steel guitar

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A resonator guitar (left), a lap steel guitar (right) and a pedal steel guitar
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steel guitar (countable and uncountable, plural steel guitars)

  1. (music, uncountable) A method of playing slide guitar using a steel (a kind of slide).
    • 2005, W. K. McNeil, Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music, page 167,
      Steel guitar — in which the player used a metal or glass slide to note the strings — became popular when Hawaiian musicians, such as master steel guitarist Sal Hoopi, toured and recorded in the 1910a and 1920s.
  2. (music, countable) Any of several types of guitar designed to be played using this method.
    • 2003, Victor Coelho, The Cambridge Companion to the Guitar, pages 138-139,
      While the acoustic guitar is stereotypically tied to country music, the pedal steel guitar, perhaps even more so than the acoustic guitar, represents country music by virtue of its visual appearance and more importantly its sound. [] During the 1950s and the era of the Nashville Sound, artists like Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline, Eddy Arnold, and Ray Price eschewed the hard country sounds of the steel guitar and fiddle and replaced them with softer back-up singers and string sections as they strove for a homogeneity that would appeal to a wider audience.
    • 2004, A. J. Millard, The Electric Guitar: A History of an American Icon, page 53,
      The sound of the steel guitar had become popular in country music in the 1940s and was especially noticeable in the fusion of country and big band jazz called western swing.
    • 2005, Ben Marcus, Jeff Divine, Surfing USA!: An Illustrated History of the Coolest Sport of All Time, page 85,
      The ukulele, slack key guitar, and steel guitar all came from this mixing of Hawai'ian and haole culture.



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