Change Is Good


When I played the 1 & 2 & 7 raise lever and the PF4, many said they were just “lick pedals”. That’s not how I was looking at it, and the same is true with the G# to B lever.

Let me clarify the thought behind the change.

In musical harmony, always having access to the 3rd and 5th intervals is crucial, and many ways the 5th is more important. I look at chord construction as two chord types – Major and Minor – for which the Root and the 5th always work for I chord types. Most piano, guitar, and bass players will solidify the root note in a band setting, so we need the 5th as our foundational note.

The G# to B opens up the E9th tuning into much more potential bending depth by allowing access to a 5th whether A&B or the other levers are engaged. Theory told me always having access to a 5th was needed since the 5ths in the open E9 tuning (Strings 1 & 10) were always being changed into other intervals as I play riffs . . . so I was always having to omit 5ths, especially when arrangers would call out specific notes wanting tight cluster harmonies. I already raised the F#’s to G#, so I knew it would be used in conjunction with the G# to B lever.

Sidenote: As you analyze these interval options I am about to lay out, you should realize that none of the intervals are stationary, meaning I can release one or all or grab any combination within for bending choices . . . which is way cool once you grasp Major Scale theory. Buddy saw it as a need when he introduced the A&B pedals. It opened up the tuning from just stationary moves. Tommy White saw it when he split the PF4. Bud Isaacs’ original pedal introduced a very stationary move. Those specific intervals just went from 1 to 4 and back so the pedal was either up or down.

The G# to B change allows the E9 tuning to have an E, Eb, C#, B, G# and E all on separate strings. From the top down (in intervals) I have the Octave 8, 7, 6, 5, 3, & 1 or Root. I also raise the 8th string to D on pedal C or I can release the G# note to give me the 2nd interval (F# note).

From the bottom up, it provides the complete Major Scale, and I can bend in and out of that scale in so many different ways. This new bending option allows a unique access to the most used scale in all of music. Having another complete way to explore Major Scale notes is a game changer.

Place these changes correctly for access, and the bending possibilities are endless.

The E9 can be explored in two ways.

  • Some do so with a universal approach trying to get both necks options within a single tuning by adding some of the main C6th interval concepts to the E9. I see that as duplication since all of that and more is available on the C6.

  • The other way its to keep expanding the tuning via pedals and levers. I believe there are so many more changes yet to be explored.

I should also add that on one of my guitars I also raise the D string to E on pedal C which can be added into this world. Basically this presents the white keys on the piano on different strings.

You can hear that change working at 0:28 here: Lonely For You Only


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