The pedal steel guitar is a type of electric steel guitar that is built on legs or a stand and is fitted with foot pedals which adjust the sound of the instrument. Like other electric guitars, the musical instrument produces sound by the vibration of its strings which are converted by magnetic pickup connected to an amplifier.
Pedal steels may have one or two "necks" that typically have 10 strings each, but may have as many as 14. Unlike most other guitars, pedal steel guitars have reference lines on the fretboard where frets would be, but no actual frets. The player changes the pitch of one or more strings by sliding a metal bar (a steel) from one position to another while plucking the strings with the other hand, or vibrating them with a mechanical device. Pedal steels are typically plucked with a thumb pick and fingers, or two or three fingerpicks.
The pedal steel evolved from the console steel guitar and lap steel guitar. Like the console steel, a pedal steel may have multiple necks, but the pedals make even a single-neck pedal steel a far more versatile instrument than any multiple-neck console steel.
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