If you already know how to play a 6-string guitar, and
you want to learn how to play steel guitar, you may want to know that there is a
bit of difference. They are played differently as well as held
differently. The steel guitar is placed in your lap facing you. The strings are raised,
with the fretboard underneath the strings. And instead of pressing the strings to the
fretboard, you are using a steel bar. The steel guitar is also tuned differently than
the standard tuning of a 6-string acoustic guitar.
As I am not really able to give you lessons on how to
play steel guitar here in this article, I can let you know a bit about the
history. These great guitars were first invented and brought to fame in
Hawaii. There is a legend that a schoolboy by the name of Joseph Kekuku
discovered the sound of the steel guitar while he was walking next to a railroad
track while strumming his 6-string guitar. He found a bolt lying on the ground
next to the track and starting sliding the metal bolt along his guitar strings.
He was so fascinated by the sound, that he taught himself to play this way
while using the back of his knife blade.
There have been others who have also been a part of this
great invention and that would be Gabriel Davion, who was an Indian sailor along
with James Hoa who was of Hawaiian Portuguese heritage. The Hawaiian
groups were big in the years from 1915 to 1930
beginning in San Francisco. It has since been picked up by country artists and
been incorporated into the blues as well. Then it moved on it way into African
music, Indian music, rock and even pop music.
You may be familiar with some of these famous steel
guitar players, such as Speedy West, Roy Smeck, Jerry Byr, Soi Hoopli, and so
many more. Learning how to play steel guitar will be something of great interest to not only
you, but to everyone around you who are not really familiar with this type
of instrument. You will be the hit of the party if you are able to
use your talents, and get the music going.