User Recommended Lap Steel Guitar Tuners
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Strobe Tuning a Lap Steel Guitar
The lap steel guitar is very versatile and it is possible to generate many triads and altered chords at the slide or slant of a bar. Many seasoned professional steel players “tweak” the tuning to improve their sound; we call this “Sweetened Tuning”.
Because the steel guitar is a fretless instrument, it does not need to conform to the same compromises as regular fretted guitar is subjected to. The flaws of Equal temperament reveal themselves primarilly when major or minor thirds are played, and the long sustained tones produced by the lap steel guitar show up these flaws more than pretty much any other instrument, many players aim and strive to eliminate these flaws by tuning their steels using special cent offsets for each string to take advantage of the sweetness of these intervals and tune them so that they are totally beat-less and consonant.
No matter what method you use, an accurate tuner is a necessity. Peterson Tuners have been used for many decades to tune the open strings, on lap steel guitars, they are programmable and already feature several preset tuning settings for steel guitars using already established and accepted systems like Just intonation. There is no need to note any settings or use any charts.
Begin with C6 tuning. The first string, if you’re right-handed, is located furthest away from you when sitting with the steel in your lap - the normal playing position, plug your tuner into the steel and select the LC6 preset.
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