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#3044712 05/19/20 03:56 PM
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Some years back. i took up playing lap steel. It was the most fun I'd had from playing in years. It really was neat.
Recently, I started seeing videos of Larkin Poe, and I was interested to see the girl playing the Rickenbacker lapsteel standing up, with a strap-on platform under it. I've read she and a friend made it themselves. So, I started looking for something similar to use with my Rogue lapsteel.

The closest thing I've found so far is the Asher Belly Bar But $165 seems a bit pricey for a bent tube and some hardware. Does anybody knonw of any other such rig, for substantially less?


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I don't. Huge fan of Larkin Poe, their version of Sleepwalk is stellar, just to name one.

There are so many straps available on the cheap that I would probably at least have a go at cobbling something together.

LOTS of used backpacks out there, maybe craigslist or a yard sale? Our thrift stores are closed for now, not sure about yours.
Padded adjustable straps are available used at minimal cost. I would probably default to my old standby for connecting to the guitar - a stout screw and a washer will hold it in place forever.

I love lap steel too, not great at it but I can get a rudimentary solo onto a recording. I have a tragically butchered Framus 8 string, it used to be a half of my brother's double neck with fancy levers/cams on the bridge so you could flip to different tunings. Sounded like crap though, thin and no sustain. So I found a thick-walled deep socket at a pawn shop for 75 cents, that sounds awesome. It is the second guitar in the attached photo, one of these days I'll take it apart and do some smoothing and rounding on the maple mounting plate. And, here is a piece I played it on for Dr. Walker's Psychadelic Kitchen compilation. I think he had to use it since it was one of just a few entries. 1 track of bass guitar, 4 tracks of lap steel.

https://metapop.com/opossum-apocalypse/tracks/that-itch/130532

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From a company making $3750 lap steels I'm not surprised this adaptor bar is also expensive. But I'm also intrigued that all their lap steels appear to be 25" scale, which is several inches longer than traditionally found on lap steels. Seems like a good idea, but I've not heard any opinions about this. Nice looking instruments those guys make, way out of my ballpark though.


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Originally Posted by Scott Fraser
From a company making $3750 lap steels I'm not surprised this adaptor bar is also expensive. But I'm also intrigued that all their lap steels appear to be 25" scale, which is several inches longer than traditionally found on lap steels. Seems like a good idea, but I've not heard any opinions about this. Nice looking instruments those guys make, way out of my ballpark though.

Longer scale extends your potential range and makes accuracy easier.
You can still slide way up into the dog whistle notes but with thicker low strings you could also cover baritone sounds.


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Longer scale extends your potential range and makes accuracy easier.

That's the part that appeals to me.


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But shorter scales make bar slants easier to pull off.


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Originally Posted by picker
But shorter scales make bar slants easier to pull off.

OK, makes sense, though that's above my current skill grade.


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Originally Posted by picker
But shorter scales make bar slants easier to pull off.

Also true although going higher up the neck negates that advantage. Depending on the number of strings and the tuning, it may be moot.

I've seen David Lindley twice, fantastic.
Both times he played custom long scale Weissenborn style instruments with a huge range including bass.
The first time I saw him he was playing a chordal part, a bass part, tapping/thumping the body of the instrument for drum sounds and singing.
Outdoor festival, I saw a friend come up over the hill to the front of the stage. He said "I heard a reggae band playing so I came to see who it was."

Then, he shook his head in disbelief. I was already gobsmacked myself.


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Oh yeah, Lindley is great. Equally great at spinning yarns.


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Originally Posted by Scott Fraser
Oh yeah, Lindley is great. Equally great at spinning yarns.


His "Furry Poker Chip" song about backstage food in Ireland had the crowd in stitches.

The second time I saw him he did an accompanied bit about Sudafed and Vivarin where he slowed down and sped up the music, shifted the key and sang imitations of things being played too fast and too slow.
We were all dying out there, so awesome!


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My first thought would be to get creative with the placement of strap pegs?


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Originally Posted by Scott Fraser
Oh yeah, Lindley is great. Equally great at spinning yarns.


His "Furry Poker Chip" song about backstage food in Ireland had the crowd in stitches.

Another on that subject is called "Cat Food Sandwiches".

Quote
The second time I saw him he did an accompanied bit about Sudafed and Vivarin where he slowed down and sped up the music, shifted the key and sang imitations of things being played too fast and too slow.
We were all dying out there, so awesome!

I saw him at a workshop at the Strawberry Festival where he was waxing poetic about becoming eligible for Medicare & the wonders of finally having health insurance. I think quirkiness (and musicality) run in the family. I've worked & played a lot with his older brother, who is a keyboard prodigy, & quirky as can be, though dead serious. There's also a cello playing brother.


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Scott, that's awesome!

Hah!! Cat food sandwiches - mmmm... tasty....

Before the thrift stores closed up here I found an album he made with Henry Kaiser, they went to Madagascar and jammed with local musicians.
Wonderful music.

David is one of those "hiding in plain sight" sort of wizards, if you mention him to otherwise informed musicians most of them will say "Who?"
Then you say "The slide guitar on Running On Empty by Jackson Browne." EVERYBODY gets that reference. There are many, it's a stelar list.

El Rayo Ex is pretty well known.

We used to play Took Off My Romeos and a couple other tunes. Love his work with Warren Zevon, I learned Play It All Night Long from the Live at the Vienna Opera House with Ry Cooder album, I bought a copy from David personally after his show at the Mt Baker Blues Festival.


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Comments above about longer scale-lengths are true; however, shorter scale-lengths yield fatter, rounder, warmer, darker, fuller tones, especially for single-note and two-note lead-lines and fills- stronger fundamental and even-order overtones, less odd-order high-harmonic overtones.


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It’s whatever you are used to. 24.5” to 25” is standard pedal steel scale length and slants are never an issue. I rarely use pedals on the C6 neck. I do most everything with the bar.

The best is always the one you use and put the most reps on.

Last edited by CEB; 06/08/20 05:44 AM.

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Back onto the original question, Peavey's Powerslide came with a sort of Y-shaped strap, IIRC? It looked like something you might rig out of an old set of suspenders. At any rate, I suspect there are similar straps available.


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The Powerslide does. It works because of the belly cut and how the guitar is designed. My favorite standup lapsteel player is Randy Kohrs. Randy just uses a normal Dobro strap. You probably need the extra length so you can feed the arms inside. That’s what I would do but a lot of us from the country persuasion are Dobro players.




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Originally Posted by Caevan O'Shite
Comments above about longer scale-lengths are true; however, shorter scale-lengths yield fatter, rounder, warmer, darker, fuller tones, especially for single-note and two-note lead-lines and fills- stronger fundamental and even-order overtones, less odd-order high-harmonic overtones.


These differences may be generalizations or in other words - "maybe, maybe not."

I have a Framus 8 string Franken-lap steel. Scale length is 23.5 and the center of the pickup is 3" from the breakover point on the bridge.
This was half of a double neck, I mounted it on a nice piece of 3/4" hard rock maple and started with a stock build.

Poor bridge design and a soapbar single coil, this was a thin, nasty sounding guitar with considerable pickup hum and poor sustain.

I replaced the bridge with a deep, thick walled 1/2" socket screwed firmly to the body and added string through body holes. Huge improvement in tone and sustain. I swapped out the pickup for a passive EMG 8 string humbucker. Simply sounds better, no lack of harmonics.

If we were comparing short scale to long scale lap steels, they would need to be otherwise identical or it really is apples and oranges. Cheers, Kuru


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The big issue is getting the silly thing out in front of me far enough to pick it easily and slide the bar past my left side without slanting it too much. I've seen belly bars of varying sorts, and Megan from Larking Poe has that gadget she and a friend designed & built. I have a friend who has built a couple of lap steels and CBGs, and she said she'll build me a stand-up steel. But she has gotten too busy with other projects, and I suspect she doesn't really have sufficient time or desire to do it now.

I may try to design one for myself. I don't really have any training or expertise in instrument design or building, but that never stopped me before! And really, a lap steel is just a slab of some material with a pickup, bridge, nut, and tuners bolted to it. The rest is just shaping and finish work. I'd really like one like some of the Rickenbackers I've seen, with a hollow metal body and neck. That would probably be a good way to keep the weight down, and it would look cool as heck. But metal work like that is way out of my wheelhouse, and I suspect it would be pretty costly to have it made.

Oh well, we'll see what happens.


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Originally Posted by picker
The big issue is getting the silly thing out in front of me far enough to pick it easily and slide the bar past my left side without slanting it too much. I've seen belly bars of varying sorts, and Megan from Larking Poe has that gadget she and a friend designed & built. I have a friend who has built a couple of lap steels and CBGs, and she said she'll build me a stand-up steel. But she has gotten too busy with other projects, and I suspect she doesn't really have sufficient time or desire to do it now.

I may try to design one for myself. I don't really have any training or expertise in instrument design or building, but that never stopped me before! And really, a lap steel is just a slab of some material with a pickup, bridge, nut, and tuners bolted to it. The rest is just shaping and finish work. I'd really like one like some of the Rickenbackers I've seen, with a hollow metal body and neck. That would probably be a good way to keep the weight down, and it would look cool as heck. But metal work like that is way out of my wheelhouse, and I suspect it would be pretty costly to have it made.

Oh well, we'll see what happens.

Take a look at the old Mellobar guitars. Used to be a ton of them in Fresno, not surprising since many were based on Mosrite guitars (Bakersfield is 100 miles south of Fresno)..
See attached photo, it shows the idea well. You could slap one together pretty cheaply if you are good with tools. Lots of lap steel "fingerboards" avaiable for cheap and the rest is just stupid easy. A thick-walled deep socket makes a great bridge for a steel guitar.

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The big issue is getting the silly thing out in front of me far enough to pick it easily and slide the bar past my left side without slanting it too much. I've seen belly bars of varying sorts, and Megan from Larking Poe has that gadget she and a friend designed & built. I have a friend who has built a couple of lap steels and CBGs, and she said she'll build me a stand-up steel. But she has gotten too busy with other projects, and I suspect she doesn't really have sufficient time or desire to do it now.

I may try to design one for myself. I don't really have any training or expertise in instrument design or building, but that never stopped me before! And really, a lap steel is just a slab of some material with a pickup, bridge, nut, and tuners bolted to it. The rest is just shaping and finish work. I'd really like one like some of the Rickenbackers I've seen, with a hollow metal body and neck. That would probably be a good way to keep the weight down, and it would look cool as heck. But metal work like that is way out of my wheelhouse, and I suspect it would be pretty costly to have it made.

Oh well, we'll see what happens.


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Originally Posted by CEB
The Powerslide does. It works because of the belly cut and how the guitar is designed. My favorite standup lapsteel player is Randy Kohrs. Randy just uses a normal Dobro strap. You probably need the extra length so you can feed the arms inside. That’s what I would do but a lot of us from the country persuasion are Dobro players.

That old boy can PICK!


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Take a look at the old Mellobar guitars. Used to be a ton of them in Fresno, not surprising since many were based on Mosrite guitars (Bakersfield is 100 miles south of Fresno)..
See attached photo, it shows the idea well. You could slap one together pretty cheaply if you are good with tools. Lots of lap steel "fingerboards" avaiable for cheap and the rest is just stupid easy. A thick-walled deep socket makes a great bridge for a steel guitar.

I'd LOVE to find a Mellobar I could afford. But, Christie's Auction house sold one for $52,000! Finding one for less that $700 would be a miracle. But they are a cool instrument, that's for sure!

What size socket do you use?


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Originally Posted by picker
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Take a look at the old Mellobar guitars. Used to be a ton of them in Fresno, not surprising since many were based on Mosrite guitars (Bakersfield is 100 miles south of Fresno)..
See attached photo, it shows the idea well. You could slap one together pretty cheaply if you are good with tools. Lots of lap steel "fingerboards" avaiable for cheap and the rest is just stupid easy. A thick-walled deep socket makes a great bridge for a steel guitar.

I'd LOVE to find a Mellobar I could afford. But, Christie's Auction house sold one for $52,000! Finding one for less that $700 would be a miracle. But they are a cool instrument, that's for sure!

What size socket do you use?

My Framus lap steel has a deep 1/2" socket, see photo.

I intentionally slanted the angle of the screws to make the bridge more comfortable for palming. Lazy way, could use different screws and countersink the holes too.
The 1/2" has thicker walls than larger sizes. I picked through a pile of sockets at a pawn shop, they were all 75 cents each.

Great sustain and very even string balance, part of that is keeping the pickup down from the strings a bit. Many love single coils, I won't dispute that they sound good but I HATE hum so I avoid them. Your choice, not mine.
A plank with tuners on one end will more or less get you there, ergonomics are your choice. I use it sometimes in the studio so I didn't need a stand up solution.
Get an E-Bow too, so fun with a slide!!!!

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Cool! I've had an E-Bow for more than 20 years!


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