String Pulling Technique

The String Pulling technique is designed to bend the note on the desired string up a half step. Eg. C —->C#

This technique is crucial when playing lap steel guitar/dobro as it offers the player more advanced Chords/voicings.

How it’s done.

  1. Place your bar on the strings at any fret in a straight bar position or (advanced technique forward/reverse slanted position.)
  2. Use your ring/little finger on the left hand behind the bar on the selected string
  3. Pull the string UP against the bar and TOWARDS the player until the notes a half step up is achieved.

NB. Do not push the string downwards as once it loses contact with the underside of the bar the note will no longer sound.

Some dobro players like Stacy Phillips pull the string a whole tone/step up to achieve the desired note.

This is unnecessary on a 8/10/12 string lap steel because the additional strings in this tuning enable the player to play any Chord with simply half step pulls.

Any possible half step pull is indicated on all chord charts later in this book with PX(x meaning whatever number) string pull. If you are a pedal steel player imagine these numbers as half step pulls on your levers.

Once again the great thing about the tuning is that once mastered you will be able to achieve any chord desired using this method. This is the MOST important technique to learn when playing lap steel guitar so be patient and practice it regularly. For examples of masters at string pulling check out artists like Billy Robinson.


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2 thoughts on “String Pulling Technique

  1. Hi. You can use string bendîg for licks too. (Pedalsteell and guitar licks).
    For the chords , the substitutions are very useful:Fm for D m7 b5
    G7 can be expanded by playing F triad on it etc… it easy and improve the possibilities.

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