Hey guys,
Just got my first lap steel yesterday. does anyone know what strings are normal. i've got it tuned to open E, but i think if i were to try and say to G it might snap those bastards. also thinking about replacing the single coil with a humbucker. your wisdom is needed and appreciated.

I don't think anyone here plays lap steel in all honesty. I play slide with a knife all the time though. I have 56-13's on my acoustic so I can play slide, knife and still fingerpick/strum chords. Why would tuning to G snap the strings ( I assume you're talking about open G)?

Is it electric or acoustic? Because I think the wider kinda necks/body shapes on electrics allow for different string gauges to be used and strings without them being incredibly tight.
Do you use finger/thumb picks? I tried, but the finger picks never really worked for me, and the thumbpick makes the bass to bright for my liking.
yeah its electric. and im sorry i meant open G. i am trying to just learn with a thumb pick. from what i understand. the lap steel is a different animal when it come to strings. the strings that came on it are 12's i think. i think these normally have thicker strings. they seemed pretty tight. once again, im a little green behind the ears on this stuff.

here's pic. its just a beginner unit i got from muscian's friend. we put a little thicker strings on it and adjusted the pickup and it doesnt sound bad
You need thicker strings for playing steel anyway. Thicker strings = more tone and also, better for dropping do D for open G and such.

If you tune to G, you don't tune up, you tune down so it's:


That should make all the strings either stay at the same tension as standard, or looser. I wouldn't worry about moving from Open G to Open E say, as long as you stretch new strings.

How long have you been playing?
2 days. like i said virgin. i have a friend who plays slide but hasnt messed with the lap steel too much. he's giving some pointers.
nope. never. my brother and most of my friends have for years. just decided to pick something up.
23. its later than most people start but you gotta start somewhere i suppose
Alright I do have a Lap steel so I can help you out a bit. Common tunings are open G C6 and E. check this page for more http://www.well.com/~wellvis/tuning.html.

Open G differs from slide guitar. for open tunings on lap steel, you do Root, 3rd, 5th, Root, 3rd, 5th. So Lap Steel Open G (how mine is tuned) is GBDGBD. open E would be EGBEGB.

Lap Steel strings are usually flatwound for less noise when the bar makes contact with the strings. Dobro strings however, are usually roundwound for more sound. On my Lap Steel I have the dimarzio multibucker with a 3way switch in it, just because I wanted more tone options. Single coils sound good too though. let me know if you have any other questions. It's always good to see more Steel players.
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Last edited by aetherspear at Apr 22, 2008,
when the next pay check hits the bank i'll probably get a good set of strings. have noticed the noise when contacting the strings. im just running it through a delay and a distortion pedal into a little practice amp. sounds pretty kool with a little distortion on it.
i cant decide if i prefer it on my lap on legs. i seem to get a little cramped with it on my lap, but maybe im just not used to it yet. by the way, what pedals do you use normally?
^I have a bunch of random effects pedals that I'll hookup like delay and reverb for when I want some ambient tones, but usually I'll just use a volume pedal and possibly a overdrive pedal. either way though.
Quote by allislost
I would say that aetherspear speaks nothing but the truth.
UG Blues Group
UG Reggae & Dub Group
Need Professional Mixing for cheap? Need Vinyl to Digital Transfers? PM Me.
i think im more interested in blues/country sound. its fun to just mess around with different things and see what comes out. any suggestions on strings brands. are there certain brands that specialize in these?