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Author Topic:  S8 pedal steel ?
Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 11:46 am     Reply with quote

I am thinking about ordering a new S8 keyless 3+4 Lamar...I had an opportunity to own one for little bit, and was amazed by guitar, very light weight, and the size of my briefcase... I'd like to have regular E9 tuning without lower 9th and 10th strings...does anyone out there plays anything like that, and what are your thoughts? thanks
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Fish


Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 12:02 pm     Reply with quote

Hi Damir,

I have a Fender 400 setup by the late Red Rhodes with exactly that tuning - an E9th tuning without strings 9 & 10. I really like it. It covers a lot of territory very well, although sometimes I miss the low range of the D & B strings. I hear some people have countered this by lowering the entire tuning to D9th, but I haven't gone there yet.

The notion of a "steel-in-a-briefcase" has a lot of appeal.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 12:16 pm     Reply with quote

Fish wrote:
Hi Damir,

I have a Fender 400 setup by the late Red Rhodes with exactly that tuning - an E9th tuning without strings 9 & 10. I really like it. It covers a lot of territory very well, although sometimes I miss the low range of the D & B strings. I hear some people have countered this by lowering the entire tuning to D9th, but I haven't gone there yet.

The notion of a "steel-in-a-briefcase" has a lot of appeal.


thank you so much my friend, I've been thinking about this since I had that little Lamar, and yesterday after I picked up one of my D10 Sho~Buds, and felt a sharp pain in my back, idea came back...this morning I almost couldn't get up of my couch, and after I did, I walked around the house for awhile looking like a hunchback of Notre Dame...that little S8 was amazing, a breeze to move around, in the smallest and lightest pedal steel guitar case I ever picked up...I would really love to hear you play that S8 if you have any videos...I don't really use 9th and 10th string that much, so it would be pretty painless to get rid of them...at least that's what I'm thinking...
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 12:22 pm     Reply with quote

I play all of my gigs on a Desert Rose S-8, 5+5, tuned to D6th. It's like the middle 8 strings of a C6th, raised a step, with E9th pedals added.
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I play mostly folk-rock, western swing and classic country. winecountryswing.com/blue-jade/
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Last edited by b0b on 13 Nov 2016 12:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 12:24 pm     Reply with quote

Fish, I remember Gary Morse, buddy of mine, has one of those S8 Fenders too...
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 12:27 pm     Reply with quote

b0b wrote:
I play all of my gigs on a Desert Rose S-8, 5+5, tuned to D6th. It's like the middle 8 strings of a C6th, raised a step, with E9th pedals added.
<center>

</center>
I play mostly folk-rock, western swing and classic country.


very interesting b0b, don't you miss that 3rd string raise on 3rd pedal?
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Fish


Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 1:05 pm     Reply with quote

Here's my Fender on the Opry a few years back:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2MS7wlMgw0&list=RDm2MS7wlMgw0#t=20

I was petrified because the inimitable Tommy White was standing in the wings to my left. What a deep honor it was to be able to play on the Opry with the architect of the Ray Price shuffle, the legendary Buddy Harman, on drums. Wow...he was one of a kind.

And what an easy load-out I had afterwards with my little lightweight Fender 400. I love that guitar. Now that I think of it, I would definitely go for the 8-string approach, Damir. You'll have fewer backaches for sure.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 2:33 pm     Reply with quote

thanks bud, thats some great music, wish there was more steel guitar tho... Awesome playing, and that Fender sounds great...my very first steel was Fender 800 back in 1988, which guys from Promat set up with 3 pedals, and 4 knee levers..it was a sunburst finish, and I loved it...
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Fish


Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 3:01 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks Damir.

My 400 has a very primary setup: only one knee lever. The RKL simultaneously lowers string 2 a half step AND lowers the 8th string a half step. It's back to the basics, but that - along with keeping it in tune - is part of the fun.

If you wind up scoring the 8-string, I'd love to check it out someday. I think it would be perfect for fly dates and quick sessions.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 3:20 pm     Reply with quote

Fish, I just today sent an email to Mr.Lamar, and waiting on his reply, I'll let you know what happens...
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 3:34 pm     Reply with quote

Damir Besic wrote:
very interesting b0b, don't you miss that 3rd string raise on 3rd pedal?

Not sure what you mean by that. My 3rd pedal is basically the C6th P5.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 4:51 pm     Reply with quote

I can't offer much re: the 8 string tuning aspect although I did have an Emmons S-8 for a while, but I do know Lamar Colvin. He is a fabulous true craftsman and very open to customizing a guitar to fit your needs. I don't think you will find a more accommodating builder.

I had one of his D10's. I don't remember exact dimensions, but it was small in length and very staqe friendly. Of course he has made considerable updates and improvements since then.

I'm really fond of his keyless tuner unit too.

Keep us posted on your decision.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 5:07 pm     Reply with quote

b0b wrote:
Damir Besic wrote:
very interesting b0b, don't you miss that 3rd string raise on 3rd pedal?

Not sure what you mean by that. My 3rd pedal is basically the C6th P5.


never mind b0b, I need to start thinking outside the box ...
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 13 Nov 2016 5:08 pm     Reply with quote

Jerry Overstreet wrote:
I can't offer much re: the 8 string tuning aspect although I did have an Emmons S-8 for a while, but I do know Lamar Colvin. He is a fabulous true craftsman and very open to customizing a guitar to fit your needs. I don't think you will find a more accommodating builder.

I had one of his D10's. I don't remember exact dimensions, but it was small in length and very staqe friendly. Of course he has made considerable updates and improvements since then.

I'm really fond of his keyless tuner unit too.

Keep us posted on your decision.


will do my friend...
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Jeff Harbour


From:
Western Ohio, USA
Post Posted 14 Nov 2016 10:14 am     Reply with quote

A similar thread came up a while back. In that thread I suggested tuning to Mike Auldridge's 8-string C9 Dobro tuning (DBECGEDC, top to bottom). That would give all of the 'Top Eight' intervals of the E9... but with almost the full low-end range of the ten-string tuning.
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John Goux


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 14 Nov 2016 6:42 pm     Reply with quote

Bob and Damir, both good 8 string strategies.

The dramatic thing that sets pedal steel apart from electric guitar, or lap, is the re entrant strings. Those cascading thirds, unisons and melodies that ring across.
The decision would be, how important are those re-entrant strings to you? Damir's solution keeps them. Bob's coped has a lot of advantages...lower pitch strings, a combination of C6 and E9 tuning advantages, plus I imagine that high F# string sounds and plays fatter than the high G# string in standard E9.

Here is another possible 8 string tuning. Low to high. EBEF#G#BEG#. Pedals and levers as desired in E9. Or the whole thing down a step to D9.

Bob, I like how you moved the C pedal to the vertical which allows pedals down licks to have bends of scale degrees 5-6 on a 4 chord.
Why do you move your low G string up to A on P1, don't you miss having a low root on a 4 chord? And since you already have a P2 G natural on Str 1, wouldn't you rather have P4 move Str 1 to F natural, giving you a big D minor chord? (1 minor chords are useful and simple to remember).

John
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Ronnie Boettcher


From:
Brunswick Ohio, USA
Post Posted 14 Nov 2016 8:40 pm     Reply with quote

I think it would be very playable. My very first pedal steel was a Fender 400, 4 pedals, and no knees. I tuned it E9, using the top 8 strings, omitting the 9th, and 10th. I got to play some with it, but wasn't long I needed the knee levers. If it had knee levers, it would play classic country very easy. When I got my LDG, I sold it, and the buyer was well impressed with the sounds I got out of it.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 14 Nov 2016 10:40 pm     Reply with quote

John Goux wrote:
Bob, I like how you moved the C pedal to the vertical which allows pedals down licks to have bends of scale degrees 5-6 on a 4 chord.
Why do you move your low G string up to A on P1, don't you miss having a low root on a 4 chord? And since you already have a P2 G natural on Str 1, wouldn't you rather have P4 move Str 1 to F natural, giving you a big D minor chord? (1 minor chords are useful and simple to remember).

John

Good questions!

The low G to A on P1 is actually a failed experiment. After 6 years, I'm ready to abandon it. It gets in the way sometimes.

P4 is the same as the C6th P6. Having different notes in each octave is the fundamental C6th philosophy, just as doubling simple chords across octaves is the E9th philosophy.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 15 Nov 2016 7:48 am     Reply with quote

I'm just too lazy and too old to start from the scratch with a new tuning, keeping upper 8 strings of a standard E9 and simple 3+4 configuration, shouldn't be too big of a deal to get used to...
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 15 Nov 2016 10:02 am     Reply with quote

To me, it wasn't much of a new tuning because I already knew C6th. The E9th pedals and levers are in the same positions as on my D-10. The main thing to get used to was playing 2 frets lower on C6th tunes and 2 frets higher on E9th tunes.

Also, not having the 1st string is a challenge. I'll be returning to an S-10 soon, mainly to get the 1st and 10th strings back. It's been a very enlightening experiment.
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John Goux


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 15 Nov 2016 2:56 pm     Reply with quote

Bob, what will your 10th string be?
Having at least one re-entrant on string 1 will go a long ways to giving the traditional pedal steel sounds, with melodies ringing over and unisons possible. Are you thinking E, F#, D, on down?
John
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Tom Wolverton


From:
San Diego, CA
Post Posted 15 Nov 2016 5:41 pm     Reply with quote

I play an 8-string E9 Williams. My coped has the 9th & 10th strings omitted. I drop the low E to D with my RKR lever. I'm happy with it.

I don't miss the two low strings that much because I play in loud situations and mostly those lower notes would be lost in the midrange mud coming off a loud bandstand.

That being said, I also think Bob's D6th tuning is great.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 15 Nov 2016 10:45 pm     Reply with quote

John Goux wrote:
Bob, what will your 10th string be?
Having at least one re-entrant on string 1 will go a long ways to giving the traditional pedal steel sounds, with melodies ringing over and unisons possible. Are you thinking E, F#, D, on down?
John

Keeping with the "C6th raised to D6th" concept, the first string will be E and the 10th string will be D.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 15 Nov 2016 10:58 pm     Reply with quote

Tom Wolverton wrote:
I play an 8-string E9 Williams. My coped has the 9th & 10th strings omitted. I drop the low E to D with my RKR lever. I'm happy with it.

I don't miss the two low strings that much because I play in loud situations and mostly those lower notes would be lost in the midrange mud coming off a loud bandstand.

That being said, I also think Bob's D6th tuning is great.

Thanks, Tom.

In a quartet, I use the low strings to cover the guitarist's rhythm parts when he's soloing, so that there isn't a sudden hole in the mids. For that, I need a copedent that goes down to low E.

If I were only playing solos and fills in a large band, I could use the top 8 of E9th like you do. But then I'd have to stop playing about 60% of the time. I like blending into the rhythm section most of the time, and just stepping out when the song calls for "that sound".

Of course, having a fat 6th tuning works well in my duo, too, where steel guitar is the star. Mr. Green The 8-string D6th covers all the bases for that.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 20 Nov 2016 2:04 am     Reply with quote

Fish wrote:
Hi Damir,

I have a Fender 400 setup by the late Red Rhodes with exactly that tuning - an E9th tuning without strings 9 & 10. I really like it. It covers a lot of territory very well, although sometimes I miss the low range of the D & B strings. I hear some people have countered this by lowering the entire tuning to D9th, but I haven't gone there yet.

The notion of a "steel-in-a-briefcase" has a lot of appeal.


this is my very first pedal steel Fender 800...playing in Graz, Austria in the late 80's



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