Steel Guitar Tunings and Copedents

In the language of pedal steel guitarists, the combination of string tuning and pedal/knee arrangement is called a copedent (pronounced ko-PEE-dent). There are nearly as many pedal steel copedents as there are steel guitarists. Most of them are minor variations of the “standard” E9th or C6th, but some are radically different. Just adding a knee lever with an unusual change on it can open a wide range of new musical possibilities to the adventurous player.

Of the many copedents listed below, I recommend Bob Shilling’s 10-string E9th as a good starting point for the beginner. It includes the most standard pedal and knee changes, and can serve as a baseline reference for studying the others. I’ve written an article on E9th theory to help get you started.

Also, I’ve written an overview of the Sacred Steel E7th copedent. Thanks to recording artists like The Campbell Brothers and Robert Randolph, variations of the Sacred Steel copedent are gaining popularity among rock and blues players.

Click the links below to explore our archive of copedents.

E9th Pedal Steel

C6th Pedal Steel

Universal E9/B6

Unusual Copedents

Steel Guitar Tunings (without pedals)

 

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