An 8-String Hybrid D6/G Copedent

8-String Hybrid D6/G Copedent


I call this copedent D6/G (D6th over G). It gives me the basic features of the standard E9th and C6th tunings in a smaller, simpler instrument. Most builders stopped making 8 string pedal steels in the early 1960’s, before the changer mechanisms had matured enough to handle a triple-raise, double lower copedent. My Desert Rose S-8 was custom-built in 2009 by Chuck Back to support this unusual hybrid tuning.

Pedals 1 and 2 combine with LKL and LKV to emulate the basic country E9th sound, tuned one step lower. Pedals 3, 4, 5 and all of the levers except LKV are standard C6th changes, tuned one step higher. As a bonus, holding down p2 makes a G major which includes all of the notes of the standard dobro tuning.

I use an electronic tuner to fine tune the notes in meantone temperament for smoother harmonies. My tuner offsets (in cents) are: D# -12.5, G# -10, C# -7.5, F# -5, B -2.5, E 0, A +2.5, D +5, G +7.5, C +10, F +12.5. See the pattern?

You can hear this D6/G copedent in my Wine Country Swing recordings on Soundcloud.  I used it for all of my live performances for 7 years, then went to a 10-string extension of it (adding a high E and a low D string).  In 2018 I sold the Desert Rose 8-string to another steeler who enjoys the copedent.

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