Watch the Lap Steel: Study 1 online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Country Guitar 9: Advanced Lick Vocabulary

Lap Steel: Study 1 - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Jason Loughlin and is sourced from Country Guitar Survival Guide: Lead Edition.


The lap steel guitar is a staple of old school country and western swing. Imitating a lap steel guitar is great technique to have in your bag of tricks. To do this we must first understand the limitations and strengths of the common C6 tuning. For this first instrumental I'm only going to use major 6th chords and they're inversions. I can approach them from a half step above or below. The only two articulations I'll be using are grabbing the strings and sliding. Ok, so there is a cool simple trick you can do with major 6th chords. If you move any inversion down a whole step you create a dominant 9th chord. This is a very common technique and allows steel player to change the quality of a chord simply by sliding the bar down. Remember, a lap steel player can only really grab what notes are underneath the slide bar. You can absolutely strum these chords and that will sound fine but grabbing the chords will give you a similar attack as a lap steel player.