What is a Lap Steel Guitar?

lap steel guitar

The Lap Steel Guitar is a unique instrument that has a lot to offer musicians of all skill levels and musical backgrounds. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, the lap steel guitar can provide a world of creative possibilities and musical exploration.

One of the most distinctive features of the lap steel guitar is its sound. With its sliding technique and open tunings, the lap steel guitar produces a rich and resonant tone that is unlike any other instrument. This unique sound has been used in a variety of musical genres over the years, from blues and country to rock and pop.

In terms of playing style, the lap steel guitar is very different from other stringed instruments such as the guitar or the bass. Instead of fretting notes with your fingers, you use a metal bar or “steel” to slide along the strings, creating a smooth and fluid sound. This technique takes some getting used to, but with practice and dedication, it can unlock a world of musical possibilities.

Another great thing about the lap steel guitar is its portability. Unlike larger instruments like the piano or drums, the lap steel guitar is relatively small and lightweight, making it easy to transport and play in a variety of settings. Whether you’re jamming with friends at home or performing on stage in front of a live audience, the lap steel guitar is a versatile and portable instrument that can adapt to any situation.

If you’re interested in learning how to play the lap steel guitar, there are a few things you’ll need to get started. First and foremost, you’ll need a lap steel guitar itself. There are a variety of different models and styles available, ranging from traditional acoustic instruments to more modern electric lap steel guitars. You’ll also need a metal bar or steel, which can be purchased separately or as part of a lap steel guitar package.

In terms of learning resources, there are many great options available for lap steel guitar players of all skill levels. Online tutorials and instructional videos can be a great way to get started, as they can provide step-by-step guidance and helpful tips for mastering the sliding technique. There are also many great books and instructional materials available, which can provide more in-depth guidance and instruction.

Ultimately, the lap steel guitar is a unique and fascinating instrument that is well worth exploring for anyone who loves music and wants to expand their creative horizons. With its distinctive sound, versatile playing style, and portability, the lap steel guitar has a lot to offer musicians of all backgrounds and skill levels. So why not give it a try today? You might just discover a whole new world of musical possibilities.

Lap Steel Guitar Common Tuning

The lap steel guitar is tuned in a variety of ways depending on the player’s preference and the musical style they are pursuing. However, one of the most common tunings for lap steel guitar is the Open D tuning. In Open D tuning, the strings are tuned to the notes D-A-D-F#-A-D, from low to high. This tuning allows for easy chord formations and slide melodies, particularly in the key of D major. It is widely used in genres such as blues, country music, and Hawaiian music, offering a rich and resonant sound that complements the slide techniques commonly associated with the lap steel guitar.

Pedal Steel Guitar v Lap Steel Guitar

The pedal steel guitar and lap steel guitar are both instruments in the steel guitar family, yet they differ in terms of design, playing technique, and sonic capabilities. The lap steel guitar is played horizontally across the player’s lap, using a slide bar or metal tone bar to glide along the strings, producing melodic lines and slide effects. It typically has fewer strings and lacks pedals or knee levers for altering pitch. In contrast, the pedal steel guitar is played in a seated or standing position, and it features pedals and knee levers that allow the player to change the pitch of specific strings while playing. This enables intricate chord progressions, harmonies, and complex melodic patterns. The pedal steel guitar offers greater versatility and control over the instrument’s pitch and sound, making it a popular choice for country, western swing, and other genres where intricate melodic and harmonic expression is desired.

Learn to play the using free Lap Steel Guitar Tabs