Guitars for slide playing?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by somanyteles, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. somanyteles

    somanyteles TDPRI Member

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    Greetings again TDPRI community.

    I've been shopping around for a guitar to setup specifically for slide playing and was wondering if a guitar like the one in this link would be good for that.

    It's more of a sleek shredder (Schecter), but I'm kind of liking this deal.

    Does it matter if an axe is a thin necked metal/shred guitar, or is it imperative to get more of a classic? And while I'm here, what string gauges for either Standard Tuning or Open E would be optimal for slide playing?

    Thanks in advance!

    Here's the link: (It's the $499 Aurora Burst model)

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/gui...pfm=home_page.rr1|MultiItemPersonalizedViewCP
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  2. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    One fun thing about slide guitar is that there are really no "musts" - the best thing to do is to experiment until you find a slide and a setup and a guitar that you like. For a lot of guys that is high action, open tuning, glass slide, and 13 gauge strings and so on. Neck humbucker and a compressor are pretty common choices too. Depends on what you want to do. Honestly, any gear will work as long as you can manage the muting and control your intonation and sliding. IOW it's basically all technique not gear, as usual!

    I'm coming around pretty strongly to 11s, normal (not too low) action, standard tuning, and a ceramic slide on the pinky. I want to be able to play one guitar for all songs, for one thing, and for another thing I want to be able to play normally in combination with slide. My best tones are coming from a tele with neck P90 (Lollar 50s wind), light compression, dash of analog delay and some OD from the amp.
     
  3. somanyteles

    somanyteles TDPRI Member

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    Very helpful, thanks for that! I'm thinking 11's as well ala Trucks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I'm a pretty dedicated slide player, but mostly acoustic. Things that I would look for are wide flat fretboards - you are going to do a lot of finger style and you want to be able to get the end of the slide between strings for single note stuff. A flat fretboard makes it much cleaner to do barres. You've got three choices for tuning(s) - you can play in standard which becomes almost totally single note lead stuff, you can tune down or you can tune up. Most acoustic players tune down - open G, D and C are common. Most of the time players will bump up the string gauges a bit, I run mediums on my resonators with a 14 on top.

    Most electric players tune up to open A or E - that brings the tension up so you have less of a tendency to fret out. If you are mixing slide and fretted playing you may want to compromise your action - I like it a little higher but not excessive. Intonation becomes a compromise also.

    On the few ocassions that I do play slide on an electric it is always my tele-clone, it just doesn't sound right on a lester or jazz guitar. I tend to play on the bridge because you really don't want all the partials. Like every slide player I have a bunch of them - mostly use a bottle neck on the acoustics and ceramic or glass on the electric.

    Slide on in
     
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  5. 8trackmind

    8trackmind Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a theory that cheap guitars are best for slide because I want them to sound rough.

    My main slide guitar is a beat to hell $69.00 MIK 90s strat. As mentioned it has a pretty flat board. Like 16" radius.
    I prefer the middle pickup for slide ala Bonnie Raitt.
    What I do to a slide guitar ruins the neck but if the frets are worn out, neck is twisted your'e actually recycling a guitar that would go in the scrap heap.

    Here's my open G recipe:
    Cheap strat, you're choice.
    Strings, 13's
    Back the truss rod off until its out of the equation.
    Deck the trem with 5 springs
    Run all the saddles up.

    Bonus if you're gigging it:
    Switchcraft jack, disconnect the switch if its crap and put full size pots in.

    The first three frets are still usable, no slide clearance issues up the neck.
    I use a spark plug socket wrench so its on the heavy side.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
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  6. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Slide dabbler here. I tried heavier gauges but am now back to 10s, I might go to 11s for my open G axe.
    Standard tuning is certainly do-able, drop D can be more useful than you might think (check out Kirk Lorange slide videos).
    Open G and Open E are my go-to open tunings as they give that definite blues/Stones/Walsh flavour, not that I'm anything beyond a dabbler.
    The Brothers Landreth and a few others get down to Open C, sounds amazingly rich
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
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  7. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    In contrast to tfarny, my favourite slide guitar is my avatar Tele with McNelly alnico 2 single coils, set up a touch higher, a heavy bronze slide on my little finger and favourite 15 - 56 Newtone strings tuned to open D (actually C#). And sometimes a standard AO Jazzmaster with no set up adjustment and 11's, but in open D, occasionally open G.

    Which only goes to show that, as he says, there are no "musts". Enjoy experimenting. Try a decent lead glass slide from https://www.diamondbottlenecks.com
     
  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I think guitar players overthink many things.

    This among them.

    If you want shredder action and have heavy slide touch, you will fret out.

    Short of that, anything goes.

    I too set up my guitars for standard playing and just play slide on certain songs/parts.

    Vintage Fender, Gibson LP or old Airline. Doesn’t seem to matter much.

    I do think a slightly heavier slide (brass) is paradoxically easier for me to maintain a lite touch and still have notes ring out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  9. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    The schecter is a 12" neck? Should be nice and flat for slide and finger style.
    I'm no serious player but I like to use 11s on my Washburn hb15. I slide with the pinky and use fingers to fret so action is a touch higher than my other guitars.
    Slide is great, a really useful tool for any guitarist. If you put a halfway decent slide player and a shredder busking on opposite ends of the street I can guarantee the slide player is the one that gets paid.
     
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  10. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    All I can say is experiment with action, everyone assumes you need high action to play slide It comes down to technique

    Although I do play with 12’s so that may help but I’ve never had to raise the action just for slide playing although it does make it easier
     
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  11. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't get the whole setting up for slide thing. It's as if people think that to play slide guitar you suddenly have a licence to hamfistedly beat the thing to death.

    Most of my guitars are strung with 9s and I don't have anything specifically set up for slide. If I want to play slide, I just pick up the slide and play.

    It takes some practise and a light touch. But we're musicians; we're supposed to be able to do that.
     
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  12. somanyteles

    somanyteles TDPRI Member

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    Very helpful stuff guys!
     
  13. somanyteles

    somanyteles TDPRI Member

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    I actually play 9-42 in standard as well. Is your action set high or low? I like my action low, but when trying slide on 9-42 with lower action it doesn't turn out too well, lol.
     
  14. jamesepowell

    jamesepowell Tele-Holic

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    I decided that this Isolation Summer I will finally learn to play slide guitar. I bought this bad boy to serve in that cause.

    It's set up with flatwound 12s & the action a little higher, but still low enough that I can play Gimme Shelter without much extra effort. I'd never had a guitar with a P90 before and I can't believe what I did not know all these years.

    I am still struggling with the rudiments, but the guitar is very well suited to the project.



    EC320357-B710-4BFA-A406-2912DF07E8FC_1_105_c.jpeg
     
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  15. somanyteles

    somanyteles TDPRI Member

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    Very cool guitar there.

    This guitar also looks like it might be cool for slide :

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/gui...one-electric-guitar/l47969000001000?rNtt=Dual
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
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  16. BluesRockDude

    BluesRockDude TDPRI Member

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    I had an Epiphone SG I bought around 2007, it had a fairly slim neck. I stuck some 13s on it to play slide, but gave up after a while and left it in a corner for a year. The neck developed a pronounced bow that I was never able to fully correct with the truss rod. May just have been a flaw of that particular run of epi's, but any other time I've used heavy gauges I've made sure to put them on a guitar with a thicker neck.
     
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  17. Skub

    Skub Poster Extraordinaire

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    I usually keep one guitar specially for slide,but sometimes I'll just grab what's handy.

    I don't go for high action,more or less what I normally use for conventional playing and the same 10 gauge strings.

    I favour a glass on my pinky.

    This track was recorded on my Mex Tele tuned to open G with over a year old strings,because I was too lazy to change! :p

     
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  18. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

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    Open E, 12 gauge strings, high action guy here
     
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  19. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought a cheap StewMac SG kit, glued the neck on, spray painted it with some metallic paint, changed the bridge to a roller, changed tuners to Grovers, Seymour Duncan 59/JB humbuckers, added 12 gauge string set and raised the action. All set for outstanding sounding slide guitar.
    IMG_0517.JPG IMG_0145.jpg
     
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  20. tubegeek

    tubegeek Tele-Afflicted

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    Where's @FenderGyrl ?
    Do yourself a favor: search for her threads. Extreme makeovers of a variety of guitars, some of them very cheap. I've learned a lot from her about slide setups - string gauge suggestions etc.
     
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