Most steel guitars can be adapted fairly easily to the Bohlen-Pierce scale. I made a fretboard from a piece of aluminum and some gold pinstripe tape. On this 12-string instrument, I configured the pedals and knee levers to the B Moll II mode (relative to J Lambda), which places the C Lambda mode nicely at the 4th fret. Here is the copedent chart:

Sierra 12-string BP Copedent

The 12-bar blues tune Fuse Blue was written and performed on this instrument:

While writing the song, I discovered that C Lambda sounds more bluesey if you flat the J note.  The scale used is C D E F G H Jb A B C – a mode I haven’t seen documented anywhere.  Background chords and the bass line were played on the Roland Handsonic.  The drum tracks were generated by Band-in-a-Box (I got lazy).

The chords for this Fuse Blue’s pseudo I IV V progression are:

  • I – C F A
  • IV – E H A
  • V – F G A
Sierra Pedal Steel with Bohlen-Pierce fretboard

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