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Lap Steel Guitar

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by 33db, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. 33db

    33db Strat-O-Master

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    Kind of a weird one, anyone use one? Thinking about getting a cheap one but I don't know much about their builds.
    I was trying to do a slide part on a tele and it sounded like 10 cats and one sardine in a box.

    This thing[​IMG]
     
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  2. Lone Woof

    Lone Woof Senior Stratmaster

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    IMG_0708.JPG IMG_0710.JPG IMG_0712.JPG You need higher action on an electric to play slide. Otherwise, the slide hits the fret and sounds awful.

    Lap steel guitar opens up a whole can of worms with all the different tunings and string gauges for each, and there's a learning curve with holding the tone bar.

    I think they're cool and would tell you, yeah, get one.

    This is my Silvertone, made by Valco.
     
  3. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    My grandmothers husband has a Rickenbacher from the thirties with the original amp that came with it. My buddies music store had a couple of them as well, with their original cases. They were areound 1400 dollars. All steel. Both from the thirties.
     
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  4. JP68

    JP68 Strat-Talker

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    I have three, all modern models. An Eastwood Airline in C6, a Peavey Powerslide in Open E, and a Gretsch for Open G. It's a fascinating instrument that takes a lot of time and work to master. I'm nowhere close, but with a little effort you can get some really lovely sounds going.
     
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  5. Oldduck

    Oldduck New Member!

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    Got a couple. A lot of fun once you figure out what tuning you prefer and playing techniques. IMG_1102.jpeg IMG_1127.jpeg
     
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  6. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-Talker

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    I have a lap steel.

    lapsteel.jpg

    It's made by Fouke Industrial guitars. I saw it and had to have it. It has a multibendor bridge, which can give it a pedal steel kind of sound. Pretty big learning curve - perhaps one day I'll be able to play it and actually sound good.
     
  7. 33db

    33db Strat-O-Master

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    That's nice, from a solid block of aluminum?
     
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  8. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-Talker

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    Thanks. I think it's made from a couple of aluminum rails, with the top and back screwed on.

    lapsteelback.jpg lapsteeltop.jpg

    Sorry about all the dust. As you may be able to tell, I haven't been playing it much lately.
     
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  9. 33db

    33db Strat-O-Master

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    Welp, this is the one I got.
    Thanks for the input folks.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-Talker

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    HNLSGD!
     
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  11. Lone Woof

    Lone Woof Senior Stratmaster

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    Cool little lap steel! What kind of tone bar are you going to use?

    BTW, that looks to have a really short scale. Do you know what it is?
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019 at 11:07 AM
  12. davidKOS

    davidKOS still at it Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I've been playing steel guitar since the mid 1970's.

    I usually use A6 tuning, but also use C6, C6+A7, E7, E13, B11, open A, open E and C#m7. I have a National Waikiki and a Nioma-branded Magnatone vintage 6 string steels, and a new 8 string and a double-8 console. The picture is a cheapo double-6 with Lollar pickups.

    There is indeed a learning curve for bar technique including forward and reverse slants.

    There's a lot of info out on the web if you look for it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019 at 11:42 AM
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  13. 33db

    33db Strat-O-Master

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  14. Lone Woof

    Lone Woof Senior Stratmaster

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    I was real into it for the first month I owned it. I've kind of not played it much since then. I'll get back to it, though. I'd recommend Open E tuning to start out. It's much easier to figure out something that sounds half decent than C6 tuning.
     
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  15. JP68

    JP68 Strat-Talker

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    When I started I tried every bar I could, and settled on the Dunlop Lap Dawg. The right combination of weight and length for me, with the handle on top. The type of fingerpicks you use will also factor in. I settled on Herco flat thumbpicks with slanted brass finger picks. That combination felt perfectly natural and allowed me to forget I had picks on. But I had to try about a dozen combos before I found it, and you will have to experiment to find your own.

    Lap Steel is a "fascinating journey." Good luck and have fun! If I may suggest, join the Steel Guitar Forum online. There's a small $5 joining fee to keep the riff raff out, but they are some of the nicest, most helpful folks on the internet, very happy to patiently help beginners like us. No attitude. They just want more people to play steel!
     
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  16. davidKOS

    davidKOS still at it Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Except that plain major chord tunings do not offer much in the way of options for chords. That's the whole reason for the 6th and other tunings.

    Now, if you use open E, EBEG#BE, you can retune the 2nd string to C# and have a useful Sol Hoopii C#m7 tuning.
     
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  17. JP68

    JP68 Strat-Talker

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    Yeah, it depends on what you want to play on the steel... But Open E will be easiest for someone coming to steel from standard guitar playing, you'll be able to play along to blues tunes in no time at all, and practice your technique and approach, learn licks etc.

    C6 is a traditional country/Hawaiian tuning, and is a whole other barrel of monkeyz, but it will instantly give you that country /western vibe. When I started playing steel I was warned that you can't have just one, because of the different tunings and their different musical applications. Sure enough, I've ended up with three (as noted above). A skilled player can use any tuning to play any tune, but I'm definitely not a skilled player!
     
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  18. Lone Woof

    Lone Woof Senior Stratmaster

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    Sheesh, why you have to be so far ahead on this? Can’t you just let us doofus heads noodle around with I IV V?
     
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  19. davidKOS

    davidKOS still at it Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I found the vintage Nick Manoloff Bakelite bars to be the the ideal size, shape and weight for me.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    https://www.jimdunlop.com/product/9...sortby=ourPicksAscend&page=5&refType=&from=fn

    Of the new bars, the Dunlop bullet bar 920 is a fine choice.

    Open E is easy for a guitar player as you have 3 strings in the same tuning as usual.

    C6 is the most popular tuning; A6 is very popular for Western Swing too.

    Of course!...but the other chords are fun too.
     
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