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Author Topic:  Building an 8 string Lap steel
Dom Franco


From:
Beaverton, OR, 97007
Post  Posted 29 Aug 2019 5:45 am    
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As Summer draws to a close, and temperatures drop again. I am looking forward to heading out into the woodshop.

8 string guitar pickups have become cheaper and more readily available, so I am excited about building some 8 string steels again.

I am thinking about a basic A6th tuning but adding a higher (dom.7th) G string and a lower A (bass)
High to low would be G E C# A F# E C# A... what say ye?

Any ideas how to better use 2 extra strings?

I am committed to keeping the basic A6th strings because I have worked out hundreds of songs over the years, and I perform them often. (I don't want to have to think too hard when playing a gig with a new tuning)

Razz Dom
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C. E. Jackson


Post  Posted 29 Aug 2019 6:04 am    
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Dom, here is my choice for an 8 steel A6 tuning.

H-L: E C# A F# E C# A F#

C. E. Jackson Smile
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Bill Sinclair


From:
Hagerstown, Maryland, USA
Post  Posted 29 Aug 2019 6:46 am    
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I think that a number of people use the "McAulliffe" A6 tuning that C.E. mentions and then just bump the low F# up to a G to get the dominant 7th. Of course, it's a much different voicing than what your tuning would provide.
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L. Bogue Sandberg


From:
Chassell, Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 29 Aug 2019 11:37 am    
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I'd second Bill Sinclair: A13 with the G on the bottom. The same intervals as Junior Brown's C13. I've used the G13 version of that for 12 years on my 8 string resonator. A13 would sound better I believe, but "I don't want to have to think too hard when playing a gig."
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post  Posted 29 Aug 2019 2:02 pm    
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A6 with a low G is going to be functionally very similar to my preferred C13, just without the lowest C, and with an extra 5th on top. Like Junior Brown's C13, as mentioned.

Nice thing about keeping the 7th on the low strings is that its still pretty "strummable". That's why I like C13, but E13 kind of breaks my brain a bit...
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 29 Aug 2019 2:41 pm    
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C. E. Jackson wrote:
Dom, here is my choice for an 8 steel A6 tuning.

H-L: E C# A F# E C# A F#

C. E. Jackson Smile


Bill Sinclair wrote:
I think that a number of people use the "McAulliffe" A6 tuning that C.E. mentions and then just bump the low F# up to a G to get the dominant 7th. Of course, it's a much different voicing than what your tuning would provide.


And you can raise the lowest A to Bb:

H-L: E C# A F# E C# Bb G

full dim 7 chord on the low 4

Also can retune to a B11.

If it was my steel, I would not use the high G, it just confuses me.
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Dom Franco


From:
Beaverton, OR, 97007
Post  Posted 29 Aug 2019 4:14 pm    
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I am gonna try a few of your suggestions... But as far as a tuning being "strummable" that G on the bottom might mess me up more than the Hi G on the top.

I know that some players complain about the high G on a C6th tuning, sounding "thin" but I will use a heavier gauge string, .014 or even a .015 if possible.

In the context of my playing style, the higher dom.7th would sound brighter, and I could use the top 3 strings as a sliding diminished triad, (Which sounds very cool and jazzy on some tunes)
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