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Lap steel bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassWombat, Mar 13, 2008.


  1. I spotted this the other day: http://buildyourguitar.com/resources/lapsteel/index.htm and I got to thinking about whether you could make a lap steel bass and what it would sound like...

    The construction looks very easy and I've got all the bits other than a bass fretboard lying around (and with a nice piece of wood as the body I think you could do just as well marking the "frets" on the body rather than a specific fretboard), and I'm looking for a bit of a project at the moment. Am I mad?!
     
  2. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    US
    To my ears slide doesn't seem to work very well with fat bass strings -- try a traditional slide on a bass guitar and see what YOU think.
     
  3. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    It's interesting. I wouldn't do it.

    Fretless bass will give you pretty much the same effect.
     
  4. lug

    lug

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    John Paul Jones uses a bass lap steel on his Zooma CD, a must buy for any bass player.
     
  5. GeneralElectric

    GeneralElectric

    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I don't think it'd work too well, as lap steels are generally tuned to open chords.
     
  6. I pretty much understand that it wouldn't become a go-to instrument (I've got a fretless anyway). I think I'll probably make one anyway as it won't cost anything but my time - and I enjoy building stuff. At worst I'll end up making it, post a clip of me making a terrible noise with it, then we can all confirm it was a terrible idea! At best it could be something fun for some weird recordings!
     
  7. wave rider

    wave rider

    Jan 5, 2005
    Just make sure you use the right tone woods...

    ;^)

    =wr=
     
  8. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    It sounds like a fretless bass with a metal fingerboard, but I've only done it with a regular bass, not a speical lap bass.
     
  9. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    Ever hear Mark Sandman and Morphine?
     
  10. I say go for it. In that format you can do any number of strings, open tunings, octave strings etc. So what if itÂ’s not the most versatile band instrument.

    I bet Jason Lollar would wind the pickup too.

    Have fun and post sounds.

    MM
     
  11. weissguy

    weissguy

    Feb 6, 2008
    Denver
    I play weissenborn hawaiian guitars. Bob Brozman has a huge baritone weissenborn steel, a santa cruz fretted and national steel guitar to get down to low B or A. I think all 3 are 27" scale.
    David Lindley has a bass string on his lowest string and when he plays live, he is playing thundering low bass-lines , chords and leads on his weissenborn.
    To me, the longer-scale lapslide guitars just seem so huge to play, and harder to lock in on notes.
     

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