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Larry Campbell - Lap Steel - Heart of Gold

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Postby blueman2 » October 10th, 2011, 6:27 pm

Anybody got a handle on the tuning he's using for Neil Young's Heart of Gold here?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC2nSP2IQho&feature=related

Thanks
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Postby dogbite » October 12th, 2011, 4:08 pm

my favorite steel guitar tune that I learned to play on my ShoBud pedal steel. my intonation was always imperfect, but I loved the pedal raise.
to answer your question. the video shows a ten string ShoBud pedal steel guitar. it probably has a minimum of three pedals and two knee levers. it helps knowing a bit of how a pedal steel works. the pedals when depressed raises a combination of strings.
the knee levers typically lower a combination of strings.
when I first got a pedal steel I learned that a popular tuning is E9. I no longer have the peal steel and don' t remember the string tuning sequence.
Heart of Gold the way I learned it is in the key of G. that's the third fret on the pedal steel. when the first left pedal is depressed the G chord becomes a C triad. it has the classic country western sound.
the lick is played up on the tenth fret. that is also shown in the video. there is a first pedal raise up there that produces that classic part in Neil's song.
there are several tunings used on pedal steel. some are double necks. C6 and E9 is common. there are others.
but I would bet for sure that we're looking at E9 here.
hope this helps.
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Postby blueman2 » October 12th, 2011, 7:23 pm

Thanks dogbite. Shoulda known not to take what someone labeled the title as gospel. I went back and looked at it and listened again and obviously it is not a lap steel. No wonder I couldn't get anything close to that out of my lap steel.
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Postby dogbite » October 13th, 2011, 5:47 am

I sure tried on my lap steel. as you know it is near impossible. the sustaining notes while the strings are raised is so essential to the song. it is a piece of cake on a pedal steel. relatively.
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Postby blueman2 » October 13th, 2011, 6:05 am

Haven't tried a pedal steel yet but while I'm at it. Do you have a tuning you use most of the time for lap steel? I'm guessing you play a lot of blues. I'm trying to settle in on one so I don't have to keep changing (or get a 2nd lap steel)
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Postby dogbite » October 13th, 2011, 3:41 pm

there are several lap steelers that look in on this forum. I am sure they will have more to contribute.
currently I am using two lap steels in my band. one is tuned C6. it is an old 30's Richenbacher Model 59.
it has to my ears the perfect tone for old country. now C6 is great for that. I also discovered that C6 does have
many blues notes and in convenient places.
I do have a designated blues lap steel. it is a 1939 Epiphone Zephyr. the pickup was rebuilt by Lindy Fralin.
the steel has the soft woody bell shapes at low volumes, but roars when turned way up. my Tubescreamer adds to the blast.
I can dial just the right amount of breakup I want with the two.
naturally, I use for heavy blues. I like the open E tuning for straight up blues. great power chords up and down the neck.
the singel string runs have nearly the same shapes as Standard tuning ( the G string on the lap steel is tuned G#).
for me I don't mind lugging several instruments to rehearsals and gigs. each guitar has its voice.
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