It is called a Lap Steel Guitar. And I don't know of a good beginner instrument, as I just went ahead and built mine. The thing with lap steels is that they are easy to make because an electric one is essentially just a plank of wood with strings and a pickup. An acoustic one is alot harder though.

You can't fret them, just play slide on it. It is almost always in an open tuning. Because its john butler, I assume his is in Open C.
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