Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association... encouraging the study, teaching and performance of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar
Music by Chuck Lettes

Chuck Lettes

Chuck Lettes
Englewood, Colorado, US

Don't miss Chuck's Festival Workshop... his study of "Beyond the Reef" Download the arrangement ahead of time.

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Scroll through Chuck's Song Notes while you enjoy his music...
New! Beyond the Reef July 2015 - I recently was at the HSGA show in Ft.Collins and heard a very soulful version of Beyond the Reef. When I got home, I took out my six string lap steel and this arrangement just flowed out. I'm using my C6th's high G tuning for this one. Hope you enjoy it.
Let It Be Me Jan 2014 - Like so many, I felt a sense of loss with Phil Everly's passing. The Everly Brothers' music was an essential part of my childhood and of my love for music. I decided to revisit one of my favorite tunes of theirs, "Let It Be Me." I'm using my six string lap steel's C6th high G tuning for this arrangement, hope you like it.
Autumn Leaves
Feb 2011 - I decided to revisit Autumn Leaves on the lap steel. I have always loved Eva Cassidy's version, so I wanted to capture some of her sense of melody. The tune is in the key of Bbm, not the most friendly key for my 6 string C6th tuning. However, I discovered some open strings and hammer-ons that kept me interested. I'm using my Ricky Frypan and a newer version of Band in a Box, recording and mixing with Cool Edit Pro (Adobe Audition).
Amarillo by Morning
Over the years I've played "Amarillo By  Morning" too many times to count, but I thought I might revisit it with the tenor sax (Horns of Plenty) and the lap steel. Hope you enjoy the arrangement.
I have always loved revisiting the songs that I listened to as a teenager.  Here's an old Dave Clark 5 tune. I wasn't sure what steel guitar/tuning to use for my arrangement, so I split the difference and plucked my lap steel for the first part and then switched over to the E9th neck of my pedal steel. This way I can really hear the difference between the two instruments.
I've played many different arrangements of "Crazy," but I always loved Patsy Cline's definitive version.  I wanted to try this rendition on my 6 string lap steel since I usually perform this tune on the pedal steel.  Having just six strings instead of ten limits my choice of notes, but I love the tone of the lap steel.
I always loved "Dream" by the Everly Brothers (from Shenandoah, Iowa). I decided to work it up, mostly on the Frypan with a bit of my pedal steel.
Everybody's Talkin' July 2011 - I just finished watching a documentary on Harry Nilsson, the singer-songwriter popular in the l960-70s. Although he wrote hits for other acts, he won a Grammy for his version of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" from the movie, Midnight Cowboy. I immediately remembered the tune and Nilsson's great vocals and decided to try it out on my Frypan. Hope you enjoy the arrangement. Chuck
I Can't Help It Nov 2012 - Here is a lap steel arrangement I worked up this morning. Got to love the old Hank Williams tunes. I'm looking forward to doing this song as a duet with Scotty (of St. Louis Fame) at the SWSGA show in Phoenix. I even added some Scotty/ Jerry Byrd harmonics.
Poor Man's Roses Sept 2011 - I'll be doing another Patsy Cline theater tribute for a few shows in December, so I'm in a Patsy mood. Like most musicians, I love playing around in my home studio.  I always enjoy turning vocal tunes into instrumentals (blame it on the Ventures), so I had some fun on my six string lap steel with my version of  Poor Man's Roses.
Sleepy Lagoon May 2013 - Although Sleepy Lagoon was originally done by Harry James, I was inspired years ago after listening to Sneaky Pete's steel guitar version. I'm using my MSA steel and tenor sax for this one.
Sweet Someone
I have always loved Jerry Byrd's version of Sweet Someone from his recording, Byrd in Hawaii.  I'm using my Ricky Frypan tuned to a modified C6th-(highest string) GECAGF (lowest).  There's a lot of music to be made with six strings.
Till There Was You Jan 2012 - Here's a lap steel/ saxophone duet arrangement of Till There Was You. Although I hear the Beatles' version when I worked up this rendition, the song was originally a featured number in the musical, the Music Man.
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