I wierded out bOb, the proprietor of The Pedal Steel Guitar forum when I inquired about using a straight pentatonic tuning on an 8 string Fender. He’s a great guy and was nice about the off-the-wall query. He wrote me: “I see.” I abandoned the idea, (pentatonic D starting at D3, low D-E-B-A-G-D-B-D,) soon enough.
Yet, given that the goal is to make naive Kamelmauz-style hed music sooner rather than later, I searched through the haystack of tuning threads on the forum. There are but two schools of thought on 8 string pedal steel tunings. Either you do an impoverished E9, loosing the chromatic strings, or go for a variant on Sneaky Pete’s B6th. The Sneaky B6th is basically a universal-type tuning. Except, Sneaky worked with 9 pedals and 2 knees!
Then I came across an E Major tuning. It’s either a Bobby Lee (bOb) by way of Dave Dogett, or visa versa, tuning. It’s very much like the standard Open E on two of my lap steels.
Next, I approximated part of the standard E9th using the familiar E9 pedal set up. Basically, this Open E tuning strips the F# strings out of the E9th tuning. Called by bOb the E Power tuning, and used by nobody except naive pikers set up in the room off the kitchen–probably–the tuning is very neat. It’s all major chord grips with the pedals used to snatch some country-ish licks, and, lo and behold, snatch the pentatonics too.
Oh, I hung a G Pentatonic on the Rondo SX 6 string lappie.