Lap Steels?

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by Duo Slinger, Oct 19, 2021.

  1. Duo Slinger

    Duo Slinger Synchromatic

    688
    Sep 11, 2020
    California, USA
    So, I've been setting my sights on learning the lap steel. I heard "Sleepwalk" and I was like "oh heck oh damn I wanna play something like that!" So far I've just been compensating by playing it on my G5420 with bends in mimicry of the slides, but I kinda knew that I'm gonna need a lap steel. Do any of you fine folk play a lap steel, or have any buying advice? I've been looking at the SX Lap 2 Ash, the Rogue, and watching for used Morrells.

    And as a side note, for said players, any advice on tone bars?
     
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  2. Les Pedals

    Les Pedals Gretschie

    232
    Mar 29, 2017
    South Jersey
    388E0FBA-3EFD-465F-A343-B7206D2F4026.jpeg The Rogue at $99.00 was the best money I’ve ever spent. It fills the void since I sold my Sho-Bud Maverick pedal steel. I highly recommend a Shubb SP1 bar and away-you go. Good luck .
     
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  3. I had a 52 Rickenbacher spelled with the ch. it had a horseshoe pickup that screamed when you wanted it, and had a clear thick sound through a clean amp. Traded it for my first gretsch, a 5129. At the time the steel was worth about 250 as they made a ton of them that year. But if you look around you can find some deals on reverb. Intonation and action are not issues. As long as the tuners work and it holds tune you are good to go. For comparison I do have a loar model lap that sells for about 150 new and up to 90 or so used. Plays the same but it don’t sound like that horseshoe.
     
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  4. Duo Slinger

    Duo Slinger Synchromatic

    688
    Sep 11, 2020
    California, USA
    That chart is beautiful. I'm keeping it. Thank you. It's lovely. I've stared at it for multiple minutes.

    It's like combining slide guitar with Scruggs-style banjo. Perfect.
     
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  5. Scott Fraser

    Scott Fraser Country Gent

    Jan 14, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I started with the cheap Rogue & have since upgraded to the much nicer Recording King with a P90. The Rogue is ok as a starter. It's a bit shorter scale than others, so even with the heaviest gauge strings I could find it still feels pretty squishy. Generic Strat single coil is OK, but noisy. The Recording King is enough longer to provide a more sturdy experience, & the P90 sounds great.
     
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  6. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    Vintage lap steels are still a heckuva bargain compared to their fretted counterparts. Old Ricks and Fenders are still fairly easy to find.

    For bars, everyone has their favorite, just use what feels good in your hand. Try a bunch. I like the Ezzee Slide bar from England.

    Since you mention the venerable Sleep Walk, the proprietor of Ezzee Slide used to publish a magazine for steel guitarists called Aloha Dream. Therein, he published the most accurate transcription of Sleep Walk, in Santo’s original C#m7 tuning, that I have ever seen. http://www.waikiki-islanders.com/assets/17-March-2007 WEB.pdf There is one error in the very first bar of the transcription. The second chord shows 6 and 6, but it should be 5 and 5 for an A minor chord.

    Santo’s tuning would not be a great tuning to learn on. Start with C6
     
  7. Duo Slinger

    Duo Slinger Synchromatic

    688
    Sep 11, 2020
    California, USA
    ...they are? I haven't found any on Reverb or GC, not under 1.5K at least. Is there a secret site I don't know about?

    Also, thanks for the transcription!
     
  8. Tele295

    Tele295 Country Gent

    here are some old rickys under a grand https://reverb.com/p/rickenbacker-m...ios-share&utm_campaign=csp&utm_content=132836

    I knew the prices would start to explode at some point. Champ steels for $2200? Yikes. These were $500 just a few years ago
     
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  9. Duo Slinger

    Duo Slinger Synchromatic

    688
    Sep 11, 2020
    California, USA
  10. Londoner

    Londoner Gretschie

    274
    Dec 18, 2020
    UK
    Earlier this year bought a 'Harley Benton' lap steel which is a 'Rogue' under a different name.
    As pointed our earlier, the cheap Strat style pickup is noisy and a little brittle.
    I later swapped it for a Duncan 'lil 59'. Perfect fit and a Humbucker to boot. Sounds much fuller.
    The Harley Benton came with a very thin steel tone bar, difficult to hold in my hand, so got a highly reviewed Shubb SP1, and very pleased with it.
    I use the standard C6th tuning, but have also used the A6th which works better on some numbers.

    Here's an early video with it after I started getting my head around it.
    It's the original pickup with the tone rolled off.
    Have fun, I do!
    ps, I converted it to left handed.
    *** Whoops, just checked, my tone bar is a Shubb SP2.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
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  11. wabash slim

    wabash slim I Bleed Orange

    Age:
    72
    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I remember seeing lap steels in junk stores 50 years ago going for $5 to $10. Nobody wanted them.

    Y'all remember that Gretsch made laps steels just a few years ago?
     
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  12. Londoner

    Londoner Gretschie

    274
    Dec 18, 2020
    UK
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
  13. amp360

    amp360 Synchromatic

    658
    Oct 21, 2012
    Maryland
    I have an old Ric that was maybe $125 and one of those ugly Peavey ones that truth be told records beautiful and literally stays in tune like nothing else.
     
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  14. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    I have a 6 string Chandler, mahogany, MOTS board, with a Charlie Christian looking pickup. Kinda medium scale length.
    Havnt practiced in a while but its tuned to C6 which takes some time to get used to if I dont play it regularly.
    For a bar I prefer the feel of my Jimmy Heffernan dobro style bar. Kinda like a Stevens steel but way better.
    Never got used to a round bar but I was a bluegrass reso player first.
     
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  15. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Age:
    58
    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    As far as tone bars go, it's just a personal preference, but for me, the heavier the better. My favorites are the Dunlop 920 and 921 bullet bars for electric lap steel and the Shubb RR2 Robert Randolph for my resonator guitar.

    A lot of this will depend on the size of your hands. If you wear medium-size gloves, a smaller bar might work better. I have a pretty large palm and the smaller bars are more difficult for me to use as a result.
     
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  16. Archtops

    Archtops Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2021
    SoCal
    For the SX by rondomusic.com,
    I’d get the 8-string version as it has the correct bridge and nut.
    The Shubb steel bar is the one to get as mentioned above.

    0A06D0B7-9027-4B65-B506-EA00281B56DD.png
     
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  17. Archtops

    Archtops Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2021
    SoCal
    For the 6 string lap steel, you can always make a new bridge and nut from aluminum angle. I bought the angled aluminum from Amazon.
    Drill the holes for the ferrules that you can purchase from StewMac.
    7E2E2A6C-F867-4762-A4C6-3201AE58C35B.jpeg 97F64D85-088B-4398-98F0-CD93E5D33CC8.jpeg 54CD96B8-C087-4B0F-87C9-F9DB94986643.jpeg
     
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  18. Duo Slinger

    Duo Slinger Synchromatic

    688
    Sep 11, 2020
    California, USA
    How different is the 8 string from the six strings? Since there is a low likelihood of buying a second one, should I start on a 6 string or jump straight to the 8?
     
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  19. Archtops

    Archtops Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2021
    SoCal
    It really depends on you. What you are more comfortable learning on. I have only 6 stringers. As mentioned, the SX six string will need the straight aluminum bridge and is simple to make.
    The slight radius of the bridge that the 6 string SX comes with is counterintuitive. I do like my little 6 string SX.
     
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  20. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Synchromatic

    675
    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
    [​IMG]
     
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