How to Use the A Pedal on a Steel Guitar

Learn how to use the A pedal on a pedal steel guitar in this Howcast video.

How to use the A pedal. The question is well of course to use the A pedal you strike the A pedal.

It raises the B strings. In other words the fifth and the tenths strings. The question of course is what do you get when you do that? All right?

Well, you get a couple of different things. If you’re playing in G let’s say for example. If you engage the A pedal you’ve got and you play the six, five, four strings you’ve got an E minor chord.

This is your root. That’s E. E minor chord presto. Okay?

It’s also, it’s by hitting the that creates the sixth scale tone in the scale of the root position you’re in. So, in this case it gives you an E. And that happens to be the sixth of the G scale.

So, this is also an acceptable sixth chord. It all depends what’s happening in the bass. To which I’ll prove that by saying that if you change the bass note to an A and you kept these top two notes which is a perfect minor interval. One, three.

I mean that’s a minor interval, no mistaking it. And if you hear the E to go with it, that is an E minor sound.

What if you had though an A note. That’s your A. Oh, well that’s not minor at all. Suddenly you’ve got an A seventh chord. And you’ve got all those notes.

That’s a seventh. That’s a seventh. Okay. So, that gives you it’s going to be the seventh of whatever chord is two frets above wherever you happen to be.

In this case we’re on the G fret so it’s an A seventh chord. So it’s an A seventh chord. It’s an E minor chord. It’s a G sixth chord.

So what the bass player’s doing, what the rest of the band is doing is going to have a huge effect on any of these things.

But that’s what happen when you use the A pedal.