Tuning a STEAL Guitar


It’s a bit off topic, but I’m sure many of you will enjoy this piece of email I received recently.

From: Fred Campbell <fredc@sonic.net>
Subject: my tunings
To: quasar@wco.com
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 1995 00:58:49 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Mr. Quasar,

How great to find other players who are playing steal guitar. I thought I was the only one. I pride myself on not having paid more than $300 for any of my guitars. My main steal is a Fender Squire Tele that I bought for $225, and it’s great! I once stole a ’66 Fender PBass and Bassman head for $250.

All my steal guitars have six strings. I tune them EADGBE 99% of the time. I remember how to tune by repeating this sentence: “Every Amatuer Does Get Better Eventually” (which I really hope is true). I think this tuning is really neat because you can play a major chord anywhere on the neck with just four fingers, and then lift one up, and you have a *minor* chord. Easy! I call them “bar” chords because they work for most of the songs that I play in bars.

Sometimes I put a piece of polished steel tube on one of my fingers. I call it a “bottleneck” because it limits how fast I can play, but it sounds really cool, kind of like a kid with a kazoo. When my fingers get tired from playing all those bar chords for two or three hours in some bar, I tune my high string down to D, slip on the “bottleneck”, and play major chords the rest of the night. By that time, no one even notices! I remember this tuning by: “Even Aging Drummers Get Babes Downtown” (I think it depends on which town).

I use four pedals on my guitar. They are, left to right, wah wah, distortion, flange, and more distortion. I turned them all on at once one time, and I got the whirlies, thought I was gonna puke right on stage. It’s a good thing my “bottleneck” was slowing me down, or I might never have come back. Kids, don’t try this – anywhere.

I have lots more great tips, but I don’t think I should give them out for free, in fact some of them I’m going to copyright since the patents didn’t come through. They are available for only $500 for 25 great tips, which breaks down to a measly $20 per tip. You’ll find out things like what to do when the strings that came with your guitar start breaking, how to tactfully and safely tell a drummer he’s dragging (hint: distance), and what to do when the bass player’s girlfriend wants to sing with the band.

Keep up the good work on the Steal Guitar pages, like I say, I thought I was all alone in this world.

Fred Campbell