Watch the Pedal Steel Style Bends online guitar lesson by David Grissom from Open Road Guitar
Another important technique in my playing is using bends to emulate a pedal steel. My initial inspiration for this sound came from my father listening to country music around the house where there was real pedal steel being used. In high school I heard a Dave Edmunds record that had Albert Lee playing a solo on the song Sweet Little Lisa. It took me a year to figure out that solo, I found out a lot later that he was using something called a B string bender on it! But at that point ignorance was bliss and it made me develop this technique on my own. I'm glad we didn't have YouTube at that point for me to find that out! The basic concept is to bend a note and have it ring out over a sustained note or two on other strings. It's important to know the fingerboard well, this way you can see the shapes and the notes you're bending to and from. In the early example I am going through an A scale using this technique. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the fingerboard and the style. This is a move I use quite often. I will also plant myself in one spot and do the pedal steel licks around a fixed note. As you can see with those examples I am bending a note below my higher notes. In the final lick you see how I can use the same technique but the bent note is the highest pitch. As you can see these lick are very country sounding , but we can use the same ideas in other styles of music as I will show you in the next section.