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Rick Andrews and other experts answers guitar repair questions
For almost one year, guitar luther Rick Andrews answered your guitar repair questions. After recieving over 500 questions we put together the most popular questions and answers. Today, we are involving other great guitar builders and will continue to expand this area in the future. This section will no longer be interactive but you should find most of your guitar building and repair questions have already been answered in this section.

Special Note!
We are now stocking and selling electric guitar kits. By establishing a working relationship with two manufacturing plants we now offer many electric guitar kits. Some of the styles include the Telecaster, Stratocaster, Explorer, Flying V, Les Paul, PRS, and the Warlock. More will be added every couple months. If you are looking to find an inexpensive alternative to purchasing a new guitar you might want to consider a guitar kit from your friends at EvO:R.

  •  See the guitar Kits Here



  •   Can a 6 string lap steel guitar be tuned like a regular
    guitar (E-A-D-G-B-E), or perhaps an octave higher?

    My question is:
    Can these be tuned like a regular guitar (E-A-D-G-B-E), or perhaps an octave higher? Which of the two would you recommend?

    Also, are there any effects pedals that can give us Evorians a realistic steel guitar sound from a regular electric guitar?

    Jimmie R. Vestal,
    http://www.geocities.com/sand_and_palms.rm/KaraokeAtCoolMoes.html

  • Ricks Answer
    Hi Jimmy,
    The six string lap steel should be tuned as a regular six string guitar. It is played just like you would a guitar with a slide or bottleneck. It's just a lap version. Now about the sound alike thing for a regular electric guitar: If you are going to use the guitar in the lap position you will be applying just a bit more downward pressure from the slide to the strings based on weight and pressing downward.

    Years ago someone made a steel wrapover or wrap around nut that you could fit over the nut on an electric guitar. I don't know if you can get those anymore or not but the idea was to raise the strings at the nut end. Of course you can raise the strings at the bridge end already with the height adjustments. This raises the strings essentially on both ends to compensate for the down pressure of the slide bar. That keeps the strings high enough so you don't bump the frets as you slide on the strings. That is really all there is to it.

    Same tuning, raise the strings. You should use a volume pedal and you've got it. You use your foot volume pedal in zero volume setting when you pick the strings, then after you have plucked the strings you then add volume. You only hear the string come in but not the plucking of the string. That is actually what the steel players do also. A little heavier guage string will add a more realistic steel sound. If I were going to set up an electric guitar and leave it that way permanently I would use stainless steel strings which will add even more of that sound quality.

    At that point you have the same thing. The good thing about doing this is you can play it sitting on lap or standing and use the bottleneck type slide in normal guitar position either way. When you get into eight and ten string steels the tuning of course is different. Ten stringers have two different tuning systems for different playing or different brands of music. The interesting thing here is: for ten string pedal steel country music playing the ten strings are tuned as F# D# G# E B G# F# E D B refered to as the E9th tuning. G E C A G E C A F C, for other styles of music and that is refered to as the C6th tuning which was the more standard tuning.

    Ten string pedal steels are awesome. I was very close friends with one of the men who invented the ten string pedal steel. His name was Shot Jackson in Nashville, Tn. He was the dude who really got me started into building guitars. Buddy Emmons a famous steel player got together with Shot Jackson and they invented this thang of beauty. Shot and Buddy came up with the E9th tuning for the special pedals and what it could do for country music. Country was played using both tunings but I think the E9th was the better for that if I remember correctly.

    Of course I could have it backwards not being a steel player myself. Shot Jackson had his company downtown Nashville known as Sho-Bud guitar. Sho Bud was a mix of the two names Shot and Buddy in short, Sho-Bud.

    Very quickly the ten string pedal steel guitar became famous especially in the Nashville country music sound. That soon made the six string steels almost obsolete. I own one of the original ten string pedal steel guitars made by Shot Jackson many years ago which is now a collectors guitar. It is red quilted birdseye maple. I tuned it to the more country style tuning since that was what Shot and Buddy played around Nashville. I put a set of dean Markley stainless steel strings and man what an awesome sound. Those guys came up with that special tuning to work with the pedals in the country music type pedal work that made country steel playing sound so goooooood.

    Those two guys together were geniuses. Dean Markley designed these strings especially for the Nashville sound. That oughta give enough to chew on regarding steel guitar stuff.


    Rick Andrews, Andrews Guitars
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