So I have been shopping for some extended range guitars both more strings and more frets. Then I noticed that there is a huge selection of lap guitars that give me all of these options but of course I know they are never meant to be played and strummed and fretted like a regular guitar. So i was thinking maybe I can take out the old bridge put in a lowered bridge and maybe adjust the fretboard. Or is this just impossible? I've never owned lap guitar before so I'm pretty clueless about what possible mods you can make to it.
Last edited by bonerici at Oct 17, 2016,
I assume that by "lap guitar," you are referring to a lap steel guitar. I seriously doubt that you could just lower the action and install a strap and play it like a regular guitar. Even if you had proper frets installed, the vast majority of lap steel guitars have enormously thick necks; often of a very blocky shape. You would need hands the size of Godzilla's to make such a guitar work properly. And since the guitar is never meant to be fretted in the traditional sense, the neck and fretboard are flat.

Extended-range guitars have come a long way; Uli Jon Roth's 36-fret Sky guitar being one of the most extreme examples. Do a thorough search and find the one that suits you best.

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I would say impossible. Maybe not fully impossible to change the nut and bridge, but add the impossibility to properly play it.

I hope you know that the Uli Dean Sky Guitar is over $12,000. That thing is a beast, pickup under the fretboard cutaway for picking scalloped frets for better access, alternate frets removed above 27th fret so you can actually fret them (you can get half tone intervals by playing alternately on the 1st & 2nd strings) , pretty much the ideal guitar for extended upper range but my goodness the price. As for which lap steel i was thinking maybe this Vorson LJK300

I would be pretty surprised if that guitar had a truss rod or decent finish on the frets. But who knows maybe it would work. And of course for better fret access I just need to get out my saw and chop it. That's a lot easier than building my own guitar, doing my own fretwork and such.

I kind of suspect on that vorson pictured above the fretwork is almost painted on, no leveling or crowning thin fretwire and maybe unplayable but I dunno maybe it's ok.
Last edited by bonerici at Oct 19, 2016,
by the way the gary Kramer r36 turbulence is a fine guitar but they haven't made that model in I think 5 years and it doesn't show up on the secondary market.

To access the higher frets you do need to pull frets 28, 30, 32, and 34 so you get that sky guitar whole note spacing but other than that it's ok . . . doesn't have an under the fretboard pickup which kind of sucks but otherwise a very nice guitar just can't find it.

There's also the Ibanez rg550xh which has 30 frets that's a fantastic guitar good range has that middle pickup no bridge pickup good cutaway, so you can play most of Uli's songs but not all of them as it's missing the upper 6 frets. Also you still need to pull frets, you want to pull the 28th fret here or maybe the 27th and 29th.

It's easier to find than the gary Kramer, and I might settle on one of these if my lap guitar idea doesn't pan out. This Ibanez does have much better access to the higher frets, better than the gary Kramer guitar, where you have to stretch to reach those upper notes not good if you want to actually play up there.

In general guitarists hate these extended upper range guitars why I don't know. That's why they haven't been made in years. Maybe it reeks of 70's excesses and self indulgence, maybe guitarists don't understand you don't need tiny fingers just pull some frets out like Uli's guitars.
Last edited by bonerici at Oct 19, 2016,
I'm pretty sure that Vorson you posted doesn't actually have frets. Those are just painted on lines, to use as a visual aid while playing slide. Lap steel guitars typically don't have frets. That would be pointless. I think the answer to your question is a resounding "no, that's impossible".
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Of COURSE you can. Just let me know; I want to be there to watch when you do.
Quote by bonerici
by the way the gary Kramer r36 turbulence is a fine guitar but they haven't made that model in I think 5 years and it doesn't show up on the secondary market.

Why, you want one?