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 New musical direction for me - lap steel.

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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: New musical direction for me - lap steel.   Sat May 24, 2014 7:53 pm

Been meaning to get into playing lap steel for some time now. Well, I did the deed today. Got me this 50's National lap steel-



Got to the store early this AM, and tried out a couple that I'd been eyeballing on their site. The National just sounded better than almost all the others. Bear in mind I have no idea how to play one yet, but did manage to get the general idea! I'm fairly conversant with bottleneck (yet not what I'd call proficient), but this is a whole different world!!!

While there, another customer was playing a '40's Ric lap and he sure knew what he was doing. I spent some time watching him and asking questions and he was very friendly and helpful. Showed me a few tricks and got lots of great advice. I'd have loved to get that Ric lap, but it was more than I had to spend.

The shop owner made me a great deal. The National, a cable (this one didn't come with one and requires a special "plug"), new set of strings, a steel (Stevens style- one that has a ridge as opposed to a "tone bar" which is round), and threw in a new gig bag. All for $600 out the door. I'd say that was a pretty good deal as the guitar was listed at $695.

I also got a thumb pick on the advice of the customer. He was using one plus fingerpicks, but I'll be using my fingernails. I'm trained in classical guitar technique and one uses both the fleshy ends of the fingers and the nails for intonation.

Actually the strings on it right now sound pretty good despite them being quite dead, so I'm not going to change them right away. Seems to lend a certain quality to the overall sound.

Now to learn some tunings and develop a technique. A new adventure awaits!


Cheers,

RR
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smg913

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Age : 30
Location : New Jersey
Registration date : 2013-01-27

PostSubject: Re: New musical direction for me - lap steel.   Sat May 24, 2014 8:35 pm

That's awesome! good luck with it. make sure to rock out
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Stick

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Age : 47
Location : 'Blighty'
Registration date : 2014-02-19

PostSubject: Re: New musical direction for me - lap steel.   Mon May 26, 2014 5:29 pm

Congrats on what looks to be a lovely instrument Brewdude Sir. I'm interested to see how you get on with your new adventure. I play a little guitar and especially like the sound my resonator makes; a real earthy drawl. Although I'm not the best, I love bottle neck blues using picks in an open D. I can see you now, sat outside supping on a briar with your National carefully perched on your lap...
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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: New musical direction for me - lap steel.   Mon May 26, 2014 8:01 pm

Thanks for the encouragement mates.

Managed to coax some semi-coherent noises out of it today. Enough anyway, to give me some hope that I might be able to produce at least a passable imitation of someone who knows what they're doing!

Being a guitarist of some 48 years give or take, I've a fair idea on how to approach this instrument. Done some rudimentary bottleneck stuff on my 6-strings and understand the theory. But the technique is what is the bugger is right now.

Altogether new position, different tunings, thumb pick, and not the least of which is not having frets for the pitch is what is the challenge.

It's a raw and undisciplined kind of sound, yet at the same time is very emotional in a way that I can relate to. The thing to get on top of right now is trying to insure that what one plays is in pitch. That much I understood from bottleneck.

This is similar but different in a lot of ways. But....I do like it so far. Where I go with it from here remains to be seen. At least right now it's pretty fun.



Cheers,

RR
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jonnylaw13

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Age : 32
Location : norther WI
Registration date : 2014-05-16

PostSubject: Re: New musical direction for me - lap steel.   Fri May 30, 2014 12:05 am

i like to play a little bass guitar and my no means am i at it or know what im doing still, but thats half the fun just sitting back and whatever your hands decide to play be it something or nothing that to you is something, it sure looks like a fun strummer to play with!
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alandadp

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Age : 61
Location : Plymouth, England
Registration date : 2013-04-29

PostSubject: Re: New musical direction for me - lap steel.   Fri May 30, 2014 5:27 am

Hi RR,
As someone who is tone deaf, sight blind, and has sausages instead of fingers, I am intensely jealous of both the instrument and your ability to even attempt to play it.
I have great faith in you and am sure you'll soon be knocking out tunes like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOv_g0BmoRA

 lol! 

Adam
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: New musical direction for me - lap steel.   Fri May 30, 2014 8:29 am

I too have always wanted one but, never really pursued it because of there cost but, ya can't beat there sound. When I worked for Rickenbacker I almost got one but, then it escaped.
Can't wait to hear ya play "My Cheat'en Heart" Wink 
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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: New musical direction for me - lap steel.   Sat May 31, 2014 7:28 pm

After a week of farting around with the lap steel, I can see that it might be beneficial to seek some formal instruction from someone well versed in this. Fortunately there is just such an person in my area.

Orville Johnson is well regarded as a master of Dobro/resonator/lap steel around here. He has a website with instructional videos and teaches at a Seattle guitar store. I'm minded to avail myself of this in an effort to decrease the learning curve.

Here's a couple of vids of his lap steel work-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2ecUPIQNVH4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_0v_4tJHMTE


Cheers,

RR
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DrumsAndBeer

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Age : 45
Location : Northern, CA
Registration date : 2012-04-04

PostSubject: Re: New musical direction for me - lap steel.   Sat May 31, 2014 9:12 pm

Awesome lap steel. Do you play pedal steel?
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Brewdude

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Age : 65
Location : Near the Emerald city
Registration date : 2011-05-04

PostSubject: Re: New musical direction for me - lap steel.   Sat May 31, 2014 9:53 pm

DrumsAndBeer wrote:
Awesome lap steel. Do you play pedal steel?

No sir. Just a common ordinary picker.


Cheers,

RR
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: New musical direction for me - lap steel.   Sat May 31, 2014 9:58 pm

Brewdude wrote:
DrumsAndBeer wrote:
Awesome lap steel. Do you play pedal steel?

No sir. Just a common ordinary picker.


Cheers,

RR

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