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.
This is an original tune of mine, Maui Moonlight. I made the video a few years ago as a demo for B11 tuning, 6-string lap steel guitar. Recently Steel Guitar Forum member Guy Cundell transcribed the tune, tablature & notation, and he did a great job! Thanks, Guy. So now the tune has a name – Maui Moonlight. Below is the video and a link to a pdf of the transcription.
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.
click on the image to enlarge:
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.
click on the image to enlarge:
The track is also handy for practicing the major scale (G major) and the harmonized scale, and licks, etc. Enjoy
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
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#
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.