The Art of Sweetened Tuning — Lap Steel & Resonator Guitar

Peterson tuners feature unique SweetenerTM presets not found in any other brand of tuner. This comes from an almost 70-year legacy reaching back to the dawn of popular music as we know it today.

Decades of research and the experience of musicians the world over has led to the creation of the “Sweetener”, a system of preset tuning offsets designed for specific instruments, only available on Peterson tuners, and used worldwide wherever precise and professional results are demanded.

Fretless instruments played with a slide, such as lap steel and resonator/Dobro guitar, are free intonating instruments. Unfettered by conventional frets, they do not suffer the compromised flaws native to Equal temperament. Therefore, these instruments can benefit from being tuned to pure, beatless intervals.

Equal temperament, the only system found on most if not all other brands of tuners, was conceived prior the advent of the lap steel and resonator guitar as we know it today. It makes no allowances for fretless instruments, leaving the player to tweak their guitar by trial and error until it sounds good and in-tune.

Peterson tuners are in a different league, featuring ready-made and specifically tailored solutions for the exacting musician whose ear is not satisfied with simply being “in the ballpark”. Each Sweetener preset is designed to compensate for the physical attributes of a particular guitar type.

The following is a guide to the use of lap steel and resophonic-related Sweeteners featured in the SP-1 Peterson StroboPlus HDTM tuner and other Peterson tuners. This tuner is capable of being updated with new features as they become available. Check the Peterson ConnectTM site for periodic updates.

6/8-String Lap Steel Guitar

Example: Sierra™, Fender™ Champion, Gibson™ EH series, Gibson BR series, Peavey Powerslide™, Rickenbacker™ Fry-Pan, Weissenborn™, Magnatone™

For A6 tuning, use LA6 Sweetener

For C6 tuning, use LC6 Sweetener

These Sweetened tunings can be transposed to other 6-type tunings using the Peterson Connect app, which can be found at


6-String Dobro/Resonator Guitar:

Example: Dobro™, National Tricone™, Beard™, Benoit™, Regal™.

For open A, D & G tuning, use:

DBH: Major thirds in all three tunings are lowered slightly from Equal temperament, but not entirely beatless. This Sweetener is useful in band settings where instruments with fixed intonation are present.

DBO: Major thirds in all three tunings are lowered from Equal temperament to pure, natural, beatless Just values.  This Sweetener is useful in settings where the Dobro/Reso is the lead or solo instrument.



Current Peterson tuners featuring all of the Sweetener settings above include:

Beard is a registered trademark of Beard Guitars LLC

Fender is a registered trademark of Fender Musical Instrument Corporation (FMIC).

Gibson & Dobro are registered trademarks of the Gibson Guitar Corp.

National and Tricone are registered trademarks of National Reso-Phonic Guitars, Inc.

Peterson, Sweetener & Sweetened Tuning, StroboPlus, StroboPlusHD, Stomp Classic, StroboRack, StroboSoft, and StroboSoft2 are trademarks of Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc.

Peavey & Powerslide are registered trademarks of Peavey Electronics Corporation

Regal is a registered trademark of Saga Musical Instruments

Rickenbacker is a registered trademark of Rickenbacker International Corporation (RIC)

Sierra is a registered trademark of the Sierra Steel Guitar Co.