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Strings & instruction for lap steel, Hawaiian and pedal steel guitars
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Steel guitarist Jim Baron's Classic country shuffle styles for Band-in-a-Box.

Alvino Rey

Father of the Pedal Steel Guitar

Alvino Rey  and the King Sisters

Alvino Rey was the first pedal steel recording artist. A popular bandleader, Rey worked closely with the Gibson guitar company in the 1930's, developing and promoting their early electric instruments.

The following E6th tuning is from the liner notes of an anthology LP called The Big Band Steel Guitar of Alvino Rey, produced by Tom Bradshaw in 1977 as part of the Steel Guitar Record Club series:

# note    1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10      knee levers     
1  E  _______+F#_+F#_________________________________________________
2  C# ___-C__+D#_____+D______________________________________________
3  B  _______________________-Bb_________+C________-Bb__+C___________
4  G# ___-G______________________-G__-G______+A_____________-G__+A___
5  E  ___________+F#_____+F#_________________________________________
6  C# ___-C__+D#_____+D__+D__________________________________________
7  B  _______________________-Bb_____-A__+C________-Bb__+C___________
8  G# ___-G______________________-G__-G______+A_____________-G__+A___
9  E  _______________________________________________________________
10 B  ___+C__________________________-A______-A______________________

Alvino Rey was constantly experimenting with different tunings to obtain his characteristic chord expressions. This one is a "snapshot" of the tuning he was using for public appearances in 1977. It is typical of the complexity and sophistication of Alvino Rey's approach to the both the pedal steel and big band arrangements.

Copyright ©1995 by Bobby Lee