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Author Topic:  Theory for All Instruments
Stuart Legg

Post Posted 25 Jan 2018 10:55 am     Reply with quote

I awoke from a 3month coma, a result of my auto accident and the only thing I remember during that time is all different Genre of music playing coming from my mind or from some unknow source in ICU.

It was like being forced to take a 3 month course in the varying sounds of Genre and instruments.
This forced self-study led me to realize that once I understood music theory, I can practically apply music theory to all Genre and Instrumentation.
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Stuart Legg

Post Posted 25 Jan 2018 10:57 am     Theory for All Instruments Reply with quote

This spurred my desire to study music theory and application out of my own interest.
Since my father and grandfather both were PSG players I decided to use 10 string 3pedal 4 knee lever pedal steel guitar as my test case in the Theory for all Instruments.

I would like to use this post to share with you what I have learned.
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Stuart Legg

Post Posted 25 Jan 2018 10:58 am     Theory for All Instruments Reply with quote

In addition to my education and study of theory I have studied diligently a vast collection of tab, technique books, PSG audio/video, some or all from about every well known PSG player.

I did a thorough study of one particular player (I am not allowed to use his name due to intellectual property rights) which I realize in no way represented his true ability but was none the less very interesting.

I'm going to throw a lot of stuff on the wall and hope some of it sticks

Last edited by Stuart Legg on 25 Jan 2018 12:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Bill McCloskey

Post Posted 25 Jan 2018 11:06 am     Reply with quote


I am so sorry to hear about your accident. I'm sure we are all curious what your subjective experience was like being in a coma. Was it like being asleep. a dream? you talk about hearing music, was it constant, were you aware of it at the time? What was it like being in a coma?
Beard MA-6, Beard MA-8, Beard R model, Beard R Vintage Model, 3 Eharps, Clinesmith aluminum cast 8 string, Adams 8 string dobro, Duesenburg Fairytale, Sonny Jenkins custom 12 string lapsteel.
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Stuart Legg

Post Posted 25 Jan 2018 11:17 am     Reply with quote

sorry I added to my previous post without realizing you had posted.
The accident happened many years ago.
While I was in the hospital the music was constant but it all strangely had the same beat and I have a strange habit of settling into that beat in everything I do.
So due to my disability I have a lot of years of study under my belt in which I did nothing but study.
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Stuart Legg

Post Posted 25 Jan 2018 12:26 pm     Reply with quote

let me start out with this:
click here
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Donny Hinson

Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 26 Jan 2018 7:51 am     Reply with quote

I don't know exactly where this is going, but I'll throw this in, and if it doesn't fit the topic I'll happily remove it. Neutral

As far as backing up a singer...

Steel players (almost always) seem to play or phrase, basically, like steel players. Whereas, I've noticed that some straight guitar players seem to both play and phrase like steelers, but also like straight guitar players - using a lot more syncopation, arpeggios, and the like.

Does anyone else get what I'm saying?
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Stuart Legg

Post Posted 26 Jan 2018 11:43 pm     Reply with quote

This is a few very simplified versions of examples of cause of differing phrasing.

I notice Steel used mostly in country using the major scale and sliding from inversion to inversion within each chord of the chord cycle.

Swing Guitar mostly four chords/bar inversion to inversion or /A5 Amaj7 A6 A7/D5 Dmaj7 D6 Adim/A5 etc.. within each chord of the cycle. Seeming to have a 6th chord fetish.

Country chicken pickin inversions of A6 > G6 > A > G incorporating bends within the chord and continuing descending conversions though out the chord cycle and fetish for a lot of dim sliding inversions over a large area of the neck. A lot of incorporating open notes.

There are many many more example but in short Each Genre and instrument has it own heartbeat so to speak!
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Stuart Legg

Post Posted 27 Jan 2018 8:50 am     Reply with quote

Here is something you might find of interest. Bo took this from a book I was writing.
Click here
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Fred Treece

California, USA
Post Posted 28 Jan 2018 9:43 pm     Reply with quote

Music theory is the same on any instrument. You would start studying on pedal steel just like you would on a piano, with scales, chords, and rhythms. Chord synonyms (“chameleon chords”) are part of that study, and help with understanding chord extensions (Am6 = F#m7b5).

The 12 bar blues example in your old post appears to show some attempts at using passing chords. The desire to continue the same psg grips seems to have gotten the better of what should be voice-led transitions to the next basic chord in the progression. Some of them work, but some of them have no relation to the root chord or the one following, and are held too long to be considered passing chords anyway.

It is not uncommon in swing music for a rhythm guitarist to hold the same basic chord position for a measure or two. 4 chords to the bar is far more uncommon, and if it does occur it would be for turnarounds or a chord melody vamp. The reason you see so many chord changes in some song charts is because the transcription method includes the melody note in the chord. Mistake, imho.

Regarding solo phrasing, I went to a concert recently that featured a favorite guitarist of mine, John Jorgenson. At one point in the show, he put his guitar down and played clarinet on 2 or 3 tunes. And played VERY well. What was even more remarkable was that his phrasing on the clarinet was very similar to his guitar phrasing. The point is, yeah there may be something to genre-specific phrasing, but I believe it is also HIGHLY individualistic. It’s the same with steel players.

So, keep studying. Among other things, music seems to be an endless wellspring of information. Gives us lots to think about and write about to our friends on the forum Cool
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Stuart Legg

Post Posted 29 Jan 2018 11:44 pm     Reply with quote

The 12 bar blues example was only to show posibilities of Chord Extensions and Alterations for thumb and two fingers within the same grips.

Yes Music Theory is the same as Music Theory

Presenting observations in simple form using Notation and Tab requires a person to take a lot of liberties. It’s like thinking book and writing everything into the Title.

The (“chameleon chords” topic) is more in terms of pads and there was no attempt at notation for solo phrasing or music for a rhythm E9 PSG.

Dropping the 1st and/or 5th and at times more ( preference for maintaining the 3rd ) to accommodate a three note chord and staying within given grips came as no surprise that the progression would a be less than perfect in some parts but as good example possible given all the above restriction.
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Stuart Legg

Post Posted 8 Feb 2018 10:01 am     Reply with quote

This might also be of some use:
click here
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Fred Treece

California, USA
Post Posted 9 Feb 2018 10:10 am     Reply with quote

Just trying to help out. I appreciate that you gave a musical example of the concept you are discussing. I felt that you went a little too far outside with it, to the point where it rendered the concept less effective. I use quartal harmony myself, and yet shockingly, I am still unrich and unfamous. There is a difference between “jazz” and “bad”.

My comment on solo phrasing was in response to your comment on solo phrasing. Perhaps I oversimplified as well.
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