So I am thinking of buying a lap steel guitar

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Throttleneck, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. RollingBender

    RollingBender Tele-Afflicted Vendor Member

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    The benders are the ones I make. I rigged up a pedal system with 2 buttons under the heel of my picking hand which operates a couple levers inside the guitar that pull the benders. Works very well but decided it was not cost effective to market the system (would be prohibitively expensive to produce at scale).
     
  2. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    $500 for a supro is way too much! look for a lap steel, used for less than $300. gibson, fender, silvertone, gold tone, magnatone, national, vega are just some of the names you may look into. note that they will cover the range of prices tho.

    i have one oahu acoustic and three electric lap steels=1 asher hawaiian jr, 1 gibson br9 and 1 national lap steel.

    they are different since you are playing them on your lap. you will be using different muscles with your left hand and eventually moving the bar a little up and down to get to individual strings as well as sideways to perfect different chording. so, it will take a while until your hand gets used to it.

    check the steel guitar forum for more info. great people and possibly a source for your lap steel as well as people to help you learn.

    play music!
     
  3. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

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    I got a Gretsch G7000 something for about 200€

    Sold it and I quite regret doing that...
     
  4. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi Tele-Meister

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    And have a beer bottle neck handy!!
     
  5. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

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    Well I used thick brass slides and now I favor a cow bone one that I have been loving this last three years
     
  6. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi Tele-Meister

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    INTERESTING. I assume this reduces resonance and softens the sound ( less highs). I always used a highly polished steel bar for my steel guitar because, to my ears, it produces a more " accurate" sound and .. you get some feedback from the bar because the bar is heavy and therefore seems to help in making sure there is sufficient pressure on the strings.. Just don't drop the darn thing on your toes.!!
     
  7. Kontaktmoi

    Kontaktmoi Tele-Meister

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    This is a live performance of Scotty DeWitt ( St.Louis) playing his lap steel .. This is called a Fry Pan and.. to my ears. has one of the best sounds but clearly it's the man behind the guitars that makes the music.

    Scotty passed away in 2015... I bought my Emmons 2 x 10 from him decades ago.

    Watch his bar work, the slants he gets and the amazing tone and sustain and he uses a foot volume pedal.... that makes a world of difference too. Enjoy! This guy is my lap steel hero.

     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
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  8. MickM

    MickM Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Mine is a '54 I believe with the legs but the pickup has a white plastic cover like some others have posted. I also was able to pick up an old Supro with the strings through the pickup from GC where it sat for close to a year due to the asking price which I pointed out was way high considering that it was a re-fin. Sales guy phoned the mgr and we struck a deal. When I got it home I removed the control plate to clean the pots and discovered to my delight that it has the original finish after all and shows no signs of refinishing other than being in mint condition.
     
  9. hotraman

    hotraman Tele-Holic

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    Lap steel? Heck yeah!!
    I started with a Telecaster B bender.
    That led me into learning / playing a 10 string pedal steel.
    Bought a 8 string lap steel from my teacher.
    Playing lap steel and pedal will make you a better musician.
    Pedal steel is the hardest to learn ... but so worth it.
    My 8 string is tuned to E9 tuning.
    Brads Page of Tunings has so many tuning options ... its crazy.
    I used to own a Peavey Powerslide ... but sold it.
    Didn't care for the feel.
    And start listening to folks like Larkin Poe ... its a great musical journey to embark on.
     
  10. MickM

    MickM Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    If you get a chance to see David Lindley play, check out his left hand. He doesn't lay his index finger on top of the bar and damp with the others but holds the steel with his thumb and index finger perched vertically. It makes it easy to slant the bar but I didn't watch long enough to see any damping technique.
    I saw this watching a Jackson Browne thing on Amazon Prime video.
     
  11. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Holic

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    Well is like a glass one, less highs than a metal one and if it falls it doesn't break. Is really sturdy and fat sounding.

    I even have a a ergonomic bar made of bone but with a brass rod inside to add some wheight
     
  12. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Holic

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    I like this guy’s video lessons, and he seems to have a very similar fleet of steels to yours. Hmmmmm...



    That tune really grabbed me so I decided to try the B11 tuning he’s in, after frustration with C6 tuning (and subsequent years spent noodling around in Dobro G tuning). The tune is easy to play in B11 and the chords sound lovely to me but that’s as far as I’ve gotten...so far.

    I really like how this guy does this version of “Little Wing” too. He’s using an Em7 tuning and does a nice slow build in playing and tonal intensity throughout...it’s worth watching the whole thing. At one point he tilts the steel and lets the bar roll down the strings to do a descending slide. A neat trick; if I tried that I’d have a big dent in my foot, guaranteed!



    I like more of a clean, pedal steel-esque sound from lap steels, not the snarly bluesy dirty tone some seem to favor...and my Peavey Special 150’s clean channel has bright clean headroom in spades plus a spring reverb that sounds better to me with my steel than guitar. The amp is basically a late 80s Bandit 75 Solo Series with twice the watts. Great steel amp to my ear.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
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  13. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    @mexicanyella
    I haven't decided which Peavey I'll be keeping for the steel; theres a Nashville and a Renown, and another that I need to move some stuff off of to get to.

    Definitely far from what I like for guitar, but exactly as you say, brightness, clean, tinsel of headroom, and Peaveys have good spring reverb.
    It'll still be a year before I have a firm grasp on the thing, but the country and Hawaiian sounds are what I'm after. I'm a huge fan of blues, but I'm after something different with the steel.
     
  14. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Holic

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    Sounds like you have some good options to choose from for a steel amp. I’d be interested to hear your impressions and thumbs up/thumbs down verdict on each as you try them.

    I said I didn’t care much for distorted steel tone, but here’s an exception...heard this Greg Leisz tune on a compilation a few years back. Cool solo at around 3:00 that edges into Red Ryder “Lunatic Fringe” slide solo tone (another example of dirty slide that I like).

    Comes out of the solo with a stack of overdubs that are pretty nuts and lead to some interesting harmonized lines.

     
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