Bar Control Technique for Steel Guitar

Bluesy Chord Voicings for the C6 Neck

Everyone loves the sound of a nice, thick, warm-sounding chord voicing…whether they know it or not.  Luckily for us pedal steel players, the C6 neck can provide ample amounts of these chordal sounds.

The C6 neck, with its beefy low end – and intuitive, intervallic layout – is a perfect vehicle for voicing chords that can make ears tingle.  The 10th string rivals a bass guitar’s frequencies…and when combined with some higher end, it can really bring out a chord that sounds like a plethora of keyboard, bass, guitar, and pedal steel.  Not many instruments have the sonic and frequency capabilities of the pedal steel.


Below are three different voicings for a Dominant 7 chord, which can be used in many blues, jazz, and rock n’ roll settings.  They are best used interchangeably, and a player can quickly switch between the three to produce nice harmonic variety — the highest notes will provide some listening variety.  They are in the same position, so practicing/switching the grips is the key to playing these.  (Click on the diagrams for a larger image).

Voicing #1


They are relatively straightforward: all have a constant use of the 10th string to provide our root note (these are for an F chord), and all of them use three fingers.  Not all of these voicings contain the b7th note of the chord, but they imply this type of tonality, and when played in a band or musical setting they are often enough to get this sound across to the listener.

Voicing #2


If you are playing some blues in the key of F, then moving this position to the 10th fret can provide the IV7 chord, and playing it at the 12th fret can provide the V7 chord.  Experiment with these grips/voicings, between the three positions, for some hip chordal sounds!

Voicing #3


Click below for more practice tips and ideas…

Practicing Pedal Steel