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Lap Steel/Slide Guitar


Lap Steel/Slide Guitar

A place to discuss lap steel/slide guitar and other incarnations of the instrument ala pedal steel guitar and non-pedal steel guitar. Feel free to discuss building, learning, playing, tunings, maintainance, of new and vintage instruments.

Members: 39
Latest Activity: Apr 10, 2015

Discussion Forum

Squareneck Journal intro video

1 min video intro for my blog which is dedicated to squareneck resonator and Weissenborn guitars. Includes interviews with top players and builders, tips on musicianship, guitar, gear and CD…Continue

Started by Rob Anderlik Apr 10, 2015.

Feelin' Bad Blues 2 Replies


Started by Rob Anderlik. Last reply by Rob Anderlik Mar 2, 2015.

Lap Guitar Tunings 14 Replies

I'm fairly new to the various tunings one can use for playing slide guitar.  I'm also new to the concept of more than 6-strings!  Bearing that in mind I just received a Fender Stringmaster D8 which…Continue

Started by John Gundrum. Last reply by fred davis Mar 17, 2012.

What Model Gibson Lap Steel Is This? 8 Replies

Can anyone identify for sure what model and/or year the below Gibson lap steel guitar is?Edward: Does the Gibson Steel Guitar book show this?Thanks!JohnContinue

Tags: steel, guitar, lap, gibson, model

Started by John Gundrum. Last reply by John Gundrum Sep 4, 2010.

Comment Wall


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Comment by John Gundrum on November 2, 2013 at 11:33am

Very nice, Ray!

Comment by rayinstirling on November 2, 2013 at 9:23am

Edward here is something I started today after not touching this instrument for 30 years

Comment by rayinstirling on November 2, 2013 at 4:58am

Cheers Mark, I haven't used it in anger since the early 80's but unlike some of my other buy's from way back I didn't sell it off for some ridiculously low price.

Unfortunately a Framus banjo I bought and used early 70's for the equivalent of a month's wage has long gone :( 

Comment by Edward Sparks on November 2, 2013 at 4:58am

Ray, Beautiful, but it sounds just as good as it looks! 

Comment by Mark Harwood on November 2, 2013 at 4:21am

Ray, that's a beaut. It reminds me of the catalogue of Hawaiian guitars that I used to drool over when I was a kid. That MoP finish is just right.

Comment by rayinstirling on May 21, 2013 at 2:42pm

Here is my little ol' Hofner bought early 70's and still in working order unlike myself :)

Comment by fred davis on May 21, 2013 at 2:13pm

Anyone else having a problem with playing at local jams due to the need to anp the steel?  Here in Santa Cruz most of the open jams don't want amped instruments and my wessenborn is to nice and instrument to play on the sand!

Comment by Edward Sparks on November 5, 2011 at 7:15am

Hey, the wife and I are going to the Great American Philly Vintage Guitar show on November 13th...if any of you are going to be there, let me know and we will try to run into each other!  Edward

Here is the link and info...

Great American Guitar Show (Fall Philly)

Greater Philadelphia Expo Center


Saturday, November 12, 2011. Sunday, November 13, 2011.TIME Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm. Sunday: 10:00am to 4:00pm.

The line can grow very long when doors first open. Don't worry, the line moves fast!


Saturday Pass: $12.00Sunday Pass: $10.00, 2-Day Pass: $15.00Children 12 and under free with an adult!


Greater Philadelphia Expo Center Rt. 422, Exit at Oaks 100 Station Ave., Oaks, PA 19456

Comment by Edward Sparks on February 9, 2011 at 6:34am

This just in from EQ magazine:


Tips for Tracking Lap Steel

  Kent Carmical  

It’s now somewhat common for all manner of “Americana” instruments to show up at your studio, as more and more people wash out in the traditional rock-and-roll milieu, often turning to less-conventional instruments in an attempt to remain relevant. This month, we’ll to consider lap steel recording strategies.

Electric Laps
You can’t get much simpler than the electric lap steel. Basically a 2x4 with six to ten strings and a pickup, it’s a manufacturer’s dream. Before you record, check out the instrument. Vintage lap steels are often rife with hideous pops, crackles, buzzes and hums—usually a shot or two of good contact cleaner in the right spots can exorcise these sonic demons. Contemporary lap steels have more predictable electronics and shouldn’t cause much problem.

When miking an amp, you’ll almost always get great results by combining a small-diameter condenser with a Shure SM57. Put the mics as close as possible to each other without touching. (The farther apart they are, the greater the chance of phase cancellation.) Place the mic combo seven to nine inches from the speaker cone, with the capsules at an approximately 15-degree angle. Keep in mind that more directly you place the mic capsules over the speaker center, the more high-end there will be in the tone. You can downplay this unpleasantness by angling the mic capsule toward the edge of the speaker. If you have access to a ribbon mic like a Royer R-121, its natural tendency to roll off high-end is a good alternative to turning the guitar and amp’s tone controls all the way down.

If you are using amp-modeling software, choose a Blackface Fender Twin model for that real down-home, country sound, and if your modeler has it, choose a 15- inch speaker with an open-back cabinet. While the SM 57/small-diameter condenser combo can prove to be the best miking setup in the analog universe, a largediameter condenser model often provides the most slide-a-licious sound in the realm of ones and zeros.

In both hardware and virtual scenarios, a limiter set to a 4:1 ratio smooths out the track’s dynamics nicely. In my recording, setting the attack of a UREI 1176 plug-in at 5, or halfway, produced the most body for me. (Settings on your particular limiter may vary.) When it came to setting my release time, I set it to complement the tempo of the track so that the limiting effect on each note is finished as the attack of the next note is starting. It took some time for me to tweak it properly, but the results were well worth it, as it pumped out a huge sound.

There really isn’t a great tradition of using effects on lap steel, so experiment. After tracking with a Fulltone OCD for some crispy overdrive, I used a tape echo plug-in with a delay time of around 450 ms, as well as liberal amounts of digital plate reverb to dial in an “Instant David Gilmour, just add talent”—type sound.

Back in the olden days before amplification, Hermann Weissenborn conceived and built the first guitars specifically designed for lap playing. Made of koa wood and featuring square, hollow necks, the Weissenborns had a sweet tone, long sustain, and were louder than a regular acoustic guitar when played on one’s lap.


Comment by Edward Sparks on November 11, 2010 at 6:33pm
How about this for a lapsteel! Music AND transportation!


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