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Physics Questions/Research- pedal steel guitar

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Indi86, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. I'm sussing out whether or not I'll be able to write a decent paper on the physics of the pedal steel guitar for my physics class. My problem: I cannot find a single reference or resource online. Can the web-trawling masters of TB come to my aid?

    I'm primarily looking for number-crunchy information about the way the pedals change the tension in the strings, how the slide interacts with the strings and some good illustrated stuff about how the pickups work.

    I've found plenty of info on the various incarnations of the instrument and it's history, and I won't be able to hit the library until later tonight.

    Thanks TB!
  2. Post on www.steelguitarforum.com in the Pedal Steel section. This is a great group of guys, the education level of some of them is astounding and it is the best source of pedal steel information available. Once you get there go to the Manufacturer's section in Links and bring up GFI (Gene Fields) and MSA (Maurice Anderson). These two guys know lots about the physics of the guitar, they are literate and can communicate. Also check out Fessenden, he can communicate also. Bobby Lee, the forum host, is well educated and used to work for Mesa Boogie. He might be able to give you some help with people who could explain some of this. Bobby is a great resource, but does not tolerate ignorance well, so be respectful. A lot of the guys are players and craftsmen, but would have difficulty explaining how things work without resorting to jargon. But those three should be able to explain it well. If you can find an address for Carl Dixon, he knows a lot about how they work as well. Carl has gotten more religious over the years and spends most of his time on one of the Christian Steel Guitar forums (sorry, I'm not at home now and the address doesn't come to mind.) Hope this helps. Oh, Brad Bechtel in the San Francisco area has Brad's Page of Steel on "The Well". Brad is mostly interested in non-pedal steel, but he is a great resource. Good luck.
  3. That is pretty extensive! Thank you!
  4. cerrem


    Apr 4, 2006
    San Diego
    You can take a look at this website regarding string tensions and apply it to your particular situation...
    As for how a pick-up works with the metal strings....I don't know what grade level you are at, but the starting point is Maxwell's Equations...Particularly Maxwell's 3rd Equation which is refered to as "Faraday's Law of Induction".... Go to this web address for a basic expalnation of equations: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Hbase/electric/farlaw.html#c1

    If you need any further info you can Email me...

  5. Much thanks, guys.

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