"A firm grasp of the basics is the first step towards Mastery."

Hall of Fame pedal steeler Paul Franklin guides you through the necessary techniques, mechanics and practical theory so you can start making real music on the pedal steel guitar - right away!

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Learn Pedal Steel Guitar!

  • BEGINNERS

    If pedal steel is your first instrument, Paul will get you comfortable and on the bandstand right away.

  • STEEL PLAYERS

    Stuck at a level you can’t rise above?  You may have missed some basic concepts that are holding you back.

  • GUITARISTS

    Already play guitar?   Paul demystifies the tuning and shows you the many aspects the two have in common.

Beginners



It might look intimidating, but the good news is that it’s really just complex, not complicated.

Paul breaks it down into easily learned individual lessons. By practicing and mastering each concept, you'll be ready to play in public by the end of the course!

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Beginners

Experienced Steel Players



If you're stuck at a level you can’t seem to rise above you may have missed some basic concepts that are holding you back.

The material in these lessons are what Paul works on in his own practice sessions. What you hear on records from the greats is simply the application of these essential concepts.

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Experienced Steel Players

Guitarists



Adding pedal steel to your musician skill set is easier than you think!

If you already play standard guitar, Paul demystifies the tuning and shows you aspects the two instruments have in common — screenshot is from the For 6-String Guitarists Lesson.

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Guitarists

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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Here's A Short Clip From A Course Lesson




A Few Comments From Paul's Students

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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."

The Full Course Curriculum

Click On A Section To See The Lessons

  • 1
    HOW TO NAVIGATE THE SITE AND COURSE
    • How To Navigate - SLIDESHOW
    • How To Navigate - PDF
  • 2
    GETTING READY TO PLAY
    • A Message From Paul
    • The Parts of the Pedal Steel Guitar - VIDEO
    • For 6-String Guitarists - VIDEO
    • Open Strings/Intervals - VIDEO
    • The Open Strings - QUIZ
    • Thinking In Intervals PDF
    • E9 Tuning - QUIZ
    • How To Sit Behind The Guitar - VIDEO
  • 3
    TUNING UP
    • Tuning Your Guitar By Ear - VIDEO
    • Tuning Your Knee Levers - VIDEO
    • Tuning Your Guitar With A Tuner - VIDEO
    • The Jeff Newman Tuning Charts PDF
  • 4
    THE PICKS AND THE BAR
    • Choices For Picking Techniques - VIDEO
    • How To Wear Your Picks - VIDEO
    • Choosing And Holding The Bar - VIDEO
    • Bar Pressure - VIDEO
    • Bar Exercises - VIDEO
    • Vibrato Concepts - VIDEO
  • 5
    THE PEDALS
    • Introduction To The Pedals - VIDEO
    • The Intro To The Pedals - QUIZ
    • TAB Basics - PDF
    • Intro To Pedals TAB PDF
    • The Volume Pedal - VIDEO
    • Adding Expression With The Volume Pedal - VIDEO
  • 6
    INTRODUCTION TO CHORDS
    • Intro To The Four String Groups - VIDEO
    • The Four String Groups - QUIZ
    • Chord Names On The Fretboard - VIDEO
    • Chord Names On The Fretboard -QUIZ
    • Timing: Working With A Metronome - VIDEO
    • Practicing The String Groups - VIDEO
    • The 1-4-5 Progression - VIDEO
    • More On 1-4-5 Progressions - VIDEO
    • Goodnight Ladies TAB PDF
    • 1-4-5 Chord Progression - PRACTICE TRACKS
    • 1-4-5 Chords In Every Key PDF
  • 7
    PICKING AND BLOCKING
    • Picking Exercises: The Arpeggio - VIDEO
    • How To Practice H.O.T.R.S. TAB PDF
    • Intro to Blocking The Strings - VIDEO
    • Pick Blocking - VIDEO
    • Picking and Blocking Exercises - TEXT
  • 8
    CHORDS: MAJOR AND MINOR
    • Using The Pedals To Make Chords - VIDEO
    • The Pedals - QUIZ
    • The Four String Groups - Major Chords - VIDEO
    • Beginner Chord Etude TAB PDF
    • Major Chord Practice Tracks - VIDEO
    • The Four String Groups - Minor Chords - VIDEO
    • Minor Chords - QUIZ
    • Minor Chord Practice Tracks - PRACTICE TRACKS
    • Pads & Power Chords - VIDEO
    • Power Chord TAB PDF
    • Chord Progressions - VIDEO
    • Chord Progressions - PRACTICE TRACKS
  • 9
    DOMINANT 7th CHORDS
    • Open Position Dominant 7th Chords - VIDEO
    • Pedals Down Dominant 7ths - VIDEO
    • Dominant 7th Extensions - VIDEO
    • Playing The Blues - VIDEO
  • 10
    SCALES AND HARMONY
    • The Major Scale - VIDEO
    • Basic Harmony PDF
    • Adding Harmonies to the Major Scale - VIDEO
    • The Harmonized Major Scale - VIDEO
    • Harmonized Major Scale TAB PDF
    • Major Scales and Triads PDF
    • Putting It All Together - VIDEO
    • Drones In Various Keys - DRONE TRACKS
  • 11
    STYLES AND LICKS
    • Western Swing and Blues Rock - VIDEO
    • Western Swing and Blues Rock TAB PDF
    • 5511 Ballad Intro - VIDEO
    • 5511 Ballad Intro TAB PDF
  • 12
    WHAT'S NEXT?
    • No Longer A Beginner - VIDEO
    • Thanks From Paul!
  • 13
    RESOURCES
    • Tips On Practice Routines - VIDEO
    • Suggested Listening
    • Basic Music Theory - PDF
    • Thinking In Intervals - PDF
    • Paul's TAB Symbols Explained
    • The Nashville Number System - PDF
    • Links to Some Pedal Steel Resources
    • Chord Formulas - PDF
    • Cycle Of 4ths and 5ths - PDF
    • Major Scales and Triads - PDF
    • How To Read TAB - VIDEO
    • How To Read TAB - PDF
    • Blank TAB 10 String - PDF


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

For Tennessee residents only, includes tax

Course FAQ

  • What is the Foundations course all about?

    The Foundations course is designed to give beginners and intermediates a start-from-scratch method to learn how to play the pedal steel guitar.

    All of the basics you need to play songs are here.

    Paul shows you the essential skills, techniques and musicianship needed to get you onstage and playing.

  • Can you explain the course format?

    Foundations: E9 Pedal Steel Basics is a subscription 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 comprised 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 Paul Franklin Method". How is this course different?

    The Paul Franklin Method is Paul’s subscription online academy 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 covers the necessary skills you'll need to play music on the E9 tuning.

    You can refer to each Course's syllabus 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 Foundations cost?

    The Foundations course is one single payment of $99. For that you get a 12-month long subscription, 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 the one-time payment option of $575.

  • Is this Course just for beginners?

    Foundations is great for beginners, but players at all levels can benefit from the materials presented.

    The technique and musicianship essentials taught in the Course are what Paul still works on to this day in his practice sessions.

  • Isn't learning the pedal steel guitar quite difficult?

    The pedal steel guitar is complex, but not complicated when you learn it the way Paul teaches it.

    The Course gets you playing chords and music right away and everything that follows is built from there. Once you learn how the instrument works, the rest is practice!

  • 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.

  • 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?

    That will depend on the Service Plan you have with your Provider, of course, but we have hundreds of students and no reports of bandwith 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.

  • 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.

Like that 'Secrets of The Pedal Steel Guitar' poster displayed above? You can find it here:
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