Practice Tips

Mastering an instrument takes time so be patient and always practice with a metronome and start off SLOW.

Tips for Practice To Remember :

  • Schedule regular practice time.
  • Use your time for practice efficiently.
  • learn your fretboard notes
  • learn how to construct chords
  • ALWAYS use a metronome
  • ALWAYS practice slowly and only increase speed once mastered at a slower tempo
  • warm up with a combination of scales and chords
  • Practice chords and their inversions in different positions
  • Practice scales up and down the neck
  • Practice a song
  • Free-Play to just improvise along your fretboard. This is important as it helps also train the ear. Be patient.
  • The information contained on this site can take a lifetime to master but most importantly Have fun.

12 String Lap Steel Guitar with Inlay

So I added some inlay style to my 12 string and I’m quite liking the finished look.

I put this Lap Steel Guitar together with the help and craftsmanship of Bill Hatcher, an absolute legend. Need to get a better camera. But fine for now.

Full view Lap Steel Guitar bridge view tone and volume side inlay stickers Pool table felt to stop slipping George l's -E66 pickup


Who Are Your Lap Steel Guitar Heroes?

The best that ever did it in my opinion. RIP.
The best that ever did it in my opinion. RIP.

Who Are Your Lap Steel Guitar Heroes? Or Inspiration?

  • Maurice Anderson
  • Billy Robinson
  • Bobbe Seymour
  • Jerry Byrd
  • Herb Remington
  • Darrick Campbell
  • Mike Neer
  • Ben Harper
  • Bill Hatcher

These are just the few that pop out of my head but I know there are many other legends that I have left off.

The 7 Modes with One Shape

So after doing some research and hearing MANY Berkelee guitarists who shred and believe in the CAGED system. I started theorising there must be a similar connectivity in repetitive shapes on the Lap Steel Guitar.

So I started with the modes in my Theory Tuning and realised that I can play all 7 modes using the same shape. If I study the Ionian scale in all it’s shapes that means I can play all the modes in all the shapes up and down the neck.

Really cool. So I am trying to find the name to give this technique as on the steel depending on your tuning it is obviously a different shape but I believe this to be revolutionary research or if any of you have prior experiences please share.

Collective knowledge achieves a solution much faster.

Check out my fretboard layout on my blog and you’ll see what I mean. It has the notes if the Ionian scale highlighted. Move two frets down it’s the Dorian. Enjoy.


String Height on a Lap Steel

Height off the neck 

One thing to remember – Perspective affects intonation. 

The further away the strings are the less accurate your placement will appear therefore the more adjustments with ones hand are necessary until your ear/tuner tells you your on the right notes. 

Doubt me. Think little of it. Do a simple major chord then do a forward or reverse slant. How sharp or flat do you have to place the tone bar/Steel bar to achieve the right note during your slant. 

Perspective is everything. 

Just my experience. 

1. so I set it up close enough for this to not cause a major issue. 
2. Also consider your pickup and how near/far your strings are at the bridge side above your pickup. Don’t make the angle between the nut and the bridge too steep as this is counterintuitive for efficient playing.,

My current setup is:  At the nut: 8mm is 5/16th inch. and  at the bridge: 10 mm is 3/8ths inch

Custom Built 12 String Lap Steel Guitar

I contacted Bill Hatcher with a few different ideas I wanted a very tight geometry and string spacing for my playing style and it worked out perfectly. He designed this after a lot of changes on my part heres a little bit about it from Bill. 

” The Body is 35+ year old figured maple from Michigan..George L’s E66 pickup. the nut height/angle and the maple neck/body give it a wonderful sustain. 22 1/2in scale.

The Headstock….i inset the first two tuners about 5mm and then added an aluminium piece on the top to keep the angle of the four closest strings consistent with the others. worked out great. the tuners sit on a ledge rather than cutting the headstock down to a thin piece and mounting the tuners. i have found that there is a lot of movement in a head like that and sustain is lost. if you can pick your guitar by the tip of the head stock and see any pitch change on your tuner, then you know its losing energy there. the nut is full 1/4″ aluminium.” 

Thanks Bill 

Front Custom 12 String Lap Steel Guitar Headstock Custom 12 String Lap Steel Guitar Back Custom 12 String Lap Steel Guitar