Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

how hard is playing a pedal steel in reality?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by eddiewagner, May 23, 2006.

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  1. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Iowa USA
    Admin Post
    EVERY PSG player I know is off-kilter.

    (Most of them are proud of it.)


  2. telemasher

    telemasher TDPRI Member

    Apr 29, 2010
    perryton texas
    As a guitar player I thought that I could pick it up no problem. Wrong!! It's really a different animal altogether. Chord inversions are not really similarlly located. For me the bottom line was lack of time to play it. To me its like fiddle players you are either real good or stay home and practice, no middle ground. Just my experience.

  3. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    I dabbled in pedal steel guitar in the early 80's. I found it fairly easy to learn basic stuff on. But I also think it is one of the most difficult instruments to truly master. Guys like Buddy Emmons are the elite of the elite. True, genuine, bona fide, certified, parking space validated, monster player.


  4. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
    YUP :D:D:D:D:D

  5. tele salivas

    tele salivas Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 5, 2008
    Hey Lerb, are you still playing the Carter?

  6. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

    Nov 28, 2006
    But to paraphrase Jerry Garcia, I would need a whole other lifetime to learn how to play it.

    Funny, I love his unconventional pedal steel style.

    When my Grandma died, I was left a small sum of money, with which I bought a used Carter Starter from Billy Cooper in Orange, Va, which is near me.

    Some day I hope to give it its due, but until then it waits in its case. Way too much going on now to get to it.

  7. TeleTim911

    TeleTim911 Friend of Leo's

    Sep 28, 2009
    Calera, Alabama
    I bought one years ago for almost nothing because it didn't work. Got it home and found a broken wire to the output. Fixed that, it was fine. This was back before computers! It was a chore finding out how to tune it.

    I got it tuned up...and spent about three months driving my family nuts. I don't remember how many pedals and levers and strings it had....but I realized that after spending hours upon hours of trying to figure it out, it was not for me. I sold it for like 3 times what I got it for.

    I now have a high admiration for those that can play one.

  8. maccampbells

    maccampbells Tele-Meister

    May 15, 2009
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Easy to learn, hard to master.

  9. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
    Yup! I've still got that MIM 50's Classic Esquire Bridge Pickup in it too.

    I recently bought a Fender 1000/2000 Pedal Steel pickup from the early 60's. It's too wide for the pickup route so I'm trying to discover the best method of installation.

  10. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    The North Coast
    Duct tape!:D

  11. GregB

    GregB Tele-Holic

    Apr 12, 2010
    Colfax Ca.
    You don't need no stink'n pedals

    Red and Cindy kickin' it.

  12. scottrollick

    scottrollick TDPRI Member

    Nov 29, 2011
    Northwest, Louisiana
    I can never decide if I want to learn pedal steel, or learn to fly a helicopter. Seriously though, I think if you really like it, you should go for it because love of sound can conquer the physical challenges. I've only sat at one once and it reminded me of playing drums a little, though more intricate with the picking hand. I think it's do-able, though I haven't done it. Also, think of the work you could get if you became competent at it. Guitar players are less than a penny per dozen. PSG's? Endangered species.

  13. ' burn 08

    ' burn 08 Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 26, 2011
    Decatur, AL
    I've always wanted to learn. I absoutely love the sound of pedal steel. I just can't afford one, not even a cheaper one, right now. I will probably get a lap steel relatively soon, as soon as I can come up with around an extra $200.00. I play a decent amount of slide in open tunings and standard. So i think i ca make the transition to lap steel. I've only played one once, a month or two ago. It wa stuned in open g and I just hit some of my regular slide licks on it and it wasn't bad at all. Could have been better. But not bad. I want to check out those jazzy 6 tunings though. Of course, I have far from mastered the guitar. So I have to ask myself, do I want to be mediocre at multiple instruments, or really good at one?

  14. emu!

    emu! Poster Extraordinaire

    You got to:

    ...pick the proper 3 strings out of the 10 available...
    ...and use your audio pitch talent to place the bar over the proper faux-fret...
    ...and step on one, sometimes two pedals...
    ...and push a lever with your knee to the right or the left...
    ...and use the volume pedal to keep the sound ringing...

    all at the same time for EACH AND EVERY chord.

    Not to mention the difficulty of playing a melody during the solo...

  15. Anchoret

    Anchoret Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2004
    And my money says he still can't play the thing. :D

    Pedal steel players are born, not made, I swear.

    Normal humans can't even play a B-Bender.

  16. Fret Wilkes

    Fret Wilkes Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

    Mar 23, 2003
    Harmony, R.I.
    Years ago I remember thinking "can someone please explain this large wooden necklace I'm wearing?"

  17. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    How hard is playing a pedal steel in reality?

    Not as hard as preventing new members from resurrecting almost 6 year old zombies ... :oops:

  18. jmaul

    jmaul Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 7, 2008
    This is interesting. My pop has a saying, "it takes ten years to get ten years of experience."

    Based on some of the people I've worked with, I'd modify that to it taking AT LEAST ten years.

    2000 hours is roughly one year of "full time" work.

  19. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

    we're kind of pondering the whole zombie thing... so, stand by... sorry to appear like we're not consistent, we're just trying to figure out the best paths... we get that it is an old thread...

  20. Telemarkman

    Telemarkman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    Fine with me ... I can easily see how it's a losing battle. ;)

    Won't mention "zombie" again - unless Paul decides to stick to his current decision that is ... :D

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