Rockin' the Country: Adapting More Pedal-Steel-Inspired Licks and Chord-Playing Ideas to the Electric Guitar

The following content is related to the October 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.

Continuing with last month’s topic, I’ve always been fascinated and intrigued by the way pedal-steel players tend to compile notes differently than electric guitarists. Whereas the electric guitar kind of technically limits—or should I say more narrowly influences—how you form chords and craft licks, the pedal steel offers the player a lot of neat options, what with all those crazy pedals and knee-operated levers, additional strings, open tunings and, of course, the slide.

Some pedal-steel techniques adapt well to the guitar, provided you’re willing to put in some time and effort to figure out how to recreate steel licks that appeal to you. In addition, steel players are very inventive and adventurous in their approach to the instrument, and that approach should be adopted by any guitar player who wishes to expand his/her musical horizons and learn some rich country and western swing–style licks and sophisticated chord-playing moves and voicings.

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