F lever is pretty standard as far as it's name, I still refer to it as the lever that raises E's to f when talking with others.

This subject on naming standards for levers has been going on for decades now and there (most likely) will never be a standard. Too many people have different levers on their guitars. Like mine, I have a lever that raises 1 & 2 to G# and E, and one that raises 1 & 7 to G. I have seen these both designated by users of the forum as the G lever. It would take everyone, or a committee that is agreed on by everyone to come up with standards. Even then, I don't think it will work. Just the fact that the 6th string G# to F# can be on a lever by itself (like on my guitar) or added to other levers is a problem. What will you call the lever that lowers string 6? It could be on at least 3 different levers with other changes that I can think of right off the top of my head.

Just learn what your levers do, and when using tab, figure out which of your levers do what the tab is needing. If you have to, make a notation under the tab as to what lever (LKL, LKR, etc) does that on YOUR guitar. I did this when I was starting out and using tab lessons.
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John Scanlon


From:
Jackson, Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 2 Aug 2013 9:41 am     Reply with quote

Richard Sinkler wrote:
Dickie Whitley wrote:
...I think it's making a mountain out of a molehill. I also think this very detailed "technically correct" stuff like E# (Really?) is really creating nightmares for newbies. I'm sorry I don't have an E# on my guitar and nobody is going to convince me I do. My 2 cents, YMMV.


Well, technically you do. If you knew how scales and chords are constructed, you would see that there is indeed proper usage of E#,Fb, Cb, B# depending on the scale. Scales, chord construction, and some harmony theory are the minimum required elements of music theory that I believe (my opinion, mind you) that any musician should know. I really don't want to turn this into a theory thread, just wanted to make you aware. The reason the lever is labeled E to F is because the basic tuning is an E9 chord, thus basing the tuning on the E scale. An F note would not be named an E#, as the F is a flatted 9th note (or flatted 2nd, but I have never heard of an E flat 2 chord, but have heard of , and played E(7)flat9 chords). But in the C# and A scales, the F would be properly called an E#. In the A scale (and A augmented chord), it would be an E# because you are sharping the 5th tone E. One thing that confuses this issue is, every chord chart I see and even the pedal steel chord finder program that Karlis Abolins (sp?) created (guitar map, which I refer to a lot) call out an A+ chord as having an A, C#, and F note.

I feel that just this little bit of theory will make any (beginning or experienced) player a better player. Any student I have is REQUIRED to know this stuff.

I totally agree with this, but I do see how this could be confusing for complete newbies - however, it seems very few pedal steel players are true newbies to music. Most have played another instrument or several - only a few exceptions I have seen. It's an instrument where you definitely have to understand melody and chord relationships, though, without a doubt, so I think some basic chord theory should be required reading as well.
Whoops - now I'm making it into a theory thread.
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Alan Brookes


From:
Brummy living in the San Francisco Bay Area
Post Posted 2 Aug 2013 9:49 am     Reply with quote

Just how many knees do some of you fellows have? Laughing Laughing Winking
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Richard Sinkler


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 2 Aug 2013 10:07 am     Reply with quote

Alan Brookes wrote:
Just how many knees do some of you fellows have? Laughing Laughing Winking


Only 2, but they are able to multi-task. Very Happy
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Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post Posted 2 Aug 2013 12:15 pm     Reply with quote

How about we all agree on basic pedal and knee lever conventional nomenclature to simplify postings and facilitate communication the forum.

As 90% of us use some form of E9th, C6th or E9th/B6th Uni w/ somewhat similar copedant changes. We could post this as a "sticky" that forumites (especially newbies) could refer to. Obviously this wouldn't cover unique or specialized tunings, but those copedants as best elaborated upon, as they are "non-standardized", yet equally worthy

For example, using the system below, someone w/ a D-10 8+5 could easily describe their copedant as:

E9th/C6th: Emmons/Newman pedals w/ LKL-F, LKR-Eb, LKV-Bb, RKL- F# and RKR D+


TUNING = E9TH, Ext E9th, C6TH, 12 ST E9/B6 UNI, Bb6TH etc.

LEVER NAMES

"F" = E->F =[+4,8]

"Eb" = E->Eb =[-4,8]

"D" = lowers [2nd and 9th st], "D+" if you have the 2nd string to C# in half-stops

"Bb" = B->Bb (5th and 10th st]

"G" = F#->G# [1st and 7th st]

"F# = F#->G# [1st], G#->F# [6th st] +/- 2nd st D#->E

"X","Y" or "Z" = = unique levers, that would need further description

"Franklin" = B->A and G#->F# (st 5,6)

Additionally, C6th levers could be described as [C3-] for 3rd string lower or [C4/8+] for A's->Bb or [C2--] for 2nd string E->D

PEDALS

"Emmons" = pedals ABC (+/-C6th trad 4-8 )

"Day" = pedals CBA

"Newman" = Emmons C6th pedals rearranged to 8,5,6,& 7

OTHER

an asterisk [*] after the pedal or lever name = equivalent changes on 12 E9/B6 Universal, D9th, Bb6th, if applicable.
Also,on extended tunings w/ additional std changes, folks could put additional pulls in parenthesis (e.g. for an F lever on ext E9th w/ E->F on strings 4,8,and 11 on LKL = F(11)

......just a thought!
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richard burton


From:
Britain
Post Posted 2 Aug 2013 1:02 pm     Reply with quote

See my post here from 3 years ago
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=193109
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Clete Ritta


From:
TX
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 1:30 am     Reply with quote

Besides all the lever name confusion, the Franklin pedal (or other non-standard pull), when located to the left of pedal A in an Emmons setup, is often referred to as P0. Rolling Eyes
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Dickie Whitley


From:
Eastern North Carolina
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 5:31 am     Reply with quote

...

Last edited by Dickie Whitley on 5 Aug 2013 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 7:11 am     Reply with quote

NOTE TO SELF:

"Next time you get a notion to expend time and/or energy on something that might possibly be useful to the forum community, don't bother.....you're ideas are idiotic and people could care less" Muttering
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 7:59 am     Reply with quote

Tony, many of us want to learn more and advance our understanding and practical knowledge of how music wurx.
And some of just want to play A Way to Survive.
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Dickie Whitley


From:
Eastern North Carolina
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 8:20 am     Reply with quote

...

Last edited by Dickie Whitley on 5 Aug 2013 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 10:40 am     Reply with quote

Dickie Whitley wrote:
Richard, I do sincerely appreciate the explanation and you taking time to do so, but to me it's still an F, it's an F frequency, and I'm not (in my hard-headed, southern style) going to change it because it makes it fit neatly in somebody else's chord chart because of a "sharpened" note.

It's pretty far flat of a F frequency on my guitar. Razz
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Dickie Whitley


From:
Eastern North Carolina
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 10:42 am     Reply with quote

...

Last edited by Dickie Whitley on 5 Aug 2013 2:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 10:55 am     Reply with quote

Dickie, I didn't mean to imply that you, or anyone else not curious about learning more, is an idiot. It was more of an attempt at humor.
I do think it kinda sad when people aren't interested in delving deeper. While there are only 12 notes in the (western) octave,the more we learn about the different ways they relate to each other, the better we can become.
Most of the time I play, I'm not thinking about it as cerebrally as folks like Reece or Russ, but going by feel. But the more I learn, the more stuff resides in my mental and reflexive toolbox.
Understanding the other names and roles of the notes isn't a bad thing.
I apologize for causing offense with an ill-chosen attempt at humor.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 11:21 am     Reply with quote

In all seriousness, the note is F on copedent charts and nobody is calling anyone "dumb and stupid" for calling it F.

I have a student who showed me a chord chart he made for a song written in Eb. One of the chords he had written was G#. I pointed out to him that, in the key of Eb, the chord is called Ab. It's a teacher's job to correct errors in music theory.

Notes like E# and Cb are the "end cases" of music theory. They only show up in keys that aren't used very often. Most steel players play by position and numbers anyway, not by note and chord names, so it's not really a big deal.

The reason that I sometimes call it E# is to point out the tuning issue. C#, as the 6th tone of the E scale, is tuned flat of equal temperament. The F lever is tuned a major third above that, which makes it twice as flat as the C#. If you tune your A pedal to -13 cents, the F lever comes in at about -26 cents.

If you sound the E string open with the F lever and the band is playing an F chord, you will sound out of tune. That's because it isn't really an F note. We can call it F for convenience or simplicity, and there's nothing wrong with that. But there's also nothing "elitist" about understanding the theory behind the music that we play.
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Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 11:35 am     Reply with quote

b0b wrote:
The reason that I sometimes call it E# is to point out the tuning issue. C#, as the 6th tone of the E scale, is tuned flat of equal temperament. The F lever is tuned a major third above that, which makes it twice as flat as the C#. If you tune your A pedal to -13 cents, the F lever comes in at about -26 cents.

If you sound the E string open with the F lever and the band is playing an F chord, you will sound out of tune.

Which is a pretty sound argument against tuning a note on an instrument 26 cents flat!

Quote:
That's because it isn't really an F note.

If Western music is presumed to be structured using the scale that divides the octave into twelve equal intervals, enharmonic notes are by definition identical, so if it's not really an F it's not really an E# either. Whatever name you call it, it's flat!

Full disclosure: I myself don't tune the PSG to ET.
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Dickie Whitley


From:
Eastern North Carolina
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 12:36 pm     Reply with quote

...

Last edited by Dickie Whitley on 5 Aug 2013 2:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Clete Ritta


From:
TX
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 1:07 pm     Reply with quote

I think using a name that implies what the lever does is obviously more useful than LKR etc., which only implies location (which varies greatly), not function. Using a name like E lower is instantly recognized as to what it does.

Unfortunately it is a cruel and ironic coincidence that Raise and Lower start with the same letters as Right and Left. Abbreviating E Lower to "EL" would probably be mis-interpreted often enough to mean E Left, which on most guitars is "ER" Razz Laughing Rolling Eyes
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John Scanlon


From:
Jackson, Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 3:31 pm     Reply with quote

Here's the moment that it wasn't worth discussing anymore:
Dickie Whitley wrote:
nobody is going to convince me I do.

Guys, he doesn't want to learn it. That's his choice. We need a theory section to discuss this stuff, for those of us who do want to, and who understand that E# is not Lane's invention, but is actually much older than the PSG and all of us.
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Dickie Whitley


From:
Eastern North Carolina
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 3:36 pm     Reply with quote

...

Last edited by Dickie Whitley on 5 Aug 2013 2:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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John Scanlon


From:
Jackson, Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 5:15 pm     Reply with quote

There are no personal feelings here, man. And my happiness is not dependent on who does or doesnt belong to the forum, but I think it's an extreme and over-dramatic reaction to a discussion about music theory that you ask to have your account deleted. My point is simply that you're not into the technical jargon about enharmonics and you're not open to discussing it, according to your own words. That's totally fine. There are certainly plenty of things that don't interest me, too.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 3 Aug 2013 7:03 pm     Reply with quote

Dickey, you misunderstood me.
Actually, many did: I parenthetically stated that the most common uses are actually E#, but "go ahead, call it F."
There is nothing wrong with not pursuing those theory avenues. Just like there's nothing wrong or deficient in not working on one's car.
I just think that the more one knows, the easier someone can achieve his/her potential.
Again, for my part, I apologize for any offense.
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