Slide Guitar?

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drockadam
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Slide Guitar?

Post by drockadam » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:38 pm

Hello All! :wave:

I've got the blues when I play slide. I'm not the greatest slide player. I have 3 slides, one metal, one glass, one plastic. The metal one is from a pipe in my garage. The glass one is from a Grey Goose vodka botle. And the plastic is from a water pipe. When I play the lead stuff, it sounds great. But when it comes to a solo, it sounds very tangy and off. On my Strat it sounds off. With my acoustic it's better, but not great. Should I buy an actual slide from Dunlop? :xmas_1:
Keep The Blues Alive,

- Adam De Rocco

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Blindboy
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by Blindboy » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:16 am

A slide is a pretty personal thing... Some players like metal, some like glass. Plastic is usually not bright enough. I have one that a machinist friend (who was also a picker) made for me out of bearing bronze, that I love. I like a bit of weight to tame my vibrato. Try going to a guitar store and trying out a few different slides. Most places will let you do that. Remember, you have to hit the note directly above the fret, not behind it like when playing normally. :thumbsup:
Don't give up on it, slide can be fun.
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"

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drockadam
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by drockadam » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:22 am

Yeah. That's what I was thinking of doing. Sitting down at my local guitar shop with a bunch of slides and a Fender Strat. I like glass, ceramic and metal.
Keep The Blues Alive,

- Adam De Rocco

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Blackhorse
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by Blackhorse » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:14 am

I don't play a lot of slide, but when I do I like a heavy bronze slide for acoustic stuff, and for electric a lighter glass one. I prefer the glass, but for me it just doesn't cut it on an acoustic guitar. Never tried a ceramic. :icon_whoknows:

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Strummer07
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by Strummer07 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:42 pm

I don't play slide hardly at all .........but would like to play a bit !!

I listened to a really good slide player on a weekend thing I attended a couple of weeks back .. both teaching and playing

and here's what I recall

the slide its self is a pretty personal thing .....Heavier ( More mass) the better.
Glass gives a more mellow sound than metal.
Metal.. is a more brittle / electric sound.

However , its not just about the slide .....most real slide players actually have a guitar bought specially for slide
Much Higher action than you would normally play
Way Heavier strings ........would start at 13's minimum .but could even be a lot heavier.....heavy = tone.

You'll get OK-ish slide sound, perhaps a bit thin, off a normal set up electric guitar... 9's or 10's ...but 9's certainly are too light for slide and you risk pushing the string down and fretting it .defeats the whole object of slide. For beefy tone you gotta have strings like piano wires.

I understand many players get a cheap acoustic or an old electris and just set it up for slide.

The only other thing I recall was making sure ( whichever finger you decide to use as your slide "home" finger ) is to keep the slide straight across the fretboard and get the other fingers down resting lightly in the strings behind the slide ... prevents unwanted "catterwhalling" sounds.

If you can master it ..great technique !!

Good Luck
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oneeyedslide
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by oneeyedslide » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:50 pm

There are so many variables! And people interpret information differently. Dereck Trucks uses very light strings for slide on his SG. I hear other folks will use a .015 or heavier for the high string.
String construction is a factor too, along with action setup. Round wound bronze strings sound way different than chrome flat-wound ones under a slide. I think the right way is what ends up working for you after you try all the things that work for other people.

Due to a hand injury I play slide exclusively. Note that I didn't say I play it well! I've found a lot of what works for me is different from what works for other folks. But I still try everything I see other players doing and I learn something every time I do.
So you've got a lot of experimenting to do!! Don't forget that damping with your fingers and palm is as important as what you do with the slide. That way you filter out a lot of what you don't want to hear. Works well without a slide too!

tombstone
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by tombstone » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:36 pm

I cannot recommend http://www.rockymountainslides.com/ these slides enough. (I have the Blues Boy in Hell Hound Red). The tone I get from something so thin and light just shocked me. I have numerous slides (ratchet wrenches, pipes, bottlenecks, and various metal and glass ones that I have purchased along the way) but this one really takes the cake for me, improved my slide technique by leaps and bounds.
I used to be tombstoneblues.

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drockadam
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by drockadam » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:27 am

Thanks guys for the tips :D. I'll just sit down with a bunch of slides at the local shop, with a Stratocaster and try them out.
Keep The Blues Alive,

- Adam De Rocco

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Blackhorse
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by Blackhorse » Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:08 pm

I agree with Strummer's tip about setting up the guitar differently for slide, it makes a big difference both to tone and to how easy it is to play. I have my old 335 copy setup with 13s and a very high action, it works for me. If I try playing slide on my strat (low action, 10s) it's much harder to play without accidentally fretting notes, and doesn't sound anywhere near as good.

Also I keep the 335 copy tuned to an open E tuning. You can play slide in standard tuning, but using an open tuning makes it easier.

You just have to learn all your chords and scales all over again :rofl:

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Blindboy
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by Blindboy » Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:53 pm

Blackhorse wrote:Also I keep the 335 copy tuned to an open E tuning. You can play slide in standard tuning, but using an open tuning makes it easier.
True, I keep my old SG tuned to open G (for some reason, G is easier for me to play in), and set the action a tad higher. I already use a bit heavier string than some players (.11s).
"Throw yo' big leg over me Mama, I might not feel this good again!"

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ElMano
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by ElMano » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:36 pm

Im have set up a special Guitar for slide Actually i have two Guitars for slide If i play in open A i use a Japanese copy Les Paul (1976) from Maya it has Singele Coils that look like HB,s and where known for there raw sounds. The action is not to high to fret the strings E,A,D, en high enough to slide on the G,B,E, use 0.10
on that. But for the open E setting i use mostly i have a Arrirang Neck true i save from burning on the scrapheap. I put some 0.14 flatwound strings on it. She had an verry strong output en a thick chunky neck. I even had to bring the bridge down by sawing a couple of mm off at the bottom?? You where able to shoot arrows whit that thing. She is so ugly that only a Mother can love here :cry: :cry: :mercy: :mercy: But you can break down the whole joint whit it without any damage. Ore banging in some nails :high5:
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drockadam
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by drockadam » Thu Dec 23, 2010 6:23 pm

I have came to a conclusion. It is the action on my 97 Stratocaster. It is set very low, this causes buzzing when attempting to slide. I went to my local shop yesterday, to have a look. The slides are fine.
Keep The Blues Alive,

- Adam De Rocco

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DeaconBlues
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by DeaconBlues » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:12 pm

Two folks have already mentioned how personal a slide choice is. I'll add my own voice to that echo. I've tried every type of slide I can get my hands (fingers :D ) on. I've either bought them or made them. Glass is my all time favorite with brass a close second. My current favorite, though, is a short slide made of porcelain. I prefer to use my "pinky" finger for slide. Leaving my other fingers free to fret notes or play chords.

I use a Strat or Tele in drop "D" tuning(low E dropped to D) most of the time with a low action and just play slide on the D,G and B strings(open G "lite"). You have to dampen the high E string with the palm of your picking hand when doing this. Also, I find that the shorter slide lengths work better for this. This allows me to play chords in open G with the slide( D,G and B strings), while using the dropped D for power chords and still be able to play conventional cowboy chords in the first position. Works for me anyway. :icon_whoknows:

Open G, open C and open E are my favorite open tunings with "C" being my current favorite open tuning. But, it's hard to beat open G for playing Stones riffs. :cool:
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SkyDogJr
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by SkyDogJr » Wed May 11, 2011 12:58 am

Image

The echo lengthens....

It's a personal thing for sure. I'd do as you have already said you were going to... Go to your local store and try'em all out.

As you can see from the picture I added to the post, I have tried quite a few and I find different slides work better for different situations.

Personally, I use a rock slide http://www.therockslide.com/new/main.php for all of my acoustic and Dobro playing. I use a Rocky Mountain Slide usually but have been known to use a slide made out of jade for playing electric. I use 11's or 12's and usually they cause enough tension on the neck to not have to adjust it...

The main thing is spend a lot of time playing... Intonation isn't going to come over night!

Best of luck

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oneeyedslide
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by oneeyedslide » Wed May 11, 2011 2:21 pm

There's always more than one way to skin a cat!

Skydogjr hits it on the nail- "The main thing is spend a lot of time playing". You gotta play and practice and play until you almost hate the sounds you're making. Then one day it will all click!

Even when you think you've finally figured slide out you'll change the way you go about it because none of us seem to be happy where we're at at any particular time. I think it's just human nature to strive to improve and change things. After 30 odd years of flat picking I just gave away all my picks and started paying with my fingers. Never thought I'd do that!

Anyway, keep after it. You'll be slidin' along soon!

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VikingBlues
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by VikingBlues » Wed May 11, 2011 6:46 pm

oneeyedslide wrote:until you almost hate the sounds you're making. Then one day it will all click!
Oh well - I'm half way there then! :lol:
oneeyedslide wrote:After 30 odd years of flat picking I just gave away all my picks and started paying with my fingers. Never thought I'd do that!
I'd never thought of playing with fingers till my better half asked why I didn't. Since I spent a good few years playing Classical Guitar as well you'd have thought it might have occurred to me. Since playing that way I've been amzed how many guitarists I see playing without a pick and I'd never noticed before. :alright:
SkyDogJr wrote:As you can see from the picture I added to the post, I have tried quite a few and I find different slides work better for different situations.
Personally, I use a rock slide http://www.therockslide.com/new/main.php for all of my acoustic and Dobro playing.
That's an interesting collection and I like the idea of those rock slides. :thumbsup: I have found pretty well every type of slide I've tried to be uncomfortable and a bad fit. I've got fairly small hands but longish spindly bony fingers y'see. :sad:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

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12bar
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by 12bar » Thu May 12, 2011 9:19 am

I'm in the lucky situation to have a glasblower at work (for chemistry laboratories), including a big variety of high quality glass tubes in all diameters and thicknesses. :banana:
glas_1.jpg
Glass for thousands of slides
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Needless to say, I play a glass slide! But I should do this more often. :music1:

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weelie
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by weelie » Thu May 12, 2011 12:16 pm

I have a nice "Diamond" brand bottleneck from UK. Too bad I am just TERRIBLE on the slide. Maybe another decade or century until I won't.

On playing with no picks (like Sumlin, JJ Cale, Matt Guitar Murphy, Jimmie Lee Vaughan, Knopfler... and other guitar heroes of mine). I go back and forth. I'd like to play only fingers, but I miss the direct/clear/solid tone with a pick. Was just thinking *again* a few days ago that thin thumbpick might be the key... as thick ones sound terrible on thin electric strings... but the same problem exist with thin ones... I lose "dynamics"... meaning I cannot play real light, in the way I can with a pick (you instintictively loosen the grip or something). So, for me it's all fingers or all pick or thumbick and fingers... I just keep on messing around with all the choices... although all fingers is the most comfortable for me.

bluesfreek
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Re: Slide Guitar?

Post by bluesfreek » Fri May 27, 2011 1:46 am

There are a lot of very good suggestions here and yes, the type of slide, your string gauge and action are all personal things. However some things remain constant. String dampening of some kind is important whether you use your picking or fretting hand. Your fretting hand should also be in control but loose enough to provide a nice even vibrato.

Now that being said I play slide on the electric in standard tuning (ala Mick Taylor) with .011's with a fairly low action but I use a light touch and a light weight chrome $5 Dunlop slide. The same kind I have used on my pinky forever. For acoustic I use .013 gauge strings and the normal acoustic action but I generally play in open tunings like G or D. I never play in open A or E.

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