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Lee Baucum's
Push-Pull Universal

Editor's note: I received this very nice letter and tuning chart from Lee Baucum of McAllen, Texas, in September 1997. Lee appears to have done the impossible - who would have thought that an old Emmons push-pull guitar could support an E9/B6 Universal tuning? -Bobby Lee

Dear Bobby,

Here is the tuning chart that I have been using since the mid 1980's. At that time, I converted my old push-pull S-12 Emmons from an extended E9 to E9/B6 Universal. Nobody told me I was asking an awful lot from a push-pull changer. Oh well, ignorance is bliss.

Note that the left-knee-right lever lowers the E's and puts the guitar in the B6 tuning. This also positions the leg over the B6 pedals.

When playing in the E9 mode, the right-knee-left lever does nothing to the fourth string; however, when both E's are lowered (B6 mode) this lever will raise the fourth string Eb back up to E natural and lower the eight string Eb down to D. This is a change normally found on a foot pedal. This allows you to use pedals 5 and 6 together, with one foot. A couple of years ago, I added the full step raise on string one, to get the Paul Franklin licks on some of Alan Jackson's tunes. So, this lever accomplishes three things. It gives me the D note on string 8 in E9 mode. It gives me the F# to G# change on string one in E9 mode. It gives me the same changes usually found on a floor pedal in the B6 mode.

The right-knee-right lever lowers string two to a D natural, with a tunable half-stop. After the half-stop, the lever will lower string two down to a C# and string six down to a G natural. Most all-pull guitars employ a tuneable split to get the G natural with a pedal/knee lever combination.

Unless you are a good steel guitar mechanic, I would not suggest that you tear apart your old push-pull Emmons to convert to this tuning. My next guitar will definitely be all-pull. It's been great, though, to have all those changes in a lightweight, easy to tote, single neck guitar. And it has that wonderful Emmons sound!

Yours very truly,
Lee Baucum
McAllen, TX


LKL LKV LKR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 RKL RKR
1 F#                     +G#  
2 D#                       D/C#
3 G#         +A              
4 E  +F   -Eb     +F#         +E1  
5 B    -Bb   +C#   +C#     +C#      
6 G#         +A       +A# +A#   /-G2
7 F#               -F        
8 E  +F   -Eb               -D  
9 B        +C#     +C          
10 G#         +A         +A#    
11 E              -D# +F        
12 B              -G# +C#        

1 RKL raises string 4 back to an E natural after it has been lowered to an E flat with LKR. If you engage this lever without the LKR, there is no change to the string. It simply remains an E natural and string 8 is lowered to a D.

This is a change that is normally on a pedal located between the changes I have on pedals 5 & 6. By moving it to a knee lever, the changes on pedals 5 & 6 can be used together, using only one foot, instead of two.

2 RKR lowers string 6 only after string 2 has been lowered from D# to D. In other words, when string 2 is lowered to a D, string 6 is still a G#. This setup is on an old Emmons push/pull. Raises cancel out lowers, so when string 6 is lowered to G, pedal 2 will bring it right back up to an A.

Copyright ©1997 by Lee Baucum, HTML by Bobby Lee