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Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by somanyteles, Jun 26, 2020.
Honestly, for slide guitar I would find the cheapest pawn shop guitar you could get.
+1 exactly what I was going to post!
Find any of these guitars for under $50 beat up and abused and convert them to your slide machine.
Epiphone Special II or Junior
Starcaster by Fender
Basically any guitar under $50-$100 range used and abused is a great candidate.
Bonus: get a 3/4in copper pipe to cut your slides. Or youtube for how to make slides out of wine bottle necks (cabernet sauvignon are best).
I gotta love a guy who agrees with me so enthusiastically!
lipsticks make for a nice slide tone, and the riser nuts make it super easy, with no permanent modifications needed, to get those strings up and away from the fretboard. The are like 6 bucks
I believe they also flatten the radius all at the same time, right?
This would make a killer slide monster
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I know if I ever go slide I'm getting a cheap strat, and building it into a coodercaster. Those are the coolest sounding, and looking slides IMO
they tend to, yep
Who says you need 6 strings for slide?
Agreed. As soon as I heard a player by the name of AJ Ghent, as well as Derek Trucks, I knew I had to try some slide out.
Not obsessively low, but comfy enough for most people.
I just find the idea of setting a guitar up for slide weird unless you play slide all the time. It means you can't use that guitar for anything else.
Does that mean it's not good enough for anything else? In which case, why have it?
Gary Rossington just stuck a screwdriver between the nut and first fret to raise the action. Not that I’m advocating that.
I've got a Squire Jazzmaster that I use for slide, and it sounds fantastic in that role, IMHO. Easy to raise the action and the pickups sound great.
And I agree with the many previous posts: cheap guitars make the most sense. Why waste money on things like quality fretwork and intonation when they'll never be factors in how the guitar sounds or plays?
I've been messing with a borrowed Gretch lap steel for a few weeks. Started in D minor, now in D major. Just figuring out some things by ear and working with a looper for drilling. I'm not saying I'm good, but I'm not as bad as I thought I would be. One thing I tend to do is write my own tunes, which prevents people from thinking I played it wrong.
I got a Stevens bar as well as a cylindrical one. Think I like the Stevens better.
I know that's not what the OP is talking about, but I find that playing simple melodies slowly and adding lots of vibrato on everything is actually pretty satisfying.
Ya know what...
I love Jeff Becks playing.
Recreated his rig in theory from the Blow By Blow / Blue Wind Era. Les Paul ...Strat ...I obsessed. Great learning experience.
Went and saw Jeff in the 90s when Jennifer Batten was in his band. Small Club. Right up front. Jeff broke my mind. I didn't pick up a guitar for a month afterwards. I felt...inadequate.
Eventually I got over it.
A decade or two later I played a Jeff Beck signature Strat that was set up to his guitar techs specifications. No relief...tiny whammy bar. String gauge that Jeff uses because he wrenches Hot Rods.. Caveman super thick clubby neck...weird profile. I couldn't play the guitar...
Couldn't pull off anything.
Nada....I thought back to my Jeff Beck journey.
We all know that supposedly a good guitarist can pick up any guitar and still sound like themselves right?
By the way, Jeff prefers a Thin Plexiglass Slide.
I began playing bass before I started on guitar. My uncle's had a band back in the 60s and 70s...they mentored me, I started playing Slide before I learned regular guitar playing. Used a Lenny Pogan Blues Slide that was a little shield attached to a ring. Learned to play in Standard Tuning. Pentatonic Scales.
My Slide Guitar journey has been long.
Studied many different players techniques.
I apply the Jeff Beck lesson I learned to my Slide Guitars:
They're set up to what I want to feel and hear. Variety.
Flat wound strings to get the Ry Coooer vibe.
Steel wound to get Rod Price Foghat stuff.
Strat to get into Ed King territory.
Les Paul Open E Coricidin Bottle = Diane Allman.
Yeah...you can grab any guitar and play slide on it with little pre-set up. It depends on what you want to feel and hear.
My take is this:
If you want a Low Fi Muddy Waters vibe...
You don't need to obsess over things.
Go to the well and draw deeply.
If your about intonation...Derek Trucks is a role model.
Physics and parallelism.
Yeah...Over thinking now right?
If your Slide Shape doesn't match your string radius some strings will sound sharp when playing multiple strings together.
So you need to decide what Slide you want to start with.
Straight or Concave?
What do you want to hear?
Smooth Silky? Ya may want a Glass or Plexiglass.
Ya want Clangy and Edgy? Chrome
Warmer and Versatile? Brass
Ceramic... The Wild Card Slide.
Ya wanna hit some fingered notes and partial chords?
Pinky or a Ring Slide Will Ray style.
Ya wanna just Slide Open?
2nd Finger Ronnie Wood...3rd Finger.
Band Name Alert: THIRD FINGER
Probably the most important starting tip:
Pick your Slide... Make sure it fits the finger your gonna use. Profile of Slide matches String Radius.
Nut height needs to be slightly higher than a standard set up. String height based on string thickness.
I don't feel you need excess relief if your nut and string height is set proper. Set up is more critical if you want intonation when playing fretted notes in addition to slide on the same guitar.
Your Slide will be an extension of your technique:
Like stated earlier, a heavy slide enables a lighter touch.
Lighter slides require more pressure.
Depending on string guage.
Slide to String Radius match is subjective.
Some guys make a Straight Slide work on a radiused set up. I prefer mine to match. I take into account the jump between the unwound strings and the wound strings.
If the unwound are raised to match the wounds...
Specifically between the G and the D string I can play with a lighter touch...which doesn't throw the intonation off when playing Slide chord shapes.
The Jeff Beck Paradox...
Ya gotta learn what works for you.
Like Neal Peart said :
"I'm not a great drummer...I'm a great student"
"Just have fun...and listen to Jon Spencers Blues Explosion"
Thanks for listening.
Just to prove that you can play slide on any guitar, here is a crappy little clip
Of me noodling around on this
Just remember that a nut extender is designed for playing lap style - you will not do fretted notes. They also are fairly wide (1-3/4 or so) and fit best on relatively flat nuts. I'm not sure I would throw one on a strat and start playing Steel Guitar Rag
My slide guitar was one of those Starcaster guitars by Fender, the ones that were sold at Toys r Us for $199 with an amp. I didn't do anything to it except raise the strings.
Yep, it's all slide and no non-slide, with one of those
I can slide on any of my guitars, but on a couple of guitars I use 12-52 strings with a wound third. I keep the action low enough to fret, high enough to bottleneck.
Using this one quite a bit lately: