Now that you've learned the basics, what's next?

The next step in your pedal steel journey is to APPLY all your skills by putting them to use making music.


In lessons selected from his flagship course, The Method, Hall of Fame pedal steeler Paul Franklin guides you through the licks, phrases, solos, and techniques you need to effectively back singers and make real music on the pedal steel guitar!


Fill Your Toolbox!

  • HOW TO BACK A SINGER

    Master the pedal steel guitarist's first job: Backing A Singer. Concepts, licks and musical approaches.

  • LICKS, PHRASES, SOLOS

    Build your stylistic vocabulary with classic Country, Blues, Rock and Americana pedal steel licks.

  • PICKING & BAR TECHNIQUE

    Next-level technical skills including picking permutations and backward and forward bar slants.

Backing A Singer



Pads, subtle moves, imitating other instruments, playing lyrically - these are some of the musical tools needed to keep your guitar up in the mix . . . on stage or in the studio.

Paul covers that and more as he breaks down songs into two-chord sections, giving you a variety of ideas and concepts to analyze and make your own.

BONUS: Paul's Shenandoah mini-course is included in the Backing A Singer section.

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Licks, Phrases, Solos



Paul uses examples from the classic pedal steel guitar vocabulary, including popular intros and solos from hit records that he has played on over the past several decades.

Dozens of useful phrases (plus variations) covering Rock, Western Swing, Classic Country, Memphis R&B, and West Coast Country.

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Picking & Bar Technique



The next level of right and left hand techniques are training your picking hand to master all possible string/fingering combinations.

Learning how to use slants for emotional effect is the next step in mastering the bar.

Paul expands on picking/blocking using his "Picking Permutations" approach. He demonstrates new ways to creatively apply forward and backward bar slants.

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The Full Course Curriculum

Check out the Free Preview Lessons!

  • 1

    COURSE OVERVIEW

    • About This Course

    • News

  • 2

    LICKS

    • 5 to 1 Resolution

    • Banjo Roll

    • West Coast Country

    • 1 To 1dom7

    • Bakersfield Hammer-On

    • Pull-offs

    • The Rake

    • Chordal Pull-Offs

    • Walk Down to the 1 Chord

    • 5 to 1 Ballad

    • Pentatonic - 70's Country Style

    • 60’s Country: 5-1 Walk-Down

    • Memphis Groove

    • Western Swing Style

    • Beautiful Ballad Phrase: 1 – 1dom7

    • Rock Style

    • Speed Exercise

    • 1 to 4 with C6 Sounds

    • My Baby Thinks He's A Train

    • Americana Music

    • Rock Guitar Licks

    • Bluegrass Ending Licks

      FREE PREVIEW
  • 3

    SONG INTROS

  • 4

    TECHNIQUE

    • Picking Permutations

    • Forward Bar Slants

    • Backward Bar Slants

    • Slant Exercises

    • Bar Exercises

    • Know Your Intervals: Ear Training

    • Focus

    • Practice Towards Originality

  • 5

    BACKING A SINGER

  • 6

    GEAR

    • Setting the Amp for Tone

    • Compensators

  • 7

    RESOURCES

    • How to Navigate The Course - PDF

    • TAB Basics - PDF

    • Paul's TAB Symbols Explained

    • Thinking In Intervals PDF

    • Basic Music Theory

    • Major Scales and Triads - PDF

    • Nashville Number System

    • Background Drones In Various Keys

    • Ad: All Our Courses

      FREE PREVIEW

Here's A Short Clip From A Course Lesson




Our Students Say:

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  • Bill B - " I have never had an instructor like Paul. He tells, explains, demonstrates, and inspires. No teacher I have ever had in any subject has done that."

  • Paul C - "Having struggled . . . to gain what knowledge of this amazing instrument that I have, and worked hard to do it, I only wish I had had this when I started out.

    I've seen most all of the instruction materials that have come over my playing life. This is by far the absolute best and as long as Paul desires to continue sharing his knowledge I'll be there to take lessons from him. "


  • Joseph N - " It's like having Tiger Woods help you with your golf game. I can't think of any other profession or hobby or avocation where regular folks have this kind of access to the best on the planet.
    When I explain this to my friends they are dumbfounded."


Enroll Now!
These purchase plans give you one year of immediate access to all the course lessons, with unlimited views.

One Payment of: $99

Non-Tennessee residents only

One Payment of: $109

Tennessee residents only, includes tax

Course FAQ

  • What Is The Applications: E9 Pedal Steel Toolbox Course?

    Using lessons selected from his The Method course, Toolbox is designed to give intermediate players a jumpstart into real-world, practical applications using the basic techniques taught in courses like Foundations: E9 Pedal Steel Basics, or learned elsewhere.

    Applications teaches you the licks, phrases, solos and has an in-depth study on how to back a singer.

  • Can You Explain the Course Format?

    Applications: E9 Pedal Steel Toolbox is a streaming video course hosted by Modern Music Masters. Your enrollment includes 12 months of access.

    Unlike a private lesson, you can review the materials by watching the videos over and over, use the video player to slow things down, and print out TABs and other relevant lesson materials.You’ll have all the necessary close-up shots of Paul’s bar hand, pick hand and the pedals and levers, perspectives you simply could not get all at once at a private lesson.

    The Course is composed of video content, downloadable PDFs, TABs and practice backing tracks.

    The course videos are available to stream online 24/7, and can be paused, fast-forwarded, slowed down.

  • I’ve Heard About The Foundations And Paul Franklin Method Courses.  How Is Applications Different?

    The Paul Franklin Method is Paul’s online academy, a virtual library that covers everything you need to know to master both the E9 and C6 tunings. As a bonus, it also offers an optional private Facebook group where students and teacher can interact.

    Foundations: E9 Pedal Steel Guitar Basics, using lessons selected from The Method, covers the necessary skills you'll need to play music on the E9 tuning.

    You can refer to each Course's syllabus on there own landing page to see the difference in Lessons taught.

    NOTE: Optional private Facebook Group access is only available when enrolled in The Paul Franklin Method

  • How Much Does Applications Cost?

    The Applications course is one single payment of $99. For that you get a 12-month long enrollment, 24/7 access to the lessons.

    Should you decide to continue on with the complete Paul Franklin Method, we will send you a discount code to apply 100% of the $99 towards any of The Method's payment plans.

  • What devices can I watch the videos on?

    The Course can be viewed on desktop computers and most mobile devices – phones, tablets, laptops – as long as they have a compatible browser on them and they are connected to the internet. You will need to keep your OS and browser fairly current as how browsers display items changes over time. For example, in the Mac world, you may need iOS 10.x or higher.

  • Is there a limit on how many times I can watch a video?

    You can watch the videos as often as you’d like throughout your enrollment.

  • Will I need extra bandwidth capacity from my ISP or Carrier?

    We have over a thousand students and no reports of bandwidth being an issue.

    When streaming to your device, the video player attempts to detect your device’s capability and the current quality of your internet connection. The default setting will auto adjust to deliver a quality viewing experience. If you prefer a resolution other than the ‘auto’ setting choice, you have the ability to select the resolution that is being sent to you.

  • What kind of pedal setup do I need to take this Course?

    Paul teaches using the standard pedal setups as used by Buddy Emmons, Jimmy Day, Lloyd Green, Rusty Young, Tom Brumley, etc. Pedal placement is your personal preference, so Paul refers to them as “A”, “B” or “C” pedals. Wherever you have those changes on your guitar is your call.

    On the E9 tuning, you should have the two basic knee levers that raise and lower the 4th and 8th strings a half-tone (E to F and E to Eb)

  • Am I allowed to download the videos?

    The Foundations videos are not available for download. However other items like PDFs and MP3s are. Your enrollment allows you access to view the videos online 24/7 for 12 months.

About Paul Franklin


Paul Franklin began playing steel guitar at age 8. Taking lessons from a Hawaiian guitar master, he quickly progressed and when pedal steel guitars came about, he got one immediately.

Paul was already gigging in local clubs at 11, and a member of the Musician’s Union. Soon calls came to the house asking for a pedal steel player for sessions in the thriving local music scene.




Not only were Pop, Motown and Jazz popular, but the “Hillbilly Highway” of Southerners heading North to build cars fueled a burgeoning Country music scene.

Paul got his first taste of national success as a teenager on Gallery’s “It’s So Nice To Be With You”, a #1 hit single. He also guested on Parliament’s “Country Boy” track and worked with Motown producer Dennis Coffey (of instrumental hit “Scorpio” fame).

The pedal steel was being embraced by Country music, and Nashville was the place for this young prodigy to be, so he headed to Tennessee as a senior in high school to join Barbara Mandrell’s band at the invitation of her father, Irby. He also toured with Dottie West, Lynn Anderson, and Donna Fargo.

Session steeler Pete Drake hired Paul to play on jingles and a few recordings. Franklin joined Jerry Reed’s band and recorded solo albums of original pedal steel instrumentals and Jazz standards. A long stint with Mel Tillis’ Statesiders playing classic country and honky-tonk with an excellent road band was next.

After leaving Tillis, his studio career took off and he was featured in many of the albums of the 1980’s-2000s. In 1991 he took a call from Mark Knopfler that led to playing on The Notting Hillbillies album and eventually with Dire Straits, touring the world and recording On Every Street with them.

In recent years, besides his busy studio schedule, Franklin is a member of Vince Gill’s touring band (and recorded the CMA- nominated "Bakersfield" album as a duo with Vince) and holds down the pedal steel seat with the Time Jumpers who showcase Western Swing and classic Country every Monday night at a local Nashville club
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