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Author Topic:  Left Heel
Brent Warshaw


From:
Connecticut, USA
Post Posted 6 Feb 2018 5:39 pm     Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I am a beginning steel player (15+ years of six string). When I started, I would simply move my left foot away from the pedals when I wasn't pressing down. But now, I've learned you are supposed to keep the left heel grounded at all times, which makes sense, but I find it just about physically impossible to do without moving myself far away from the instrument. Otherwise, I am always pressing on the pedals whether I want to or not.

I acquired a used GFI student model. I don't think there have been any alterations to the instrument. If I stand at a comfortable distance from the guitar for picking purposes, I feel like my left foot is "jammed" and I have to use all of my strength to keep my left foot raised while my heel remains grounded. It feels extremely uncomfortable. Either, I am doing something completely wrong or I need to somehow get used to it. Please advise.
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Danny Letz


From:
Old Glory,Texas, USA 79540
Post Posted 6 Feb 2018 6:05 pm     Reply with quote

I think S10 guitars are a little worse about that than D 10's and SD 10's because you have to push up under the guitar farther to reach the knee levers. Maybe move a little bit farther to your right under the guitar if your knees will allow. I know of several people that have trouble getting their ankles to do right. I don't really have a problem with the pedals. I actually have more trouble with the volume pedal under S 10's but I get used to it. Maybe you will train yourself to do better with more time.

Last edited by Danny Letz on 7 Feb 2018 11:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bobby D. Jones


From:
West Virginia, USA
Post Posted 6 Feb 2018 8:36 pm     Left Heel Reply with quote

This is sometimes a problem to work around.
The first Used factory steel I had was a MSA S10. The way someone had cured the problem was arranged the knee levers so you have to set right of center of the guitar.
Another thing that will help is adjust the pedals closer to the floor, ( Make sure they do not hit the floor or carpet before hitting their stop}.
Another way is a higher heel shoes, (Cowboy Boots).

You will have to make yourself or you will not want to set and practice seriously. Good Luck & Happy Steelin.
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Tim Russell


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 6 Feb 2018 10:37 pm     Reply with quote

I haven't played an S10 for many years, but now that you mention this, I remember the feeling too. If I recall, I got used to the feeling fairly quickly. Maybe if you are a very tall guy, it might feel more cramped.

You could also install flags on the knee levers allowing you for a little "wiggle" room. And, as Bobby suggested, you may be able to adjust the pedal rods a bit. However, you will probably get used to it and adapt in a short amount of time as your calf muscles begin to loosen up and stretch! Laughing
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Dave Meis


From:
Washington, USA
Post Posted 6 Feb 2018 11:47 pm     Reply with quote

+1 on lowering your pedals. Boots help me..without them, my ankle angle on the volume pedal is so 'heel down' I can't do it. Everyone is built a little different! Smile
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 7 Feb 2018 3:03 am     Re: Left Heel Reply with quote

Brent Warshaw wrote:
If I stand at a comfortable distance from the guitar for picking purposes, I feel like my left foot is "jammed".

If you meant that then your post makes more sense than if (as most respondents have assumed) you are seated.
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Danny Letz


From:
Old Glory,Texas, USA 79540
Post Posted 7 Feb 2018 11:14 am     Reply with quote

I edited my first post to say move to the right like Bobby said. I guess I was getting sleepy when I wrote that?
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Brent Warshaw


From:
Connecticut, USA
Post Posted 8 Feb 2018 6:15 pm     Re: Left Heel Reply with quote

Ian Rae wrote:
Brent Warshaw wrote:
If I stand at a comfortable distance from the guitar for picking purposes, I feel like my left foot is "jammed".

If you meant that then your post makes more sense than if (as most respondents have assumed) you are seated.


Sorry, I meant sitting.
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Charley Bond


From:
Inola, OK, USA
Post Posted 12 Feb 2018 5:04 pm     too close to the guitar Reply with quote

I sorta had that problem, so I did a workaround that moved me back away from my guitar. I added a Pad, One thing to note is the Sierra Pedal Steel has all the knee levers at the back of the guitar.


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Chris Walke


From:
St Charles, IL
Post Posted 13 Feb 2018 6:53 am     Reply with quote

I pull my foot away from the pedals fairly often - it's enough of a habit that I don't always realize I'm doing it, and when I return my foot it seems I have developed enough muscle memory that I don't have to think about that too much either.

I'm sure it's a bad habit, I have lots of those when I play psg. I try to convince myself that my limitations define my "style." Laughing
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Richard Sinkler


From:
Oakdale, California
Post Posted 13 Feb 2018 10:07 am     Reply with quote

I used to not have my heel "planted" on the floor. In fact, if I was playing a song where I had to hit a pedal very fast, my foot would "hover" over the pedals like a helicopter. Still do it at times (over 30 years later).

There is nothing on the PSG that you HAVE to do a certain way. If something works for you, DO IT. An example, saying you have to sit with your body centered at the 15th fret. I center at the 17th fret, and often move my center point during a gig or even during a song. But it's usually between the 13th and 19th fret.

Another example is blocking. When I started in 1971, there were no teachers around, and definitely no internet. I was pretty good at pick blocking, then someone told me that pick blocking was taboo. So, I painstakingly learned to palm block and stop pick blocking. Then Paul Franklin came along and pick blocking was cool. Then I had to relearn pick blocking.
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Chris Walke


From:
St Charles, IL
Post Posted 14 Feb 2018 7:28 am     Reply with quote

Richard Sinkler wrote:
I used to not have my heel "planted" on the floor. In fact, if I was playing a song where I had to hit a pedal very fast, my foot would "hover" over the pedals like a helicopter. Still do it at times (over 30 years later).


Yup. In another 20 or so years, I'll be saying the same thing, I think.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 14 Feb 2018 8:01 am     Reply with quote

I had the same problem. Cowboy boots with a walking heel solved it. I like my pedals high. I have a 2” lift kit on my S10. I like everything high.
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Larry Bressington


From:
Kearney Nebraska
Post Posted 15 Feb 2018 6:50 pm     Reply with quote

You could stiffen your pedal action slightly so that you rest your feet on the pedals just a touch? Or draw your foot back.. or slip it off to the left on verses you are not filling.

If you like to chord pad, use string groups that allow you to rest your feet and pedals down ala...C chord fret 3 string group 865 pedals down, f or dm pedals still down strings 976 blah blah, just leave em down when padding and regroup your chords, it gives the old heel a rest, then you can lay one down when you get the nod without being exhausted.
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