What Is Blocking on a Pedal Steel Guitar?

Learn what blocking is on a pedal steel guitar in this Howcast video.

So, what is blocking? Blocking is just a way of making sure that the notes that you are playing don’t just ring out beyond their desired shelf life.

And there’s a couple of ways of doing this. You obviously want the strings to ring out. But you don’t want them to ring out like just mushing into each other and ringing out wildly.

So, the old timers use a technique called palm blocking which involves sort of bouncing your palm and damping the notes after they had their…

The technique I use, perhaps a more common more modern technique, is called pick blocking. And this means that as soon as you hit a note or shortly after hitting the note your finger falls back down on the string to block it.

So, it’s kind of a more efficient way in a way. I think it’s a little bit more intuitive than the bouncing blocking thing. You will probably end up using a combination of both without even thinking about it.

But that is basically the idea of blocking is simply avoiding just a smear of notes that is not desirable. So it’s basically controlling how much sustain, how much you want each note to ring out.

And that’s it for blocking.