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marymac
02-08-2011, 07:02 PM
Hi All -

I've been looking covetously at the Mya-moe lap steel ukes but I'm not too excited about the cost or the wait so I'm thinking of ways to make my own conversion.

I was wondering if it's possible to string a conventional (used) 6-string lap steel with GCEA strings and just leave two of the strings unstrung? Or maybe get a steel-string tenor uke (Monkey Wrench, Jupiter Creek, Risa?) and add something like this at the nut to raise the strings: http://elderly.com/accessories/items/EN02.htm

You folks often have creative ideas. Any ideas on this one? Thanks!

SailingUke
02-09-2011, 05:59 AM
Strum-Stick has a dgbe tuned four string.
Open tune it to dgbd and I believe it would make a nice lap steel.

marymac
02-09-2011, 06:36 AM
Cool - thanks - I'll take a look at the strumsticks. That's a line I haven't explored.

TCK
02-09-2011, 09:23 AM
No expert, but dad has played them for some 50 years so I figure I have been around a few.
Since you mention de-stringing a 6 string lap steel, I figure you do not need it to be acoustic, and yeah, you can do this. You could also tune to open C6 like your uke and play the traditional lap steel tuning there (CEGACE) with all six strings.
Most these will have 22.5" scale lengths. If you want Uke scale lap steel, I have seen some vintage instruments in shorter scales, but from what I understand, they are hard to learn on. I personally would stay with 22.5.
We have a dobro with the action raised (with the nut raising thingy)- problem for steel style would be that your bridge has to be really resonant (made of metal) and able to be raised up pretty high (mine are at 3/16"), so the Ukulele you start with needs special parts- I would think modding a RIsa or the like at their price point would lead to disappointment.
Last bit- dad played mine and really liked it, so I guess I can build them. If I can- you can. We are talking $100 in parts and some time, but when you are done you have something no one else does. No joke- it really is easy. 4 string, any scale you want...done

marymac
02-09-2011, 09:47 AM
TCK - you're my hero. Thanks for this info! Here are a couple more questions for you:

I remember seeing your photo of a lap steel you made recently. Do you have a link to that thread?

On the lap steel you built, did you do the pickup and everything yourself? i haven't messed with pickups at all. What did you use?

If I wanted an acoustic, what do you think of modding an inexpensive resonator uke like a Republic with the nut raiser thingy? Would it be too hard to use the tenor scale since the bridge will be where your hand needs to be? See the mahogany laminate uke ($249) at the bottom of this page: http://www.republicguitars.com/guitarsotherproducts.html

Regarding vintage lap steels, what should I look out for/avoid? I love the look of these (though I can't afford them right now!): http://www.gryphonstrings.com/instpix/34507/34507.php and http://elderly.com/vintage/items/185U-430.htm

PedalFreak
02-09-2011, 11:32 AM
http://www.beltona.net/nav/uke_songstertenor.htm

The Beltona James Hill model Square Neck Tenor Uke sells for $950 :)

That may be an option...

marymac
02-09-2011, 11:37 AM
http://www.beltona.net/nav/uke_songstertenor.htm

The Beltona James Hill model Square Neck Tenor Uke sells for $950 :)

That may be an option...

The Beltona ukes are very cool - thanks. I'm not sure they have a US distributor though?

I think that eventually I will just get myself a cheap lap steel from eBay and learn how to play that before diving into another expensive experiment! http://cgi.ebay.com/Rogue-EA-3-Lap-Steel-Guitar-Stand-and-Gig-Bag-Red-/140509955927

PedalFreak
02-09-2011, 11:45 AM
The Beltona ukes are very cool - thanks. I'm not sure they have a US distributor though?

I think that eventually I will just get myself a cheap lap steel from eBay and learn how to play that before diving into another expensive experiment! http://cgi.ebay.com/Rogue-EA-3-Lap-Steel-Guitar-Stand-and-Gig-Bag-Red-/140509955927

You can buy direct from him. That is how I got the price. Just email them, if you are interested, and they'll get back to you with the details :)

marymac
02-09-2011, 11:47 AM
Gotcha - thanks PedalFreak!

fumanshu
02-09-2011, 02:36 PM
Hi Marymac!!!Uke Lap steel!!! Well that's what I mostly play since the day I asked Mike Pereira (MO ukulele) built one for me!!

I don't know if you saw the pics of my lap...if not here it is, it will give you an idea...

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/DSCN0685.jpg

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/DSCN0677.jpg

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c212/bao1975/DSCN0675.jpg

As you can see, there's no fret on the fret board as well as the neck is a squareneck...

And here's a clip I did with it, so you may have an idea of how it sounds like...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoP8AHzqeM8

Lap steel uke is very fun to play with and insanely addictive!!

You should contact Mike, he will be very please to build one for you since for him, it's one of the coolest thing he built ever!!! Just say that you heard the one he build for me.

Hope this help!

marymac
02-09-2011, 02:44 PM
Hi Marymac!!!Uke Lap steel!!! Well that's what I mostly play since the day I asked Mike Pereira (MO ukulele) built one for me!!

And here's a clip I did with it, so you may have an idea of how it sounds like...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoP8AHzqeM8

Lap steel uke is very fun to play with and insanely addictive!!

You should contact Mike, he will be very please to build one for you since for him, it's one of the coolest thing he built ever!!! Just say that you heard the one he build for me.

Hope this help!

Oh boy - that may have done me in Bao. I may be buying a custom lap steel uke now - dang! I have a MP concert pineapple I love so I know that Mike makes great instruments. What scale is your lap steel - tenor? What woods did you choose? What strings do you use on it? Do you use GCEA tuning?

I loved your youtube video - thanks so much for this info!

fumanshu
02-09-2011, 02:56 PM
maryman wrote:
Oh boy - that may have done me in Bao. I may be buying a custom lap steel uke now - dang! I have a MP concert pineapple I love so I know that Mike makes great instruments. What scale is your lap steel - tenor? What woods did you choose? What strings do you use on it? Do you use GCEA tuning?

I loved your youtube video - thanks so much for this info!

Hey I totally forgot that you you bought a MP uke...so you know that Mike is building very nice instruments!!! Actually Mike never build a lap uke before I asked him the build one for me and he liked it so much and was so pleased with the result that he brought it at National Guitars to make people try it there!!!

As for the scale, it's a 12th fret neck joined tenor so the body is just e little bit bigger than his tenor but not much more. As for the strings, I try a lot of strings before finding what I like for the tuning I'm using. I'm using phosphor acoustic guitar strings and I'm playing on an open E and sometimes on open F.

Thanks and hope this can help you but don't hesitate to contact Mike...seriuosly, I'm sure he will be in heaven to build another lap uke!!
He always ask me to make a new clip with my lap since he like how it sounds like...

Oh I forgot to mention, it's a Peruvian Walnut back and sides combined with spruce top.

Thansk

TCK
02-09-2011, 06:04 PM
Oh boy - that may have done me in Bao. I may be buying a custom lap steel uke now - dang! I have a MP concert pineapple I love so I know that Mike makes great instruments. What scale is your lap steel - tenor? What woods did you choose? What strings do you use on it? Do you use GCEA tuning?

I loved your youtube video - thanks so much for this info!
I am not sure how long you have played steel my friend, but you have the most amazing bar technique I have seen- this uke is awesome as well. Please post what you tune too, as I am working on a 4 string 17" electric and know I won't get there with GCEA...
Oh yes, and Mary- you got mail :)

PhilUSAFRet
05-19-2012, 03:45 AM
I'm actually thinking of building a tenor uke version of this baby tuned G C E A# steel strings, high action, etc. etc. Anyone try it?....may build two, one for Hawaiian music (maybe I'll make an "electric pineapple.") and one for blues.

BIGDB
05-19-2012, 04:47 AM
Dont know if your looking for a ukulele lap steel specifically but If I were you I would just save for a pedal steel guitar. I have one with 3 pedals and 4 knee levers with E9 tuning and I bought it for $1650 and it is very challenging and fun but again I don't know how much money you have to spend or anything but it's just my advice

WhenDogsSing
05-19-2012, 10:43 AM
You can modify any ukelele to play as a lap steel. The nut has to be raised, whether you use a shim under the existing nut, or if you buy a nut adaptor for that purpose. I have found that, the shorter the scale length, the harder it is to play because you don't have as much "wiggle room" to make the notes sound right. You're much better off, when starting out, to get an instrument with a longer scale length such as a regular lap steel with steel strings to learn on. As you progress, you can easily convert a ukulele for that purpose, should you so desire.

Guitars with ultra high action and ski slope necks make great lap steels...Find one of those out there and you're all set...!!!

WhenDogsSing
05-19-2012, 10:49 AM
Oh boy - that may have done me in Bao. I may be buying a custom lap steel uke now - dang! I have a MP concert pineapple I love so I know that Mike makes great instruments. What scale is your lap steel - tenor? What woods did you choose? What strings do you use on it? Do you use GCEA tuning?

I loved your youtube video - thanks so much for this info!

Real nice playing...Thanks for sharing...!!!

fumanshu
05-21-2012, 12:46 AM
Real nice playing...Thanks for sharing...!!!

Thanks a lot. Playing a slide ukulele is just too addictive!!! But for sure you have to get use to the bar as well as playing with fingerpicks....Fingerpicks are the hardest part to get used too but once you get it....you will never look back and will not to able to play without them!!!! Finding the good set of fingerpicks for your fingers is also a long quest so once you find them....buy a bunch before you can't find them anymore!!!

Keep sliding!

Ondrej
07-23-2012, 01:06 AM
I was wondering if it's possible to string a conventional (used) 6-string lap steel with GCEA strings and just leave two of the strings unstrung?

I prefer the standard ukulele tuning (GCEA). Because strings CEA are a minor chord. Strings GCE are a major chord. And strings GEA are chord with seven.