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Author Topic:  Universal tuning setup
Aris Xanthos

 

From:
Switzerland
Post  Posted 28 Apr 2020 11:36 am    
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After playing an S10 for about a year then a D10 for another year, I'm thinking about going universal.

Having read a couple of discussions about E9/B6 in the forum archive, as well as Larry Bell's website (notably http://www.larrybell.org/id24.htm), I'm considering his enhancement #1, which is to replace pedal 6 (lower E to D) with LKR.

Do you forumites have experience with this change? In particular, can you reach all pedals with your left foot when your knee's behind LKR (engaged or not)?

Thanks in advance for your insights!
Aris
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Jim Bloomfield

 

From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 28 Apr 2020 11:52 am    
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I lower E's on LKR on my Uni and have no problem reaching the B6 pedals 5-8
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Chris Reesor

 

From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 28 Apr 2020 8:28 pm    
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The main argument for that is eliminating double footing P5 & P7. It should be easy to reach P5 for the mast common combo with P6, and a lever lowering string 8 to D is pretty useful for E9 type stuff too.
The downside is you might prefer something else on LKR, in my case string 6 G# to F# and string one F# to G. (I have strings 2 and 9 to D on
LKL and the E raises and lowers on the right knee, for what it is worth.)

Lots of choices to make, and plenty of discussions here you can hunt up to help out. And I should add that Larry Bell's website is a good start; he's a fine player who has been playing U12 for a long while.

I believe if I was in your position as a relative newbie I would seriously look at Johnny Cox's D13 copedent or variation thereof.

Good luck with this.

Hey, does Peter Schild build 12 strings?
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 28 Apr 2020 9:50 pm    
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I play Day setup, which is better for uni.

My levers go like this - note the ½-stop on RKR:-

LKL - 6 G#-F#, 1 F#-G
LKV - 9,5 B-A#
LKR - 8,4 E-E#
CKL - 10,6 G#-G
CKV - 9 B-B#, 5 B-A#
CKR - 10,6 G#-A
RKL - 9 B-D, 2 C#-D#
RKR - 8 E-D#-D, 4 E-D#

with C,B,A,5,7,8 on the floor. On B6, home position is P5-7. P8 is mostly used just to raise 9 which is explains the CKV. No two-footing!
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Aris Xanthos

 

From:
Switzerland
Post  Posted 28 Apr 2020 10:25 pm    
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Jim, thanks for the confirmation.

Chris, wow, just when I think I understand things enough to consider universal tuning, you throw this at me Wink Seriously, thanks for bringing D13 to my attention, it looks awesome (and will require some study on my part to wrap my head around this new concept)! And yes, Peter builds beautiful 12-strings (http://www.schildsteel.com/cms/index.php?page=G020112_1) and that's the plan Smile

Ian, thanks for your indications, I didn't even know there is such a thing as center (?) knee levers! By the way, why do you think Day is better for uni?
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 28 Apr 2020 10:37 pm    
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My guitars are set up to be as much like a D10 as possible. The centre levers are above the B6 pedals.

With the Day setup the C pedal is out of the way, and the A pedal has its uses on the B6 side, including split with the vertical. This gives the equivalent of string 3 C-C# on C6. (There's nowhere to put it as a separate change.)
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Aris Xanthos

 

From:
Switzerland
Post  Posted 28 Apr 2020 11:01 pm    
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Oh I understand now Ian, thanks for the precisions.
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Chris Reesor

 

From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 28 Apr 2020 11:59 pm    
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Hey Aris, not really trying to throw you a curveball here ( about D13) It is new and very versatile but could scare off some long time players with years of muscle memory and musical approaches to override. Hence the "relative newby" reference.
The E9/B6 universal tuning gives you most of what you can do on an 8x5 D10 but comes up a little short for someone really serious about chord melody jazz. or wanting all the latest E9 changes. Compared to Buddy Emmons' 5x4 C6 copedent, there are 3 levers missing.
That is where the center knee lever group, and often a lever lock to put you in the sixth tuning full time come into play.
Something similar applies on the E9 "face" of the tuning. There will be compromises, of that here is little doubt.
The player whose focus is primarily jazz could well settle on something like Maurice Anderson's Bb6, and get a better jazz platform without giving up too much 9th tuning stuff.

Anyway, it seems to me that Johnny Cox's D13 comes as close to offering what a loaded D10 does as any single tuning has, so far.

Btw, don't forget to have a peek at Bobby Lee's 10 string D6 and especially compare it to Buddy's C6. It is also pretty brilliant.

OK, bedtime here.

CR.
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Aris Xanthos

 

From:
Switzerland
Post  Posted 29 Apr 2020 1:17 am    
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Chris, I totally understand the relative newbie reference -- that's why I don't want to wait too long before making the step to uni -- and I appreciate your input!

Thanks for the additional info. The idea of losing as little as possible with regard to D10 is particularly appealing.

What about gains? Discussions of E9/B6 sometimes mention the interest of using changes that were designed for a tuning with the other one, does that apply equally to D13?

Oh and one last question, since I'm also working on in 10-string non-pedal steel (currently C6), do you think D13 is usable this way? For both chord and single string work?
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MIchael Bean


From:
North Of Boston
Post  Posted 7 May 2020 3:46 am    
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Here's my Uni-12 copedent. My 8 string E is lowered to D on RKR; I can reach 5-7 easily while engaged, if necessary. I have it on the rkr so that I can use it with my A pedal for a 13th chord.

My P1 raises my 6 & 10 G# up a whole step to A#. This is like a C6 D/B pedal but split.I can also use it with pedal 2, my A pedal, to get E9 7th chords, like the intro of Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down.

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Aris Xanthos

 

From:
Switzerland
Post  Posted 8 May 2020 11:18 pm    
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MIchael Bean wrote:
My 8 string E is lowered to D on RKR


Thank you Michael, does the 8 string lower engage already before the half-stop, so you also have a 7b on string 2?
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MIchael Bean


From:
North Of Boston
Post  Posted 10 May 2020 4:48 am    
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Aris Xanthos wrote:
MIchael Bean wrote:
My 8 string E is lowered to D on RKR


Thank you Michael, does the 8 string lower engage already before the half-stop, so you also have a 7b on strin6g 2?


The 2nd string b7 half-stop engages about halfway through my 8 string lower, so if I stopped there I would actually have a D# on the 8 string. It's a less precise D# than my LKR, so I rarely stop there.
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Hans Holzherr


From:
Bang Saray, Thailand
Post  Posted 1 Oct 2020 3:40 am    
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Chris Reesor wrote:

Hey, does Peter Schild build 12 strings?


He does!
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Jim Pitman

 

From:
Waterbury Ctr. VT 05677 USA
Post  Posted 1 Oct 2020 5:43 am    
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Is double footing such a bad thing?
I know it is when I drive a car, but PSG?
I'm a uni player since 1982. I have 8 and 5 that is set up most like Jeff Neuman's setup.
I have an instrumental that requires I double foot some E9 pedals with B6 pedals often. One of the licks is simultaneously actuating pedals 1, 2, and pedal 6, the D change, while holding in my Eb lever which I have on RKL. So that's four pitch changing mechanisms at once. I also rock off pedal one during such.
The down side is the challenge of lifting your foot of the volume pedal and not having it change position. The obvious down side of course is you lose volume pedal control. However, neither of these challenges have prevented me from double footing.
Not to barrage you with so many copedent choices but this one has served me well.

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Benjamin Davidson

 

Post  Posted 1 Oct 2020 6:20 am    
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Aris

I've been slowing making this conversion over the last 2 years. Putting P6 on a lever makes a lot of sense for Uni players. One it avoids double footing and two I gives you back the 9th string D for E9th.

While I could reach all 9 of my pedals with Es on LKR, I moved the change to RKR and it made a lot of things easier. At that time RKL became my C6th P6 change (only the 8th string) and it worked well there. I recently shited to a wider left knee configuration and put the change in whole on the verticle center cluster and am happier with it there. The D is acessable in both modes and I'm thinking of it more as one big tuning.

I discuss it in detail here:
https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=360724

I know now I should've snagged a 12 string in the first place, but thats another conversation.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 1 Oct 2020 8:40 am    
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Using both feet on the pedals was good enough for Buddy Emmons. I have long thought that the C6 style of playing isn't as reliant upon the expression pedal as the E9 and that you can afford to move your right foot to operate P7 and P8.

That's in D10 terms, and having said it I have to confess that on my uni 12 I avoid it altogether by having both P6 and P8 on levers, with P5 & P7 next to each other as my home position. Because I use the Day setup, I find that 5 and 7 have a lot in common with B and A.

Also, I use the 13th chord with 5 and 7 a lot, and with those down it's easy to push up and add 8 to give that suspended-sounding chord which I'm never sure how to name.
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Pete Burak

 

From:
Portland, OR USA
Post  Posted 1 Oct 2020 9:26 am    
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I am a big fan of all 12 String Universal Tuning Copedants, Configurations and Variations!
Jeff Newman E9/B6 (Emmons or Day, etc), Maurice Anderson Bb6/Eb9 (Jazz intensive), Cowboy Eddie Long (P4 is on P0, and P0+A=P7, etc), Larry Bell (P6 on a lever, etc), Johnny Cox D13th, Bud Carter (5 Pedal Uni), to name a few.
My S12U journey has always been based on Jeff Newman's basic 7x4 S12U.
I spent a week at one of Jeff's seminars in July '82 and he was very interested in getting new players into Universal. He had a Book/Cassette based Course called E9/B6 Universal that was designed for his 7x4 Copedant, so I ordered a new S12U with that setup and played it in gigging bands for 15 years on the Bandstand, at which point I discovered this Forum and began trying out a bunch of other cool S12U ideas.
I've always had P6 on the floor, and use it constantly with the Choo-Choo-Cha-Boogie Western-Swing style I like to play. With this setup there is very little leg/knee motion required while playing. I hover over pedals 5-6 (in a manner similar to hovering over AB on E9th) as I swing through the typical 1-4-1, 1-4-5, 1-2-5, 3-6-2-5 etc chord progressions. P7 is analogous to your C pedal, and the Boo-Wha is in the P4 position and is analogous to your F lever (I hover over P4-P5 for Boo-Wha based and/or Blues-ee-er style songs). I lower E's on RKR and lower B's on LKV. I found I don't like holding the E-to-Eb knee-lever over when I go deep into 6th mode, so I have a lever-lock for that change on my newer S12U's.
It's a mechanically/egonomically stable Uni setup that provides E9th, B6th, and "One-Big-Tuning" as needed, and allows you to focus on bar work and right hand technique from a very stable body position.
As Jeff always said, "It has all you need to play on the Bandstand!".
With that said I think whatever makes the most logical/rational sense to any individual player is really what's most important when ordering/buying a Uni.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 1 Oct 2020 10:08 am    
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...which in the end is down to what music you play.
I use the B6 side of the uni way more than the E9, and I lost any ambition to haul a D10 long ago.

The question remains, if universal tunings are never going to catch on, why do so many people keep discussing them?
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