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Author Topic:  A Pedal 1/2 way
George Geisser

 

From:
Branson, Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 11:56 am    
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I can't seem to find any prior (and I know there has to be)
posts or exercises on "half pedaling" your A pedal. I have B lowers on a knee but can't always get there from here
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 12:40 pm    
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Takes an educated foot. My foot is dumb as a doorknob. I've set up my vert barely a half inch over my knee and the A pedal split serves me well. I decided I have enough other things to worry about and never tried to conquer the half-pedal. I have tremendous respect for people who have it solid.
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Dan Kelly


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 2:37 pm    
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Buddy Emmons used the 1/2 A pedal a lot and the sound of it really appeals to me. Sometimes I get it, and sometimes it is a bad sounding near miss.

It seems setting a 1/2 stop on the A pedal would help a lot. Yet, I have not seen any discussion on it. Is there a problem with the idea?
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 2:50 pm    
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Dan Kelly wrote:


It seems setting a 1/2 stop on the A pedal would help a lot. Yet, I have not seen any discussion on it. Is there a problem with the idea?

I don't know that I could tolerate the catch/notch of a half stop when I'm doing a slow A pedal squeeze. It's too fundamental a move (for me) to tamper with.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 3:11 pm    
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Jon Light wrote:
Dan Kelly wrote:


It seems setting a 1/2 stop on the A pedal would help a lot. Yet, I have not seen any discussion on it. Is there a problem with the idea?

I don't know that I could tolerate the catch/notch of a half stop when I'm doing a slow A pedal squeeze. It's too fundamental a move (for me) to tamper with.


I tried a half stop on the A pedal once. To be able to feel it, I had to give the return spring that gives the feel stop more tension. It got to where it was like going for a jog, coming to a wall, and then having to climb over it.
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 5:03 pm    
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I half pedal my a a lot,In fact I used to play strings 8,6,5 let's say at the third fret "G",then half pedal and full pedal on Em,I would do it over,and over to see how in tune I could get it?I pretty much always play that half pedal in tune...A friend of mine wanted to know what I was doing recently,So I played some chords,and While playing a blues tune strings 9,5,6I half pedaled the A pedal And resolved on A and B pedals strings 8,6,5and he said"Thats it"I didn't even realize what I was doing,Got it from Jimmy Day.
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Dan Kelly


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 5:18 pm    
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Thanks Jon and Richard. I see your points. Sure, the 1/2 A pedal is a nice thing, but I go for it maybe 1 out of 50 times that I use the full A pedal change. So, having a 1/2 stop would seem to be overkill. Following Stu's suggestion of just mastering the 1/2 pedal move seems to be the way to go. Thanks!
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George Geisser

 

From:
Branson, Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 5:29 pm    
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Tip of the hat to all of you! I appreciate the imput. I've also tried a feel stop on a pedal in another application (universal) ,it's either too strong or too weak
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Asa Brosius

 

Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 6:00 pm    
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The trick here, is to do it for 20 years.
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Gene Tani

 

From:
The Pacific NW,
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 7:02 pm    
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People have tried A feel stops and somebody said you could hear the catch when doing a fulltone pull

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=2790620

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=926856
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Jamie Howze

 

From:
Boise, ID
Post  Posted 12 Jun 2020 8:03 pm    
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I like to practice this by playing the "Secret Agent Man" riff alternating with the E string. Open or any fret. It's easy to play repeatedly so you can concentrate on intonation.
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Bengt Erlandsen

 

From:
Brekstad, NORWAY
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 5:25 am    
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If I keep my foot and ankle straight when pressing both A+B then when B pedal comes to a stop, the A pedal will be at the halfstep. Which means that my ankle will have to make a slight angle in order to get the full A pedal. I only need to straighten my leg/ankle to be in line to get from A+B to halfpedal A + B. If no pedals are pressed then the A pedal is slightly higher than the B, so the B pedal kinda acts as a feel stop for where the half A pedal would be (use the ears to be in tune more than the feel stop tho) when squeezing the A pedal.
It takes a little adjusting to get the LKL, A and B pedals at their most comfortable spots. One should be able to go from A+B to A only by just a slight twist of the ankle with knee barely moving so it doesnt engage LKL. If locking knee and ankle strainght then knee would also move and one would go from A+B to LKL+A
If you have very short movement on the A pedal then it can be tricky to find/feel the half A pedal.
Practise, practise and some adjustment to match pedals/levers to your playing position will get you "halfway" there Wink

B.Erlandsen
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John Swain


From:
Newberry,SC
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 6:37 am    
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FWIW, 3rd fret G+ can always be played 2nd fret,A,B and F lever on strings 34568+10.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 6:57 am    
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When I ordered a new Zum from Bruce, I talked to him about a 1/2 stop on the A pedal.
He said that it wasn't a very good idea and talked me out of it. Very Happy
Erv
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George Geisser

 

From:
Branson, Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 7:48 am    
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Bengt Erlandsen, Well Said! Your response explains both the problem and the solution in great detail
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 8:17 am    
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It's akin to learning bar slants on a lap steel -- practice, practice, practice. At first, and often for a significant length of time, it sounds like crap. Then, one day voila! It's there!

What is problematic for me is that different instruments behave differently. When you seem to have it down on any one particular pedal steel, the same "feel" won't necessarily carry over to another.
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Fred Justice


From:
Mesa, Arizona
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 8:26 am    
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Stay with it, its an acquired feel that comes with time. Very Happy
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Franklin

 

Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 8:35 am    
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To learn this I would pick strings 8 6 5 and practice half pedaling the A pedal by itself 5 minutes a day. Then for another 5 minutes I would practice holding A&B down and then release the A pedal 1/2 way while holding B down...

I did that routine for several months as a kid until I could not screw it up...My theory is "Never find a bypass around a skill that can aid my playing"

Listen to Jeff Beck's accuracy using his whammy bar playing melody...His muscle memory recalls where the notes are. At some point he practiced so he could memorize where chromatics, whole tones, minor 3rds, maj 3rds 4ths etc are found... Its a great skill to learn how to feel 1/2 pedals on all of the whole tone changes. Just as Jeff Beck can feel where all the notes are on a whammy whats the reason for not learning to feel the pedals for all of the notes they can accomplish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=howz7gVecjE
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Jon Voth

 

From:
Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 6:30 pm    
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What he (Paul) said-

It sucks and is hard, but so is our instrument in general.

I would agree that a half stop would ruin the common A pedal.

On a related note, I often find myself using a half right knee left to get a minor chord (8, 6&5 no pedals on a standard Emmons setup). I wonder if that is common with folks here. The big turnaround of "Crazy" comes to mind.
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Kevin Fix

 

From:
Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 6:48 pm    
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I use the half pedal A for augmented chords. My ears tell me where the half position is. Your ears won't fail you. Like Paul says, practice using it. An augmented chord is a great teacher.
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John Goux

 

From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 13 Jun 2020 9:52 pm    
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I think it helps to have light action, that way it is accuracy and not a strength issue.
Of the things that flummox me about pedal steel, for some reason the half A pedal comes easy for me.
Also, the exact position of the C note on the pedal is slightly different when ascending than it is coming down from a full pedal. At least on my guitars.
Good for counterpoint and augmented chords. I do have the split for the C as well, but mostly use it for the Ami chord.
John
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Franklin

 

Post  Posted 14 Jun 2020 2:13 am    
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Strings 4 5 6 With the "A" Pedal 1/2 way along with pedal B and lowering the E's is my favorite way to play a diminish triad.
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Kevin Fix

 

From:
Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2020 3:38 pm    
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I like that. Thanks Paul!!!!
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jun 2020 5:29 pm    
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Three nice uses of the 1/2 A pedal or split tuning on string 5. Using split tuning with the B to Bb knee lever also allows you to do nice b5 triads.

http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Tab/Tab651.pdf

http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Tab/Tab14.jpg

http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Tab/Tab356.pdf

http://www.gregcutshaw.com/Tab/Tab533.pdf


Sound files on this page:

http://www.gregcutshaw.com/C6th%20On%20E9th/C6th%20On%20E9th.html
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Bengt Erlandsen

 

From:
Brekstad, NORWAY
Post  Posted 15 Jun 2020 3:30 am    
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Quote:
Strings 4 5 6 With the "A" Pedal 1/2 way along with pedal B and lowering the E's is my favorite way to play a diminish triad.


Ditto to that.

If I go from A+B and tilt my left knee/leg w a stiff ankle to engage LKL(E's to Eb) then B pedal kinda acts like a pivot point and Im gonna end up at the half-pedaled A + B + lowered E's. I did spend some time adjusting levers to match my playing position for this to work effortlessly.

This diminished allows for some really nice 4 string grips on the middle strings and there is a super useful combination at the fret in between where you find the two 6th type voicings with E's lowered and the A+B pedal 2 frets above. Soooo smoooth connection between those two positions.


There is also a nice 4 voiced half-diminished voicing with half-pedaled A and E's to F on strings 9 8 6 5 worth checking out.

B.Erlandsen
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