E13 – Lap Steel Guitar Setup

So I have been asked by a few people and also it has come up on the Steel Guitar forum the question of setup needed for E13 playing.

So what do I recommend: String Gauges and an accurate Tune


I use and absolutely love the strings from this company. Live Steel Strings designed for a bright crisp pedal steel tone and with the flexibility of having a tone knob on most Lap Steel Guitars you can’t go wrong. Hard wearing which is perfect for my sweaty palms and as they wear in the smooth sound gets sweeter while still being crisp.

I use 12 string Universal sets.




So let me explain that having an awesome tuner can make an average steel sound crisp and beautiful like a high end pedal steel equivalent. I believe that a flexible tuner that covers the entire range of your tuning is important and it needs to have the ability to make small fractional adjustments in cents.

If I have lost you don’t worry. Get yourself a Peterson Tuner. Their precision is amazing. It is truly one of the MOST important pieces of kit for Steel Guitar and especially for the E13th tuning which is less forgiving than the C6th tuning but I recommend for any Steel Guitarist whether Lap or Pedal.

I also have taken the time to program and am constantly fine tuning my E13th sweetened tunings which will work for ALL E13 setups. You can download it directly to your Peterson Stroboplus HD directly.


The sweetened tunings are called:

L12 – is JUST temperament┬átuning (Sounds in tune with itself as an instrument – this approach is used by players like Tom Morrell and pretty much all the Legends 9/10 times)


E13 – is Equal Temperament tuning (is straight up and is used if you have mainly straight tempered instruments – HOWEVER it will not sound perfectly in tune with itself but it will sound perfect with other equal tempered instruments and in songs sits perfectly in there also when you take a solo the notes will be bang on)

Enjoy. Long Live E13