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Author Topic:  Lowering G#'s for Minor Chords....
DG Whitley


Post  Posted 9 Aug 2018 4:00 pm    
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This was being discussed on another thread concerning the C pedal, and I've lost where it was. My question for consideration is if I dropped my C pedal for using the G# lowers for minors, other than having to learn (muscle memory) to do that, what else am I losing? I've looked at a number of different chords I do and other than a few extended chord positions on different frets, I'm not seeing a lot of anything I might lose.

Thoughts or comments welcome.

(I do remember some folks saying they broke strings doing that lower but my Mullen seems to handle it fine so far.)
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 9 Aug 2018 4:59 pm    
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I have been using this change for several years on S12U, fwiw, I would recommend adding a 0-pedal to the left of the A-pedal, instead, because it can be used together with the A-pedal to give you a nice 7th chord, in addition to the minor.
I happen to like the G#-to-G change alot, but you dont have to loose the C-pedal.
If course you could try it out very easily by rodding it up in the C-pedal position, and use it primarily for minors.
Guitar players like this change because it puts all the minors where they are used to playing them.
My favorite thing about ditching the C-pedal, is that it makes it impossible to sound like traditional C-pedal players.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 9 Aug 2018 5:26 pm    
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Maybe it’s best you don’t know what you’ll lose, and there may be gains other than just getting a different way of doing a minor triad out of the deal. I have to say though, rocking the C pedal is an awful lot of fun.

Check Greg Cutshaw’s C pedal tabs for some better insight.
http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Tab/Tab11.html
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Michael Hill


From:
Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 9 Aug 2018 6:56 pm    
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If you have a knee lever lowering string 6 from G# to F# you might be able to add a split with B pedal and the knee lever to get a G. This won't give you a G on string 3 but you'll still have a minor available along with a dominant 7 at A + B + knee lever. And probably some other stuff I haven't found yet...
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John Goux


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 9 Aug 2018 8:13 pm    
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Almost the same Emi notes to lower 3/6 G# to G, as the B/C minor. Raising B/C has a particular sound, and lowering sounds more relaxed.

There are other advantages gained as well. Eminor 7, Emin6, EmiMaj7, Ediim(with B lower), A7, Baug, etc, etc. I keep finding new uses.

And of course it is much more intuitive to have Emi on the same fret as Emaj.
I have the change in various places on different guitars, the zero is my fav for pedals.

On a right knee is best of all, you keep your C pedal, you can run minor inversions on string sets with ease. And use in tandem with B lower.
Vertical is good too but I fatigue holding my knee up for long,,and these jazz chords are ones you may want to hold.
I would consider LKL too.

John
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 1:01 am     Re: Lowering G#'s for Minor Chords....
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DG Whitley wrote:
This was being discussed on another thread concerning the C pedal, and I've lost where it was. My question for consideration is if I dropped my C pedal for using the G# lowers for minors, other than having to learn (muscle memory) to do that, what else am I losing? I've looked at a number of different chords I do and other than a few extended chord positions on different frets, I'm not seeing a lot of anything I might lose.



For my playing my opinion is that
you would lose a significant part of the sound and vocabulary of the E9 tuning if you drop the C pedal. You would gain very little because the E9 tuning is a minor triad machine already.
On the 3rd fret alone you have Dm, Em,F#m, Am, Bm for the easy standard ones and more depending on your set up.

If you are looking for full 4 note chords that G# lower might come in pretty handy. Might be worth trying. If it ends up suiting what you play and works then keep it.
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Jeff Harbour


From:
Western Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 3:36 am    
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I think this is the thread you wanted:

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=2717824&highlight=#2717824

I'm still of the belief that lowering the G#'s is infinitely better than the C Pedal! You may lose a few gimmicks, but you will gain a lot more chordal possibilities.

Here's two more links where I discuss it:

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=2761255&highlight=#2761255

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=2727543&highlight=#2727543
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Jack Stanton


From:
Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 4:43 am    
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I too like the minor at the no pedal position, not wanting to lose the C pedal put it on the 4th pedal of my push-pull. On my Legrand I use the split.
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Thiel Hatt


From:
Utah, USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 5:40 am    
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I play the Day set-up with 4 floor pedals and 6 knee levers. Floor pedals consist of the 3 standard a-b-c configuration with pedal 4 lowering the 3rd and 6th strings. It works well with my 3rd pedal B to C#. Just have done it that way for many years. (And like it)
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Larry Bressington


From:
Kearney Nebraska
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 7:15 am    
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Here's my take on it;
I would NOT want to loose the almighty, powerful and glorious C pedal to lower the 3 and 6 move, it is a nice move to have but not enough to sacrifice the C pedal.

I find 2 string grips cut through the mix much better than 3 string grips, especially once you get past the 6th string, so why not keep the C pedal and slide back 2 frets.

Using 2 strings grips for example on G minor i often play strings 8 and 5, lets say at fret 8 with A pedal down, then slide down to fret 3 and release the A pedal, you still have root and 5th of the chord and you wont have to worry about the 6th string issue being dropped.

Another example is strings 8 and 6 i use a lot, slide back one fret and raise the E's then you have Root and 3rd of the chord, avoiding 3 string grips has many advantages. Use string 10 and 6 and half pedal back 1 fret, use string 10 and 8 and do nothing.

As for the C pedal on strings 7,6,5,4,3, slide back 2 frets and it's all there.
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Last edited by Larry Bressington on 10 Aug 2018 7:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 7:24 am    
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I raise the 1st string from F# to G with a knee lever. Very Happy
Erv
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 7:40 am    
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Erv Niehaus wrote:
I raise the 1st string from F# to G with a knee lever. Very Happy
Erv

Alot of S12U's raise the high F# to G on P5, which could be used for minors in E9th mode on strings 1,4,5, if you have that change.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 8:21 am    
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The OP did not mention adding a pedal or moving the C to zero or any other type of exchange. It was about trading in the whole tone raise on string 4 & 5 for a half-tone lower on 6 & 3. Maybe all the suggestions being offered are possible on the instrument in question, but the specific point was in regard to what would be lost or gained by trading one musical capacity for another.

If you don’t have a G on a lever or pedal, I would suggest getting one. But I would hate to trade in my C pedal for it. Gimmicks indeed.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 9:20 am    
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I'm with Bob on this one, you already have a lot of minor options available. And it's also true that most who desire this change are players who also play straight guitar. The only problem I see with non-standard setups like this is that they will (eventually) severely limit your ability to play other players' guitars, and their desire to try to play yours. Now, that doesn't mean much to some players, but I'm here to tell you that I've gone the "non-standard and being different route" for 50 years, and it hasn't really helped my playing.
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 9:37 am    
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There is nothing so important about any tuning or copedant that has ever stopped me personally from trying out ideas I read about here on the Forum or come up with myself... as long as your brand/model is easy to make/reverse changes on, I'd say go for it, and learn more about working on your Steel in the process.
Fwiw, I dont recall hearing a single A B or C pedal lick at the last Robert Randolph concert, 7/4/18.
What Brand/Model do you have?
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Jeff Harbour


From:
Western Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 10:16 am    
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For several years I ignored the possibility of lowering the 3rds, convincing myself of BOTH points mentioned:

1) It's just something guitarists think about because they don't understand steel.

2) Just take the BC position back two frets.



Then, one day I got brave and told myself I was going to try it anyway. To my surprise, I had been wrong!

As I laid out back in the old thread, here are my reasons for ditching the C Pedal:


*It only creates one chord, and that chord doesn't span all of the strings.

*It is completely useless by itself (without the B Pedal).

*The chord it creates is very difficult to temper when tuning.


Lowering the G#'s a half-step gives me the same minor chord voicing, except over all of the main strings... And it tunes up perfectly. I have found this to be way more efficient.

I am guessing that the C Pedal came about in an era when steel guitars were better equipped to raise a string than lower one, but that I don't know for sure. Also, I know that most pros still maintain a standard ABC for E9. So, maybe I am really missing something. Or, maybe most of them have just stuck with it because it works (and many of them likely don't have very much down-time to adapt to a drastic alteration). But, many pros who have experimented a lot (such as Maurice Anderson) have ended up without a C Pedal.

So, to those who like their C Pedal, I respect your preference.

But, I want those who are considering trading the C Pedal for a G# lower to know that it IS worth trying out. It's NOT just an ignorant guitarist thing.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 11:15 am    
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Jeff Harbour wrote:
(Re: the "C" pedal)


*It is completely useless by itself (without the B Pedal).



Uhhh...wrong! (I guess you've never played "Look At Us" like John Hughey did, then?) Winking
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 11:39 am    
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Do what you want. But keep this is mind. There are thousands of former and current players who will disagree with you, which is fine. The C pedal is a very important pedal in the evolution of the E9 tuning. There are licks and melody movements with the C pedal that I don't believe you will be able to re-create. Paul Franklin, Mike Johnson, and Tommy White (my 3 favorite living steel players) all use the C pedal A LOT. I doubt they will see the C pedal as "USELESS". I'd like to see you change their minds.

That being said, if the G# to G change works for you in your style of playing, then who is to say it is wrong. My first 2 guitars had this change on them, I never found the need to have that minor change, and put something I would use in their place.
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Mullen SD12 3p/4k, Carter D10 9p/9k, Peavey Nashville 400 with either a BW1502-4 or a Telonics 15, Hilton VP, Tech 21 Roto Choir, Wampler Euphoria, EH Mel9, Zoom MS50G
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 12:44 pm    
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Thank you for saying it the way you did, Richard. I posted something a little more indignant and forced myself to delete it.

I will put in a word for “guitarists who don’t understand steel”, as I fall into that somewhat condescendingly labeled category. G# to G is not rocket science. Even a dumb guitar player can figure out what to do with G in the E9 copedent. Mine is conveniently located on RKL, raising strings 1 & 7. I’m sure I could find a use for lowering to G on string 6 beyond creating the obvious minor chord, but it is definitely not worth sacrificing the highly musical, highly multi-purposeful, and highly fun traditional function of the C pedal.
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Pete Burak


From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 1:19 pm    
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They all disagreed with Ralph Mooney, too.
Dont worry about it.
Life is too long to wonder if your idea will work.
Try it.
You can change anything to anything, and back, on these things.
Fwiw, Two of my favorite Steel players use the C-pedal alot, too... Toy Caldwell, and Jerry Garcia. That didnt stop me from experimenting.
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Jeff Harbour


From:
Western Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 10 Aug 2018 9:04 pm    
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Sorry guys, I didn't mean to start trouble. I will concede that there are a ton of very popular "licks" that rely heavily on the C Pedal. But, in my approach to playing, "chordal possibilities" are more important than "licks".

With that said, I do still have a secondary S-10 that has a C Pedal. I am interested to know where Hughey used the C Pedal by itself in "Look At Us". Does anybody have a time marker for that one? I've only ever transcribed pieces of that solo, and don't remember encountering that. I am open to learning more possibilities.

I just want to encourage individuality. I'm a big fan of the era when all the big name players did their own thing. Look at Curly, Zane Beck, Maurice, Red Rhodes, Sneaky Pete, Julian Tharpe, Mooney, Winnie... They all even had different tunings, let alone pedal functions! I don't think any of them felt an obligation to any particular setup. What they used was tailored strictly to their own musical voice.

So, please take no offense. In the end, I am probably the crazy one out here all by myself on this. But, it's working for me! I'm a happier (and hopefully better) player after all the changes I've made.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2018 5:06 am    
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The Hughey lick is at the very beginning of the intro. The first 2 "notes". Strings 3 & 4 going 2 frets up with only the C pedal and letting off the C pedal. It creates a little dissonance or tension.
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CLICK HERE to visit my website. & Mickey Adams videos.

Mullen SD12 3p/4k, Carter D10 9p/9k, Peavey Nashville 400 with either a BW1502-4 or a Telonics 15, Hilton VP, Tech 21 Roto Choir, Wampler Euphoria, EH Mel9, Zoom MS50G
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post  Posted 11 Aug 2018 5:22 am    
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Jeff Harbour wrote:
I just want to encourage individuality.

What a wonderful statement! Very Happy

As for the original question: I prefer to lower all (three) G# strings to F# on a lever, and split to G with the B-pedal when that's called for.

I have all (three) E strings to F to F# on a lever, and rarely ever use the C-pedal since I can get a similar change by raising the Es to F# along with the use of the A-pedal. I kept the C-pedal anyway because sometimes it is useful on its own or combined with the B-pedal.

I prefer to play on my very own Extended S10 E tuning, as it in addition to cover all* one can do on a basic S10 E9 tuning it also has the extended low G# and E strings. With the addition of a "half-Franklin" pedal for lowering B strings to A, and an experimental pedal that lowers only the extended-low E string to B, I can pretty much emulate a 12 string Uni or Extended tuning if I want/need to.


* Don't ask me about that … Mike Sweeney and Lloyd Green have checked and confirmed the E9-emulating capabilities of my 10 strings Extended E tuning.
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Jamie Mitchell


From:
Nashville, TN
Post  Posted 28 Sep 2018 9:59 am     Re: Lowering G#'s for Minor Chords....
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DG Whitley wrote:
This was being discussed on another thread concerning the C pedal, and I've lost where it was. My question for consideration is if I dropped my C pedal for using the G# lowers for minors, other than having to learn (muscle memory) to do that, what else am I losing? I've looked at a number of different chords I do and other than a few extended chord positions on different frets, I'm not seeing a lot of anything I might lose.

Thoughts or comments welcome.

(I do remember some folks saying they broke strings doing that lower but my Mullen seems to handle it fine so far.)


I have G# to G on a zero pedal. I also have a low E string, and no D. power chord on the bottom. I was trying to be able to match the voicing at the end of this track:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m53--yTPQNk

It gets you some big root position minor stuff. I find it useful, but you might look at putting it on a vertical lever instead of a pedal.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 28 Sep 2018 11:44 am    
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I would personally not trade off the C pedal for a dedicated G#=>G pedal. In fact, I don't do G#=>G as a dedicated change at all. But I do have G#=>F# on LKR, opposite my RKL E=>Eb pedal, which can be very usefully and easily split with the B-pedal on a modern pedal steel for an in-tune G note. If a modern steel's ergonomics are set up well, both the G#=>F# and the split G#=>G are really very useable/comfortable, and combined with E=>Eb on the opposite knee, give a ton of useful stuff.

I do not buy the idea that the C-pedal is a one-trick pony. Aside from the obvious use to give the 2m chord relative to the no-pedals straight bar 1 chord, there are several useful diads, including a different but nice high-string diadic harmonized scale. Just hitting the C-pedal alone to raise the 4th string 1 to 2 can be useful, and there are some interesting moves with either B+C or C-alone, with the E=>Eb lever. No doubt there are other uses.

Everything is a tradeoff, but if I was stuck with just 3+4 (A, B, C, D, E, F + one other lever change) instead of 3+5 (A, B, C, D, E, F + two other lever changes), I'd keep the G#=>F# with B-pedal split to G and lose my B=>Bb lever before losing my C-pedal. For me, it's essential to have both of those levers, B=>Bb and G#=>F#, opposite the E=>Eb lever to maximize their potential.

Or if I really HAD to have both G#=>F# with split AND B=>Bb, I'd find some way to add another lever or pedal. Where there's a will, there's a way, at least that's the way I think about it these days and wish I had pushed that idea harder when I was younger.

BTW - I don't think being a guitar player has anything to do with this. I've been playing guitar for around 50 years, and still do it seriously. Pedal steel for much less time, but IMO, pedal steel is pedal steel, guitar is guitar. They have differences and similarities, but I think one should mainly think of them as separate entities and each of us do what works for ourselves, whatever that is. And that often requires experimentation, which is cool if you're into that kind of thing. I see no problem changing things around if you in fact know how to do it and then change things back if it doesn't work. But not everybody is a steel mechanic and it's possible to mess things up pretty good and then be too stubborn to get help.
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