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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?
C. E. Jackson


From:
Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 26 Aug 2017 9:06 am     Reply with quote

Another nostalgic day. Thinking about when I began to play lap steel. I began learning in late 1948,
on my Dad's 6 string acoustic steel, using A tuning (H-L: E C# A E C# A), and got my first 6 string
steel, a Silvertone, for Christmas 1949 (a gift from my parents). First used different tunings in 1972,
after buying a new Fender Stringmaster Triple 8 (Walnut) for $490.14. Nostalgic memories seem
to come more frequently as I get older.

C. E. Smile Smile
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Last edited by C. E. Jackson on 28 Aug 2017 3:49 am; edited 2 times in total
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Larry Carlson


From:
My Computer
Post Posted 26 Aug 2017 10:33 am     Reply with quote

Last year.
6 strings.
Open D - D A D F# A D
Got some lessons from Troy to get me going.
No one teaches lap steel around here.
Heck, no one sells them around here.
I played acoustic guitar since around 1960 but my hands won't let me do that anymore.

Started with a $75 Rogue RLS-1 from Amazon.
After I discovered I love the lap steel I modified it quite a bit and it sounds pretty good now.
It also has many friends now sitting on their guitar stands in my room including
1939 Rickenbacher Silver Hawaiian and a couple of Marrs Catcans.
I'm having fun. Very Happy
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Doug Beaumier


From:
Northampton, MA
Post Posted 26 Aug 2017 11:31 am     Reply with quote

Started on guitar in the 1960s, a Fender Telecaster. Started on pedal steel about 1971, Emmons student model. Been playing push/pulls ever since then. Got into lap steel about 1990, a 6-string National New Yorker. I did own a Fender Champ in the 1980s, but I was too busy with the pedal steel to explore the lap steel much. Nowadays I spend more time playing non-pedal than pedal steel. I love them both though! Cool
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James Kerr


From:
Scotland, UK
Post Posted 26 Aug 2017 11:59 am     Reply with quote

Like Doug, I too started in the 1960s on a Guyatone D-8 playing E7th. moved on to Pedal Steel and again like Doug went back to Lap Steel, the Pedal Guitar has been in its case for more than 8 years, I have many Lap Steels - Dobro's which give me great pleasure.

James.
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 26 Aug 2017 3:02 pm     Reply with quote

I started in 1972 on a 6-string Rickenbacker Electro. I used flat wound strings and tuned it

A C# E G# B E

I now have the same model guitar, same color (red), but I tune it a step lower to match my other instruments and use regular nickel wound strings.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 2:32 am     Reply with quote

I don't remember the tuning, may have be an open E. Late 40's on a regular guitar with a raised nut adapter.

My first "real" lap steel that I got about 1949 was a D-6 Oahu and I had the first 6 strings of Little Roy Wiggins E13th tuning on one neck and a C6th on the other.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 3:46 am     Reply with quote

I began lap steel on a National Waikiki, which I still have, about 1972. I was working at an old music store, and the steel was in the repair shop, and I got it cheap. I began on A low bass tuning, and moved to A6 and E7 about 1980 or so.

I tried pedal steel in the early 80's and did NOT take to it! So I stuck with non-pedal steel ever since.
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Paul Honeycutt


From:
Colorado, USA
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 10:31 am     Reply with quote

Around 1980 I bought a Rickenbacher Lap Steel, metal body in Navy grey from a pawn shop in Santa Rosa, CA. I tuned it to open E. I also had a beat up '30's National Tri-Cone that I tuned GBDGBD that I messed with. I picked up a squareneck Dobro after I moved to Tucson around 1984. I didn't use them much until I moved to Virgina around '85 and had a band there. I traded the Tri-Cone for a Taylor 12 string, that I still use quite a bit. The Dobro went towards a Historic '56 Les Paul. I'm still saving for a good Weisenborn for an acoustic.

I also picked up a red '60's Rickenbacker lap steel that I had for a while. I got a '47 National New Yorker in the early '90's and sold off the Ricks. I wish I'd kept one of them for C6.

A couple of years ago, I added a '54 National D-8 to the collection, but it's still undergoing restoration.

And that's my oversharing for today!
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Dom Franco


From:
Beaverton, OR, 97007
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 12:34 pm     Reply with quote

1961 on 6 string Fender Student model with 3 legs, We started with Open A tuning Lo to hi (E, A, E, A, C#, E)
Oahu Method sheet music with Tablature above Standard music notation.





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Jim Newberry


From:
Seattle, Upper Left America
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 12:43 pm     Reply with quote

10 years ago, 2007 on a poorly finished (by me) Dynalap guitar kit. Cajun G tuning: low to high: . DGBDGBDG The low D is useless, so 7 strings is plenty.
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Jerry Berger


From:
Nampa, Idaho USA
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 1:44 pm     Reply with quote

In 1958 I started playing on a left handed Magnatone (MOTS) six string. I can't remember what the tuning was but my lap steel teacher used the Oahu method sheet music. I'm in the foreground.



Last edited by Jerry Berger on 28 Aug 2017 7:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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Jack Aldrich


From:
Washington, USA
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 1:50 pm     Reply with quote

1975. I started with a 6 string Dobro, but quickly got a early Fender Champion 6 string, which I put in the Dobro tuning, then in E6. Within 6 months, I was playing pedal steel, first an Emmons student model, 3X2. By early 1976 I had my ShoBud ProI, 3X4.
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Steffen Gunter


From:
Munich, Germany
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 11:00 pm     Reply with quote

2014 I bought a vintage East-German Herrnsdorf 8-string lap steel and a Fender Custom a few month later. High G C6 was and still is my main tuning, B11 followed and some open D.
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post Posted 28 Aug 2017 6:58 am     Reply with quote

2016, 6 strings, C6 tuning, 66 years old! Never played a guitar...........and still can't! Razz
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 28 Aug 2017 11:00 am     Reply with quote

I started with a S-10 MSA Red Baron sometime during the late '70s or early '80s (don't remember exactly) after playing guitar since junior high school. I progressed rather rapidly from the Red Baron, to a Pro I, to a '73 Emmons D-10, which is all the guitar I will ever need.

I was fortunate to live in the Twin Cites, which at that time was a hotbed of excellent players (Cal Hand, Russ Pahl, Mike Cass, Dave Knight), all of whom gave me lessons. By all rights I should be ten times the player that I am.

Stayed with the D-10 through the mid to late '80s until discovering Sol Hoopii, Jim & Bob, Bennie Nawahi et al.

I purchased a 1928 National Style 1 and the Emmons resided in its case for most of the next three decades. I purchased a Weissenborn Style 1 (actually a Maui Maid) and a B-6 Bakelite during a trip to Hawaii in the mid '80s, but didn't really get into the Bakelite until about 5 years ago. The Weissenborn went virtually untouched until last winter.

I started with high-bass A tuning on the tricone, and initially tuned the Bakelite likewise. I discovered Doug Beaumier's YouTube videos, put a set of C6 strings on the Bakelite, and learned how to play "It's Now Or Never" from Doug's video. Everything snowballed from there (thanks, Doug).

My current passion is postwar Gibson 6-string lap steels. I have purchased a handful of basket cases and restored them to playable condition. I have different instruments for different tunings -- open E, C6, A6, B11, and their variants. I have an OMI Dobro in standard G tuning. The National is still tuned to high bass A, and the Weissenborn is tuned to D.

I tried an 8-string, but couldn't really get a handle on it. I recently purchased a badly abused 7-string Gibson Ultratone, and am in the process of gathering the parts necessary to make it playable once again. Plan to set that one up for A6. Stay tuned...
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Joerg Hennig


From:
Bavaria, Germany
Post Posted 28 Aug 2017 11:03 am     Reply with quote

I bought my first lap steel, a Framus 8-string, in 1992, at a little store in my neighborhood that normally sold organs and accordions. It was covered in blue plush or something like it and looked quite bizarre. In those days I had no idea about proper steel guitar tunings so I tuned it like a slide guitar, open E or A major. About five years later I read an article about Junior Brown in Guitar Player magazine where he gave an introduction to the C6 tuning along with some exercises for newcomers. So that's how I first got into the C6 tuning. Shortly afterwards however, I took up pedal steel and played nothing but that for a long time. Then in 2012 I bought a Fender Stringmaster, I think it is the very same one that Steffen Gunter has now. I started with high C6 but soon realized I liked the timbre of the A6 better (leaning mostly towards Western Swing). That became my main tuning, I tuned the front neck to some variety of E13
suited for rockabilly. Due to circumstances I abandoned non-pedal steel for about three years, but it eventually was too strong to resist so I finally got me a Fender Dual 8 Professional and am currently exploring Kayton Roberts' tunings (C6/A7 on the back neck and F13 on the front).
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Jay Yuskaitis


From:
Massachusetts, USA
Post Posted 29 Aug 2017 1:10 pm     Reply with quote

About 1953. Low bass "A". 6 string. Jay Y.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 29 Aug 2017 1:38 pm     Reply with quote

Jack Hanson wrote:

I have different instruments for different tunings -- open E, C6, A6, B11, and their variants. I have an OMI Dobro in standard G tuning. The National is still tuned to high bass A, and the Weissenborn is tuned to D.

.


Now that's the best justification for having several steel guitars. We need one for every tuning. I hope my wife buys that.

I've enjoyed hearing how y'all got into steel, thanks for posting.
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C. E. Jackson


From:
Mississippi, USA
Post Posted 1 Sep 2017 5:32 am     Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone for the posts. You are a great group of friends, and all posts are interesting.

Having a great day as Nancy and I are celebrating our 60th anniversary.

C. E. Very Happy Very Happy
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 1 Sep 2017 6:14 am     Reply with quote

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!
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 1 Sep 2017 7:58 am     Reply with quote

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
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Luke Foo


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 1 Sep 2017 10:26 am     Reply with quote

I started 2 months ago! Six string C6 tuning on a beginner model Recording King.

My background: long time guitar player, have always loved the sound of steel guitar but teachers were hard to come by. I recently moved to the SF Bay area, picked up the ukulele, got into Hawaiian music, which then kindled a thought about learning the steel guitar. Hawaiian and country music are very popular up here. Fortunately I was able to find a good teacher, and the rest is history.

Great group of folks on this forum, by the way. I'm learning quite a bit from you all.
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Dustin Kleingartner


From:
Saint Paul MN, USA
Post Posted 1 Sep 2017 10:54 am     Reply with quote

I started on lap steel in 2015, on a 6 string Gretsch. C6 tuning with a C# on the low string to get those easy 7 chords.

About a year and a half ago I bought a Stage One, and love it!

I still have the Gretsch, right now I have it set up with a dobro-esque tuning G# B E G# B E
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William Hoff


From:
Missouri, USA
Post Posted 2 Sep 2017 3:48 am     Reply with quote

I'm guessing 1960, 6 strings, whatever this Roy Rogers guitar was tuned too. I was into lap stuff from the very start.
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Erv Niehaus


From:
Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 2 Sep 2017 7:34 am     Reply with quote

What a cute picture! Very Happy
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