Wondering if there’s a way to create Pedal Steel Guitar tab with the inclusion of notation for pedals and levers. I’m interested in notating a standard E9 and C6 neck with a typical Emmons pedal/lever setup — as well as a custom 12 string guitar setup with 7 pedals and 5 levers.
Welcome to the forum, artlab. Dorico doesn’t have any dedicated features for pedal steel guitar as yet. Can you recommend any particularly good publications that would show us the full requirements?
There are general standards for pedal steel string tunings and the use of pedals and knee levers. However-- almost all pedal steel players
tweak the use of pedals and levers to suit their musical needs. Consequently the application in Dorico would need to be flexible.
TablEdit (https://tabledit.com) is currently the only program that comes close to satisfying these needs-- but since I compose for many different
situations-- it would be great to keep all of my work in the Dorico environment.
I think Doug Beaumier’s “60 Popular Melodies” is a good example of clean execution of pedal steel tab. This page will give you a good idea of what’s needed.
I’m certainly looking for something a little more flexible but the concept would be the same. I would just need to enable strings, pedals and knee levers to have “user” values.
Thank you for your attention to this. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond…
Thanks for coming back, artlab. Can you explain to me how to read the notation in the “Send me the pillow you dream on” example shown on the linked page? Are there any other good resources for pedal steel notation?
Sure…This is written for a 10 string Pedal Steel in the typical E9th Country tuning.
Looking at bar 1…
–For the first chord (root position) …the player picks strings 8,6 and 5 at the 8th fret.
–For the second chord (1st inversion) – the player picks strings 8, 6 and 5 at the 11th fret --while also depressing Pedal A and moving the Knee Lever F (All at the same time!)
– For the two notes at the end of bar 1-- the player picks strings 6 and 5 at the 11th fret – while also depressing Pedal A
–For the first two 8th note (thirds over the F chord) in the 2nd bar – the player picks strings 6 and 5 at the 10th fret (also depressing Pedals A and B) – and then slides down to the 8th fret (all the time holding down Pedals A and B).
–For the next note grouping in bar 2 – the player picks strings 6 and 5 at the 6th fret and slides up to the 8th fret – depressing pedals A and B when they’ve reached their destination fret (or somewhere in-between).
I can continue if you need me to…but that should give you an idea…
The Tuning Chart shows the interval changes for each string – when a pedal or knee lever is activated. The guitar in this chart is for an instrument with 3 pedals and 3 knee levers (that you push to the right or to the left).
I have one of these guitars-- but I also have a customized 12 string guitar with 8 pedals and 5 knee levers!
Is it always the case that when you pluck the strings, you always do so at the same fret for every string?
Further to @artlab’s post above, and in terms of getting at more info/examples etc., could someone drop a line to ask Doug at his site…?
In the meantime, from his ‘Links’ page - http://playsteelguitar.com/links/ - I got through (via Bob Lee’s site - https://b0b.com/wp/ ) to ‘The Steel Guitar Forum’ - https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/index.php - which has a sub-section for Tablature.
Saw this ‘sticky’ post:-
Maybe it helps; maybe its stuff already known…
(PS:- only interested, since I played bass in a band featuring a Pedal Steel guitarist for about 3.5 years… good days, great sounds…!)
I would say that 99% of the time the strings are picked on the same fret. There is a possibility to not use the pedals or knee levers and “slant” the bar over two frets – for example - one might play stings 7 and 5 at the 4th and 5th fret respectively. However, most of the time pedal steel players use the pedals and knee levers to avoid playing bar slants.
The links from Puma0382 are great-- and the Steel Guitar Forum is a general “go-to” for the Steel enthusiast.
Thanks. I can’t promise we will get to this soon, but we’ll definitely consider it for the future.