It started early last summer when my guitar-playing son wanted to add steel guitar sound to his retro country band, but he didnt want to go through the time and expense it takes to learn to play a conventional pedal steel guitar. What he wanted was a 6-string instrument that would look like a pedal steel on his gigs, but enable him to play all his trusty slide licks without the steep learning curve of a regular 10-string pedal steel. In other words, he wanted a simplified non-pedal steel guitar. So, being a longtime working guitarist who played pedal steel as a side instrument myself, and understanding what he was after, I fabricated the cabinet in our garage and assembled all the parts at our dining room table and made him exactly what he wanted; and he immediately started playing it on bookings. Before long, a good many of his guitar-playing friends began asking about making the same kind of thing for them.
When circumstances prohibited a couple of them from paying agreed-on prices for the instruments I made, I listed those guitars for sale online. The internet response was encouraging enough that I decided to make a few more available for other players who, like my son, would like to add the steel guitar sound to their capabilities without having to settle for a 2x4 with strings or some ferociously priced pedal steel guitar. This one is covered in a faux cowhide ultra-suede (that actually feels like it has tiny hairs), trimmed with antique calf rope, and accented with coppery upholstery tacks and antiqued hardware. It measures 32 x 7 1/2 x 4, and it is on 27 non-adjustable legs (adjustable-length legs would increase its cost by more than 50%; and besides, players wouldn't want the length to change once it was dialed in for them anyway). Three Lone Star conchos help establish the COWBOY!
Theme on the front of the guitar cabinet, and the rope trim is repeated on the stabilizing bar at the bottom of the front legs. There are no onboard tone or volume controls because it has been my experience from more than forty years of playing steel guitars that its much better to control volume with a pedal, and the tone with the controls on a guitar amplifier (preferably a guitar amp that has a good reverb system). While it sounds just great in either standard guitar tuning or open E, it sounds best tuned to C6 the classic western swing and traditional country tuning that makes it almost impossible to hit a wrong note or lick. I played one almost identical to it on one of my own shows a few weeks ago, and Im proud to say it sounded as good as any Emmons or Sho-Bud or BMI or MSA Ive ever owned.
In my music room, this one plays and sounds every bit as good as that one did! If anyone is interested in getting their own non-pedal steel guitar but isnt thrilled with the Rodeo Cowboy motif on this one, I can also make these without the cowhide covering.
However as old Henry Ford was once quoted as saying you can have any color you want, as long as its black. BUT, unlike Henry, I can make them with chrome or goldtone hardware and trim accents.
My cowhide-look steel guitars are unique -- NO two instruments can possibly look completely alike! -- and no one else is making them. The item "Rodeo Rider NON-PEDAL Steel Guitar $385" is in sale since Thursday, December 16, 2021. This item is in the category "Musical Instruments & Gear\Guitars & Basses\Lap & Pedal Steel Guitars". The seller is "dlcslc" and is located in Wichita Falls, Texas.
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