Steel Guitar and Open Tunings


These studies are good for lap steel, dobro, and open G tuning. The tuning is high strung G (GBDGBD low to high). You can also use them for low strung, open tuning in  G, also known as Spanish tuning (DGDGBD low to high).  There is no difference in strings 1 through 4. Most of the exercises are on strings 1 through 4. They are also good for open A tuning. The intervals, shapes, and fingerings are identical. Only the pitch is higher.

Dobro High Strung G Tuning: Major diatonic, pentatonic, minor pentatonic, blues scales. Major and minor triads.

Dobro High Strung G Tuning: Major Diatonic exercise

page 1: three octave major diatonic scale, three octave major pentatonic scale, three octave major blues scale. identifying intervals of the scale. written in tab.

page 2: three octave minor pentatonic scale, three octave minor blues scale, major arpeggio, adding diatonic notes to the arpeggios, identifying intervals.

page 3: arpeggio and blue notes.

page 4: arpeggios and diatonic notes.

page 5: riffs using ornaments, open strings, and frets 1-5

page 6: riffs combining diatonic and blue notes centered around the first inversion voicing (mostly).

page 7: riffs combining diatonic and blue notes centered around the second inversion voicing.

page 8 and 9: The harmonized scale in the key of G (chords in the key of G).

page 10: chord shapes and intervals. There are five types of triads. A triad is the smallest form of a chord. There must be three notes to create a chord. The five types of triads are major, minor, diminished, augmented, and suspended.

page 11: chord shapes, major 6, major 7, dominant 7, and minor 7.

page 12: chord progressions and voicings.

page 13 and 14: doublestops.

page 15, 16, and 17: neighbor notes and modes.



essential scales and arpeggios

page 1: three octave diatonic major, minor pentatonic, and minor blues scales. Identifying the intervals of the scales.

page 2: major pentatonic, major blues scales, and major arpeggios.

page 3: riffs centered aroung the first inversion voicing.

page 4: major arpeggios, blue notes, and diatonic notes.

page 5: more riffs using arpeggios, blue notes, and diatonic notes.

page 6: more riffs

page 7: arpeggios, diatonic, and blue notes centered around the second inversion voicing.

page 8: arpeggios and riffs centered around the root position voicing.

page 9: more riffs

page 10: harmonized scales (chords in the key of D)

page 11: harmonized scales continued and doublestops.

page 12:     chord shapes, major minor, diminished, augmented, and suspended.:

page: 13 chord shapes, major 6, dominant 7, major 7, minor 7, and minor 6.



Vestapol page 1 and 2 (open D no slide)

Vestapol page 3 – 5


Big Bad Road (open D use a slide)

I’m So Lonesome I could Cry (backing track in the key of E) I play this song in high strung open G tuning: GBDGBD low to high.

Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (open G use a slide)

Span fandango

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