pedal steel

John Bohlinger’s Franklin 12-string pedal steel was built by Paul Franklin’s father 30 years ago.

When it comes to forming patterns, no computer algorithm can outperform the human mind. Sometimes we must change directions to have a breakthrough.

Every now and then, a misguided guitar player asks me something like: “What should I do to become a better guitar player?” For the record, I’m probably not the one to ask. I suspect I don’t really know what I’m doing in guitar or life, but I love to play music, and I’ve noticed some improvement in my playing over the years, so here goes. A surefire way to get past a plateau and become a better player is to stop playing guitar … then dive deep into a different instrument.

Read More Show less

The country duo discusses the gear used during the recording of Bakersfield.

Vince Gill and Paul Franklin discuss the gear they used when recording Bakersfield.

Vince's main guitar is a 1953 blackguard Tele he bought in 1979 in Del City, Oklahoma. Although it's all original, it’s been refretted a few times. Well-known luthier Joe Glaser calls it "the best one he’s ever seen."

Read More Show less
Known for his lightning-speed steel playing, Roosevelt Collier was a Guitar Center King of the Blues finalist in 2009. Photo by Nathan Rodriguez

Roosevelt Collier and Alvin Lee of sacred-steel family band the Lee Boys take their 6-string hallelujahs beyond the church and garner praises from some of the biggest names in secular guitar and bass.

The Lee Boys - "Testify" by Evil Teen Records

“Come on, man—I was freaked out,” says pedal-steel guru Roosevelt Collier of “hard rock gospel” band the Lee Boys. “I was, like, ‘John Scofield just left his coffee cup on my table. Nobody better touch it!’” Such are the pleasures of life when the incredible players from the sacred-steel circuit step beyond hallowed halls and into the gentile world. “I had the pleasure of him coming in my room for about an hour and talking about my background. We played together and, dude—it was sick.”

Read More Show less