10 String Pedal Steel Guitar

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Tuning 10 String Pedal Steel Guitar, 8 String Pedal Steel Guitar & 12 String Pedal Steel Guitar
The pedal steel guitar is usually tuned to either E9 or C6 - or both in the case of a double neck, but there are other tunings. The most common pedal steel guitars have 10 strings, followed by Universal 12 string instruments which purport to offer the same versatility as a double 10 string instrument, 8 stringed instruments were very popular in the 1950s and 1960s, they are less popular nowadays.

Central to the pedal steel guitar is its ability to change tunings mid song with the help of foot pedals and knee levers which change the tension on the open strings thereby altering the tuning. Setting up and tuning a pedal steel can be a daunting task without a special tuner designed for pedal steel guitar tuning. Many seasoned professional steel players “tweak” their tuning to improve their sound; we call this “Sweetened Tuning”.

Because the steel guitar is a fretless instrument, it does not need to conform to the same compromises as regular fretted guitar is subjected to. The flaws of Equal temperament reveal themselves primarilly when major or minor thirds are played, and the long sustained tones produced by the pedal steel guitar show up these flaws more than pretty much any other instrument, many players aim and strive to eliminate these flaws by tuning their steels using special cent offsets for each string. Some players tune “straight up” meaning that the major thirds are sharp and the minor thirds are flat, but most prefer not to forego the sweetness of these intervals and tune them so that they are totally beat-less and consonant.

No matter what method you use, an accurate tuner is a necessity. Peterson Tuners have been used for many decades to tune the open strings, pedals and levers on pedal steel guitars, they are programmable and already feature several preset tuning settings for steel guitars using accepted systems like those originally devised by Jeff Newman and Emmons for E9, C6 and Universal tuning. There is no need to note any settings or use any charts.

Begin with E9 tuning. The first string, if you’re right-handed, is located furthest away from you when sitting behind the steel in the normal playing position, plug your tuner into the steel and select the S-E9 preset.

  1. Pluck to sound the 1st string and observe the tuner display, check that the note “F#” is displayed. With your left hand, adjust the tuning peg to stop the strobe pattern image from moving continuously in any one direction, continue to adjust until the strobe pattern is motionless.
  2. Repeat the above for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th , 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th strings until all strings are tuned.
  3. Use a hex wrench to tune the pedal and lever adjustment hex nuts at the other end of the guitar (changer end). Pedals A,B & C (or 1, 2 & 3) should be tuned as follows.
  4. Engage the Left knee lever to the left and tune strings 4 & 8 to F, engage the lever to the right and tune the same strings to D#. Engage Right knee lever to the left and tune strings 1 & 7 to G, engage the lever to the right and tune strings 2 & 9 to C# & D.
  5. Press pedal #1 and tune strings 5 & 10 to C#, press pedal #2 and tune strings 3 & 6 to A, press pedal 3 and tune strings 4 & 5 to F# & C#.
= Standard Tuning
G4
= G in the 4th octave

10 String Pedal Steel Guitar

I Play This

8 String Pedal Steel Guitar

I Play This

12 String Pedal Steel Guitar

I Play This

B2 D3 E3 F#3 G#3 B3 E4 G#4 D#4 F#4

E9 Tuning

F#2 G#2 B2 D#3 F#3 G#3 B3 D#4

B6 Tuning

B0 E1 G#1 B1 E2 F#2 G#2 B2 E3 G#3 D#4 F#4

Universal E9/B6

C2 F2 A2 C3 E3 G3 A3 C4 E4 D4

C6 Tuning

E2 B2 E3 E3 G#3 B3 D4 E4

E7 Tuning

10 String Pedal Steel Guitar

I Play This

B2 D3 E3 F#3 G#3 B3 E4 G#4 D#4 F#4

E9 Tuning

C2 F2 A2 C3 E3 G3 A3 C4 E4 D4

C6 Tuning

8 String Pedal Steel Guitar

I Play This

F#2 G#2 B2 D#3 F#3 G#3 B3 D#4

B6 Tuning

E2 B2 E3 E3 G#3 B3 D4 E4

E7 Tuning

12 String Pedal Steel Guitar

I Play This

B0 E1 G#1 B1 E2 F#2 G#2 B2 E3 G#3 D#4 F#4

Universal E9/B6

Unlike other tuners which offer no alternative to generic Equal Temperament, Peterson Tuners contain many choices of “Sweetness“, in other words, several degrees of harmony or consonance in a tuning preset. The Sweetener feature is exclusive to Peterson Tuners and there is one for almost any musical instrument.
In the case of the Pedal Steel Guitar Sweeteners (the presets are called SE9, SC6, 0E9, EM9, EM6 & U12), these additional “tweaks” allow the instrument to sound harmonious and consonant as only an expertly tuned instrument can. Some call it “voicing” or optimizing the quality of tone produced by the instrument. Using a Sweetener is simple – your Peterson tuner does the work for you.

SE9
Peterson Pedal Steel Guitar Sweetened Tuning for 10 string pedal steel in E9 tuning. This is based on Jeff Newman's later system where the E strings are sharp of concert pitch.
SP9
Peterson Pedal Steel Guitar Sweetened Tuning for lever and pedal settings in E9 tuning. Use in conjunction with SE9 preset for open strings.
SC6
Peterson Pedal Steel Guitar Sweetened Tuning for 10 string pedal steel in C6 tuning. This is based on Jeff Newman's system (www.jeffran.com)
SP6
Peterson Pedal Steel Guitar Sweetened Tuning for lever and pedal settings in C6 tuning. Use in conjunction with SC6 preset for open strings.
OE9
Peterson Pedal Steel Guitar Sweetened Tuning for 10 String pedal steel in E9 tuning. This is based on Jeff Newman's earlier system where the E strings are at concert pitch.
OP9
Peterson Pedal Steel Guitar Sweetened Tuning for lever and pedal settings in E9 tuning. Use in conjunction with 0E9 preset for open strings based on Jeff Newman's system.
EM9
Peterson Emmons Style E9 Sweetener for pedal steel guitar. This contains the offsets for the open strings for E9 tuning.
EP9
Peterson Emmons Style E9 Sweetener for pedal steel guitar. This contains the pedal and lever offsets for E9 tuning
EM6
Peterson Emmons Style C6 Sweetener for pedal steel guitar. This contains the offsets for the open strings for C6 tuning.
EP6
Peterson Emmons Style C6 Sweetener for pedal steel guitar. This contains the pedal and lever offsets for C6 tuning
U12
Peterson Pedal Steel Guitar Sweetened Tuning for 12 string universal pedal steel guitar in E9/B6 tuning. This contains the offsets for the open strings based on Jeff Newman's system.
P12
Peterson Pedal Steel Guitar Sweetened Tuning for 12 string universal pedal steel guitar in E9/B6 tuning. This contains the offsets for the pedals and levers based on Jeff Newman's system, use in conjunction with U12 preset for open strings.
 The leading PSG tuner. | Peterson Strobe Tuners

StroboPLUS HD

$139.99

The leading PSG tuner. More presets than any other tuner made. Multiple Jeff Newman & Emmons Co. presets for E9, C6 & Universal. USB-programmable for any tuning. Rechargeable with optional leg mount.
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 The only rack tuner made with steel guitar presets. | Peterson Strobe Tuners

StroboRack

$419.00 - $499.00

The only rack tuner made with steel guitar presets. Jeff Newman presets for 10 string E9, C6 & 12 string Universal tuning. User-programmable for any other tuning. Metal chassis, front & rear inputs.
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 Pedal tuner/DI combo for pedal steel on stage. | Peterson Strobe Tuners

Stomp Classic

$199.00

Pedal tuner/DI combo for pedal steel on stage. Jeff Newman presets for 10 string E9, C6 & 12 string Universal tuning. Programmable. Mute for silent tuning. Built-in mute-able active DI with 0-10-20dB pad.
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 Recording studio standard tuning on your PC or Mac, Sweetened Tuning presets for E9, C6, A6 & C13 tunings. | Peterson Strobe Tuners

StroboSoft 2.0

$49.99 - $99.99

Recording studio standard tuning on your PC or Mac, Sweetened Tuning presets for E9, C6, A6 & C13 tunings. Programmable. Recording your pedal steel? Get it on the money again and again with StroboSoft.
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 Accurate tuning app,  iStroboSoft gives you killer strobe accuracy and offers multiple Jeff Newman & Emmons Co. | Peterson Strobe Tuners

iStroboSoft (iOS)

$9.99

Accurate tuning app, iStroboSoft gives you killer strobe accuracy and offers multiple Jeff Newman & Emmons Co. presets for E9, C6 & Universal as an in app purchase - an affordable tuner in your pocket!
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1. Make sure to keep strings in good condition, wipe them down with a cloth after playing and replace them with new strings when they become old or worn. If you break a string while playing or tuning, it often means the strings are at the end of their useful life. Old strings will never hold a tuning. Replace all strings at the same time.

2. Tune UP - not down – when tuning to the pitch of a note.

3. Use the correct hex wrench to tune the raises and lowers.

4. Check screws and bolts on changer, tuners, bellcranks and undercarriage for tightness regularly.

Pedal steel guitars made by Paul Bigsby, Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker, Emmons, MSA & Sho-Bud and players such as Alvino Rey, Joaquin Murphey, Buddy Charleton, Speedy West, Jimmy Day, “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow, Curly Chalker, Buddy Emmons, John Hughey, B.J. Cole, Lloyd Green, Paul Franklin and Robert Randolph are some of the most iconic.

The pedabro, console steel, lap steel, resonator/dobro guitar and even the pedal harp are relatives of the pedal steel guitar.

6-String Electric Guitar
Violin
Mandolin
Buzz Feiten
Harp
6-String Acoustic Guitar
Pedal Steel Guitar
Electric Bass Guitar
Ukulele
Upright Bass
Viola
Dobro® & Resonator Guitar
Lap Steel Guitar
Cello
Banjo
Bagpipes
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