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Author Topic:  Ext E9 idea
wt golden

 

From:
Houston, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 27 Feb 2020 9:54 pm    
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I play lap steel and dobro and I really miss not having the major triad on the top of the strings like in the E9 tuning. Has any one here played with adding a B after string 2. It would be something like

F#
D#
[ B ]
G#
E
B
G#
F#
E
D
B

I imagine I would have it react to A pedal as the other B's do. Has anyone played with this? would a B string handle the whole step rase? Thanks for any thoughts about this.
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Jacek Jakubek


From:
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 27 Feb 2020 11:46 pm    
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Interesting idea. The only problem I can think of is that
the B string would have to be a very light gauge for you to be able to tune it to so high to the B note without breaking, especially if you want to raise it even further with the pedal as the other B's. Maybe a 0.009 or 0.010 gauge string might work.
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ajm

 

From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2020 8:48 am    
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I must be missing something.

I count 11 strings, unless one of the pedal changes is not clearly notated and you are actually using a 10 string.

In any case, if you have a 12 string you could set up strings 12 to 3 as a standard E9, then set up strings 1 and 2 however you want. Or whatever else you can think of.

In any case, a 12 string will give you a lot more possibilities.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2020 9:09 am    
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As Jacek was saying, if you wanted that 3rd string B to be an octave higher than string 5, the string would have to be so thin that it would get lost in the sound when played with strings 1&2. When I was waiting for my first PSG, the music store loaned me a Fender single neck, 8 strings and maybe 4 pedals, and no roller nut. I had to go down all the way to an .008 on the 3rd string, and even at that, the string would break when I pressed the B pedal. You basically couldn't hear the 3rd string. If you are thinking of tuning it in unison to the 5th string, I don't see the point, except maybe for fast hammer-ons and pull-offs, ala dobro playing without having to jump over the third and fourth strings.
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2020 - 50 years of Steel Guitar playing
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2020 11:08 am    
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ajm wrote:


In any case, if you have a 12 string you could set up strings 12 to 3 as a standard E9, then set up strings 1 and 2 however you want. Or whatever else you can think of.

In any case, a 12 string will give you a lot more possibilities.



That's a really interesting idea. Another one that occurred to me is if that high B string is too thin to be heard or constantly breaks, the OP could always downtune to D9 or even C9 and get away with a thicker gauge Winking

Also, I totally agree with getting a 12 string for more possibilities. Worst case, you can string the upper, middle, or lower 10 for standard 10 string E9 if you don't want to mess with 12, but having that option of going extended E9, extD9 like mine or universal is great. Always good to keep your options open Smile
_________________
Check out a couple of songs on youtube featuring my Mullen G2 SD12 played without fingerpicks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-rEGK1dN7U&t=189s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dM-3F6NPXQ

Check out my prog rock band Mutiny in Jonestown's music at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/

Check out the Mutiny in Jonestown progressive rock album that has Fender 400 pedal steel on every song at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/album/the-daemons-mock-me-while-i-sleep
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2020 11:10 am    
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Richard Sinkler wrote:
As Jacek was saying, if you wanted that 3rd string B to be an octave higher than string 5, the string would have to be so thin that it would get lost in the sound when played with strings 1&2. When I was waiting for my first PSG, the music store loaned me a Fender single neck, 8 strings and maybe 4 pedals, and no roller nut. I had to go down all the way to an .008 on the 3rd string, and even at that, the string would break when I pressed the B pedal. You basically couldn't hear the 3rd string. If you are thinking of tuning it in unison to the 5th string, I don't see the point, except maybe for fast hammer-ons and pull-offs, ala dobro playing without having to jump over the third and fourth strings.


BTW Richard, I dig your new signature. Congrats on 50 years of pedal steel Cool
_________________
Check out a couple of songs on youtube featuring my Mullen G2 SD12 played without fingerpicks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-rEGK1dN7U&t=189s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dM-3F6NPXQ

Check out my prog rock band Mutiny in Jonestown's music at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/

Check out the Mutiny in Jonestown progressive rock album that has Fender 400 pedal steel on every song at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/album/the-daemons-mock-me-while-i-sleep
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2020 12:19 pm    
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As Richard says - if you're adding the B below the string 4 E to get the B D# F# major triad on the top 3, there's no reason to do that since you can just grip 5 2 1 to get the same thing.

As far as adding the B above the (normally) string 4 = E to get the E G# B major triad on strings 5 4 3, I doubt you could even get a string to stably tune up to open B, regardless of gauge, much less bend up to C#. People routinely break 11p strings at G# - B4 is a minor third above that. Remember that as you reduce the gauge with thinner and thinner strings, the force required to break the string gets smaller and smaller. Here's a table from this old thread on Break Strength and Tensile Strength of music wire vs. wire gauge - https://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/008614.html

Code:
Diameter   Tensile      Break
(inches)   Range (PSI)   Strength/Lbs..
 
.004      439-485.000    5.5-6.1
.005      426-471.000    8.4-9.2
.006       415-459.000    11.7-13.0
.007       407-449.000    15.7-17.3
.008       399-441.000    20.1-22.2
.009       393-434.000    25.0-27.6
.010       387-428.000    30.4-33.6
.011       382-422.000    36.3-40.1
.012       377-417.000    42.6-47.2
.013       373-412.000    49.5-54.7
.014       369-408.000    57-63

Using the tension calculator at https://tension.stringjoy.com/, you can see that the tension for a .010 string at A4 (it doesn't go any higher because nobody really does this on a guitar, and B4 is a whole tone higher) is roughly 28 pounds for a 24" scale. Tension, leaving string gauge and scale length constant, goes up faster than linear with pitch, so tuning up to B4 is going to put you right in the breaking strength range of around 30-34 pounds. For a .009 string, the tension is 22.8 pounds at A4, and the breaking strength is only 25-28 pounds - again, you're right at the breaking point when you go up to B. And forget about bending up to C#!

I've tried tuning up to near the breaking strength on various guitars - these were lower in pitch but longer scale for slide guitar. It just didn't work. I might or might not have been able to get the string to pitch, but even if it did, it broke with the slightest provocation - pressing down too hard, bending, whatever.

Beyond all this - you really don't need to do this with a pedal steel. Remember that you can get a 1 3 5 major triad on strings 5 4 3 (C# F G# at the nut, E G# B at the 3rd fret) with the A-pedal and F-lever; and similarly a 1 3 5 major triad on strings 6 5 4 (A C# E at the nut, E G# B at the 7th fret) with the A+B pedals.

And there's yet a lot more options on a pedal steel. I think you'd be better served to learn where all your major and minor triads and their inversions are, with and without the pedals and levers of your particular setup, before you start diddling around with different setups to add something that's already on your guitar now. My take.
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wt golden

 

From:
Houston, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 28 Feb 2020 10:13 pm    
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thanks all -

AJM - I was definitely thinking of doing this with a 12 string. I should have included the bottom string - but. I am really focused on would it work with the top EG#B triad.

It does seem like everyone has the similar concern about whether that high B string would hold - especially with a hole step pull on it. I will probably have to experiment with that string just by itself before I commit to restring the whole guitar. The D9 or C9 tune down might be a really good idea for this.

Dave - I like your idea about where the other major triads are. I do find myself using the AB pedal major triads a lot and the 521 grip is good, but I think if I had the triad in my root position "center", if you will, it would open up my vocabulary a little bit, and still keep me in the comfort of feeling "centered". I think this shows I need to not be so locked into the "no pedals" position and "AB pedal" position and really open up the whole guitar. Thats just going to have to come with time and more practice - but that is equally exciting as well!

I was just curious to see if anyone had made this change before. With all the experimenting that goes on here I though for sure someone would be able to say, "oh I tried that - it does / does not work because..."
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 29 Feb 2020 11:49 pm    
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Quote:
It does seem like everyone has the similar concern about whether that high B string would hold - especially with a hole step pull on it. I will probably have to experiment with that string just by itself before I commit to restring the whole guitar. The D9 or C9 tune down might be a really good idea for this.

Ummm... if you put a high B on string 3 and move everything else down one string, you'll have to do a lot more than just change the strings, at least if the guitar is currently tuned to any type of standard E9: Extended E9, E9/B6 Universal, whatever.

Right now, string 3 pulls something like an 11p gauge string from G# to A; 4 lowers something like a 14p gauge from E to Eb via E-lever and raises to F# via C-pedal; 5 raises something like a 17p from B to C# via A and C-pedals (and there may be other changes); and so on down the lower strings.

So you'll have to re-rod the entire guitar from string 3 on down if you shift everything from your current string 3 down one string. And if you move to D9 or C9, you'll also need to change string gauges significantly and possibly change some leverages besides. Do you know enough about pedal steel guitar mechanics to do this?

Anyway - if you decide to proceed to make the E9 modification you're talking about, definitely first test out that high B on string 5 to see if it will hold tuning without breaking. I think you're gonna find that this it's tough to even tune up to high B, and undoubtedly break if you try to raise to C#. I haven't tried this specifically, but I do have experience trying to push string tensions into the breaking point limits and have found it doesn't work.
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Dennis Montgomery


From:
Western Washington
Post  Posted 1 Mar 2020 9:14 am    
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Dave Mudgett wrote:
And if you move to D9 or C9, you'll also need to change string gauges significantly and possibly change some leverages besides.


Absolutely. When I went from E9 down to D9 I had to completely change string gauges. Not only that, every pull has to be retuned and some rods have to be moved to different positions on the bellcrank and changer to get the same note movement with larger gauge strings. It's not like it's impossible to do, but you need to be prepared that it's not just as simple as throwing on a D9 string set and expecting to pick up where you left off in E9. You're going to spend some time readjusting things and if you're not comfortable doing that, you might want to rethink this solution Winking
_________________
Check out a couple of songs on youtube featuring my Mullen G2 SD12 played without fingerpicks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-rEGK1dN7U&t=189s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dM-3F6NPXQ

Check out my prog rock band Mutiny in Jonestown's music at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/

Check out the Mutiny in Jonestown progressive rock album that has Fender 400 pedal steel on every song at: https://mutinyinjonestown.bandcamp.com/album/the-daemons-mock-me-while-i-sleep
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 1 Mar 2020 10:21 am    
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Maybe think about lowering that high B a half step instead of raising it with the other B’s. I mean, if you’re going to do something out of the ordinary, why not take it a step further. It would also take away the worry of breaking the string.
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Tony Dingus

 

From:
Kingsport, Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 1 Mar 2020 8:03 pm    
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Weldon Myrick added a high B between the high G# and D# with no pedal hooked to it. The 9th string D became the 10th string.

Tony
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wt golden

 

From:
Houston, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 1 Mar 2020 9:18 pm    
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Dave - thanks for that. I probably should have been more thorough in my description, but basically the whole point of the question was to see if anyone had done this and or had any thoughts about this before I re string AND re-rod the entire guitar. I realize it is a huge job, and I am not even sure I m up to the task of it all. I have an old Fender 400 and will experiment with that before I do anything else.

Tony / Fred - I think that is a good idea too. Doing something different or even just having the P5th there with no pulls would still have some benefit and if that was an A for the D9 might even be a stronger sound.
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 5 Mar 2020 11:24 pm    
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Quote:
Weldon Myrick added a high B between the high G# and D# with no pedal hooked to it. The 9th string D became the 10th string.

Weldon may have done that at one point. But here are two pretty authoritative threads on a couple of different setups Weldon used:

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=232121 (scroll down for Johnny Cox's post)

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=213562&start=50 (scroll down for Fred Justice's post on Weldon's Justice guitar setup)
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Tony Dingus

 

From:
Kingsport, Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 6 Mar 2020 12:10 pm    
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Dave, yeah Weldon just tried the high B in his tuning for a short time. I should have mentioned that.

Tony
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