INSTRUCTION STRINGS ACCESSORIES MUSIC LINKS
 Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com for Steel Guitars, Strings, Instruction, Music and Accessories 
Forum Index
where steel players meet online
The Steel Guitar Forum

Post new topic Guide to tuning an Emmons Push/Pull
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Guide to tuning an Emmons Push/Pull
Glenn Suchan


From:
Austin, Texas
Post Posted 5 May 2011 8:46 am     Reply with quote

From time to time, a member of the 'Forum' will post asking how to tune an Emmons 'push/pull' guitar. On several occasions, in the past, I've posted a method. I'm reposting that method here.

With the OK from b0b and the 'Forum' at large, I respectfully request that this thread be made as a "sticky" for quick reference.

Please note: This is only a tuning guide, not a tutorial for setting up a push/pull.

Tuning an Emmons 'Push/Pull' Guitar:

Glenn Suchan wrote:
Sometimes p/p players get confused by the tuning. To make it less confusing let me just say there are three procedures: Open tuning at the key head, endplate tuning, and undercarriage tuning.

To start tuning, note which strings have pitch changes (both raises and lowers). Then check which strings have more than one raise or more than one lower. This is important because only the single greatest raise or lower per string will be tuned using the second or “endplate” tuning procedure. All other, lesser raises and lowers are tuned by the third or “undercarriage” tuning. You might want to keep a tuning chart in your pak-a-seat that indicates which adjustments are at the endplate and at the undercarriage. It'll come in handy for "bandstand" tuning adjustments.

NOTE: Most of the time, with a properly adjusted push/pull, tuning at the key head is all you’ll need to do. More infrequently, you may have to tune the changer using the other two procedures. For example, if you change the gauge of any string, you WILL have to tune the changer for that string and possibly others. Also, changing brands of strings may require minor tuning adjustments.

1) The First Procedure: If you only need to tune the strings to open pitch (most of the time), the guitar is tuned just like all others; at the tuning keys.

2) The Second Procedure (tuning the changer, or strings and changer with the greatest pitch change) is as follows: First, tune all of the strings to open pitch at the tuning keys (this will give you the starting point by which you’ll tune the changer). The second step will be to tune your changer starting with all your greatest raises (I start with pedals “A”, “B”, “C”, etc.). To do this, you’ll activate the pedal (or knee lever) for the specific change you wish to tune. **Hint: When I tune pedal “A” I always depress pedal “B”, too. The reason is, a lot of the time you’ll be using both pedals simultaneously, and that will create more cabinet drop than just one pedal (cabinet drop is a form of mechanical pitch drop caused by the depressing of pedals). So, I tune pedal “A” and pedal “B” with both pedals depressed, and pedal “C” with both pedals “B” and “C” depressed.** Now, to tune the greatest raises; on the changer endplate there are two rows of holes. Behind those holes are cap screws. These are for tuning the changer. The bottom row (closest to the floor) are for raises, and the top row are for lowers. OK, to tune a raise, depress the pedal to be tuned (pedals “A” and “B” for pedal “A”...); then tune the raise at the tuning key (Don’t worry about the fact that you just tuned that string to open pitch. This is where most folks get confused). After you’ve achieved the correct RAISE pitch at the tuning key, release the pedal(s) and find the bottom hole that lines up with the string you’ve just tuned for a raise. Using the correct size allen key, turn the cap screw to raise or lower the pitch to the correct OPEN pitch. (Turning counter-clockwise will lower pitch). Re check both raise and open pitches to ensure they’re accurate. If not, repeat the procedure until they are correct, then move on to the next change. Do this until all the greatest raised pitches are correct, including knee levers. Next, select a string with greatest pitch lower. A good first choice on your guitar is the knee lever which lowers string four E to Eb. **Hint: When I tune this knee lever I always depress pedal “B”, too, since they are frequently used together** The first thing when tuning a lower is to check and tune the OPEN pitch at the tuning key. Then depress the pedal and or knee lever, locate the TOP row hole on the endplate which corresponds to the string just tuned. Using the allen key, turn the cap screw until the correct LOWER pitch is achieved (Once again, turning counter-clockwise will lower pitch). Re check both lower and open pitches to ensure they’re accurate. If not, repeat the procedure until they are correct, then move on to the next change. Do this until all the greatest lower pitches are correct.

3) The Third Procedure (tuning the changer, or strings and changer with the lesser pitch changes): This will require you to locate a “tuning nut” on the undercarriage. There will be one for each lesser pitch change per string. The most common one is on pedal “C”, for string five. This one isn’t a lesser pitch than pedal “A”, string five, but it is subordinate. So, it uses the undercarriage tuning nut. Look at the undercarriage and find the bell crank which raises string five on pedal “C”. You’ll notice a collar on the pull rod which has a small spring and hex nut. This is the “tuning nut”. Now, the procedure is as follows: Check to make sure all the open strings are tuned correctly at the tuning keys. Then depress the pedal or knee lever with the lesser raise/lower to be tuned. Let’s do the “C” pedal. **Hint: When I tune this pedal I always depress pedal “B”, too, since they are frequently used together** With the pedal(s) depressed reach under the guitar and feel for the “tuning nut”. This takes practice. Sometimes, I’ll look first, put my hand on the tuning nut, then proceed. Anyway, once you’ve located the correct tuning nut, with the pedal(s) depressed, turn the tuning nut until the correct pitch is achieved. (There is no “rule-of-thumb” regarding which way to turn the nut to raise or lower pitch. It depends on how it is mounted in relation to the bell crank). Once the pitch is correct, you’re good to go, so to speak.


Keep on pickin'!
Glenn
_________________
Steelin' for Jesus


Last edited by Glenn Suchan on 19 Oct 2011 8:19 am; edited 2 times in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Ken Metcalf


From:
Austin Texas USA
Post Posted 6 May 2011 6:53 am     Reply with quote

2nd the motion.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Mike Wheeler


From:
Delaware, Ohio, USA
Post Posted 6 May 2011 6:09 pm     Reply with quote

I third that motion! Stickify this puppy!
_________________
Best regards,
Mike
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Joey Ace


From:
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 7 May 2011 2:26 am     Reply with quote

Good idea. I "Stickey'ed" it.

You need a 7/64 inch Allen Key.

They really aren't that difficult to tune once you get used to the sequence.

Making changes to the setup is a whole 'nother story.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Glenn Suchan


From:
Austin, Texas
Post Posted 7 May 2011 10:44 am     Reply with quote

One thing I need to add to my thread:
This tuning guide should be sufficient on a properly setup and adjusted push/pull guitar. If you have trouble achieving the correct pitch for open strings, pedals or knee levers using this guide, it may indicate your guitar needs an adjustment of the changer mechanisms. Such as, enough slack in the pull rods, proper tension of the return springs, range of travel and positive stops for the raise and lower fingers on the changer, and/or range of travel and positive stops for pedals and knee levers. These all need to be coordinated and balanced for each pitch change to achieve a functioning push/pull changer.

If you aren't confident making such adjustments, seek a reliable push/pull mechanic. There many throughout the USA and membership of this forum.

Once again, my original post was for the tuning of the instrument. Not a setup.


Keep on pickin'!
Glenn
_________________
Steelin' for Jesus


Last edited by Glenn Suchan on 19 Oct 2011 8:23 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Michael Yahl


From:
Troy, Texas!
Post Posted 8 May 2011 10:21 am     7/64" Tuning Wrench Reply with quote

I have 7/64" Tuning Wrenches that I made, at the request of a customer, that should fit the Emmons. I believe that it was for this application.

You can find them at
http://www.psgparts.com/Tools_c5.htm

Thanks

Michael
_________________
"Don't fergit to kiss yer horse!"
'72 Sho-Bud Professional D10, (in pieces .....), '78 MSA Classic XL D10, '74 MSA Classic D12, Fender 2000
Peavey Session 500 BW, Crate Digital Modeling Amp

WildHorse Pedal Steel Guitars, LLC
http://www.psgparts.com/
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bill Mayville


From:
Las Vegas Nevada
Post Posted 4 Aug 2011 7:47 pm     Tuning the great Reply with quote

I never have owned one.
any of you That have one.I don't give a crap about feed back,on this post.
Send it to Bobbe,in nasville.If you can't afford that,hide somewhere ,and get another GEE tar.
When the real man was alive,he got together with Bob be and said this is what you DO!!!!!
I would suggest. Sending the Guitar,and forget it.
First class for years.Like a knife.When you arsharpening a knife.WRONG.
.It is sharppened all ready.
all you can do is to hone it.
By yourself,believe Me F O R g e T

Simple minded answers are excepted
Bill
_________________
Bill Mayville
06 Jackson Commemorative ,S 10
Black.For Sale . $18,000 Kidding
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Glenn Suchan


From:
Austin, Texas
Post Posted 8 Aug 2011 8:24 am     Reply with quote

Bill,

I appreciate your comments. However, I believe you might be suggesting a course of action for a push/pull which needs to be mechanically set-up. As I stated in my tutorial, my instruction is meant to help with tuning an already-set-up, ready-to-play instrument. Tuning, as in achieving correct pitch with the open strings and with the pedals and knee levers.

I'm sure Bobbe (although, I know he'd do his best to meet the challenge Wink ) wouldn't be able to handle all the guitars streaming in from around the world, each time they get out of tune.

Keep on pickin'!
Glenn
_________________
Steelin' for Jesus
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
BGrado


From:
Holmdel, New Jersey
Post Posted 19 Aug 2011 2:54 pm     Reply with quote

For all players with Push/Pulls in the NY/NJ/CONN area.

Before you start pulling out whatever remaining hair you have left there's a simple way to resolve any Push/Pull problem you may encounter.

Call John Widgren in Milton, Conn.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Willis Vanderberg


From:
Petoskey Mi
Post Posted 21 Aug 2011 3:50 pm     Reply with quote

Not to take anything from Bobbe but there are any number of very good p/p mechanics around the country, Mike Cass, Tommy Cass, Albert Johnson, There are atleast two in Texas, a couple in the north west and no doubt others. There are also a couple of other instructions out there that explain things very well.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post Posted 10 Oct 2011 7:11 pm     Reply with quote

Willis Vanderberg wrote:
Not to take anything from Bobbe but there are any number of very good p/p mechanics around the country, Mike Cass, Tommy Cass, Albert Johnson, There are atleast two in Texas, a couple in the north west and no doubt others. There are also a couple of other instructions out there that explain things very well.


Add Lynn Stafford to that "short list"!
View user's profile Send private message
Emmons Guitars


From:
Burlington, North Carolina, USA
Post Posted 19 Oct 2011 7:45 am     Posted link Reply with quote

I pray that the posted link is just an oversight! However, We have been contacted by our Patent Law Office. He asked us to look into this and officially state the following: "You are in violation of copyright and trademark laws" The Website to your post is NOT an official Emmons website. Please remove any and all copyrighted(Methodology and Practice in Pedal Steel Guitar)and Trademark Emmons!!

Kind regards,
Ron Lashley, President
Emmons Guitar Company
_________________
Emmons Guitar Co. by Lashley, Inc.
Phone 336 227-2782
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Glenn Suchan


From:
Austin, Texas
Post Posted 19 Oct 2011 8:17 am     Reply with quote

Hi Ron,

I've sent an email to the moderator of this section asking for the hyperlinks to be removed. As a result, I've been able to edit and remove the links. (Thank-you b0b Smile )

My most sincere apology for any problems the links may have caused. It was and is my intention to help owners of your wonderful push pull guitars tune their instruments.

Keep on building them!

Cheers,
Glenn Smile
_________________
Steelin' for Jesus
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post Posted 8 Jul 2012 9:36 pm     Reply with quote

Glenn's description is great. I would add the following 2 steps after tuning:

1] turn your guitar over and make sure all raise fingers hit solidly against the guitar body when the pedal or knee lever is fully engaged. Similarly, the lowers need to contact the lower screws.

2] also make sure all changes (raises and lowers) on any given lever or pedal bottom out (raises against the body, lowers against the tuning screws) at the exact same time. This can be done by slightly moving rod collars toward or away from the bell cranks. Timing the changes will make your P/P play much easier.
View user's profile Send private message

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  

Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction,
steel guitars & accessories

www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

Steel Guitar Music
Instrumental steel guitar CDs for your permanent collection
www.SteelGuitarMusic.com

Jewelry by Mom
beautiful one-of-a-kind
pieces handmade by
Mrs. Lee in California

JewelryByMom.com

Please review our Forum Rules and Policies

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 South Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support This Forum


Batman 4 Sale
Batman & Robin collectibles
Toys, comics & cool stuff

www.batman4sale.biz
HTTP