About My Steel Guitar Web

A 1988 Asleep at the Wheel show – Michael Francis on sax

115 years after its invention, the steel guitar continues to enjoy an enigmatic appeal seldom achieved in the world of popular instrumental music. By enigmatic, I mean that people invariably have an emotional response to our instrument, but they often don't know what they're listening to, what the instrument looks like, or how the sounds are produced. Unfortunately, the steel guitar has also been enigmatic to the aspiring player!

One of the big hurdles I faced as a player was the lack of reliable information and instruction. All too often, the beginning steel guitarist has had to rely on sheer determination, luck, and an almost Holy Grail-like obsession with the instrument to make headway.

Steel guitar is also one of the most personalized of instruments, which adds to its charm but creates a lot of confusion for the beginner. Almost every player has his or her own unique setup. Some use pedals to raise and lower strings. Others do not. And after more than a century, there is still no single tuning that everyone considers a standard for our instrument or a clear starting point.

Thanks to the internet, there are now a host of great web resources on steel guitar. My goal is to present accurate information and help others get started on their path to "steel guitar enlightenment." Your questions and feedback have been invaluable to me and, as always, I welcome your comments.

– John