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Author Topic:  D6th Chromatic Tuning with E9th Changes
b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 31 Dec 2021 1:12 pm    
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I've converted my Desert Rose S-10 to a D6th Chromatic tuning, with E9th and C6th changes all working off of the same root note: D. I discovered that my original copedent for it was a bit wrong on the right knee levers once I started actually playing it. This is what I've ended up with.


It's nice to have an extra ringing scale note on the high strings, and to be able to strum major, minor and 7th chords on the low strings. Here's how the string intervals match up against C6th and E9th:

The top 7 strings are the same as Johnny Cox's 12-string D13th. Johnny's tuning is based on E9th; this is based on C6th. My 5+5 copedent has some personal quirks that are embedded in muscle memory. The D6th Chromatic tuning could be set up on a more standard S-10 4+5 with a nod to how E9th levers are typically arranged:

This has been a very enlightening project for me. I'll be giving the guitar its first real test drive with a band on Sunday, and I hope to do a couple of videos of it in the new year. Thanks for following. Smile
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Last edited by b0b on 1 Jan 2022 5:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Sonny Jenkins


From:
New Braunfels, Tx. 78130
Post  Posted 1 Jan 2022 4:36 pm    
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b0b,,,I think the beauty of what you've done with this concept is yet to be realized. To me this could very well replace the 3 pedal 4 lever psg as the new standard that REALLY brings both necks together,,,,no,,,not ALL of both necks,,or maybe not even the "best" of both necks,,,but the basics,,the essentials of both necks. Unfortunately steel guitar players,,,like most all people are "stuck" in tradition,,,in "yesterday",,,,what some BIG NAME plays. To me this should be the "basic" guitar offered by the builders,,,,If I were 40 years younger and building PSG's,,,this would definitely be my basic guitar that I offered for sale.
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Andrew Goulet


Post  Posted 1 Jan 2022 5:37 pm    
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Very interesting, I'll have to do a deeper dive on this.

In the second diagram, P3 doesn't raise the A note; is this intentional?
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 1 Jan 2022 5:53 pm    
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Andrew Goulet wrote:
Very interesting, I'll have to do a deeper dive on this.

In the second diagram, P3 doesn't raise the A note; is this intentional?

Yes. It's a standard C6th pedal. Most uses of the E9th "C" pedal are for the 4th string raise. If you really need that B note, you can get it on the 2nd string.

By the way, I would swap LKR and RKL in the 4 pedal chart. There are advantages. I just made the chart that way so that people could see the similarities with E9th.

Also, in playing I've realized that it's better to get the low A note on the 9th string. I've updated both charts to reflect that.
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Andrew Goulet


Post  Posted 3 Jan 2022 8:31 am    
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Ah I see. I'm thinking I need to learn more about C6 changes for my D6 S12. I don't really use that A raise on the C pedal and could use an extra way to get minor chords or a major 7th. I know the basic uses of E9 changes but almost nothing about C6 changes.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 3 Jan 2022 8:39 am    
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Sonny Jenkins wrote:
To me this should be the "basic" guitar offered by the builders,,,,If I were 40 years younger and building PSG's,,,this would definitely be my basic guitar that I offered for sale.

I'm not so sure about that. It's very versatile, but I don't see it becoming a standard. There's just so much instructional material for E9th, and that's the sound that attracts people to the instrument.

One thing that's sort of disorienting (to me): The 3rd and 5th notes of the scale aren't on the middle strings. They are the 5th and 6th strings in both E9th and C6th, and they are even in the middle on my 8-string non-pedal tunings. It feels strange to have them "lower".
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2022 8:49 am    
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The half-step lower on second string is essential for E9th-ish playing. The full step lower, not so much. I always put it on RKR.

The C6th half-step raise A to Bb is also essential. On D6th it's B to C. I always have it on RKR.

D6th Chromatic has both of those strings. It's very useful to lower string 2 without raising string 5. Johnny Cox explained to me that you can use the split tuning screw to keep a string from moving any further past the half-stop. Following that advice, I've implemented this:
Tab:
        RKR
1 E
2 C#   -C/C
3 F#
4 D
5 B     B/+C
6 A
7 F#
8 D
9 B    +C/C#
10 G

I don't really use the low C# on string 9, but the half-stop point makes a real pretty 13th chord like on E9th with the A pedal. Very Happy

I know I've promised some sound samples, but I'm still dialing things in and learning to play it. Here's the current chart. Thanks for tolerating my obsession. Smile


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Tom Gorr

 

From:
Three Hills, Alberta
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2022 1:50 pm    
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I love seeing alternate copeds.

On my 5x5 Uni, I found the pedal order of A,B, P6, P5 to be preferable with the B and P6 adjacent, as it greatly expanded the intuitiveness of the coped, and once had the thought that this order operated like the circle of 5ths, in a vague way that I didn't spend the time to define from theory as I play by ear.

Of course, it causes the other issue, that P5 and P6 in that order is going to be really hard to convince people to part with because if there is anything fixed in steel coped - it that. There is no "Day" version of P5 and P6 to be discussed.

I know B plays with P5, but not like B plays with P6.

Overall, I think its a very good coped, bob, I'd like to hear how it ends up voicing in a band context, so looking forward to the clips.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2022 5:24 pm    
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Tom - You shift into "B6th mode" on your Uni by lowering the E strings, correct? Here, the "p6" (my p4) is almost superfluous. I can get the same notes with the tunable split B+LKR. Since I'm working from a D6th open tuning, the open chord is G9th (on C6th it's F9th). My reason for keeping the C6th's p5 p6 pedal order is based in C6th tradition, where those pedals are the home position. I'd have to think too hard to change it.
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Tom Gorr

 

From:
Three Hills, Alberta
Post  Posted 1 Feb 2022 9:09 pm    
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I normally have the Es lowered except when I use P6.

Yes- that extra change gets it done and you get the benefit of B+P5 also, so - yep... pretty flexible.

Switching to out of order standards is definitely the way to play songs "differently"
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Andrew Frost


From:
Toronto, Ontario
Post  Posted 10 Feb 2022 12:23 am    
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Quote:
I don't really use the low C# on string 9, but the half-stop point makes a real pretty 13th chord like on E9th with the A pedal.


I was wondering about this on your previous charts. You had the low and middle B's both going up a half step simultaneously, which has its own musical logic, but having the option of a b7 on the bottom ( C ) and the maj6/13 in the middle ( B ) seems like a better way to go. Can you still raise both B's up a half to C or does the bottom one end up C#?
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 10 Feb 2022 6:09 am    
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That’s a problem I wish I could solve, Andrew. I can keep the 2nd string from lowering further by stopping it with the split tuning screw, but there’s no similar stop for the raise on the 9th string. Any ideas?

I tried to simply abandon the middle B to C raise - it's not strictly necessary - but I use it a lot in my playing. What I'd really like is, after the stop, to raise it to C and lower the 9th string back to B.
Tab:
      RKR
 E
 C#  -C/
 F#
 D
 B     /+C
 A
 F#
 D
 B   +C/-B
 G

Buddy's C6th A to Bb lever doesn't raise the the low A, just the middle one. It makes a great 7b9 chord with p8, one of the most useful chords in jazz.
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Jay Jessup


From:
Charlottesville, VA, USA
Post  Posted 24 Feb 2022 1:20 pm    
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OK b0b, I'll bite on this one! I've got a GFI S-10 keyless that I was planning to sell but now I've ordered a 5'th pedal kit for it and will put your latest D6'th version on it. I'm also going to reinstall the Telonics X-10 pup I had on it before.
In my on and off steel pursuit over the years I've tried the 6'th tone between the 5 and 1 at least three if not four times but always eventually bailed on it. I have never tried to play E9 style stuff without the b7 on the 9'th string so I know I'm in for a challenge!
Even though I have tried numerous tunings through the years including both Maurice's Bb6 and Zane Beck's E13 I've always turned back to E9/C6 in the end so no telling where I will wind up with this but very much looking forward to the adventure. As I age doing more with less has always been on my mind and I know Johnny Cox had that thought as well with his new S-12 tuning.
Thanks for the thought and time you have put into this and do keep us updated if your tuning evolves.
Jay
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 1 Mar 2022 7:19 pm     D6th Chromatic sound demo
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I finally recorded a song on it. This is a demo of a familiar 70's tune. The hit record is on the right, my steel is on the left. The original cut isn't pedal steel - I'm pretty sure it's a B-bender guitar. I tried to nail the solo (excuse that one note). Everything else is just comping in the style. The third verse has strumming of major and minor chords on the low strings, something that you rarely hear on E9th.

https://soundhost.net/peaceful-eagles/
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Bob Carlucci

 

From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 2 Mar 2022 4:44 am    
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Very cool tuning indeed Bob... btw, you did nail that solo.. I was waiting for a few clams to pop up, but they never materialized! The steel itself had interesting tone. Almost had a vintage lap guitar kind of vibe. I noticed you kept the signal dry as well.. no reverb etc. I liked it a lot!!
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 2 Mar 2022 7:38 am    
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Bob Carlucci wrote:
The steel itself had interesting tone. Almost had a vintage lap guitar kind of vibe. I noticed you kept the signal dry as well.. no reverb etc. I liked it a lot!!

Thanks, Bob. It's a Desert Rose Vintage Pro with a Telonics X10 pickup through the Strymon Iridium's Fender 2x10. Desert Rose guitars have a unique tone. I think the secret is in the tail piece and changer mount block. Just a guess. That's the most unique part of the guitar. I heard that same "vibe" with the original pickup and with the single coil on my previous Desert Rose.

The 8-string D6th copedent I used on the earlier Desert Rose was very similar. It didn't have the top two "chromatic" strings or the E9th-like LKR. You can hear it on Soundcloud. Everything on that song list can be played on the D6th Chromatic.



It's an evolution... Very Happy
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 2 Mar 2022 5:16 pm     Final Revision?
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Getting the right combination for RKR has been a puzzle, but I think I got it now. A lot of melodic work requires lowering the 2nd string a half step (C# to C) leaving the 5th string (B) untouched. But a lot of C6th and blues raises the 5th string a half step (the A to Bb lever on C6th). Lastly, the 9th string needs to have both the B and C notes for a variety of reasons.

The E9th copedent typically has a half-stop on the 2nd string lower, but this guitar doesn't have the half-step parts installed. I don't need the full-step lower B anyway because I already have a B on the 5th string. I can use the split-tuning screw to firmly stop the second string even if I overshoot the lever. With that note firmly in place, the timing of the 5th and 9th string raises (both B's to C) for the "feel" is not nearly so critical.

Best of all, this matches up with my mental reflexes. I've been lowering the E9th 2nd string a half-step on RKR for many years, and I've always had my D6th B to C on that lever. This gives me both. I made the change this afternoon and it feels perfect.


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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 3 Mar 2022 11:31 pm     Another sound demo
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Here's another demo of me playing along to a hit record. I always enjoyed Dan Dugmore's original steel part on this song. The original is on the right, I'm on the left. I like how in the key of E sits at the 2nd fret. Listen the rhythm comps in the 2nd verse and that low growl in the bridge.

This was recorded and mixed on the Zoom R8. The Desert Rose S-10 is running through a Strymon DIG for the delay effect and a Strymon Iridium for the Fender amp emulation.

https://soundhost.net/martina-angels/

I recorded this to show how the copedent sounds in a (sort of) modern country context. Mr. Green I didn't use the inside D6th pedals at all. I used p1, p2, LKL, LKV, and RKR - the "A", "B", "C", "D", and "F" changes of the E9th.
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Bas Kapitein

 

From:
Holland
Post  Posted 6 Mar 2022 8:41 am    
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Very convincing. And the best thing about this copedent, I notice, is the fact that you can use standard E9 or C6 tab (with some adjustment of course)
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Rich Peterson


From:
Moorhead, MN
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2022 3:57 am    
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Will have a fat sound with lowest string gauge a .013. But wondering how to implement the RKR on my MSA Classic. Is the half stop necessary?
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 11 Mar 2022 10:35 am    
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Bas Kapitein wrote:
Very convincing. And the best thing about this copedent, I notice, is the fact that you can use standard E9 or C6 tab (with some adjustment of course)
C6th tab works well. You usually just need to move everything down 2 frets. Some mental gymnastics are necessary for E9th tab because the open tuning is very different below the 4th string.

Rich Peterson wrote:
Will have a fat sound with lowest string gauge a .013. But wondering how to implement the RKR on my MSA Classic. Is the half stop necessary?
No, not at all. Without the half stop, I wouldn't raise that middle B string. There are some really pretty scale runs with string 2 lowered at the V chord position.
Tab:
  D major scale
E _________7__________________________
C#_______________7b___________________
F#__7#--7_____________________________
D ____________7_______________________
B __________________7_________________
A _____________________7______________
F#________________________7#__________
D ____________________________________
B ____________________________________
G ____________________________________

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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 14 Mar 2022 4:08 pm    
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Here's another demo, a song by Solid Air (Allegra Broughton and Sam Page), used by permission. They like what I did with it. Very Happy The original track (panned right) is from a Tiny House concert on Facebook. I added the D6th Chromatic steel part (panned left). The song is in A, so notes at the 7th and 12th fret really ring out. I took advantage of that. Also, there's a touch of digital delay from the Strymon DIG, fattening up the sound of the Desert Rose.

https://soundhost.net/beautiful-dreamer/

I love Allegra's songs. Check out the chord progression in the chorus: C B7 Bm7b5 A. The C is at the 13th fret (A+F position), and the chords that follow it all ring out so nice at the 12th fret. Cool
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 14 Mar 2022 9:49 pm     Yes, it is a 6th tuning
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I know that the 3 songs posted above don't sound much like a 6th tuning. Here's a jazz tune I wrote called "Wishes". It uses the inside 3 pedals mostly, which are the same as C6th p5, p6, and p7. I think I also used LKL at one point (C6th p8).

https://soundhost.net/wishes-4/
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Andrew Goulet


Post  Posted 16 Mar 2022 4:38 am    
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Good stuff, b0b! I especially like your tone and feel on Wishes.

I've been loving the D6/9 tuning you helped me with several years ago. I recently changed my C pedal to function as a C6 P7 (as you've done) and it's very cool, but I haven't quite figured out/internalized what it's capable of.

One of my primary bands plays swing and classic country, so this tuning lets me get the classic E9 that they want to hear, or switch to a non-pedal 6th tuning for big swing fun, without having to rethink where the chords are. I wouldn't play any other tuning.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA, USA
Post  Posted 1 Apr 2022 8:19 am    
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Here's another sample. This shows how the addition of the major 7th as the 2nd string fills out the scale possibilities on a "Hearts of Space" type of song. It can sound very harp-like. Not a lot of pedal work, mostly just the C6th standard P7 which I have on P5. It raises the 4th and 5th strings D and B a whole step to E and C#.

https://soundhost.net/etherial/

Accompaniment is Band-in-a-Box 2012.5 on an older Mac. Here's a link to the BIAB file for anyone who wants to play along with it: https://soundhost.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Etherial-BIAB.mp3. It's easiest just to think of it as AMaj7 to EMaj7, back and forth, even though the bass is playing F#m to C#m most of the time.
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