Foundations:E9 Pedal Steel Basics with Paul Franklin

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

Hall of Fame pedal steeler Paul Franklin guides you through the techniques, mechanics and practical theory you need to make real music on the pedal steel guitar - right away!


Start your E9 pedal steel journey with our acclaimed
Foundations course.

Learn the essential skills you'll need to play in any style.


Lost in the weeds and can't seem to find your way forward? Revisting the basics will put you back on the right path.


If you already play standard guitar, Paul demystifies the E9 tuning and shows you the similarities between the two instruments.

You Will Learn:

  • Picking

  • Blocking

  • Pedals

  • Levers

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  • Major

  • Minor

  • Dom 7

  • Harmonized Scale

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  • Vibrato

  • Pedal Dynamics

  • Nashville Number System

  • Thinking In Intervals


Go from the practice room to the stage! Foundations: E9 Pedal Steel Basics gets you playing the right way, right away.


If you have been playing for awhile, you may have developed bad habits. This course will help you find and fix them.

learn a musician's PeRSPECTIVE

Paul will teach you to be not just  a pedal steel player, but a Musician who plays the pedal steel guitar.


Concise, easy-to-follow lessons that take you all the way from tuning to gigging.


“Studying with Paul Franklin is a rare chance to study with a pro master of our instrument. If you're planning to make a career from playing, look at it as a great investment in developing your knowledge and skills.”

“I started the course this week. Paul is great at explaining things so they instantly click in my head."

“You get to choose which technique fits you. My right hand technique improved dramatically in about a month's time."

Lesson Clip


Course Enrollment




  • One Payment

  • Instant Access to 90+ lessons

  • 1 Year Enrollment

  • $99 Off Upgrade to The Method


Tennessee (taxed)

  • One Payment

  • Instant Access to 90+ lessons

  • 1 Year Enrollment

  • $99 Off Upgrade to The Method



A Message From Paul The Parts of the Pedal Steel Guitar For 6-String Guitarists Open Strings/Intervals The Open Strings - QUIZ Thinking In Intervals PDF Why Is My Guitar Tuned Like This? E9 Tuning - QUIZ How To Sit Behind The Guitar


Tuning Your Guitar By Ear Tuning Your Knee Levers Tuning Your Guitar With A Tuner The Jeff Newman Tuning Charts PDF


Choices For Picking Techniques How To Wear Your Picks Choosing And Holding The Bar Bar Pressure Bar Exercises Vibrato Concepts


Introduction To The Pedals The Intro To The Pedals - QUIZ TAB Basics - PDF Intro To Pedals TAB PDF More on Pedals and Levers The Volume Pedal Adding Expression With The Volume Pedal


Intro To The Four String Groups The Four String Groups - QUIZ Chord Names On The Fretboard Chord Names On The Fretboard -QUIZ Fretboard By The Numbers Timing: Working With A Metronome Practicing The String Groups The 1-4-5 Progression More On 1-4-5 Progressions Goodnight Ladies TAB PDF 1-4-5 Chords In Every Key PDF 1-4-5 Chord Progression - PRACTICE TRACKS


Picking Exercises: The Arpeggio How To Practice H.O.T.R.S. TAB PDF Intro to Blocking The Strings Pick Blocking 3-Element Blocking: Tommy and Buddy Picking and Blocking Exercises


Using The Pedals To Make Chords The Pedals - QUIZ The Four String Groups - Major Chords Beginner Chord Etude TAB PDF Major Chord - PRACTICE TRACKS The Four String Groups - Minor Chords Minor Chords - QUIZ Minor Chord - PRACTICE TRACKS Pads & Power Chords Power Chord TAB PDF Chord Progressions Chord Progressions - PRACTICE TRACKS Major and Minor Chord Workouts - PRACTICE TRACKS Major Chord Workout Chart -PDF Minor Chord Workout Chart - PDF


Open Position Dominant 7th Chords Pedals Down Dominant 7ths Dominant 7th Extensions Dominant 7th Workout - PRACTICE TRACK Dominant 7 Workout - PDF Playing The Blues Simple Blues Progression - PRACTICE TRACK Simple Blues - PDF


The Major Scale Basic Harmony PDF Adding Harmonies to the Major Scale The Harmonized Major Scale Harmonized Major Scale TAB PDF Major Scales and Triads PDF Putting It All Together Drones In Various Keys - DRONE TRACKS


Western Swing and Blues Rock Western Swing and Blues Rock TAB PDF 5511 Ballad Intro 5511 Ballad Intro TAB PDF


No Longer A Beginner Thanks From Paul!


Tips On Practice Routines Suggested Listening Basic Music Theory Thinking In Intervals - PDF Paul's TAB Symbols Explained Nashville Number System Links to Some Pedal Steel Resources Chord Formulas - PDF Cycle Of 4ths and 5ths - PDF Major Scales and Triads - PDF How To Read TAB How To Read TAB - PDF Blank TAB 10 String - PDF


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 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 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 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.

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!

How is this course different from other pedal steel courses I see online?

Pedal Steel Guitar and Musician's Hall of Famer Paul Franklin is a master player and a master teacher. With decades of experience teaching via cassette and in person at clinics and seminars, the arrival of online teaching finally allowed Paul to reach many more players and get deeper into subjects that earlier methods and in-person appearances cannot rival.

Paul draws on his five decades of live and studio playing with a who's-who of musical titans, from Country titans like George Strait, Alan Jackson and many others to Barbra Streisand, Harry Connick, Jr. and Megadeth. He is expert on both E9 and C6 tunings and has an encyclopedic knowledge of classic steel styes from the early masters of the instrument. Paul was mentored by legends like Buddy Emmons, Lloyd Green, Pete Drake, Weldon Myrick, Hal Rugg, John Hughey, all fellow Hall of Famers. His guitar dominated the charts during the Country boom of the '90=80's and '90's, he toured the world with Dire Straits and continues to be the first-call pedal steel player in the Nashville studio scene.

From ripping Rock, to twangy Country, to Jazz, to Western Swing and all points in between, Paul honors the past and keeps pushing the instrument forward. It is his desire to share all of the knowledge he has acquired for future generations to study and carry the pedal steel guitar torch into the future.
All Paul Franklin courses are available online 24/7 on any device with an internet connection.

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 11.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 (this is encouraged) 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 thousands 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.

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.

Paul Franklin


Pedal Steel Guitar and Musician's Hall of Famer Paul Franklin brings 50 years of insight and experience to his courses.


From his teenage years playing gigs and sessions in his native Detroit to his many years in the Nashville touring and studio scene, Franklin is the go-to pedal steel guitarist of his generation.

Mentored by the early legends of the instrument like Buddy Emmons, Lloyd Green, Weldon Myrick and Hal Rugg, Paul brings a sense of history to his lessons while always pushing the guitar forward.  From George Jones to Megadeth, Streisand to Dire Straits, Paul's style encompasses all genres.


His ability to convey complex concepts to beginners and pros alike sets him apart from other teachers on the pedal steel guitar.

You Can Also Enroll As A Free Preview Student

Several complete course lessons can be accessed for free!