Pedal Steel Guitar Parts

Learn about the parts of a pedal steel guitar in this Howcast video.

Okay. The parts of a pedal steel guitar.

It doesn’t have much in common with a guitar. But you do have tuning pegs and you have strings. You have ten of them, not six.

So, here we have the tuning pegs. This is the nut and you can see these little rollers here. They allow the string to raise or lower without being blocked or cramped and without catching and not releasing properly.

This is the neck. The frets are painted on purely for reference. You are the fret with the tone bar that you’re going to be using.

This is the tone bar. It’s eight to ten ounce stainless steel or plated metal. And this is what you use to slide along the neck to get the pedal steel guitar sound.

Over here we have the pickup. This is what makes it an electric instrument. It’s basically the microphone for what you’re playing.

This is the bridge. But in addition to being the place where the strings are anchored, it’s also the place where the action happens in terms of transferring the energy you’re applying to the pedals or knee levers and having their effect on the strings.

You can see these are each individual rollers and the action of the pedals causes them to either slacken or tighten the tension on individual strings, combinations of strings.

That’s what allows you to have a sound like this where you start with an open chord and a couple of the notes in that cord will be raised and suddenly it becomes a whole other chord.

The pedals down here in this particular style of guitar. This is the E ninth chromatic tuning so it has only one neck. And these pedals all raise strings.

Under here we have knee levers. They raise or lower strings, depending on their role. This is the volume pedal over here. And as the name indicates it simply gets you more or less volume.

There is also a set of hex nuts here that allows you to tune what the pedals do. You tune the strings the way you would with a guitar. But then you also need to tune the pedals to make sure you know exactly what degree of change you’re going to get.

And these are preset things. You don’t have to fish around for it. If your guitar is in tune and you press down on the pedals firmly you should always be getting an in tune change of notes.

And that’s it for the parts of the pedal steel guitar.