Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A New Kind of Pedal


So I started trying to learn to play the pedal steel guitar two days ago. I don't own one or anything, but there's one at my friend's recording studio, and when I found out that he had one, it sort of dawned on me that I had always really liked the sound of the pedal steel, and I've probably said at one point or another that I wanted to learn to play. It just sounds really mystical the way the notes bend in and out, and it's one of the true great American instruments. So I go over to my friend's place as often as I can to try and practice. I had a real breakthrough last night because I found a chart that shows what pedals you use to make what voicings at certain frets, so that clears up a lot of the mystery. It turns out you can just think of everything as being chords, so that helps. The code has been ever so slightly cracked. Although what I really need next is one of those hex tools that tunes the pedal bends. I have no idea where to look though.

Here's the first thing I've made up on this instrument. It's nice to work with something that makes you really not sound like yourself. I realize it's pretty sloppy, but either I will remain sloppy and that will be my style, or I'll get better at this instrument in the future, and then look back on this one day and think it's cute.

This instrument belonged to a respected Bloomington musician who passed away recently. This makes me really savor the opportunity I have to play it. I'm thinking about maybe buying it. I mean, what the heck, right? When I'm older and have children, it'll be that weird thing that their friends might catch a glimpse of when they come over to play "opto-tweeters" or whatever will be popular in the future.


David said...

This sounds totally magical. (I could listen to this for like 20 minutes straight.)

Anonymous said...


noxidgerg said...

Awesome! I'm borrowing a friend's lapsteel at the moment. We should do a duo!