Dating rickenbacker lap steels
Round-necked resonator guitars set up for steel playing fall into this category.Instruments designed exclusively as lap steel guitars typically have modified necks that make fretted playing impossible.The Wichita, Kansas-based musician had an electric Hawaiian A-25 (frypan, lap-steel) and a standard electric Spanish from George Beauchamp of Los Angeles, California.Brewer publicized his new instruments in an article in the Wichita Beacon of October 2, 1932 and through performances that month.This made the so-called "Hawaiian" guitar the first electric stringed instrument (just a few years before Les Paul and Charlie Christian modified their instruments and after the theremin was patented in 1928).The earliest documented performance with an electrically amplified guitar was in 1932, by Gage Brewer.(All tunings are shown low-to-high; that is, thickest string to thinnest, or sixth string to first string).The earliest Hawaiian lap steel tuning was open A low bass, E–A–E–A–C–B–E.
The round neck, metal-bodied resonator guitar is used almost exclusively by blues, rock, or blues-rock musicians.The electric lap steel guitar typically incorporates the entire neck into the solid body of the guitar, again providing extra strength to allow a greater variety of string gauges and tunings.Console steel guitars, typically with more than six strings and/or multiple necks, are rarely played in lap steel fashion (without their legs), but are often referred to as lap steel guitars by many makers and authorities. The lap steel guitar is typically placed on the player's lap, or on a stool in front of the seated player.The lap steel guitar is a type of steel guitar which is typically played with the instrument in a horizontal position on the performer's lap or otherwise supported.
The performer changes pitch by pressing a metal or glass bar against the strings as opposed to a traditional guitar where the performer's fingertips press the strings against frets.The Lap steel guitar is not tuned in standard guitar tuning (E–A–D–G–B–E, low to high).