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Post new topic Lap Steel For Christmas - Where should I start?
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Author Topic:  Lap Steel For Christmas - Where should I start?
Chad Murphy


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 28 Dec 2018 3:14 pm    
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Hey Guys

Got a 1950 Fender Champion as a christmas gift, and it's killer. I've played guitar for years professionally, and even dabbled with steel a little bit. Played lots of bottleneck slide in standard and open tunings, and I'm fairly competent with harmony, so I'm wondering where I should be starting with this 6 string lap beast. Which tunings would be best to delve into, songs that are in those tunings, methods and techniques to work on, all that stuff. Any info you have is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Chad
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post  Posted 28 Dec 2018 3:19 pm    
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Let's see a pic of your present.
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Jerry Wagner


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 28 Dec 2018 4:25 pm    
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Hey Chad,
You've got a great little guitar! I highly recommend that you get this book:

The Hawaiian Steel Guitar & It’s Great Hawaiian Musicians, by Lorene Ruymar:
https://www.amazon.com/Hawaiian-Steel-Guitar-Great-Musicians/dp/1574240218/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1475370582&sr=1-1&keywords=hawaiian+steel+guitar

It's got a lot of really interesting & entertaining historical info & photos in addition to a 5 page illustrated version of Jerry Byrd's "Technique of Steel Guitar Playing," starting on page 153. If you want to practice proper technique, this is the place to start. Most beginners now start with C6th tuning (Jerry invented it) because most instruction, workshops and TAB are in that tuning. And it's easy to switch from C6th to A6th or B11th tuning without changing any strings.
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 3:02 am    
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If you want ideas for tunings, let us know what type(s) of music you are interested in playing.
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Tom Young


From:
Sacramento-California, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 9:50 am    
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Chad,

As a lap steel-neophyte with an other instrument background I have been finding lots of cool stuff in addition to my own cheat sheets that I hope other newbies find helpful. ( Brad, if there's a better to place these PLEASE let me know. I'd love to have had a Lap Steel 101 folder to spend months digging thru)

One of the things I found was a bunch of the tunings you can create from a single set of C6th strings. I am fortunate to have a few beaters laying around in different tunings, but I know as a beginner I can easily fool myself into thinking a new tuning is the secret sauce - it's not, but fun trying new sounds out. And I hate changing strings.

Here it is - not definitive and YMMV. 7 strings on chart depending on what your high string is.


I will be posting this in a google drive for editing. I have started an 8-string guide as well ... https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JeS4qFXUuVNGmKbdU_XMVxUz4hosOotnND_qR3K-JXE/edit?usp=sharing
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The One & Lonely Tommy Young
Virtuous Victualer.

Now is the time for drinking;
now the time to beat the earth with unfettered foot.
-- Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace) (65-8 B.C.)
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Michael Butler


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 11:16 am    
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you've certainly come to the right place. just some of the members on this forum are andy volk and doug beaumier and mike neer. they provide some learning books,cds, and you tube videos that will help. also, tony brenninger(sp?)

welcome and have fun!

play music!
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please see my Snakeskin's Virtual Music Museum below.

http://muscmp.wordpress.com/
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 12:13 pm    
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Speaking from experience, one can go a long way in a short time with one of Forumite Doug Beaumier's 6-string C6 tutorials. And be certain to check out Doug's YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK5aT07gOis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9J1CqjgdJWA
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James Kerr


From:
Scotland, UK
Post  Posted 29 Dec 2018 1:53 pm    
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Hello Chad,
When I bought this Guitar in 1964, there were no Steel Guitar teachers in Scotland that I know of, no YouTube or Skype, no Internet so I have never learned anything about Music theory, I just sat down and taught myself to play by ear, you can choose to do that too or spend the rest of your life studying rather than playing.

Both these songs are played in E7th tuning, but I also play in C6th and various other tunings.

"Once upon a Time in the West"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWVll5SxZ7M

"The Music of Hank Williams"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVMPqnxy6ME

Of course, when your buddies learn you have this thing, they will want you in the band so here is my One Man Band with Lap Steel accompaniment,

"Your old Love Letters"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKZQFcoHu9o

The other Steel players mentioned here will lead you on a Righteous Path..........have fun

James Kerr.
Scotland.
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Chris Stainback


From:
Washington, USA
Post  Posted 1 Jan 2019 12:17 pm    
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Welcome Chad!

I'm certainly not a working pro here but in my learning experience picking a tuning really depends on the type of music you'd like to play. You can seemingly make anything "work" with your theory background but certain passages may be easier in than others with particular tunings. No hard or fast rules here, of course, but mostly I've seen Americana, and Blues or rock styles in open G, D or E. Hawaiian, Western Swing and Jazz seems to come in variants of C6, A6, B11 or Leavitt tuning, with the bulk of material in C6 or A6. The variations on each are pretty much endless but I've gone with C6 too and it opens a pretty wide library. Lot's of stuff in open G,D, and E if that your thing too.
Pick blocking and proper muting in general seemed to be a definite point I had to work on when switching over to a horizontal format. Though I've never had a copy, "The Right hand Alpha" by Jeff Newman is well regarded as a great resource for developing good habits for pedal or lap. Learning some of the techniques for harmonics too make things extra steely when used sparingly.
Good luck on your journey! Keep us posted.
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Earl Hensley


From:
Las Vegas Nv.USA
Post  Posted 4 Jan 2019 8:04 pm     Lap steel books
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Chad, I have Doug Beaumier's lap steel books and they are perfect. I have both lap and 1 pedal book. Check Doug out.
_________________
Sierra S-10, 300 watt Tube Works Bass Head, Peavey Bass Amp. Fender Lap Steel, Morrell LRW 8, Hand made George Washburn Spirit,
Fender Strat,Fender Tele', Fender J Bass, Native American Flute,
Epiphone Les Paul,
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Earl Hensley


From:
Las Vegas Nv.USA
Post  Posted 4 Jan 2019 8:05 pm     Lap steel books
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Chad, I have Doug Beaumier's lap steel books and they are perfect. I have both lap and 1 pedal book. Check Doug out.
_________________
Sierra S-10, 300 watt Tube Works Bass Head, Peavey Bass Amp. Fender Lap Steel, Morrell LRW 8, Hand made George Washburn Spirit,
Fender Strat,Fender Tele', Fender J Bass, Native American Flute,
Epiphone Les Paul,
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

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