Lap Steel Tuning and Strings

Hi Steve, I’ve seen you mention using E7 tuning on lap steel. Would you share exactly how your 6-string lap is tuned low to high? And what string gauges and types do you find work best for your 50s Supro? There are different variations of E7 tuning discussed online. Thanks.

5 May 2023 10:41pm

I’ve been trying to answer this all week!
Maybe it’ll work this time..

B D E G# B E

It’s an old tuning, I have an E7 instruction book that was old when I was a kid, so maybe not “A high bass” old but just about.

When I got that steel back in the 80’s I put my regular Strat strings on it:
14 18p 28w 38 49 64 and tuned it to F major.
F C F A C F, because that’s what Lindley was using at the time.

Decided the 14 was too light, went to 16 on top.
After a few decades I switched to E7 but kept the strings, backed off the low B a little from 64 to 62.

So now, 16 18p 26 38 49 62w.

I don’t recommend it!
Poor guitar has been collapsing under the strain for years, but I’m used to it so I’m sticking with it.

On other instruments in E7 I’ve been fine with regular sets of 11’s or 12’s guitar strings.

Im sure somebody makes a well thought out prepackaged dedicated 6string E7 gauged set.
I’d start there and lighten up or go heavier wherever you feel like it.

I’ll bet Cindy Cashdollar knows. .

As to brand, I only change them every few years, and just use the oldest most mixed up batch of strings I can find.
As long as they’re from the 60’s at least.
Gibson, Fender, Rotosound.
Older the better!

The wiring is super simple, one volume control for each pickup and a three way switch. I tend to leave the pots alone on that guitar when swapping pickups so probably 250K pots.That’s it, doggy ‘70 something Strat, still doing its best to be useful.
: )

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