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OT: If a person can play guitar can they jam lap steel...


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Yes, it depends on the tunings. If you really wanted to you could tune it to eadgbe and have no problems, although you'd have trouble sounding like all the lap steel playing you hear on records. I think the answer you're looking for is : it's another beast.

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The layout is the same (assuming you're used to alternative tunings such as open E and open G), but the playing technique is completely different than round neck "Spanish" style guitar, and since it's played "overhand", it's even different than playing bottleneck style slide.

 

It's similar enough that you have a big head start, but different enough that I personally consider it to be a separate instrument. YMMV.

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i'm on this road right now and yeah, if you tune it in standard guitar open tunings its a breeze but C6 is a nightmare and that's what really gives you that awesome pedal steel sound. basically the bottom 3 strings are a major triad and the top 3 are the relative minor triad. so open the bottom 3 are Cmaj and the top 3 are Am. Knowing what notes you're playing and what interval they are in the chord you're playing over is absolutely integral to being good at it (which i'm not, but i'm working on it every day)

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Knowing what notes you're playing and what interval they are in the chord you're playing over is absolutely integral to being good at it (which i'm not, but i'm working on it every day)

 

 

I know a little, but I definitely need to learn more theory.

 

Is there any reason one wouldn't just play these slide tunings on a normal guitar instead?

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I know a little, but I definitely need to learn more theory.


Is there any reason one wouldn't just play these slide tunings on a normal guitar instead?

 

 

yes, a regular guitar isn't made to handle the string tension of most steel guitar tunings. if you want to ease into it, look into dobro.

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yes, a regular guitar isn't made to handle the string tension of most steel guitar tunings. if you want to ease into it, look into dobro.

 

 

Will you please tell me the tunings? I have a Variax and use open G & E, drop & double drop D. The Variax is great for tunings- no limit from string tension.

 

Thanks

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C6 is a great sound, but very different from the more normal open tunings like E, D, or G.

Heres a post from TDPRI regarding lap steel tunings that Im gonna try out.

 

Originally Posted by J. Hayes

I'd get rid of that C6th tuning as the first order of business. It's an "old" tuning and doesn't match well with the standard six string guitar. My 8 string lap steel is tuned to B6th which is just a half tone lower than the C6th and much less confusing when you're trying to find chord positions in the higher frets (or lower). Mine is tuned (high to low) D#(Eb) B G# F# D# B G# E .... With this tuning if you want a quick E tuning you simply retune the first and fifth string D#'s to E and you've got it.
I also have a six string lapsteel tuned to G6th which is (high to low) D B G E D B... It's simply a G (Dobro tuning) with the bottom G removed and an E string added in the 4th spot while moving the normal 4th and 5th strings to spots 5 and 6. With this tuning you can get 99% of the Blugrass or Dobro type things plus you have a 6th tuning for swing or Hawaiian things. Or you can simply retune the 1st string to E and the 3rd string to G# and you've got a nice E7th tuning for blues, rock or anything else you want, you can even retune the 5th string D a half tone down to C# and you've got an E6th right there.
I have a Chandler 6 stringer set up with Keith/Scruggs banjo D-tuners set up on the 1st and 3rd strings to do this on the fly or even in mid song.


Let's face it.... Most if not all of us on this Forum are primarily guitar players first and double on steel so we're familiar with the positions of guitar chords. Why add something confusing if you don't have to. Tune the thing to E, B, G or A , either major or 6th, you'll be a lot better off. About 12 or 13 years ago I put a very controversial topic on the SGF called "C6th Sucks" in which I received a lot of flack from some players (mostly older) who'd been raised on C6th and didn't know any better. On the other hand, I received some personal messages and emails by some major players who didn't want to be named who totally agreed with me.... Even the great (late) steel guitarist and teacher Jeff Newman recommended tuning the inside neck of a D-10 to B6th as opposed to C6th......... As for the G6th tuning I mentioned, a very well known pedal steel guitarist recorded a CD using this tuning. The E string in the middle makes a world of difference and eliminates a lot of unnecessary bar movement..........JH in Va.

 

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