Tuning History of the Steel Guitar

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar

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Notes

General Notes
[1] This is not the final word on the tuning history of the steel guitar. If you see any errors or have any new info,
please send it my way. Please try to include a reliable reference, if possible. Thanks!
[2] Please double check my references before you quote me on these. There is still a lot of hearsay and mystery
surrounding the origin of these tunings.

Timeline Notes
[1] If the print is too small in the timeline chart above, press "Control +" to Zoom in.
[2] The (H) means high-gauge string strung below lower pitch strings.
(ex. the YK A7 above has a high G strung below the bass strings)
[3] The (L) means low-gauge string strung on the high side.
(ex. the BE E9 above has a lower D# and F# notes strung above the highest pitch strings)
[4] The * means a pedal or lever raise or lower. The number of asterisks indicate how many semitones
the pedal/lever raises or lowers a string.
[5] Typographical errors in the original tuning are surrounded by quotation marks (ex. ARM E7 #2).
[6] The colored notes indicate the player's innovation in the tuning.
[7] The C Tunings are listed as part of the A Tunings above, because it appears that C6 was
derived from the A (High Bass) Tuning .

Reference Notes
[1] The references below include both live links to websites containing the information, as well as book citations where
I found the tuning.
[2] My personal comments below are enclosed in brackets.
[3] Surprisingly, one of the more famous steel players, Jerry Byrd, was one of the most difficult to find tuning information
on. He used so many tunings and had such a long carrer, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when he tried new tunings.
I'd really like to know more about his original 6-string tunings. If you have that info, I'd really appreciate if you could
direct me to it.
[4] It appears that many new and very influential tunings were first published by the Alvino Rey Method in 1937
and the Gibson Console Grande Catalog in 1938. If anyone has any record of a player using any of these tunings prior to 1937,
please send me the info so I can update it here.

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A and C Tuning References

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 158
http://www.hsga.org/history2.htm

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
Original Hawaiian Method for Steel Guitar, Myrtle Stumpf, 1915

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
Kamiki Hawaiian Guitar Method, William Smith Co, 1916

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Superior Collection of Steel Guitar Solos, Keoki E. Awai, 1917

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=210709&sid=b11bf6710bcd4262aee21540a700405e
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bjUsI1HF9A
http://keepswinging.blogspot.com/2007/05/sol-hoopii-recordings-1925-1933-34.html
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 158

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
Improved Kamiki Hawaiian Guitar Method, William Smith Co, 1928

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/008827.html
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/004019.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 146

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/003051.html
http://countrydiscography.blogspot.com/search?q=bob+wills

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/003644.html
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=204328&highlight=modern+mountaineers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Brown
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cliff_Bruner
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 95

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/008827.html
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/004019.html
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 158

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 163

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
Alvino Rey Modern Guitar Method, Hawaiian Style, 1937
[These are only the tunings not found to be previously used by other Players]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.gibson-prewar.com/gibson-1938-console-grande/

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/002887.html
http://www.well.com/~wellvis/jbyrd.html
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=9378&sid=e47a1d44c326c0a3d1c6517adecc8270
Joaquin Murphey Classic Western Swing Solos, John McGann and Andy Volk, 2004
[Most likely played six strings in the late 30's]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=1488631&sid=d6133cb8117634f0f05701a7e77bca54
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/002887.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.well.com/~wellvis/leon.html
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/003051.html
http://www.steelc6th.com/tunings.htm

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Journal of Country Music Article Vol 22.1
http://www.mikeneer.com/lapsteelin/2011/04/15/c6-tuning-is-perfect-for-breadboarding/
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=1488631&sid=d6133cb8117634f0f05701a7e77bca54
http://www.hawaiiansteel.com/tunings/setups.php?link=1017
Joaquin Murphey Classic Western Swing Solos, John McGann and Andy Volk, 2004

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.hawaiiansteel.com/tunings/setups.php?link=1017

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=588562
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/002738.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/002738.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=281243&sid=93d21ccec57d1434ffa2e58024274e62
http://www.amug.org/~a249/qa.html
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=164643

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.b0b.com/infoedu/future1.htm
[Originated from Jimmy Day's C6 Pedal Arrangement, according to Buddy Emmons.]-PB
http://www.amug.org/~a249/qa.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[Unknown, possibly from Jimmy Day]-PB
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/006308.html
[My Guess: Turns the C6 Chord into a CM7 Chord. ]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[JB Slant?]-PB
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/006308.html
[My Guess: turns C6 into A6. Look at Bud Isaacs two tunings for example.]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[JB Slant?]-PB
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/006308.html
[My Guess: Turns a C6 into a F9 Chord.]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[From Alvino Rey in 1946 maybe earlier]-PB
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/006308.html
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=164643
[My Guess is that turns a C6 Chord into G6 Chord.]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/006308.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[Unknown, possibly from Jimmy Day ]-PB

Instrument Notes

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 112

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 120

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 146

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 120

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 139

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 124

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.gibson-prewar.com/gibson-1938-console-grande/
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 144

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 142-145
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=273013

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/html/002887.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.gibson-prewar.com/gibson-1938-console-grande/

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 143
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=273013

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[Epiphone Varichord sold 1941-1942 or 1946, 7 strings]-PB
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 141
http://www.fox-guitars.com/Epiphone_Catalogs.html
http://wiedler.ch/nyepireg/models.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Forgotten_Heroes_Paul_Bigsby
http://pedalsteelmusic.com/?p=733

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.google.com/patents/US2458263

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Forgotten_Heroes_Paul_Bigsby
http://pedalsteelmusic.com/?p=733

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Forgotten_Heroes_Paul_Bigsby
http://pedalsteelmusic.com/?p=733

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.google.com/patents/US2573963

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.pedalpro.co.uk/folderIndex/folderhtml/SGhistory02.html

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E Tuning References

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar

http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/003844.html
[Was this really Sylvester Weaver's Tuning? Or did someone else invent the E Major Tuning?]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=2119583&sid=afaae1b93843a4813ec6a324ed37d2b3

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=2122681&sid=d7ca3c284e3d3a9f6f74adc7476e33a1

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Hawaiian Guitar and it's great Hawaiian Musicians, Lorene Ruymar, 1996, p 144

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/002738.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/003051.html
http://www.well.com/~wellvis/leon.html
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/003051.html
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/003844.html
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/003844.html
http://www.well.com/~wellvis/tab/Sgrag.tab
http://countrydiscography.blogspot.com/search?q=bob+wills
[Most likely definitely played 6 strings until 1940]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/003644.html
http://www.well.com/~wellvis/hoopii.html
http://www.hawaiiansteel.com/tunings/master.php

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar

Slide Rules, Andy Volk, 2009
[Slide Rules claims this was Leon Mcauliffe's Tuning.]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
Alvino Rey Modern Guitar Method, Hawaiian Style, 1937
[These are only the tunings not found to be previously used by other Players ]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
Alvino Rey Modern Guitar Method, Hawaiian Style, 1937
[These are only the tunings not found to be previously used by other Players ]-PB
[There is a Typo in the Book. The "E" should be a "D" according to the staff above the tuning]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
Alvino Rey Modern Guitar Method, Hawaiian Style, 1937
[These are only the tunings not found to be previously used by other Players ]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.gibson-prewar.com/gibson-1938-console-grande/
[Same as SH ]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.gibson-prewar.com/gibson-1938-console-grande/

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[Unsure of Date.]-PB
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=43893&sid=85e362a473ec262367846b8fcb53891c
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=1085544&sid=52276c74a574c8fa480efacf1e3fd0a3
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/noel-boggs-mn0000381110/biography
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=25582&sid=414145dbf4469fbe16da033c0fb492a8
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=70651&sid=c0182c147d2475c811a17c7cb2f58a9d
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=202768&sid=00c8c84d60690431e41d75825d4106e8
[Noel Boggs Tuned String 2 up 1 ST for a Seventh tuning]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/002887.html
[Most likely played six strings in the late 30's]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/006264.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.well.com/~wellvis/leon.html
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/003051.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.hawaiiansteel.com/tunings/setups.php?link=1015
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/002738.html
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=1372911&sid=690886e014883fcea6f7e9c60623c30a
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=155609

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
The Journal of Country Music, Article Vol 22.1
[Unsure of two bass strings]-PB
Joaquin Murphey Classic Western Swing Solos, John McGann and Andy Volk, 2004

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.steelc6th.com/tunings.htm
http://www.mikeneer.com/lapsteelin/2014/03/18/a-speedy-west-classic-arranged-for-c6/
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=588562
http://www.steelc6th.com/tunings.htm

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.well.com/~wellvis/leon.html
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/003051.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
Slide Rules, Andy Volk, 2009
[Slide Rules has this as a 6 str tuning used in the 1950's.]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[Unsure of Date ]-PB
http://www.steelc6th.com/tunings.htm

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=158031&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=158031&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=25
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum15/HTML/006125.html
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=588562
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/002738.html
[BI was trying to combine his E13 and A6 onto one neck with his pedal, but also to make fiddle harmonies like Bob Wills]-PB
[2 Pedals: 1 for Str 2&3, and 1 for Str 5,6,&7 ]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.well.com/~wellvis/donhelms.html
http://www.steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/000868.html
http://www.steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/002159.html
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=204497&sid=c1e5b7dddd63032dfd7952e094ec5396

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.steelc6th.com/tunings.htm
http://www.steelguitarforum.com/Forum2/HTML/000868.html
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=204497&sid=c1e5b7dddd63032dfd7952e094ec5396

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=149442
[Split Isaacs' Chord Pedal into A and B ]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=258328&highlight=history
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=149442

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=258328&highlight=history

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=258328&highlight=history
[Emmons invented Diatonic Strings 1 and 2 for Scales]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/007456.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=588562
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=87652

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=129411&sid=5fff5c0c6897da2232a1f71497f42d82

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[See Contributers Above ]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[See Bud Issacs and Buddy Emmons Above ]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[See Bud Issacs and Buddy Emmons Above ]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/002738.html
[Was the C Pedal Invented by Ralph Mooney or Bobby Garrett or someone else?]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[See Buddy Emmons Above ]-PB

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
[See Lloyd Green Above, though there is controversy, it may have been used by Hal Ruff as early as 1964 ]-PB
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/007456.html

F#9 Tuning References

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.gibson-prewar.com/gibson-1938-console-grande/

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=199765&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=199765&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=25

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://www.remingtonsteelguitars.com/about.html
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/002738.html
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=155609
http://www.pedalpro.co.uk/folderIndex/folderHTML/interviewHerbRemington01.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/002738.html
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=155609

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=155609
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=588562

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=155609

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/002738.html
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=155609

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/002738.html

Tuning History of the Steel Guitar
http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=87652