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Hawaiian Guitar Also Known as Lap Steel Guitar

Many of you know Lap Steel Guitar or Steel Guitar, is also widely known as Hawaiian Guitar. Once upon a time in around 1800s Hawaiian Guitar was invented and later become famous and widely known as, Lap Steel Guitar.

Hawaiian Guitar: 

A Popular Instrument with Love and Passion

Like me, many were familiar with this unique musical instrument. This is really a hard work out, musical instrument. Obviously other instruments too.

Clearly, I remember when I was a school going little boy (high school), I started learning. And fell in love with this guitar that now not much I see, at least where I am living for many years.

In Bangladesh and nearby countries this is mainly, we know as Hawaiian Guitar.

But, when I search in Google or YouTube, I see, mostly mention as Lap Steel Guitar.

By the way, as I found Lap Steel Guitar in Wikipedia is,

The lap steel guitar is a type of steel guitar which is typically played with the instrument in a horizontal position on the performer’s lap or otherwise supported. The performer changes pitch by pressing a metal or glass bar against the strings as opposed to a traditional guitar where the performer's fingertips press the strings against frets. The bar placed against the strings is called a "steel" or "tone bar".

An Authentic String Instrument

There are three types of lap steel guitars:

Acoustic lap steel guitar: The body resembles a traditional Spanish guitar. These were originally called "Hawaiian guitars", after the "slack-key" playing technique was popularized there in the late 1800s. These instruments are specifically designed to be played horizontally; i.e., the strings are higher off the fingerboard than a traditional guitar. Traditional guitars can be modified to play this way by using a "nut extender", a device to raise the strings.

National or Dobro-type guitars, which typically have reinforced square necks and feature a large aluminum cone, called a "resonator", to increase volume.

Electric lap steel guitars: These guitars are designed to be played horizontally and feature an electric pickup so they do not require any resonant chamber. Guitars in this category may differ markedly in external appearance and include instruments made from a rectangular solid block of wood. In addition to the lap-played model, a closely related version called a "console steel" guitar often featured more than one neck which made it too heavy to be played on the performer's lap. It is supported on legs (but does not include the pedals or knee levers of the pedal steel guitar). Electric lap steels typically have six, eight or up to ten strings.

You can try this amazing string instrument.

Wooden or acoustic Lap steel guitar need play while sitting on a chair or tool. While the electric one possible to play as sitting or standing as you feel convenient.

I am used to playing at sitting position.

How to handle it, how to sit, how to hold

Let the guitar lay on your lap, above the knee while sitting relax.

Horizontally on your lap, the round hollow body is at your right and neck of the guitar at your left, if you are right-handed. In case, left-handed then, adjust your guitar position as you feel comfortable.

It is different than usual Spanish or Classical guitar we know. Stings are set higher from the fretboard with a certain distance.

My personal experience is with Acoustic and electric Hawaiian guitar without pedal but with a tripod stand.

I played in Radio and Television as a Rover Scout cultural program. In Radio I had to go for long audition and preparation for recording, while the TV program was live. It was an amazing experience.

But didn’t continue.

I continuously learned in a Music School for 5 years, then another two years private learning from one of the famous musician Enamul Kabir in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

He has published the highest quantity of Song notation books also, Hawaiian guitar and Organ, Keyboard Instrumental music recordings as cassettes at the time of I was learning.

Since my overseas life, I detached not only from Hawaiian guitar but all kinds of music. Ever I have recorded my songs in the music studio as well, but not completed until ready to look for a producer.

All become story or history, whatever you say. But, I can say, healthy music can make someone mentally healthy and keeps mind fresh.

A lot of anxiety can remove by picking a nice piece and practice with heart. 


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