Announcing a new instrument, the 3-String MiniSlide. This is a little Lap Steel type instrument, that you play on your lap or a table. A metal bar is held against the strings, and can “slide” from note to note (like a Lap Steel, slide Dobro, or a Pedal Steel). There are no frets, but there is a “fingerboard” equivalent with lines to indicate the positions of the 12 notes of a chromatic
What is unique about it?
The shape, the inlaid raised fingerboard, the fretboard markings, only three strings, the presence of a small soundboard, the tuning, and the fact you can strum it. About the tuning; Where the normal varieties of steel guitar are tuned to numerous versions of a chord, the MiniSteel is tuned DAD; (octave, with the 5th in between, 1 5 1) like the D-33 Strumstick.
With any Slide-Steel type instrument, there is a so-called fingerboard (although fingers never touch it). Marks on the fingerboard indicate the position to hold the bar on the strings, to follow a chromatic scale. On the Mini-Slide, we have placed long lines to identify a D major scale (plus flatted 7) just like the frets on the Strumstick. The rest of the chromatic scale notes (where they occur) are indicated by short lines. For the benefit of the beginner, it is biased towards key of D, but it is still a fully chromatic instrument.
These changes do NOT make the MiniSlide an improved version of a Steel-type guitar, particularly if you already play Steel guitar. The unique features of the MiniSlide DO offer a more gentle learning curve, and quicker access to slide sounds for beginners to the instrument. One of the first challenges of Lap Steel is learning to play notes that are in tune. The exact position of the bar determines the pitch of each string as you strum (or pick individual strings). With the D major Scale highlighted, developing the muscle memory to play in tune is less arduous at the beginning.
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