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Post new topic Third Best Lap Steel Tuning???
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Author Topic:  Third Best Lap Steel Tuning???
John Porcellino


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 10 Feb 2019 9:44 am    
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After about 25 years of wanting to learn steel guitar, six weeks ago I bought my first lap steel... prompted by a visit to my local guitar shop where they had a Peavey Powerslide on sale, used. Not the world's prettiest instrument, but I figured a good enough place to start. Well, I've become obsessed...

Lurking on these and other steel boards I saw the common warning -- you can't have just one. Suffice it so say in the past month I've found myself the proud owner of THREE lap steels -- the Powerslide, an Eastwood Airline, and a Gretsch 5700.

The Powerslide came strung in Open E and I thought that would be an easier way to start learning even though I really wanted to learn C6. Now I'm learning both tunings, E on the Peavey, C6 on the Airline.

So my long-winded question to you experts -- what tuning should I string the Gretsch with? In other words, what's the third best tuning for a beginner to mess around with??

Thanks in advance. I look forward to participating here vs lurking!
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Bill Creller


From:
Saginaw, Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 10 Feb 2019 9:59 am    
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If you wanted an old tuning, C#m7 may be a good one to learn. B11th may be a step too far if you are in the learning stage....
Otherwise, dabbling in many tunings as a beginner, may not help you learn any one tuning very good....

Having a collection of guitars wont help you learn ! Very Happy
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Bill McCloskey


Post  Posted 10 Feb 2019 10:17 am    
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Good old G tuning.
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Fred


From:
Amesbury, MA
Post  Posted 10 Feb 2019 12:54 pm    
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For something completely different, how about the Leavitt tuning?
High
D
C
Bb
G
E
C#
Low

Fred
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Mike Harris


From:
Texas, USA
Post  Posted 10 Feb 2019 1:20 pm    
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John,

what style(s) of music do you want to play on your lap steels?
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Larry Carlson


From:
My Computer
Post  Posted 10 Feb 2019 2:00 pm    
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Your tuning sort of depends on what genre of music you want to play.
I was instructed to find the tuning you want and stay with it until it more or less becomes 2nd nature.
Then if curiosity overwhelms you investigate another tuning.
I play in open D and open G.
There is more than enough there to keep me confused.
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Francisco Castillo


From:
Easter Island, Chile
Post  Posted 10 Feb 2019 2:24 pm    
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I would strongly suggest A6th

Easy to play mayor n minor chords, and once comfortable with it, its easy to learn B11th from there cause they share the top 4 strings
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John Porcellino


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 10 Feb 2019 7:33 pm    
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Thanks everyone. I'm mostly interested in getting a traditional country sound, that's why I'm learning C6... But also curious about open G as it might pertain to country... My original intention with the Powerslide was to string it in C6, but in the meantime I was having fun with it in open E and decided to keep it that way for now.

I'm conscious of the notion that I don't want to spread myself so thin at first with too many tunings, but just wanted to get some thoughts from you guys as I dive in deeper. I'll look into your suggestions and see if one of them strikes me. Thank you!
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post  Posted 11 Feb 2019 5:21 am    
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If you're interested in country and not so much Hawaiian or jazz, B11 isn't the one I'd pick, even though I love it and recommend it in general. I think a C6 and a open/triad tuning for bluesy stuff is plenty for someone starting out. Just because you have more guitars doesn't mean they all have to have different tunings, necessarily.

Get really familiar and comfortable with a tuning first before branching out too far...at least, as someone with about 18 months of experience thus a fellow recent beginner, that's what I would recommend. One thing you could consider...stringing it up with variations of C6. Jules C13, C6 with high G, C6/A7 (same string sets).
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Stephen Cowell


From:
Round Rock, Texas, USA
Post  Posted 11 Feb 2019 9:05 am    
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What kind of bar are you using? If it has a grip you might as well go for gbdgbd dobro.
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Mike Harris


From:
Texas, USA
Post  Posted 11 Feb 2019 9:51 am     Which tuning to start with?
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After a stint on dobro I started playing country and also western swing with C6 tuning. I was pleased with the results. Would recommend it over B11 for a beginner playing country music.
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John Porcellino


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 11 Feb 2019 12:19 pm    
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Stephen Cowell wrote:
What kind of bar are you using? If it has a grip you might as well go for gbdgbd dobro.


Thanks, I started with a Stevens but have a bit more control with my SP-2. I think I might go for the dobro tuning!
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Jerry Wagner


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 11 Feb 2019 5:37 pm    
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I started on Dobro, and now I play a GM6/ C7 combination tuning on a 7-string Rickenbacker bakelite, Lo to Hi: Bb, C, E, G, B, D, G. My Hi G string gage is .013. I use a SIT brand C6 8-string set , toss the .022 string & add the .013 Hi G. I like the range, the slots, & the "lush" chords. Back singers in A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F & G, and like to use open strings here & there. Highly recommend using a Jerry Byrd tone bar: 3/4" x about 3". Tone depends on both guitar & amp; those Hi G string notes work on some set-ups, maybe not so well on others. Some players don't favor those first string Hi notes at all; that's OK. Different strokes, as they say.

Concentrate on learning 1 primary tuning. When you get the urge, experiment with others on another guitar to find what clicks for you. C6, A6 & B11 all work without changing any strings. Get Lorene Ruymar's book & look up Jerry Byrd's instructions starting on page 153:

https://www.amazon.com/Hawaiian-Steel-Guitar-Great-Musicians/dp/1574240218/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=lorene+ruymar%2C+hawaiian+steel+guitar+book&qid=1549930614&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Also, for Traditional Country & Western Swing in A6, look up Eddie Rivers on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rARCcW3I0K4

And SGF: https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=329151

When you're playin' with friends, it's always fun!
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