This book is an excellent introduction to one of America's most quintessential instruments, the pedal steel. The first part of the book covers the skills required to play the instrument, including  technique for the pedals and knee levers, bar control and picking. The second half includes songs and licks that illustrate the full spectrum of the pedal steel's capabilities. Exercises and songs are presented in tablature and standard notation. The book comes with accompanying audio and video, including  play-along tracks. 


First Lessons: Lap Steel is a fun and easy approach to learning the lap steel guitar. Author Jay Leach explains the basics of the instrument including bar control, picking, and string groups, with fun exercises to play. This book also includes several catchy tunes and an accompanying CD with play-along tracks. 


 This is jay's newest and first entire book. It includes 8 original compositions along with solo versions of "Amazing Grace" and "Great is thy Faithfullness". All songs are accurately transcribed musically, fully notated in guitar tablature and included on a CD in the back of the book. All cuts on the CD were taken directly from Jay's albums. In addition to this, prior to each song is a brief explanation of either what generated the inspiration or composition of the song, or a specific musical insight directed toward a specific area in the song itself. 


 The way I put together the arrangements for my albums is like this: I say a prayer that the Lord will give me something fresh musically or harmonically for whatever I'm working on. I then begin to fool around with harmonizing the melody (if it's not an original tune), and know that something is beginning lo happen when I begin to hear something in my heart that's either awkward or difficult for me to play at first, or is just something I wouldn't have naturally pulled out of my "bag of tricks."  
In Away In A Manger, this was the case of the move in bars 4 & 5 (each time it occurs) and the ending from bar 38 to the end.  
I hope this arrangement will be a blessing to you. 




Jay was a contributor to this turn-of-the-century collection of 68 fingerpicking acoustic style artist's compositions. This anthology includes both new pieces and outstanding previously published fingerstyle tunes. Veteran performers and talented young upstarts are given a forum for their best work. Intermediate to advanced in difficulty with nearly all pieces appearing in standard notation with tablature. Includes access to extensive online audio.  

Fingerstyle Guitar Solos  

I want to acknowledge and thank Bill Bay and Mel Bay Publications Inc. for the courage to release a book like this. It's a well-known fact that the Christian music industry has had unprecedented growth in the last 30 years. However, instrumental music in this genre is almost always relegated to arrangements of well-known hymns or worship songs that have been originally sung by Christian artists or congregations. Often Christian instrumental arrangements are created for atmosphere or for background music (" dusting around the house"), or in some cases, elaborate  quasi-theatrical orchestral arrangements intended to depict various attributes of God's majesty. This is said in no way to diminish the quality or fail to recognize the abilities of the many talented arrangers and orchestrators that work in this field. It's simply a commentary on the current climate of instrumental Christian music. Rarely these days do we see or hear original compositions created specifically to glorify our Lord, as was a common practice in centuries past for some of the greatest composers who ever lived, such as Bach and Mozart.  

I believe original music can indeed glorify God for several reasons, one of which was reflected in the answer to a revealing question posed to me by a radio interviewer a few years ago. He asked, "how can music that has no lyrics possibly glorify God?"  
While about 15 smart alecky answers came to mind ( several of which related to the interviewers hairpiece, beltsize, and IQ, etc.)  

The answer I gave him was something that I say frequently at my concerts: " a vocalist professes the message lyrically, but it's up to the instrumentalist to portray the message instrumentally." A rose doesn't need to proclaim its beauty; it just does so by it's very existence.  

In each of the following original compositions, I have sought to reflect musically something of the wonder of a living relationship with a God who loves us more than we can ever know. In the case of the arrangements of the well-known hymns, I have attempted to accentuate to the highest possible musical degree the intent of the lyrics. I have also explained and revealed to the reader some of the various tools and elements that we as musicians use in the process of expressing inspiration as it happens.  

It is my sincere prayer that the music, information, and most importantly, the encouragement contained in this folio will be a blessing your life and music for many years to come.