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date: 14 November 2019

Emmons, Buddy Gene locked


(b Mishawaka, IN, Jan 27, 1937). American guitarist and improver of the steel guitar. He was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1981. Beginning in 1956, he advanced the design and function of the pedal steel guitar by using a temperature-stable aluminum neck independent of the bridge and tuning head, adding F♯ and D♯ strings to the E9th tuning, and introducing the ‘split-pedal’ setup, in which two pedals (or knee levers) change the tuning from a tonic chord to a sub-dominant chord. This allowed for more harmonic options than the previous setup introduced by Bud Isaacs. Other improvements made over several years included a lightweight volume pedal attached to the pedal bar, twin stereo pickups each for five strings, balance and tone controls, and a switch to send the pickup signals directly to the amplifiers, bypassing the capacitor. The stereo pickups were soon dropped because few players at that time used two amplifiers....

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