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.

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—Includes a couple of clips showcasing the Leon McAuliffe E13th tuning, an oddball clip from a Wayne Hancock live gig back in the '90s, and videos from my trio's tour of Germany in 2004.


  • 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.


Chord Locator

  • 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 Chord Locator tuning menus.
  • Tutorials—Basic tutorials for using the Generic Chord Locator and the Advanced Chord Voicing Locator for steel guitar.
  • Debugging the Locators—Things you can do to help me debug the locator scripts or any layout issues you see with the locator search forms or results.

Scale Locator

  • 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.