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Post new topic Left knee levers--shift 'em toward the middle?
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Author Topic:  Left knee levers--shift 'em toward the middle?
Bill Llewellyn


From:
San Jose, CA
Post  Posted 16 Mar 2002 8:10 am    
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It's a little hard to make out, but you can see my MSA U12 left knee levers are pretty well over to the left. Have a look at http://www.rahul.net/thinker/pedalsteel.html That's fine for A and B pedal work, but when I use the other pedals (which I don't do much yet) I have to angle my left foot to the right while I keep my left knee to the left. That is in contrast to, for example, John Hughey's pedal setup, which has the left knee levers further to the right and which allows him to sit with his knees almost straight out in front of him. John Hughey can be seen here: http://imagehost.auctionwatch.com/bin/viewimage.x/00000000/jmweir/Hughey1.JPG I've seen arrangements like John's elsewhere--in fact, it may be pretty standard.

So here's my question: Would it be better to have my left knee levers shifted more toward the center of the guitar? I don't really have a place to go where I can try out other steels set up this way to see if I like it, I need to draw from the collective long-distance wisdom here. There must be a reason folks like Mr. Hughey do it this way.

Thanks!

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Bill L | My steel page | Email | My music | Steeler birthdays | Over 50?
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Joerg Hennig


From:
Bavaria, Germany
Post  Posted 16 Mar 2002 8:49 am    
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Well it looks like Mr. Hughey is playing his C6 neck on the photo and the levers close to his left knee are those that work exclusively on that neck and thatīs why they have been shifted to the middle, to be more accessible when your foot is above pedals 4 to 8. Itīs often done like that on guitars with multiple levers for C6. Remember, his is a double neck.
I understand the problem that you have, Bill, is that on your single-neck guitar the LKR lever gets in the way when you want to play on pedals 4 to 7. On the S-12 that I still have, the Dekley, that lever has been shifted noticeable to the right for that very reason. On those guitars that is quite easy to do since there is a row of pre-drilled holes where the crossbars can be put into. Iīm not familiar with MSAīs but Iīve heard they are somewhat similar in construction. Check out how the crossbars are attached.

Good luck, Joe H.

[This message was edited by Joe Henry on 16 March 2002 at 08:51 AM.]

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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post  Posted 16 Mar 2002 9:01 am    
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I've got the C6th bug right now and am planning to add a set of knee pedals to the center of my Emmons LeGrande II for this neck. I'm hoping it will help in positioning my left foot over the right foot pedals also.
I feel that this is the way to go. Also, by taking the C6th string pulls off the E9th knee levers, it should also make them easier to work.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 16 Mar 2002 4:16 pm    
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Bill, my solution to the problem was simple. I put discrete left-knee levers for both necks on my MSA as soon as I bought it. E9th levers are on the left side, and the C6th levers are near center. I lose the advantage of having more levers on each neck, but the added playing comfort is a fair trade-off, as far as I'm concerned. I'll leave all those "contorted left leg" maneuvers to the younger guys!

[This message was edited by Donny Hinson on 16 March 2002 at 04:17 PM.]

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Al Marcus


From:
Cedar Springs,MI USA (deceased)
Post  Posted 16 Mar 2002 7:34 pm    
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Hi Bill, on my single 12 my LKR is over to the right so I can play the 6th side. My LLK and LKV work the E9 side over the A and B pedals. Works good.

Builders ought to pay attention to these things. On a S12 ALWAYS put the LKR a little more to the right! (But NOT the LKL)...al
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Peter


Post  Posted 17 Mar 2002 2:15 pm    
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Hi Bill, I checked out my U12 and I can see your point. However, I decided against moving my LKL lever (Eb to D) as this one is used mostly with the ABC pedals. I also decided against enabling my disabled LKR lever because I have a very long LV vertical lever(B to Bb) which can be used together with any of the 7 floor pedals.There is no LKR to get in the way.

Bill, I noticed in the picture that you may be wearing soft slippers. I presume you do this to feel the pedals better. I did the same for a long time, and I found that I was very "timid" with the pedals. As soon as I used firmer footwear, I got a more positive approach on the pedals. The first few days I felt very insecure but after practicing a while it got much better. Now it doesn't matter what I wear. I recommend you try the same. (I am originally from Holland, but I don't recommend wooden shoes... ask Johan J.)
Randy Pettit


From:
North Texas USA
Post  Posted 17 Mar 2002 2:40 pm    
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Bill, for a reference point, my LKR on my S-12 is positioned directly under the 8th fret. I have the B/Bb lower (string 5) change on LKR which I use a lot while playing pedals 4-7, so it doesn't hinder getting my leg over to use those pedals.
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Bill Llewellyn


From:
San Jose, CA
Post  Posted 17 Mar 2002 2:42 pm    
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Peter,

Interesting that you noticed the slippers! That's exactly what I wear to practice 100% of the time. A few weeks ago I played my first public gig in walking shoes instead (which are really tennis shoes or sneakers). The thicker and wider bottoms of the walking shoes threw me off in pedal use. The next time I played out I used rubber soled leather shoes which are much more like the slippers and things went better. I think I'd better start practicing in the walking shoes. What amazes me is seeing guys playing in stocking feet. Doesn't that hurt?

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Bill L | My steel page | Email | My music | Steeler birthdays | Over 50?
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Peter


Post  Posted 20 Mar 2002 1:13 pm    
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Hi Bill, if your guitar is set up properly, it will be easy to play in stocking feet. I have seen Ton Masseurs in Holland playing like that. His only complaint was cold feet because there is always a "draft" wind on stage.
If you want advice on shoes, ask Lloyd Green...he used to be a shoe-peddler.
Winnie Winston


From:
Tawa, Wellington, NZ * R.I.P.
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2002 4:32 pm    
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When I first saw John Hughey many years ago he had NO LKR, but had two LKL (inside and outside) and a LKV on the E9th neck. He said this allowed him to move between the necks without re-adjusting his seating position.
On my S-12, the first pedal is in line with the nut, and the LKL is in line with the 3rd fret.
As for shoes... yes. A stiffer sole allows a bit more positive action. I do play barefoot at times or with just soft house-slippers on and I have no problem -- but my Kline has very soft pedal action, and the pedals have no sharp edges...

Winnie
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Jeff A. Smith


From:
Angola,Ind. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2002 4:59 pm    
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Hi Bill-

That's a nice new picture. I've been into the slipper thing too. Did you decide that they weren't appropriate attire for playing in church?

It may not be relevant, and you already may be aware of this, but John Hughey uses the Day setup for his E9 pedals. I get to see him at the Michigan Convention in April. (Yea!)
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John Russell


From:
Austin, Texas
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2002 7:25 pm    
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I don't know if this got mentioned before, but if you lower your Es with your LKR lever (that's standard on either a single or double neck) then your left leg is in position to work the floor pedals on the right. If your legs aren't long enough, maybe you should adjust the steel guitar's legs.

I play a S12U and it's no problem to reach the pedals that need to be reached with the E to Eb lever engaged. Also on most models you can adjust the position of the levers to move them into position. If yours doesn't have this adjustment, there are plenty of steel guitar techs who have knee levers that will adjust to fit.

Pedal steel guitars are all different and each player needs to have it adjusted to fit much like buying a new suit.

--JR
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Tom Gorr


From:
Three Hills, Alberta
Post  Posted 20 Mar 2002 8:00 pm    
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On my MSA S-12, I went to a 5x5 setup that is a variant of the U12-5x5 described on the Carter Website.

P3 is centered in the space between the left knee levers, so reaching P1 to P5 is easy.

One of the key aspects of the 5x5 is that the normal P3 change becomes P1 plus a lever (E-F#). I greatly prefer E-F# on its own, since it has it's own uses independant of P1.
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