Top critical review
Fretboard Roadmaps Lapsteel Open Tunings Curriculum
Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2019
Three stars for me is not bad. They don't describe a few things, or frame some important considerations for anyone looking at this. However, -- that does not make it a bad book. One can always return it. Moreover, for what's out there, you'd want to consider this.
If one is entirely new and may not fully understand "lap steel" or open tunings -- it jumps right in. To explain that would not help anyone new to this, so I won't attempt it.
However, to jump in and just start playing, understanding the "pattern" or "boxes" folks well school in Pentatonic, Blues Scale Box runs up/down the neck and Barre Chords, usually are well acquainted with, -- they will like this, imo.
There is on online resource I suppose I can't recommend here, but creates all the variations dynamically in a free html online "app". If they at this Publisher offered that as well with the Play Along Tracks they offer, -- that would make this a "standard" within a curriculum for this.
Also, one has to understand this is not Slide "Guitar" as in Standard Tuning. It's Open Tunings. And intended for a "Lap Steel". This is not "Pedal" steel either. And, one needs to find the Open Tuning that may fit the majority of what they do. I tried them all and just kept coming back to Open D. However, I am going through this books curriculum as recommended because to do so makes sense and I do "get" the exercise in that.
Also, folks need to understand, generally speaking, Lap Steel, Open Tunings is (again in general) a support instrument, not a "lead" instrument. I started to immediately Overdub my experiments right into demos, and it's wonderful, and wonderfully simple.
If one wants to "Master" this and use it otherwise, -- have at it! But, crawling, then walking first is better than entering a marathon, imo.
The initial tracks offered, one can just hit the Chords, which is simply laying the Tone Bar Slide across that position (there are only 11 before restarting at the 12th position/"fret" so to speak). And, since most tunes, in general are in G-key, A-key, D-key, E-key one only needs to really know 3 chord positions, then the actually very limited box they can use. The beauty of the instrument is it's simplicity and that one needs to "muscle memory" into them, the slide-up/down sounds and from where and if on the top 4 strings or "bottom" 3. There are only 6 strings on a basic Lap Steel setup, however to 4, D G B E string, or E A D as separate parts of the box.
So, I did say that I'll not explain, but I guess I did to a limited degree.
Maybe a nice Video to watch that explains my points, by a pro would be a great revision to this good book.
I have not finished the book since I want to work the tracks as much as I can, -- but, I am sure my limits for my Open Tuning of choice and on this instrument setup will only be limited by me. But, remember a Cello is a Cello, and a Lap Steel in Open Tuning is just that, so one uses this for it's unique sound, accent and support.
I think anyone seeking an "easy" instrument to facilitate participation in music, this is one instrument configuration to consider, -- and if explained as "simplified" not in the most complicated terms that many seem to do, if even by accident. I think if I had read my own words years ago I would have engaged "Slide" more thoroughly sooner than later.
My advice here hopes to do that for this book and etc.
Actually my comments remind me of the advice I read concerning Harmonica, -- there are only 3 chords and in one position, dynamics and rhythm are everything. And so it is with this. 4 well placed notes is all one needs unless showing off (?)!