Pedal Steel Players Need to Understand Instrument Design

Hello fans and fellow players,

It seems like steel guitar more than any other instrument needs to be understood from a design point of view by the player. This is not true with most instruments because most other instruments are not as complex in design as a steel guitar. However with steel guitar being of the design that it is, the player needs to be well attuned to what’s going on inside it.

There are so many things that can go wrong such as tuning and the way things need to be tuned. The more knowledge one has about things that happen inside the guitar, not just tuning, but pedal feel, cabinet drop and the effect of temperature on the metal components will help you deal with the instrument. Lubrication also plays a big part here as that affects the metal parts as they move against each other.

Here we are coming into the hot months of summer and we have talked several times about what temperatures can do to your steel guitar. The metal parts will expand when they get hot which affects they way they work against each other by changing tolerances.

When the guitars are being played anywhere, they have to be watched close for the temperatures that are being dumped on them. This goes for pedal and non-pedal. If you’re playing an outdoor gig and sitting in the direct sunlight, it can turn into a tuning nightmare.

I think about the way we used to travel back in the days when I actively worked the road. Things are much better today. They traded in their station wagons and trailers for 45′ Prevos that are like the Taj Mahal on the inside. It’s a different world today.

I was thinking last night about how much driving I had to do myself when I was playing steel guitar for a living. The things I had to do and places I had to drive are all over now. Thank goodness for that.

While talking to Bob Hempker a few days ago, he said he wouldn’t go back on the road for all the money in the world. I wouldn’t either, even if I got to fly everywhere I went. Even staying in town as a musician in Nashville, its rough getting from spot to spot with all the traffic and the lack of parking spots.

I guess I’m just a spoiled guy though, but I like things just being smooth and easy. How about some of you musicians that have gotten older as most of us have? How little do you like to drive nowadays compared to when you were younger?

Let me hear about some subjects you would like to hear about as working musicians in your area. Thank you for everything you do to keep me informed about what you do music wise. Its amazing how easy people think it is, but as most of you know, even in Nashville it can really be a leg breaker.

Remember I am continuing the sale because so many of you only get paid at the end of the month. Ten percent off all GFI guitars and all used guitars, plus free shipping inside the lower 48 states. Ten percent off Peavey Nashville 112 amplifiers, plus a free amp cover and free shipping within the lower 48 states.

Check out our monthly specials at and we’ll try to save you a lot of money.

The friend of all bar holders,
Bobbe Seymour

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