My Name is Jory Simmons.....and I play Pedal-Steel Guitar! A lot of people think...Oh, he's a Country player, and while this is true, The Pedal-Steel can be used for many other types of Music!
The pedal steel guitar is a type of electric steel guitar that is built on legs or a stand and is fitted with foot pedals which adjust the sound of the instrument. Like other electric guitars, the musical instrument produces sound by the vibration of its strings which are converted by magnetic pickup connected to an amplifier.
Pedal steels may have one or two "necks" that typically have 10 strings each, but may have as many as 14. Unlike most other guitars, pedal steel guitars have reference lines on the fretboard where frets would be, but no actual frets. The player changes the pitch of one or more strings by sliding a metal bar (a steel) from one position to another while plucking the strings with the other hand, or vibrating them with a mechanical device. Pedal steels are typically plucked with a thumb pick and fingers, or two or three fingerpicks.
The distinctive feature of pedal steel guitars are the namesake pedals as well as knee levers which affect the pitch of the instrument. The pedals are mounted on a cross bar below the body and the knee levers extend from the bottom of the guitar's body and stretch or slacken the strings to change pitch as the guitar is played. The action of the pedals may either be fixed, or may be configurable by the player to select which strings the pedals affect. While there are some fairly standard pedal assignments, many advanced players devise their own setups, called copedents. The range of copedents that can be set up varies considerably from guitar to guitar. Aftermarket modifications to make additional copedents possible are common.
The pedal steel evolved from the console steel guitar and lap steel guitar. Like the console steel, a pedal steel may have multiple necks, but the pedals make even a single-neck pedal steel a far more versatile instrument than any multiple-neck console steel.
The pedal steel, with its smooth portamenti, bending chords and complex riffs, is one of the most recognizable and characteristic instruments of American country music.
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