How Do You Tune a Lap Steel Guitar?

Unlike standard guitar tuning (E-A-D-G-B-E low to high), lap steel guitars are tuned to open and extended chords such as G, G6, C6, C, D and A. There are six strings on a standard lap steel guitars, but the instrument is also available in eight-string and 10-string variations.

Lap steel guitars have no raised frets. To change the pitch of the strings, the player holds a tone bar on his right hand, which he passes along the strings.

The following shows how to tune a six-string lap steel guitar from high to low.

  1. Open G chord
  2. D-B-G-D-B-G

  3. Open G6 chord
  4. D-B-G-E-B-G

  5. Open C chord
  6. C-G-E-C-G-C

  7. Open C6 chord
  8. G-E-C-A-G-E

  9. Open D chord
  10. D-A-F#-D-A-D

  11. Open A chord
  12. E-C#-A-E-C#-A