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Post new topic All chords available from my copedant
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Author Topic:  All chords available from my copedant
Trevor Marshall

Amesbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Post Posted 31 Oct 2010 3:09 pm     Reply with quote

I've just joined the forum & am just starting out on pedal steel guitar. I've sort of wanted to get one for years & bought the set of Steel Guitarist magazines from Tom Bradshaw and a Brad Sarno Steel Guitar Black Box (which is great for many things) years ago, both of which interested and encouraged me to continue.
I have now bought an old Bennett D10 8x7 which I've fixed up and I am really enjoying trying to understand all the possibilities. I don't think there are any other instruments where you can easily slur two or more notes at once, simultaneously up and down against a pedal tone.
I have played 6 string guitar & other instruments (self taught) for up to 30 years & know over 1000 songs so I want to learn how to play some of these songs on PSG.
I am trying to learn on two main fronts. One is from instructional material & watching/listening to experienced players & records and trying to understand the evolution of the instrument, why it's tuned the way it is & why certain copedant layouts have become popular, what licks and pockets are useful, sound great etc. So I've bought every PSG book I can find & also got some CD & DVD courses - I've found it much more difficult to find C6th material but have found some & am starting to fathom it out.
The second is to logically/mentally understand the instrument so I can work out how to play it in my own improvisational way using chord progressions, scales etc. Thus I want to learn all the main chord positions possible, know which strings I can use for each for improvising & which ones to add for extensions, passing tones, scales etc. so I can play the songs I already know the chords to straight off. Also to analyse what chords I can't play with my copedant & what changes would be useful to add in the future. I haven't found a comprehensive analysis of this so far - there seem to be plenty of chord charts around but they have frustrating gaps and inconsistencies...
To this end I made a spreadsheet where I can enter any tuning/copedant and chart out all the chords possible. This has really demystified the instrument for me (although it still seems fairly complex & I still have the co-ordination and motor skills to learn).

I'm sorry if this post is just repeating what's already been done loads of times but I haven't found it anywhere yet. I've probably reinvented the wheel for the umpteenth time but I've found this more useful than anything I've found so far so wanted to share it with other beginners. Any additional advice & recommendations on learning this interesting instrument welcome.

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Dickie Whitley

Post Posted 31 Oct 2010 4:19 pm     Reply with quote


Last edited by Dickie Whitley on 30 Aug 2013 8:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bob Hoffnar

Austin, Tx
Post Posted 31 Oct 2010 6:43 pm     Reply with quote

I have found Joe Wright's spreadsheet to be invaluable in my learning the neck. I use it all the time.

He also teaches one on one via skype these days. It would be well worth it to work with him.
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Trevor Marshall

Amesbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Post Posted 8 Nov 2010 4:02 pm     Reply with quote

I've had some questions so maybe I should have explained it. You could initially think of it as all based on open position on each neck (E&C) - then the same relationships can be used at any fret where you place your bar.
The chords you can play are named depending on which root note you choose and can be modified by selection of strings played & modified by pedals and knee levers. So "E=1; C=1" refers to the E9 & C6 necks respectively & show the chord notes based on the scale numbers for the root positions.
Thus on each neck the numbers are as follows for root position E&C respectively:

Number Scale # E9 neck C6 neck
-12 7

-11 1 E C
-10 b9 F C#
-9 2/9 F# D
-8 b3 G Eb
-7 3 G# E
-6 4/11 A F
-5 b5 Bb F#
-4 5 B G
-3 #5 C G#
-2 6/13 C# A
-1 b7 D Bb
0 7 Eb B
1 1 E C

Then there would be a separate table like this for the other 11 scale relationships (total 12 notes in chromatic scale). The numbers are used for the spreadsheet calculation. This is the reason for the 12 separate worksheet attachments "E=1; C=1" etc. up the scale.

e.g. on the E9 neck root position, E=1 (root), G#=3 (third) and B=5 (fifth); with A&B pedals down A=1 so refer to the "A=1;F=1" sheet & the scale numbers change accordingly.
You can thus see all the chords available with every string & pedal/knee lever combination for each root note in each position. Thus every chord playable on your PSG can be seen based on the scale numbers.
As you move the bar up for each root position, the scale number relationships stay the same, but the key changes according to the fret position.
Sorry the tables came out so small they're difficult to read - you can zoom in under View but they've come out a bit fuzzy.
I can send the spreadsheet to anyone who wants a copy.
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Dave Grafe

Portland, Oregon, USA
Post Posted 9 Nov 2010 8:18 pm     Reply with quote

I applaud your approach, it's always good to work out a visual relationship to document things that might otherwise get lost quickly as we learn...but wait, there's more! As you absorb this information with practice you will eventually want to work out all the chords on your E9 neck that have the 7th, 9th and 10th strings as the root, then after that there are the partial chords available sans root (which the bass will be playing anyway). The best part is that when you have masterd all of this there's still lots more to figure out on just the E9 setup, never mind all of the possibilities of your back neck.

Good start, don't stop no matter what and you'll do just fine Smile
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