Go to the Index for a compact listing of all pages on the site.

Go to New Pages to see new or newly updated pages.

All downloads and samples are on the main Download page.

Website Index

Guestbook-Mailing List

  • Guestbook-Mailing List—Add yourself to my mailing list to receive a quarterly newsletter with discussions on various steel guitar topics, updates on my publishing schedule, and periodic complimentary tablature.

Skype Steel Lessons

  • About Skype Lessons—I can now offer private steel guitar and dobro lessons over the Internet using the free Skype video chat software.
  • Curriculum Overview—An overview of the basic lesson plan I use in my steel guitar teaching, which places an emphasis on chord structure and chordal playing as a foundation for everything else.
  • Hexachord Harmonizer—If you know a little music theory, you can use the Hexachord Harmonizer to create your own arrangements of almost any song using basic major and minor chords found on most sixth-type tunings such as C6th or A6th.

For Beginners

  • Beginner's FAQ—Overview of the learning process and other beginner topics.
  • Your First Steel Guitar—Tips and advice on buying vintage or newly manufactured instruments.
  • How to Tune Up—Use of the electronic tuner and issues surrounding tuning 'temperament' with recommended Adjusted Tuning settings.
  • About String Gauges—String gauge chart for Hawaiian steel guitar plus information on gauges for long and short scale instruments, use of wound, unwound, flatwound, and semi-flat wound strings, and other issues.
  • SGW Interview—Excerpted reprint of John Ely's Steel Guitar World magazine interview by Robbie Bossert.
  • Injury Prevention—John's 'tale of woe' and how proper playing technique and training can prevent repetitive stress injuries.


  • Arrangements Overview—An overview of steel guitar arrangement features and notation conventions, which are due to roll out in June 2009.
  • Arrangements Catalog—An updated list of arrangements currently completed or planned.
  • Arrangement Downloads—Download sample arrangements, updated tablature key, and new music theory pages now available as high resolution PDF files. My String Gauge Chart can also be downloaded in PDF format.
  • Latest Tablature Key—Download a much improved tablature key, available as a high resolution PDF file.

Audio Pages

  • Audio Clips—A work in progress, I'll be gradually posting samples of my arrangement offerings and teaching materials, demos of interesting tunings including the Leon McAuliffe E13th, and even some oddball live clips from the archives.


  • My Tunings and Settings—My Hawaiian steel guitar tunings and tuner settings using the Adjusted Tuning scheme.
  • SGW Tunings Article—John Ely's Steel Guitar World article on tunings for lap steel guitar.
  • Tunings of the Pros—A list of tunings used by professionals in Hawaii and around the world.
  • Tunings Master List—A comprehensive listing with commentary of most of the playable steel guitar tunings used over the last 100 years.


Photo Gallery

Gig Calendar


  • Generic Chord Locator—John Ely's generic chord finder for beginning and advanced lap steel guitarists. Locates chord positions on any tuning from a database of the most commonly used chords in most steel guitar styles.
  • Advanced Voicing Locator—John Ely's chord voicing locator for steel guitarists who know a little about chord construction. The script finds all positions for any chord voicing in any tuning, including open string positions.
  • Add Custom Tunings—Define up to 3 custom tunings for use in the ChordLocator tuning menus.
  • Tutorials—Basic tutorials for using the Generic Chord Locator and the Advanced Chord Voicing Locator for steel guitar.


  • Scale Locator—Scale finder for beginning and advanced lap steel guitarists. Locates scale positions on any tuning for most of the common scales and modes.
  • Forms Locator—Scale form generator for beginning and advanced lap steel guitarists. Locates scale forms on any tuning for most of the common scales and modes.