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Lap Steel?

Messages
2,903
just got an all orig 50's fender champion and wanted to know what people are using for tunings... just getting into this so i don't really know much, i have tried open e and a6. both extremely different, but is there a standard tuning or something good to start with? looking for something bluesy and then something country. thanks for the help,

Jordan
 

parns2112

Member
Messages
144
i use open E alot...use heavier strings if you wind up in open D or G...i also like the "usual" David Gilmour tuning, which is (low to high) D G D G B E
 
Messages
1,806
Well, there are lots of standard tunings for lap steel but no one standard. You're on the right track. A straight up major chord like E or G works for blues and a sixth chord like A6 for Hawaiian and western swing.
 
Messages
2,903
thanks guys, please keep all the info coming, i was just thinking today i need to find something to occupy some time so all this info will def help, along with a ton of playing.

Jordan
 
M

Member 995

Open D: DADF#AD
Open D minor: DADFAD
Open G: DGDGBD
Open G minor: DGDGBbD
G modal: DGDGAD
 

Neer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,762
I would advise you to give the C6 tuning a try for a year. This is the most common tuning and there is a ton of instructional material available. You really can play any style on it, it's just that it requires a disciplined right hand. Guitar and lap steel are 2 different animals--that is, if you approach the steel from the classic and traditional approaches (which I recommend if you love that type of playing).

C6 from top to bottom:

E (.014) C (.018) A (.022p) G (.026w) E (.032) C (.038)
 
Messages
2,413
just got an all orig 50's fender champion and wanted to know what people are using for tunings... just getting into this so i don't really know much, i have tried open e and a6. both extremely different, but is there a standard tuning or something good to start with? looking for something bluesy and then something country. thanks for the help,

Jordan
C6 is a common one, but I get the most mileage out of E6/7 which is actually a 7 string tuning

high to low

E
B
G#
E
B
C# (or D depending on the tune)
E

Take out the low string for 6-string steels.
 
Messages
7,602
I've only dabbled a little with my lap, but I'll throw in for C6 too. An open G/E tuning makes it too easy to fall into the standard blues slide licks, but the C6 voicings gave me instant Hank Williams.
 

nmiller

Drowning in lap steels
Messages
7,451
I use my own bizzarre E6 that allows me to do major and minor chords reasonably well:

Low to high: B-C#-E-G#-B-E
 

Blazes

Member
Messages
1,071
I use E-C-D-G tuning depending on the tune, obviously..

Big gage flat wound strings worth a try ..Sounds big & slippery..
 

dr.slide

Member
Messages
498
i recently did a memorial concert, played with 4 different bands...#1- cosmic country ...#2- avantgarde blues/jazz....#3- classic rock.....#4- acoustic americana... covered it ALL with one 8 string lap steel, one tuning, C6/Am7... low to high A C E G A C E G .... i have experimented with tons of tunings, used to haul a double neck 6 string and two single neck 6's to gigs before i made the commitment of playing shows with my single 8.....the C6/Am7 tuning is what for me is the most versatile and usable tuning for the various types of songs i play at shows....if i was playing all straight blues or all straight rock, then i might look at using open G or open E.. but with the olio of styles i play, C6/Am7 is what i have chosen... i sarted lap steelin' in open E, but i wish i would have started in the C6, as previously posted, there are lots of good instructional dvd's on C6..... have fun!!!!! the doc
 

louderock

Member
Messages
5,057
Is the only difference between lap steel and pedal steel the pedals and levers? Is the playing approach and tuning(s) the same? In other words, could I learn the basics on lap steel and then eventually move into pedal steel pretty easily? I think pedal steel is an E9 tuning and 10 strings. Not sure what the pedals and levers do. What sort of lap steel and tuning would allow the easiest transition to pedal steel?
 
M

Member 995

Is the only difference between lap steel and pedal steel the pedals and levers?
No. Find a pedal steel to try and you'll probably find the tuning is confusing at first glance.

If your goal is to play pedal steel, I think starting on pedal steel makes a lot more sense.
 
Messages
2,413
I've heard that from people, and I don't play pedal steel so I don't know, but Buddy Cage did tell me that he started on lap steel.
 




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