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Do you play slide?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Recalcitrant, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. Recalcitrant

    Recalcitrant Tele-Meister

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    I haven't played slide in almost 50 years. Now I'm picking it up again. It's not easy trying to be Mississippi John Hurt!

    What tuning do you favor? Do you use a particular guitar, or even a lap steel? Do you use a hollow slide, a pedal steel slide, or a glass? (I once played knee-to-knee with Fred McDowell. He had this knuckle-length ring of glass that looked like it came from a beach.)

    Strings you use? Amps? Mics? Tell me all about it!
     
  2. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    A little.
    Not my long suit.
     
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  3. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not often, but yes.

    If it's a dedicated slide guitar, I usually play 1-5-1-3-5-1 tuning (same chord inversion as a full E formation), with a set of flatwound strings pieced together from single strings, to suit the tuning in question. And I don't play the bottom two strings much. I install a nut that gives me strings that are "flat" across the top.

    Without re-tuning, my Hipshot equipped Tele can be taken from standard tuning to open G, drop D, or double drop D. In the case of open G, it's 5-1-5-1-3-5. Basically, banjo tuning with extra low notes in place of the octave string. My palm bender on the unit takes the 3rd up to a 4th, while my hip lever takes the 3rd string 1 up to a 2 (rarely used with open tuning, but used often in standard tuning). I don't use this tuning often for slide, but I can if I want to (or have to).
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
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  4. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I dabbled in slide long ago (and lap steel - that didn't work out as well) and am now dabbling again. My music isn't really anything like the blues, though of course it has blues elements here and there. I'd say we are in the area of Americana with a bias towards the folk side.
    Playing on a new tricone resonator and a tele. My original plan was to stick strictly to standard tuning, but the reso just works so well in open G, I have been sticking with that for now. I use a capo to get songs in G# to Bb, and a couple of our tunes in D also work fine in open G. For one song I tune the G to F# making "open Gmaj7" - weird but it works for that song. The tele is in standard, 11s and normal action. For effects, a compressor and a TS-type OD for the tele. Reso is miced, no effects. My favorite slide is ceramic and goes on the pinky.

    My approach this time is to really just be tasteful and kind of minimal with the slidiness of it all - I still play fretted chords and notes. The slide parts are sometimes just a single note of a fill, or a part of a solo. I think slide is like harmonica - for the most part, you want a little bit here and there and not much more.

    PS did John Hurt play slide? I can't think of a single tune of his that is obviously slide, but I don't know them all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
  5. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    I've only taken to slide and open tuning in the past few years after nearly 50 years ignoring it. I've settled on open D tuned down a semitone to C# G# C# F G# C# just because it sounds great, on a brass single cone Mule resophonic and my avatar MiM Tele. I use heavy strings from Newtone and a selection of glass and metal slides from Diamond and Ben's Bars, on my little finger (pinky).

    Musically I'm with tfarny. More fingers than slide often and not real slide blues, but more toward the folky side of things. Mississippi John Hurt was my first guitar hero when I started out 50 years ago and I'm still trying for his complex simplicity. (I can't think of many slide songs he played though. A version of Casey Jones. I play Richland Women Blues/My Creole Belle, the first tune I ever learned, in a slide version now. Not for public consumption.)

    It's really given my guitar playing a real new lease of life over the past few years. I was in a real rut.

    https://www.diamondbottlenecks.com
    https://bensbarsandslides.weebly.com/#
    https://newtonestrings.com/shop/michael-messer-national-guitar-strings/
    https://newtonestrings.com/shop/michael-messer-electric-slide-classics/
     
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  6. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up Tele-Meister

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    Do I play? If you consider 2 notes on 2 strings playing, then yes lol.


    I've got a slide but haven't dedicated much time to learning, yet. I'm still learning to play by fretting notes lol
     
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  7. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

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    Dabbler here
    Open C low tuning a la Bros Landreth
    Open C high tuning a la The Cruel Sea
    Open E
    Open G
    Plus standard/drop D trying to emulate this guy

     
  8. AAT65

    AAT65 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I play (in gigging days!) in a band with three guitarists so I started playing bottleneck on some songs since we need to find ways to share the space. That’s just a slide on my normal guitars in standard tuning, so I find it’s noticeably easier on the flatter-radius guitars (including the compound radius Elite Tele) than on the 9.5” radius Jazzmaster. Brass slide on my ring finger — I feel I don’t get enough control with the pinkie.
    I also have a lap / console steel and if it’s a long enough set I bring that to gigs and play it on a few songs. That is tuned in C6 — CEGACE — which I love because it is so easy to find major and minor triads. I play that on a bunch of stuff (covers) from gentle stuff like Wish You Were Here through to rocky stuff like 20th Century Boy. I just plug in to my normal guitar rig, so it’s mostly just using the AC15C1 but for more grind I have a Rat clone with some delay on a patch on my Zoom MS100BT.
     
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  9. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Friend of Leo's

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    Tried and failed several times, DADF#AD tuning normally although mess about with open G when I'm fingerpicking on the acoustic. Have used D on a couple of songs live but it's generally just power chords and basic licks with the slide.
     
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  10. Crashbelt

    Crashbelt Tele-Holic

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    I've played up to half a dozen slide numbers in blues/rock bands for years. Shake Your Moneymaker, Statesboro Blues some Cooder etc.

    Open E tuning. Usually start the second set with them to minimise changing guitars - good way to restart after the break.

    I've used the same 59 Les Paul Special since 1989. P90s are made for slide through a just clipping old Gibson GA8 amp.

    20201113_081857.jpg

    Its done 500+ gigs with a repaired heel break which never moved despite the string tension of 11s tuned to open E.

    Enjoy your slide playing OP.
     
  11. driver8

    driver8 Tele-Holic

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    Can't play slide to save my life. I'm in awe of anyone who can do it, esp the greats (Duane and Johnny Winter most notably), but it never was in my wheelhouse.
     
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  12. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    I like it! It makes a guitar almost sound like a voice, and the audience likes it.

    Also, it's something that makes me stand out among other guitarists who may be better than me, but don't play slide.

    I divide my slide playing into two categories:
    First are old blues songs written around slide and an open tuning, like Dust my broom or Rollin' and Tumblin'. These songs are actually surprisingly easy once you get the hang of slide.

    The second category is melodic playing in standard tuning which is trickier (think George Harrison for example). The trick is knowing to which note you want to go, sliding into it, and staying on it with the right amount of vibrato.

    I don't have a guitar that is just for slide, but I often need to set the volume on the guitar a bit higher.
     
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  13. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Generally on the reso only, in a country blues style, but not regularly
     
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  14. hmemerson

    hmemerson Tele-Meister Vendor Member

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    Kirk Lorange is one of the worlds best, with an immediately identifiable sound/style.

    Good taste is its own reward!

    I've played slide since the fall of 1969. Here's a little something in open D played on my Tele build plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Performer.



    Best,
    Howard Emerson
     
  15. WingedWords

    WingedWords Friend of Leo's

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    I like that! Just what I'm aiming for.
    Here's one my favourite resonator players


    Just a technical note - damping strings with fingers between slide and nut is key. Look at Howard's left hand index finger. Took me a while to really realise that.

    And here's the M John Hurt Casey Jones slide version I mentioned. Any other examples?
     
  16. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

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    That is superb! So slinky! Thank you for uploading this.
    New subscriber here!
     
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  17. hmemerson

    hmemerson Tele-Meister Vendor Member

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    I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    I will say, though, that the majority of the muting you're hearing is done with my right hand. A lot of it is done with the side of the thumb, and the fingers grab unwanted strings as well. I've always referred to this as 'spidering'. Watch Kirk's video and it's clear as day how important muting with the side of the thumb is.

    The muting in back of the slide is also important, but when you're looking for total isolation of the desired note, the picking hand technique is paramount.

    And then you have guys like Sonny Landreth who goes to (and comes from) another planet.

    In a nutshell: Whatever tool it takes to make the sound, including extraneous noises being ALLOWED to ring out. It's all for texture.

    Thanks again,
    Howard
     
  18. hmemerson

    hmemerson Tele-Meister Vendor Member

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    Thank you Richie!

    I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    You might enjoy the title track of my new CD, The Rhytalin Kid:



    Regards,
    Howard
     
  19. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Hi there I happy tp see your post. I too play slide guitar. I started wanting to play in the style of Son House
    001  son house triptych.jpg

    and the I wanted to play electric, the electric with pedals then making sounds with electric slide guitar and pedals wanting to play Fred Firth solo improvisation style ,then noise using guitar, slide. multi track collages of electronic sounds from synths, them sludge grindage slow like great grey mastidanes trudging slowly across a barren landscape beneath the blistering sun.I have some guitar all designated as non-hostile slide application friendly differing pickup combinations, I also have 2 chandler lap slide guitars, one of which has the original Charlie Christian style pickup which is a beautiful pickup but does not higher gain at all, the second chandler lap steel has had the pickup swapped out for a Dimarzio P-90 Super Distortion for the heavy lifting.

    I live in a very nice thou pleasant spartan residential hotel and have 5 floors of neighbors below me so any sounds that I'm going to use have to be able to be generated at headphone level, so that I don't disturb my neighbors, which excludes using mics and amps.
    I've been using a Digitech GPS 1100 which does great tube amp simulations and a recently acquired Strymon Iridium which does some amps handsomely.
    Here is an example of me trying get the measure of a faux marshall amps.


    I stick to an open E tuning, mostly, maybe?
    how-to-tune-to-open-e-tuning_2x.jpg

    I've use glass, Brass, stainless steel, I am now using
    Dunlop RWS12 Rev Willy's Porcelain Slide - Large I like it a lot

    Dunlop lap Dawg for lap slide

    The last Project that I finished using a Squier Mini Strat so that I count have a guitar that had the same string tension as a lap steel guitar ,
    both the lap steel and the mini strat are 24 inches long.
    I'm using 12-64 sets on mini strat and the lap steel, and 11- sets on the guitars

    002 fred MIRROR.jpg
     
  20. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    Open E and G keep my mind from the rut of standard tuning

    This thread needs some Bukka White
     
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