Jerry Byrd Frypan Steel Guitar

I bought this Excel 8 String Jerry Byrd (JB) Frypan stel guitar used in 2011. It came with an unknown set of strings so I measured their gages and picked the closest tuning I could find that would fit. This turned out to be an E7th tuning, not the C6 tuning I am familiar with. So I decided to play with it as is and the song and sound samples recorded below are all done with the E7th tuning. The guitar was plugged into a Boss RV-5 set on hall reverb and then into a Fender blackface Vibro-Champ amp and mic'ed with a Shure SM-57. In hindsight I wish I had thought to use the Princeton or Deluxe amps for a fuller tone. I also used a hollow Dunlop bar which has a mellower tone but a bit less sustain than a standard bar. After I had recorded a number of the tabs I discovered that I had bumped the tone control into the no treble position. So part way through the tabs I repositioned the tone control towards the treble setting and the beautiful tone of this guitar came alive. This guitar comes with a faux horseshoe magnet pickup cover and a conventional 8 string pickup.

  • String width at nut is 2.20"
  • String width at bridge is 2.84"
  • Scale is 24.25"
  • Overall length is 32.125"
  • String width at bridge is 2.84"
  • String spacing at nut is 0.314"
  • String spacing at bridge is 0.406"
  • Volume pot is 250K Ohms
  • Pickup resistance is 10,536 Ohms

Link to Jerry Byrd Frypan on Excel Site

Steel Guitar Medley recorded on the Excel frypan

E7 Tuning
Gage Note (Scale In Key Of E)
.014 E (Root)
.022PL B
.024 G# (3rd)
.030 E (Root)
.032 D (Dom 7th)
.042 B (5th)
.044 G# (3rd)
.054 E (Root)

A few last minute comments

The tone of this guitar is much warmer than my MSA 12 string SuperSlide. I would describe the MSA tone as being about the same as a pedal steel guitar. The Excel has more of a vintage tone but not as warm or full as the older guitars with real horseshoe pickups on them. The Excel spring spacing allows for easy and accurate bar slants and fairly easy string bends beyond the 3rd fret. The intonation while not perfect due to the non-adjustable bridge is nevertheless very good and plenty good enough satify most any player. The guitar sits well on ones lap and is very comfortable to play for many hours at one sitting. I plan on coverting this tuning over to a C6 tuning, E C A G E C A G/F (high to low) which allows an east retune to A6 tuning giving me the high 5th note back again E C# A F# E C# A F# (high to low).

Frypan E7 Tuning - Sound Samples Files

Sample 1
Sample 2
Sample 3
Sample 4
Sample 5
Sample 6
Sample 7
Sample 8
Sample 9
Sample 10
Sample 11
Sample 12
Sample 13
Sample 14
Sample 15
Sample 16
Sample 17
Sample 18
Sample 19
Sample 20
Sample 21
Sample 22
Sample 23

Pictures! Click on them to see full sized pics.

Comments? email webmaster Greg