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E9 tuning, Lap Steel Guitar – Demo

I’ve been experimenting with E9 tuning on lap steel lately. It’s an easy re-tune from C6 tuning. It’s the same as strings 4 through 9 of E9 pedal steel guitar. There are a lot of pedal steel sounds in this tuning, especially with slants. Here’s a quick demo, video and tab. The tab is for the first half of the video. The second half is basically the same, same chord positions, slightly different picking patterns. Enjoy.

(low to high) D E F# G# B E


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 MOONTIDE – Video & Tablature

This is an original tune I recently composed for B11 tuning. Hope you like it!

B11 tuning:


Attention C6 players: B11 is an easy re-tune from C6 tuning. Just tune your C up to C# and drop strings 4, 5, 6 a half-step each.

The tablature: When four strings are played together, strum the bottom three strings in the voicing with the thumb and pick the top string in the voicing with a finger at the same time. That makes the high note (the melody) stand out. Notice in measure two that the bar is on fret 1 covering strings 2, 3, 4 and string 1 is played open. Enjoy!

Click on the images to enlarge:


Practice Track:

Country String Pulls

I’ve been experimenting with tunings and string pulls lately. Looking for Country twang sounds. Here’s what I came up with.

Cadd9 tuning

1  D
2  C
3  G
4  E
5  D
6  C


Powerglide – E9 pedal steel guitar – speedpicking

Here’s an original tune of mine that features an interesting speedpicking run – see the tablature below. It uses pedals A & B and the knee lever that lowers string 2 from D# to D. I call it the E lever in the tablature. The main pattern is a banjo-style roll, similar to those played by the late Jimmie Crawford and others. Enjoy.



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Backing Track, key of C:


Slower Backing Track, key of C.  20% slower

Chord Practice – E9 pedal steel & C6 lap steel guitar

This is a basic chord exercise that I give to my students. There is a chord chart and an Audio track to play along with. The audio plays the chords three times through.


4 beats per measure. Click on the image to enlarge:



AUDIO: Practice Track 2:


E9 Pedal Steel Guitar – chord positions:

The chart below shows the same chords and the chord positions on E9 pedal steel guitar. The number above the chord is the FRET you place your bar on to play that chord. The A, B indicates Pedals A, B, standard E9 tuning. Pick any combination of strings 3,4,5,6,8,10 to play the chords.


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C6 Lap Steel Guitar – chord positions

The chart below shows the same chords and the chord positions on C6 lap steel guitar. The number above the chord is the FRET you place your bar on to play that chord. Keep in mind… to play a major chord on the fret indicated omit the A string. To play a minor  chord on the fret indicated omit the G string.


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The track is also handy for practicing the major scale (G major) and the harmonized scale, and licks, etc. Enjoy

Scarborough Fair – EZ C6 lap steel guitar

Here’s an easy version of Scarborough Fair in the key of Am. 3/4 time. Much of it is played using the open strings. When an open string and a “barred” string are played together you need to lift the rear of the bar up to allow the open string to be heard and touch the nose of the bar to the other string. Tip the bar up and use the nose only. That happens in measures 3, 6, 11, 15, 16. No audio for this one. I think you know this tune. Enjoy


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Scarborough Fair


E9 Pedal Steel Guitar Solo – Invitation to the Blues

This is a demo I recorded a few years ago. I’m playing an Emmons push/pull student model on the recording. I was selling the guitar at the time and I needed a quick recording to demonstrate the sound. A lot of players were interested in the solo and the ending so I tabbed them out. The Solo starts at 1:09 in the audio below. The ending starts at 2:11.




TABLATURE – Solo: click on images to enlarge,   E = lower E to D#

invitation1  invitation2


TABLATURE – Ending: click on image to enlarge





B11 Tuning for lap steel guitar

B11 is rich in 9th and 7th chords and works especially well for Hawaiian songs. It’s a combination tuning. Part of it is A6 and the other part is B7, B9, B11. There are a few variations of the tuning. The 8-string version I’m discussing here is (high to low) E, C#, A, F#, D#, C#, B, A. The 6-string version is an easy re-tune from C6 tuning. (high to low) E, C#, A, F#, D#, C# (or B).


8-string B11 tuning

Strings 1 through 4 are an A6 chord.  The middle strings (omit string 1) are B9 (and B, B7, B11).

Fret 2 is B6, and Open is B9. Whatever 6th chord you are playing, just drop back two frets for the 7th or 9th chord. For example, A6 on fret 12 (strings 1 through 4), drop back to fret 10 and play the middle strings (omit string 1) for A9. That big 9th chord is the signature sound heard in Hawaiian songs like “How D’ya Do” and “Sand”.

The chart below shows some of the open chord positions, with root note A, root note F#, and root note B. There are other open chords that I left off the chart… diminished chord on strings 3, 4, 5. Also Am6, flat 5, Aadd2, etc.


CHORDS on B11 tuning

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