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#1
Okay, finally getting around to doing this.


1. Gear

So you can find stuff about country gear pretty much anywhere so I won't spend too much time. Fender Telecaster is the go-to guitar for almost all the major country guitarists since about 1951 or whenever Leo first started making them. Single coils are the way to go. A lot of Nashville session dudes have used a three pickup, five position switch setup with a Strat pickup in the middle. You don't really need it of course.

If you don't have a Tele, use as close as you can get. Strats or whatever other Fender guitar are fine. Ideally you want something with single coils. Light gauge strings are better. 9s are ideal, but 10s are acceptable if you refuse to go that thin.

Now there are two other things you want that nobody mentions. A fixed bridge is vastly preferable. Why? Because when you bend a string, it pulls on the trem bridge slightly. This causes a change in tentions that makes other strings go noticeably flat. Try it out if you've never experienced it. Note that the change in tentions from bending a string on a fixed bridge does this inevitably as well, but not to a particularly notable degree. With a trem, it is much more noticeable. Das ist nicht gut. You do a lot of bends with diads with bends in country lead playing.

The other thing that is great is a little recessed cutout on the headstock behind the nut. It's hard to describe, but if you look on a Les Paul, the headstock is flat behind the nut, where on a Strat or Tele there is a rounded bit and it's lower than the nut behind this. This recess allows you to push the strings down behind the nut to bend open strings. Now this is not an essential technique, but it is very cool.

So that's your guitar. Keep in mind that that is more of a lead guitar. Martin Dreads are the primary instrument for rhythm guitar.

So electrical type stuff. Fender Twin is the go-to amp, but any bright clean amp will work. For tone, start with 4/8/6 and work from there. You want a bit of spring reverb and a nice slap back echo type delay. Tremolo pedals are also used, but not really worth buying on their own. But consider using it on your Multi-FX. Light overdrive is common enough. Usually Tubescreamer or Blues Driver type pedals are used. Compressor is also very important. Set it for maximum squish with no dynamics for lead playing. More modern country uses more hi gain sounds but it isn't needed.

Otherwise slide is common in country but not required. Hybrid picking is heavily used and many guitarists use a thumb pick instead of a flat pick, so consider that.


2. Harmony

So now let's talking basic harmony. I'll assume you know your I II III V7 bVII vi type Roman numeral chord function labeling. Not surprisingly, you see a lot of I, IV, and V stuff. I-IV-I-V is super common, especially in imported bluegrass tunes, and there are a lot of I-V7-I turnarounds.

A somewhat unusual thing about country is that it is very common to deviate from the diatonic I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-vii(dim) type deal by replacing pretty much anything with a major chord, and often a dominant 7. bVII chords are also common.

So here is a classic old timy, 50s country chord progression in G.

I-vi-ii-V or G-Em-Am-D.

So now we can replace everything with a 7th chord, but keep the G just a triad.

I-VI7-II7-V7 or G-E7-A7-D7

Voice those like 320033-020100-002020-200212. You can wrap your thumb for the low F# in the D7 or omit it. Notice that we are using all open position Cowboy chords with all 6 strings. Open string use is very common in lead playing as well, and not surprisingly keys like G, E, D, A, and C are the most common (uncapoed). Those also tend to be convenient keys for fiddle, mandolin, and banjo players, which is all the more reason for their use.

The III7 chord is also very common. A common progression, this time in E, would be:

I-III7-IV-I, or E-G#7-A-E.

Willie Nelson's On The Road Again uses a I-III7-ii-IV-V7-I progression for the verse.

II7 chords are used in a lot of bridges and turnarounds. II7-V7-I is a common turnaround progression. Another use II7 can be sound in perhaps the single most commonly used progression in country, which is commonly used in bridges or prechoruses. In G:

IV-I-II7-V7 or C-G-A7-D7.

This you will hear everywhere if you listen to country.

Sometimes the II7 is replaced with a IV. The bridge to On the Road Again uses this IV-I-IV-V7 progression for the bridge, as does Blue Moon of Kentucky (which is commonly covered in country despite actually being a bluegrass song).

Now obviously there are a lot more common progressions, but since this is kind of an introduction, that should be enough to get you started.

As far as lead harmony goes, country is similar to jazz in that it is common to pick scales to match chords, particularly with non-diatonic chords. A few accidentals are very common, namely the b3, b5, and b7. A common element is using both the 3rd and b3rd together in succession. While not country, the riff from Daytripper comes to mind as a good example of this. I will make some examples of this next time.

Pentatonic scales are used heavily, similarly to in blues. A common thing in country is to use both the major pentatonic and it's parallel minor pentatonic together, though blending them smoothly can be difficult. In general, successful mixing of major scale notes with accidentals from parallel modes is important. Again, some tablature examples of licks to illustrate that next time.


Okay. So I think that that is a good place to leave off for now. Next time I'll throw together some common and basic licks to illustrate harmony, particularly use of accidentals, as well as introducing basic technique stuff.

I wrote this all on my phone so there may be some errors here or there, so let me know if anything is off.
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#3
Lol German, this is good stuff though ^^

BTW,

I-VI7-II7-V7 or G-E7-A7-D7

Isn't this more like secondary dominants?
Glad to cross paths with you on this adventure called life
Quote by Jet Penguin
lots of flirting with the other key without confirming. JUST LIKE THEIR LOVE IN THE MOVIE OH DAMN.
Quote by Hail
you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#4
Yeah, secondary dominants. They're all dominants on a whim.
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#5
Something something use the terminology. :upto

Good stuff.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#6
I just realized that Kountry sounds less like a music genre and more like a Kardashian girl.
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#7
Quote by theogonia777
I just realized that Kountry sounds less like a music genre and more like a Kardashian girl.


I see potential for a spin-off here. Kristen talks about the Kardashians.

I need to go through this stuff with a guitar on my hands still, but it's looking good. It'd also be nice if you name dropped some good country guitarists, and example songs in future... KoK? That sounds kind of wrong.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#8
I've waiting a little while for this and it was a solid introduction to Country guitar. Although using both thirds (along with major and minor pentatonic scales) is also common in Gospel bass (I've heard). In classic Country bass, do you subscribe to the root-5th school of playing?

Also LOL at Kountry Kardashian.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#9
There isn't really like a country bass pattern. You find 1-5 stuff, but you find a bit of everything including acoustic country lacking bass altogether. Country is one of those genres that takes significant influence from contemporary popular music so some country is very rock influenced or pop influenced and as rock and pop change, so do the type of basslines you find.

Here is a post from another thread where I listed guitarists, artists, sings, and subgenres.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=33755624&postcount=6

Also in that post when I say that country is more difficult than bluegrass, I meant in terms of making recs. That's not really clear without context.
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Feb 28, 2016,
#10
^ all the country round here seems to have the root-fifth bassline

maybe in the first post you'd want to point out whether for the tone you mean T/M/B or B/M/T

don't they use fender tweeds a lot for country?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
I've always thought everyone used B/M/T. Fender Tweed isn't an amp model but rather a generic term for old Fender amps with that finish. The Twin Reverb is probably the most common one in country and probably had a tweed finish, but others like the Bassman have been used.
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#12
Quote by theogonia777
(a) I've always thought everyone used B/M/T. (b) Fender Tweed isn't an amp model but rather a generic term for old Fender amps with that finish. (c) The Twin Reverb is probably the most common one in country and probably had a tweed finish, but others like the Bassman have been used.


(a) I thought the opposite

For example: http://tubeamplifierparts.com/watts-store/turret-eyelet-boards/perf-boards.html#!/Marshall-18-Watt-Circuit-Board-TMB/p/46916868 (kit for an 18 watt marshall clone but with a full tonestack instead of just a single tone)

(b) Yep I know that.

(c) Nope it's blackface (or later, like silverface etc.)

EDIT: I should probably add I know absolutely nothing about country, so I'm not querying your assertions about what types of things are used for country (maybe blackface twin reverbs are more popular now than tweeds) Just made those couple of suggestions
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Feb 28, 2016,
#13
I guess when the most popular EQ settings are 10/10/10, 10/0/10, and 6/6/6 it's hard to tell. The make tweed Reverbs. The blackface ones are more popular though.
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#14
no they don't, they didn't introduce the twin with reverb until they were blackface (early to mid 60s). there's a tweed twin, but it's not reverb-equipped (talking about the old original ones).

http://ampwares.com/?brand=fender&line=twin
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Feb 29, 2016,
#15
Kristen (is it okay if I call you that?), I'm aware that Country has many different sub-genres much like other genres (such as Metal, Rock, Jazz, Electronic music and Latin dance). I also think that the root-5th is a basic pattern associated with Country but can be embellished in many different ways (depending on the sub-genre) and still retain that twang. Thanks for this lesson, I appreciate the info (even though I'm more of a Metal, Rock, and Electronic guy myself) and hope you continue. If you're passionate about Country, stick with it and keep improving (no offense but there's always room for improvement).
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#16
So hopefully I will get around to the next one of these in the next week or two. I had some ideas that I wanted to do, but instead I think I will just write up a dozen or so really dirty licks and explain them in terms of theory and the techniques that they incorporate.
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#17
Talk about the 6 Country Commandments:

1. Beer
2. Trucks
3. The moonlight (Teneesee variety?)
4. The riverbed
5. Friday/Saturday night
6. Jeans

Combine freely for instant country song. Each one yields +1 country and -1 originality.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#18
We've been over this. There aren't any real country songs about the last four and the 2nd is only present in the form of rigs. Like the type of trucks that truckers drive and not pickup trucks.
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#19
One thing that has always bothered me with country musicians singing about beer is that 1. country music is at it's most popular in USA 2. american beer sucks. I mean, what does this tell about country musicians?

I'm fine with more country licks. Right now, I mostly just bend a bunch of notes while hybrid picking something and call it a day.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#20
Quote by Kevätuhri
One thing that has always bothered me with country musicians singing about beer is that 1. country music is at it's most popular in USA 2. american beer sucks. I mean, what does this tell about country musicians?

I'm fine with more country licks. Right now, I mostly just bend a bunch of notes while hybrid picking something and call it a day.

I don't drink, but craft beer from what I've heard is pretty awesome.

Definitely a lot of bending involved, transcribed a song a while back. What a pain...
Glad to cross paths with you on this adventure called life
Quote by Jet Penguin
lots of flirting with the other key without confirming. JUST LIKE THEIR LOVE IN THE MOVIE OH DAMN.
Quote by Hail
you're acting like you have perfect pitch or something
#21
Good luck with the next lesson. Also I'm aware Country music has many sub-genres and each style is different (compare Cash to Paisley). I think that the root-5th is a basic pattern associated with Country but can be embellished in many different ways (depending on the sub-genre) and still retain that twang.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#22
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ all the country round here seems to have the root-fifth bassline



Pretty common, although occasionally you'll hear a decent walking bass. In most generi-country cover bands the bassist could play nothing but R-5 quarter notes and make a decent living...

We hired a highly recommended local country covers band for a corporate event about a year ago.

Who knew nothing by Bob Wills (or several others we talked about during breaks). I get that they probably don't get much call for it, but to not at least be familiar with the country pioneers is ridiculous.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Apr 4, 2016,
#23
Quote by Kevätuhri
One thing that has always bothered me with country musicians singing about beer is that 1. country music is at it's most popular in USA 2. american beer sucks. I mean, what does this tell about country musicians?


You don't drink beer because it tastes good. You drink to get drunk and drown your sorrows. Like when you listen to Hank Williams. When you're feeling like a Hank Williams song, you could drink diet PBR light mixed if it will get you drunk.
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#24
Quote by Arby911
Who knew nothing by Bob Wills


That feeling when none of the Leons I have ever known know what I mean by "take it away, Leon." Alternatively when someone says that they love country. You ask them which Hank they like best. No response. I mean, you got three to choose from, and even then you also hot Garland, Snow, Thompson, etc. But nope.
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#25
Quote by theogonia777
You don't drink beer because it tastes good. You drink to get drunk and drown your sorrows. Like when you listen to Hank Williams. When you're feeling like a Hank Williams song, you could drink diet PBR light mixed if it will get you drunk.


Oh that actually makes sense. Thanks.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#26
No thanks, I'll stick to bourbon.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#27
Well, moonshine and even grain alcohol are preferred, but that's more bluegrass musicians than country musicians.
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#28
Quote by Arby911
Pretty common, although occasionally you'll hear a decent walking bass. In most generi-country cover bands the bassist could play nothing but R-5 quarter notes and make a decent living...

We hired a highly recommended local country covers band for a corporate event about a year ago.

Who knew nothing by Bob Wills (or several others we talked about during breaks). I get that they probably don't get much call for it, but to not at least be familiar with the country pioneers is ridiculous.


yeah

(i dunno who that is either )
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#29
Bob Wills was the band leader of the Texas Playboys, considered to be the most well known of the Western swing bands and one of the biggest influences on country music of the 30s and 40s. He was also the greatest cheerleader in the history of music. 90% of his contribution to his band was saying phrases like "like that," "aww yeah," "uh-huh," and "oh, boy!" while the band soloed. His other 10% was playing fiddle.

He is credited with popularizing steel guitar in country music through his inclusion of steel guitar legend Leon McCauliffe. He was responsible for writing and canonizing several now-standards including San Antonio Rose and Maiden's Prayer, and his band recorded a tune of Leon's called Steel Guitar Rag, which is undoubtedly the signature tune of the instrument and possibly the most significant tune in the stylistic development of steel guitar other than arguably the Webb Pierce recording of "Slowly" featuring Bud Isaacs.
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#30
thanks

lol at the cheerleading bit
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#31
I may never spell McAuliffe right on the first try, but how sweet is that Fender Quad?



By the way, they spelled his name wrong on that album cover. I'm not the only one.
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Last edited by theogonia777 at Apr 4, 2016,
#32
I agree that not knowing the pioneers of the style you're playing is a sign of ignorance (knowing that is enlightening and great for conversations). It's like playing Metal without knowing of Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. Alternatively playing blues and not knowing who Robert Johnson (one of the greatest early bluesmen of all) is. People need to look at the roots of the style.
"I don't know what you're trying to suggest. There's no shame in taking what you need to hold your position!"

Super Buu (DBZ) on assimilation (it could also apply to blues guitar and guitar soloing in general).
#33
So I made up a .gp5 file with the licks yesterday. I'm gonna get a writeup done on Thursday and Friday explaining them and hopefully upload it on Friday. Also due to having tuxguitar, I'm not sure that I can include key signatures, but I'm not sure. I know you can change them and then export a file, but when you open it back up the key signatures are gone so I don't know if it just doesn't save them or if it just won't open them.

I ended up writing up 12 licks, though it is actually only 5 licks since the first 3 are the same lick played with two different fingering/technique sets in E and then played in G and the next 6 licks if I remember are 6 variations of an absolutely staple country lick, including 3 different keys (E, G, and A) with 4 fingering/technique/octave variations for E.

So it's a bit of repetition, but the different ways of playing the same lick is important for explaining key concepts such as using open notes versus closed notes and use of legato, flatpicking, and hybrid picking and how these things combine to make the same 8 or so notes sound very different.

The last couple of licks are a couple of 4 measure things using a bunch of different stuff.
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#35
Quote by Duaneclapdrix
What would be a good pedal steel to buy? Like a good starter model.


I'm gonna say don't. There really aren't "starter models" and the few "starter models" aren't great. There aren't any worthwhile steels under $1500 at least, unless you luck out and get an instrument worth more than $1500 for less. I get mine for $1000 when it's worth closer to $2000. Lucky I guess. Anything in general under that is either junk or else incapable of playing post-1970 music because it is too simple or too primitive.

It's not to say that those more primitive instruments are bad instruments, such as the Fender 400/Fender 1000 are amazing instruments, but they are just not capable of modern pedal steel playing. Players that play primarily non-pedal steel and therefore require minimal use of pedals love them. Older instruments just have inferior changer mechanisms and the pedals don't perform modern functions and there are no knee levers.

It's a large investment in terms of both cost but also time. It is one of the most difficult instruments to learn due to being incredibly complex from a physical perspective compounded by the fact that it is continuous pitch and therefore intonation is very difficult.

It's also a heavy instrument, weighing 40-50 for a single neck and 60-80 for a double neck usually. It's also a difficult instrument to maintain and actually very difficult to keep in tune. In addition to tuning strings, all the individual pulls have to be tuned.

Your best bet is to get a lap steel. That way you can acclimate yourself to the action and limitations of a tone bar, learn the basics of playing in an open tuning with a slide in terms of being able to get around, develop a better sense of pitch and intonation, etc. All of that will make stepping up to pedal steel much easier.

Lap steels are also more readily available and are much cheaper and much lighter. This means that if you decide that it is not for you, then you have only invested a couple hundred at most rather than a couple thousands. You also may determine that you can do what you want with a lap steel, which is also easier to tune since it doesn't have any changes on it and is also lighter.

For lap steel, you can try to get an 8 string, but that might be a bit much even and they are harder to find. You would be fine playing a 6. For tuning, I would recommend learning a 6th or 7th tuning. For 6th, you can go with C6 (CEGACE), A6 (C#EF#AC#E), or E6 (EG#BC#EG#). C6 and E6 are the same intervals and A6 is almost the same other than swapping the low root for a high 5th, but otherwise is almost the same.

A common variation is to play C6 but with the low C string either lowered to Bb to make C13 or raised to C# to give you a C6/A7. Either way, you get an option for a 7th chord that 6th tunings otherwise lack, but at the expensive of the low root, but that's honestly not a huge loss.

For 7ths, it's pretty much all E7. There are about a million variations for E7, but common variants include EDEBG#E, BDEBG#E, DEG#BEG#, etc. E9 is also common enough for 6 strings, including BDF#G#BE, DF#G#BEG#, DEF#G#BE, etc. Lot of options.

The Banjo hut looks like it has some good starter stuff as well. I'm thinking about buying a mastercraft. Opinions?


What are you looking to spend?
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#36
Wow. What a reply. Thanks.

I don't really see the point of getting a lap steel. I have a shit guitar that I got at a garage sale I could make into a 6 string lap steel (unless they are way different than I think they are). It's basically a slide guitar, but you tune it differently right? And play country instead of blues haha

Perhaps I could get some of the cool steel guitar sounds without the pedals (or at least some cool country stuff). I suppose I don't really know what I really need/want do I?


Banjo-wise I don't have a ton of cash. Around $300. I'm worried anything in that price will be shit. You can get a reasonable guitar for $300, but I don't know about banjos. Maybe I should save.

The internet says get a Goodtime, but they're pricey. It seems that the banjohut takes Chinese banjos and sets them up/adds a few things to try to make them less shit, but I dunno. I'm looking at a Mastercraft Bluegrass banjo from them for $300.

The Deerings Goodtimes sound better, but they're twice the price. So there you go.

Plus my guitar was $300 and I'd feel silly having an ancillary instrument that costs more than my main one
Last edited by Duaneclapdrix at Apr 5, 2016,
#38
6 strings don't convert all that well to lap steels actually because lap steels really need heavy, and therefore tight, string. My lap steel is a 24.5" tuned BbCEGACEG, with the lowest string being half a semitone above the 5th string on a guitar and the middle G and high E the same as on a guitar. I got:

G 12
E 15
C 18
A 22w
G 24w
E 30
C 36
Bb 42

You're not gonna be able to get that kind of tension with a round neck. Also you're strings realistically need to be at least half an inch up, so you at least need an extension nut. Without high and heavy strings, you get terrible tone and horrible buzz. And you can get a cheap lap steel for under 100 and it would be decent enough to learn on.

For 300, you can definitely snag a used Deering Goodtime open back. Otherwise for learning it doesn't matter a ton. All the big guitar brands like Fender, Epiphone, Washburn, etc make cheap banjos that are decent with a good setup.
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#40
Yeah. Jacking the action won't work. You can get an extender nut for under $10 and try to live with lighter strings. The high strings is more important than the heavy strings. There still are other differences though. Steel guitars require saddles to be completely even in terms of scale length (rather than compensated like on a guitar) for good intonation. Also the difference in string spacing from nut to bridge is much less, with some instruments potentially having parallel strings. Wider string spacing at the nut and a slightly shorter scale (generally 22.5"-24.5") facilitates easier bar slants.

Anyway, as far as some good non-pedal country/western swing plates to check out, here is a short list:

Leon McAuliffe
Jerry Byrd
Joaquin Murphey
Don Helms
Herb Remington
Junior Brown
Bobby Koefer
Brother Oswald
Speedy West

Jerry Byrd was more of a Hawaiian guy but did work with Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb. You can definitely hear a lot of Hawaiian influence in the early country and swing steel guitar players though. Brother Os was one of the few really prolific country dobro players. The instrument has never been particularly in country with electric steel being ubiquitous.

A lot of those guys eventually started playing pedal steel in the 50s and 60s after starting off playing non-pedal, although most of them actually played console steel. Console steel is not really different than lap steel in terms of playing. Console steels tended to have 8 string necks whereas 6 is more common on lap steel.

8 strings actually is a huge difference from 6. The problem with non-pedal steel tunings is that you have to compromise. Do you want minor chords? 7th chords? Do you want more inversions of triads? Do want want a larger low range? You can't have everything, especially not on a 6 string. That's why they started making 8 strings and eventually started adding extra necks. A doubleneck 8 string is probably the most common configuration for console steel, usually with an E6, E7, E9, or E13 on the farther neck and A6, B11, or some C6 variation on the closer neck.

There are literally hundreds of different tunings and most of them outside of the common ones honestly make no sense to anyone outside of whomever created them, since tunings were often decided and created based on the individual needs. Just stick with C6, A6, or E7 though and you should be fine.

A lot of people like open major tunings on lap steel like Open A, G, D, or E, but those are not good for country since they lack the greater variety of intervals needed for harmonized licks. Most of what steel guitar does is based on diad harmony licks, either in thirds on adjacent strings or 6ths played two strings apart.

Triad and extended harmonies are common as well, although you tend to stick to three note block chords when implying extended harmonies. Having more intervals like 2nds between strings also makes single string scale licks easier as well.
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