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C6/AM7 TUNING FOR LAP STEEL

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Postby withoutpapers70656 » July 24th, 2012, 10:02 am

Greeting to all: I have a question about Lap Steel. I play Guitar & Keyboards already but am trying to learn Lap Steel. I just received my Rogue Lap Steel with the original strings which were not tuned to any tuning I'm familiar with, so I tuned to GBDGBD because I like the Open G on my Guitar. My question is I want to tune it to C6/Am7 but I don't know if the strings can take the tension?? I have read in several places on the web that you should buy a special set of strings for that tuning. Is that right?...or can I tune the strings that came with the Lap Steel to C6/Am7???
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Postby dogbite » July 29th, 2012, 11:49 am

good question(s).
I have two lap steels that I gig with now. one tuned to E and the other C6, CEGACE low to high. I first used standard electric guitar strings that I typically use; 10-46. I have changed that once I found a string gauge chart for tunings.


http://b0b.com/include/StringGauge.pdf

he gauges increased and the tone came alive.
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Postby withoutpapers70656 » August 5th, 2012, 3:40 am

Sorry, it took so long for my reply but I had a hard drive failure and had to chuck the old 'puter. Thank you for the info you posted, it came in handy. Closing my eyes and very slowly tuning up the strings to CEGACE I was able to tune up the old strings. Later, though I will buy a dedicated set of C6 strings.
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Postby dogbite » August 28th, 2012, 9:14 am

lap steels can take a lot of string tension. when I use my standard strings on some tunings they feel too loose; they bend way too much with bar pressure. then,m using the chart, I found the right gauge and the strings not only feels tighter, but it responds with a much better tone.
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Postby duck52va » September 27th, 2012, 11:13 am

I play 6 string lap, and I use dobro strings .016 - .056 for C6 tuning. The strings are Martin M980 Resonator Nickel Wound Strings. And they sound great. Hope that helps.
Rev. Edward Pasley, CpastC, Ph.D.
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Postby dogbite » September 28th, 2012, 7:38 am

those are roughly the gauges I too use for C6 lap steel. I find those gauges can handle the string tension. string tension is important for feel and tone.
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Postby jimw1956 » March 15th, 2013, 11:30 am

Thats way too big on the bass string(s) for C6. Steel guitars are pretty rugged but I have seen them with broken necks right past the nut.
I use the following for C6:

14 - 17 - 21 - 24 - 30 - 36

You can vary a little on this if you can't find a particularly string...for instance a gauge or two shouldn't matter. Just because you "can" up tune a string 3 or 4 notes doesn't mean its a good idea.
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Postby dogbite » March 18th, 2013, 7:28 am

jimw1956 wrote:Thats way too big on the bass string(s) for C6. Steel guitars are pretty rugged but I have seen them with broken necks right past the nut.
I use the following for C6:

14 - 17 - 21 - 24 - 30 - 36

You can vary a little on this if you can't find a particularly string...for instance a gauge or two shouldn't matter. Just because you "can" up tune a string 3 or 4 notes doesn't mean its a good idea.


no worry about snapping the neck on my lap steel. it is an all metal Rickenbacher form 1936. I do have concern about the tuner knobs and gears. they's old.
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