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Author Topic:  Common Lap Steel Tunings
Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 11 Feb 2021 5:42 pm    
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To help me keep track of the tunings that I’ve either tried, or thought of trying, I figured I’d make a list of about a dozen interesting tunings. Anyway, it wasn’t very long before my little list went past 50 tunings.

For anyone interested, you can find it here,
https://papadafoe.com/lap-steel-tuning-database

There are links at the bottom to the more extensive and established tunings pages.My list is intended as a quick reference to more common tunings only. As such, it is also limited to 6, 7, and 8 string tunings only.
_________________
Current Tunings:
G9 – g G B D F A D (7 string - reentrant)
G9 – G B D F A D (6 string)
G9sus – g G D F A D (6 string - reentrant)
https://papadafoe.com/lap-steel-tuning-database
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2021 1:13 pm    
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I added a couple more tunings today, and a short note about lap steel tuning. Hopefully this page will be a useful resource for beginning and advancing lap steel players.
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Bill McCloskey

 

From:
Nyack
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2021 2:21 pm    
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no 10 string tunings?
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 13 Feb 2021 4:08 pm    
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Bill McCloskey wrote:
no 10 string tunings?


Not yet. I may eventually add a couple. My goal at the moment is to have a quick reference for beginning and advancing players. There are already a few websites with more tunings, history, player profiles, etc. that will appeal to more advanced players.

I’ve linked to those sites, and also to Andy Volk’s book.
_________________
Current Tunings:
G9 – g G B D F A D (7 string - reentrant)
G9 – G B D F A D (6 string)
G9sus – g G D F A D (6 string - reentrant)
https://papadafoe.com/lap-steel-tuning-database
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 14 Feb 2021 5:37 am    
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Allan Revich wrote:
I added a couple more tunings today, and a short note about lap steel tuning. Hopefully this page will be a useful resource for beginning and advancing lap steel players.


What about
C Bb C E G A C E
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Tom Dillon


From:
La Mesa, California, USA
Post  Posted 14 Feb 2021 8:40 am    
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That's a nice reference page you put together. Maybe these didn't make the cut as common tunings for 7 string. I use the C6 and A6 tunings you list, but I use these two more often:

A7: A C# E G A C# E: - I use this one most of the time

A7/C6: A C# E G A C E - Jerry Byrd sometimes used this one

All 4 of those tunings are really easy to change between
_________________
Tom Dillon
- MSA Legend, On-Trak, fiddles, mandos


Last edited by Tom Dillon on 18 Feb 2021 8:43 am; edited 2 times in total
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 14 Feb 2021 10:22 am    
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David M Brown wrote:
Allan Revich wrote:
I added a couple more tunings today, and a short note about lap steel tuning. Hopefully this page will be a useful resource for beginning and advancing lap steel players.


What about
C Bb C E G A C E


This will be added. It looks like a tuning that would be pretty common. I can see a bunch of logical 8 string adjustments to C6. I may do a subheading for 8 string C6 mods.
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 14 Feb 2021 10:27 am    
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Tom Dillon wrote:
That's a nice reference page you put together. Maybe these didn't make the cut as common tunings for 7 string. I use the C6 and A6 tunings you list, but I use these two more often:

A7: A C# E G A C# E: - I use this one most of the time

A7/C7: A C# E G A C# E - Jerry Byrd sometimes used this one

All 4 of those tunings are really easy to change between


Thank you Tom. Both tunings are identical A7? Jerry's C6+A7 is already there, but I’ll add the other JB tuning when I can confirm it, because so many lap steel players like to try his tunings.
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Tom Dillon


From:
La Mesa, California, USA
Post  Posted 14 Feb 2021 11:53 am    
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Allan, It was a pre-morning coffee typo Smile
This is what I meant: A C# E G A C E

But, yes you already have it. I didn't see the second 7 string section at first.
Tom
_________________
Tom Dillon
- MSA Legend, On-Trak, fiddles, mandos
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Christopher Blood

 

From:
Missouri, USA
Post  Posted 14 Feb 2021 12:20 pm    
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Joe Elk


From:
Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 14 Feb 2021 12:50 pm    
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Good one Christopher!
Joe Elk Central Ohio
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 17 Feb 2021 10:01 pm     10 String Tunings Added
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Bill McCloskey wrote:
no 10 string tunings?


I’ve added a few tunings for 10 string lap steel, Bill. Including the Alkire. I’ve also added a few more tunings for lap steels with fewer strings.
_________________
Current Tunings:
G9 – g G B D F A D (7 string - reentrant)
G9 – G B D F A D (6 string)
G9sus – g G D F A D (6 string - reentrant)
https://papadafoe.com/lap-steel-tuning-database
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2021 3:27 am    
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Well done, Allan!
_________________
Steel Guitar Books! Website: www.volkmediabooks.com
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2021 9:18 am    
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Andy Volk wrote:
Well done, Allan!


Thank you Andy. I’m at about 80 tunings now, and I think that’s enough for the purposes of a “condensed” list. Players interested in more tunings or a deeper dive, should probably invest in your book! A link to which, is included on my page.
_________________
Current Tunings:
G9 – g G B D F A D (7 string - reentrant)
G9 – G B D F A D (6 string)
G9sus – g G D F A D (6 string - reentrant)
https://papadafoe.com/lap-steel-tuning-database
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 18 Feb 2021 10:26 am    
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You're welcome and thanks for the link! Your site will be a helpful resource. It's easy to go down the rabbit hole with tunings.
_________________
Steel Guitar Books! Website: www.volkmediabooks.com
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 27 Feb 2021 5:31 pm    
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Andy Volk wrote:
You're welcome and thanks for the link! Your site will be a helpful resource. It's easy to go down the rabbit hole with tunings.


LOL! I am soooo deep down that rabbit hole, I’m scared that I’ll never get out of it!
Lord knows I’m trying though 😆
_________________
Current Tunings:
G9 – g G B D F A D (7 string - reentrant)
G9 – G B D F A D (6 string)
G9sus – g G D F A D (6 string - reentrant)
https://papadafoe.com/lap-steel-tuning-database
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Travis Brown


From:
Florida, USA
Post  Posted 1 Mar 2021 4:25 pm    
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Great list!
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Bill McCloskey

 

From:
Nyack
Post  Posted 1 Mar 2021 4:44 pm    
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Thanks Allan.
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Cappone dAngelo


From:
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Post  Posted 2 Mar 2021 8:32 pm    
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I'm currently using CEGBDF on my 6-string. It gives me major, major7, minor, minor7, dominant7, and diminished (without slants). Slant on the BDF strings gives me augmented.
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Tom Breitenfeldt

 

From:
Germany
Post  Posted 6 Mar 2021 8:23 am    
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I was looking for an 8 string tuning with an open E on the four top strings. At the end I came to this (from bottom to top):
D#,F#,A#,C#,E,G#,B,E
It's a kind of extended F#11...
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 18 Mar 2021 1:51 am    
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Cappone dAngelo wrote:
I'm currently using CEGBDF on my 6-string. It gives me major, major7, minor, minor7, dominant7, and diminished (without slants). Slant on the BDF strings gives me augmented.


That’s a cool tuning. I’ve added it to the database as a G13, though I think it could possibly also be called C major 11. It’s kind of a hybrid tuning, so there may be other appropriate names too.

I see that you’re just across the strait from me. We’ll have to meet up when the Covid ends. Very Happy
_________________
Current Tunings:
G9 – g G B D F A D (7 string - reentrant)
G9 – G B D F A D (6 string)
G9sus – g G D F A D (6 string - reentrant)
https://papadafoe.com/lap-steel-tuning-database
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 7 Apr 2021 8:22 pm    
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Tom Breitenfeldt wrote:
I was looking for an 8 string tuning with an open E on the four top strings. At the end I came to this (from bottom to top):
D#,F#,A#,C#,E,G#,B,E
It's a kind of extended F#11...


Some interesting possibilities there.
D# F# A# C# = D#m7
E G# B E = E major
F# A# C# E = F#7
F# A# C# E G# = F#9 (include the A# for F#11)
C# E G# B E = C#m7

And those represent only the obvious consecutive string strums on open strings. It doesn’t look like the kind of tuning that someone can just “retune to and go”, but it seems pretty powerful for someone willing to take the time to get used to.
_________________
Current Tunings:
G9 – g G B D F A D (7 string - reentrant)
G9 – G B D F A D (6 string)
G9sus – g G D F A D (6 string - reentrant)
https://papadafoe.com/lap-steel-tuning-database
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Tom Breitenfeldt

 

From:
Germany
Post  Posted 8 Apr 2021 1:11 am    
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Thank you for your comment, Allan.
This tuning might provide some "jazzy" sounds (whatever that means...) in a blues jam session...
If you drop the A# to A you get a B11 without root at the bottom.
Here another of my favorite 8-string tunings:
E,G#,B,D,F#,A,C#,E
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Joe A. Roberts


From:
Seoul, South Korea
Post  Posted 8 Apr 2021 2:38 am    
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For Tom's first tuning (low to high):
D#,F#,A#,C#,E,G#,B,E

I do not think naming it either C major 11th or G13th fits. I would call it a B Diatonic, as it has all the notes of the B major scale. I think the weirder tunings like that show the failings of the traditional method of naming tunings by their chords.

One tradition however that I would uphold is listing the strings of tunings from highest to lowest. Why shouldn't the first string be listed first? I like that John Ely's tuning list on his website has an option to display it both ways.

One small issue with the list is with your re-entrant tunings, for instance:

G9 – g G B D F A D (reentrant g)

It is not clear whether or not the re-entrant g is between the 3rd and 4th string, or if it is the highest string, above the top D.
John Ely's site avoids this issue by having the midi pitch for every note.

Other errors I see:
A6 – A C# E F# A C# E F#
being in the most common 8 string tuning section, who uses that? (I do like that tuning quite a lot myself, though)

You have the same B11th tunings listed twice. Also, you could put a lot more B11th tunings, there a lot of variety with them.

E13 – E G# D F# G# B C# E
Listed twice.

C6+A9 – B A C# E G A C E (Joaquin Murphey – referred to as C6/A7)
The B string should be re-entrant.

C13 – Bb A C E G C E (reentrant)
This also doesn't indicate which string is re-entrant. Never heard of this tuning before, interesting.

C13 – C Bb C E G A C E (Low C – used by Jerry Byrd)
I never knew Jerry Byrd used the C6th with Bb but I am sure it's possible that he did.

Robinson “C6” – F A C E G A C E G D
D string not indicated as re-entrant.

Interesting site!
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Allan Revich


From:
Victoria, Canada
Post  Posted 8 Apr 2021 8:03 pm    
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Thank you for all those comments Joe. I’ll review the list tomorrow and make changes.

Deciding which tunings are more and less common is always going to be an exercise in subjectivity, so I’m not overly concerned about nuance there. I definitely want to avoid duplication though, and especially want to avoid erroneous information.

In my G9 reentrant I’m using the middle g. It’s obviously not a common tuning, but it might be a good idea to be more specific on the web page.

Since I only play 6 & 7 string, all of the eight string tunings are from other sources, all of which I’ve referenced on the page.
_________________
Current Tunings:
G9 – g G B D F A D (7 string - reentrant)
G9 – G B D F A D (6 string)
G9sus – g G D F A D (6 string - reentrant)
https://papadafoe.com/lap-steel-tuning-database
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website


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