Beginners Info

Just starting out? Switching from 6-string guitar? Don't have a steel yet? Check out these resources.

This page gives you a variety of resources and articles, which will help you understand and provide information about where to obtain publications and teaching materials for the pedal steel guitar. If you are an intermediate or advanced player, check out our links page, which contains more pedal steel guitar resources, and steel guitar web sites of interest.

As an aid for you in selecting and purchasing any brand of steel guitar, we've developed a set of practical guidelines, which many steel guitar players have found useful.

What do you need?

If you're just starting out, there are a few items you'll need. If you're a 6-string guitar player, you may already have some of them. You'll need a pedal steel, of course, along with:


What's the next step?

You're going to need a guitar. Obviously, not many of the big-name guitar stores carry steels or, if they do, know much about them. So unless you have a friend (a really good friend) who will loan you one, you'll need to buy a pedal steel. Where? Which brand? Double or single neck? New or used? Well, before you do anything, we recommend you read the PSG Buyer's Guide, which presents several important points to consider before making the big leap.

You should also take a look at the What's this part? section, to familiarize yourself with the terminology and components of a pedal steel. You can't converse knowledgeably with a seller unless you're both speaking the same language. This section will also help you see what a properly set up guitar should look like from top to bottom.

The debate over whether to buy new or used can go on forever. It really depends on your budget and comfort level buying something expensive from someone you may not know. Also, a used guitar may need some setup or tweaking to fit your style and physical size. If you buy a used instrument from a dealer, this can often be included at little or no extra charge. Some individual sellers will also do a basic setup change for you before shipping the guitar.