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Post new topic When You Started Lap steel: Year?No. of Strings?Tuning?
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Author Topic:  When You Started Lap steel: Year?No. of Strings?Tuning?
Stefan Robertson


From:
London, UK
Post Posted 3 Sep 2017 1:54 am     Reply with quote

I'd say off and on for about 12 years. Most of the time off.

I started with Open D and Open C because of Ben Harper and Kelly Joe Phelps a while ago then quit playing altogether and played regular guitar.

Got a 12 string superslide Reece C6 Tuning - upset my ex-wife. Cost us a small vacation. then after it was stolen I stopped altogether.

Started back recently but seriously studying theory this time around about a year and a half ago.

Went through many iterations of tunings from CM9 - CM13 to Em9 to E13 to Leavitt

Then Combined Leavitt and E13 and created my Bebop E13#9/F which has it all. Never went back to anything less than 12 strings. Never needed it.
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G Strout


From:
Carabelle, Florida
Post Posted 3 Sep 2017 8:14 pm     Reply with quote

Started in the early 60's. Rick B6 Panda with an A maj tuning. Changed to a C6 after a few years. Then the Stones and Beatles suddenly became "the thing" I endured a lot of razzing from my classmates until 1969-70 when the Allman Brothers came on the scene..... changed to an E tuning with a Marshall amp and suddenly I was "cool" again.LOL Rolling Eyes
These days I am back on C6 - E9/13 using an Excel JB Model D8. Also Marlen S10 (E9) and a pack of Guitars... mostly Guilds and Fenders.
These days playing more non pedal than I do pedal.
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C. E. Jackson


From:
Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 4 Sep 2017 6:06 am     Reply with quote

Jack Hanson wrote:
C. E. Jackson wrote:
Having a great day as Nancy and I are celebrating our 60th anniversary.

Congratulations, C. E. That is an accomplishment to be very proud of. Cheers!


Jack, thanks for the kind words. We had a great day with our family.

C. E. Smile

Erv Niehaus wrote:
C. E.,
We have very similar backgrounds.
I started on an acoustic Oahu guitar about the same time you did, then graduated to an electric Gibson lap guitar.
I also started on the A, high bass tuning.
I still use that tuning on a dobro.
When I got into the different tunings I got a T-8 Stringmaster and played that until I ordered my 1st pedal steel from Shot Jackson in approx. 1967. Very Happy


You are right, Erv. Our backgrounds are very similar. Maybe our ages are similar???? Smile I am glad to still be here,
and very happy we can both still enjoy playing our steels.

C. E. Very Happy



I am really enjoying all the posts, and especially seeing the photos of young children playing steels.
Thanks everyone for the posts and photos.


Here is a photo of my youngest grandson, Tristan, learning to play steel in 2008. Learning on a
1949 Silvertone 6 string in A tuning. Tristan is 14 now, 6 foot tall, and playing football on the
Madison County School team.

My......how time does pass.






C. E. Very Happy
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A6 tuning for steels
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 4 Sep 2017 7:24 am     Reply with quote

C. E.,
I'm thinking we are of the same vintage, age wise, but you've got me beat by 10 years in the marriage department. My bride and I just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in August.
My, how time flies when you're having fun! Rolling Eyes
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C. E. Jackson


From:
Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 4 Sep 2017 4:41 pm     Reply with quote

Erv Niehaus wrote:
C. E.,
I'm thinking we are of the same vintage, age wise, but you've got me beat by 10 years in the marriage department. My bride and I just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in August.
My, how time flies when you're having fun! Rolling Eyes


Erv, I believe we are the same vintage, age wise. Congratulations to you and your bride on celebrating your 50th anniversary. After reaching
anniversaries past the 50th, it gets kind of hard for many couples to remember life before marriage. Take care and enjoy playing your steel.

C. E. Very Happy
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My YouTube Steel Guitar Songs
A6 tuning for steels
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 5 Sep 2017 7:25 am     Reply with quote

Thanks, C. E. Very Happy
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David Becker


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 5 Sep 2017 9:34 am     Reply with quote

Slightly more than a year ago. Took it up upon retirement. Hadn't done any music since before I was a teen, and never played guitar. First was Rondo SX 6 string, C6 tuning. Shortly after, got a good deal on a National Chicago model, 6 string, which is now my main player, in C6. Rondo is now in open E. Fairly recently bought that beautiful keyless 8-string that Johnie King made and have it tuned in A6 for western swing. I'm loving learning to play, humbling though it is, and I play in 3-4 jams a month.
Love this forum. So many talented musicians sharing their knowledge and passion is truly inspiring.
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Tom Johnstone


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 6 Sep 2017 2:10 am     Reply with quote

A noob here. I bought a no-name 6 string 2 months ago that has a Duesenberg bender bridge and originally started with open E tuning. Now settled on A6. I have an 8 string Bennett keyless on the way and my eye on another vintage 6. I'm a bass player by profession but have always fancied some steel in my life. Smile
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C. E. Jackson


From:
Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 6 Sep 2017 4:04 am     Reply with quote

Tom, thanks for the post and welcome to the Forum. I noticed you joined yesterday. Lots of great people and information here.

C. E. Very Happy
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Mick Hearn


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 6 Sep 2017 5:33 am     Reply with quote

I started in the 60's playing electric guitar and then took up pedal steel in 1975.
About 1998 I had put the steel away and was doing solo work with 50's and 60's. I got a 3/4 Dean electric guitar and tuned it open G having raised the nut. Used to carry it around to do one solo which was Road to Hell and then later some Leeroy Parnell stuff.
In the meantime I had purchased a George Boards 8 string and started to mess around but did not take it seriously until just over 2 years ago when I got my National Console. From there it just took off playing around with C6 and E13 tuning. The bug has bitten as I prefer lap steel to pedal steel albeit twisting the bar backwards and forwards to play some pedal steel stuff as well as more traditional swing.

It seems to me that I can see whats going on better with the lap steel than pedal steel. Also started listening to all the lap steel greats and found a whole new exciting world out there.
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Tom Johnstone


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 6 Sep 2017 7:21 am     Reply with quote

C. E. Jackson wrote:
Tom, thanks for the post and welcome to the Forum. I noticed you joined yesterday. Lots of great people and information here.

C. E. Very Happy


Many thanks for the welcome, C.E.

Yeah, this place doesn't help my GAS Smile
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post Posted 6 Sep 2017 8:40 am     Reply with quote

April 2014, so a little over 3 yrs. I knew it would take me two years to get to the level of "suck" but I didn't realize I'd remain stuck there. Razz Having a great time with it though and the bands that I play sax and harmonica with keep encouraging me to play more lap steel. Hmmm... maybe that says more about my sax and harmonica playing? Laughing

Started on a Supro Airliner six string tuned to open E and later changed to E over A (Amaj9). Also have A6 on my double necks. I've also acquired a small collection of lap and console steels as part of my fascination with this instrument.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 6 Sep 2017 8:45 am     Reply with quote

It sounds like you are suffering from GAS (guitar acquisition syndrome) Laughing
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 6:41 am     Reply with quote

Another new player here. Long time guitarist and bassist in a variety of styles, and a student of Indian classical music since 2011 (sitar and surbahar). When I was in college back in the early 2000s I picked up a Morrell lap steel (the really, really cheap one) because I had G.A.S. quite badly back in those days, and I had seen Steve Howe play one with Yes ("And You and I" and "Soon" from Relayer)....and it was one of the cheaper guitars I could pick up from Musicians Friend! I never really did anything with it...I think I had it tuned EADGBE and didn't know any better...

10 years later my interest in Hawaiian music was piqued (hat tip to Alfred Apaka). That stayed somewhat latent for a while (while I was more devoted to Indian classical music) but in the past few months, I decided to start to learn properly, and start to listen to new players. Alfred Apaka and Jules of course, but then also Sol Ho'opi'i and Jerry Byrd. I finally got my instrument properly working with proper string gauges and C6 tuning, as well as a humbucker instead of the noisy single coil (still not great, but a cheap upgrade).

I've got the Jerry Byrd course on order from Scotty's Music (arriving today probably), and I've been getting quite comfortable moving around in C6. I went to B11th as an exotic sort of adventure away from C6 in order to learn "Sand", and I think I've gotten to that point where I can play that better than most songs I know, but I can't get around improvisationally very well in B11, just not used to the string intervals yet...C6 feels comfortable. But...those chords in B11 on "Sand", just lovely sounding, can't imagine it in C6. -guess I need that doubleneck console after all- ha!

Maybe next year I'll be able to take some lessons! In the meantime the Jerry Byrd course will keep me busy I'm sure...
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Dick Chapple Sr


From:
Hardin Montana, USA
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 7:27 am     When did I start? Reply with quote

I started playing lap steel in 1947, taking lessons from an Oahu teacher. I played on an Oahu acoustic, then in 1948 graduated to an electric Oahu 6 string with matching amp. I have always listened for Hawaiian music and any and all steel guitar music and any music with lap steel, Resophonic steel, pedal steel, and ukulele included somewhere in the songs.
Thanks to Erv I have been playing pedal steel at church and a gig every so often using his fantastic tab music and enjoy playing every day. Going on 77 now I get such great satisfaction from playing.
After GAS hit very hard for about the last 4 years, I bought and sold probably 30 or 40 lap steels and pedal steels until I settled down to THE ones I feel the best at playing. I now am down to 3 pedal steels, 2 resophonics, 1 baratone Ukulele, 4 lap steels and one very fine 1919 Gibson f hole mandolin.
It is very encouraging to see new players coming in along the way and hear there experiences etc.

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Dick
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 7:50 am     Reply with quote

Dick,
Thanks so much for the kind words. Very Happy
Erv
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Jack Aldrich


From:
Washington, USA
Post Posted 26 Sep 2017 12:08 pm     Reply with quote

1975 on a Dobro and then a Fender Champ 6. Pedal steel until 1992, then lap.
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Rich Gardner


From:
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 10:29 am     Reply with quote


I went from this circa 1957 to this today

I started steel circa 1957 and went through the usual tunings with the Oahu method. My instructor was Vi Lang, who taught at Kitchen's House of Music in Fostoria, OH. Later, she opened her own studio in Tiffin, OH as Vi's School of Music. I settled in on E7th and C6th tunings(high G on top). She was a big fan of Jerry Byrd who was from Lima, OH about an hour and a half from Tiffin. I have since bought a pedal steel, but still get the old Ric out and enjoy playing it.
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Bill Creller


From:
Saginaw, Michigan, USA
Post Posted 28 Sep 2017 11:54 pm     Reply with quote

My first "steel" guitar was a beat up flat top that my Dad brought home from someplace, in 1946 !
I made a tone bar from a chunk of bar stock, and went at it ! I still have that bar ! I "electrified" that guitar with one side of a WW2 "throat mic", and hooked it up to an old table model radio for amplification.
In 1947, working the summer for a farmer, I bought my first "real" electric steel, a new BR-9 Gibson & amp.!! Very Happy
I started playing parties etc with a family friend who played guitar, using an E major tuning. I thought the A major tuning sucked !
In 1949 I took about 6 months of lessons from a country steel player, who used the Gibson notation system. Never did know how to use tab !! Very Happy Should work on that maybe !
In 1950, I bought a new National New Yorker steel and National Amp. (still have both)
Played a lot of weddings, & some bars etc until '52 when the military interfered !
Didn't play much after I came home, in '55.
Many decades later, in 1999, my wife bought a copy of Hawaii Magazine, and I asked if there was any music catalogs etc listed in it....Yup ! a place in Kauai..Tropic Isle Music.
She bought me a CD of Barney & George Kuo for Xmas...That was what started all this stuff, all over again !
Shoulda built more boats & airplanes, but I got hooked again !
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C. E. Jackson


From:
Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 13 Oct 2017 10:55 am     Reply with quote

Bill, interesting that you made your tone bar from a chunk of bar stock. The bar which I learned to play with in 1948 was made by my dad in the local Illinois Central Railroad boiler shop where he worked, before he became a building contractor. It was made of non-chrome steel and was a double bullet-nose bar, which is still owned by a brother who plays steel.

C. E. Smile
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Last edited by C. E. Jackson on 25 Oct 2017 1:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Larry Lenhart


From:
Ponca City, Oklahoma
Post Posted 13 Oct 2017 5:56 pm     Reply with quote

I started in 1969 with a Fender quad that I bought for $150 from my teacher, Bill Pruitt after hearing him teach a student "Steelin' the Blues"-loved that sound. Bill taught me by rote as I was leaving for the USAF shortly and he didnt think I had time to learn much. ( I had been teaching guitar at his studio for about 7 years). Much earlier than that I can remember as a youngster in grade school, taking a socket wrench and laying it on a Silvertone guitar whose neck was so warped that I couldnt push the strings down. I had no idea that this was making it a "steel" guitar and I have no idea where I got the idea even to try it that way...so it must have been in my bones early that I wanted to play steel Smile
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post Posted 14 Oct 2017 5:43 am     Reply with quote

Rich Gardner wrote:

I went from this circa 1957 to this today

I started steel circa 1957 and went through the usual tunings with the Oahu method. My instructor was Vi Lang, who taught at Kitchen's House of Music in Fostoria, OH. Later, she opened her own studio in Tiffin, OH as Vi's School of Music. I settled in on E7th and C6th tunings(high G on top). She was a big fan of Jerry Byrd who was from Lima, OH about an hour and a half from Tiffin. I have since bought a pedal steel, but still get the old Ric out and enjoy playing it.


Still a stylish dresser!
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currently own, 4 Gronertone lap steels.
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