Slide guitar

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by RLee77, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Just ordered this
    [​IMG]
    Dunlop 229 Shy Slide,1 Inch Adjustable Chrome Guitar Slide
    Play slide notes and fingered notes simultaneously! This little slide attaches with a Velcro strap and makes the transition into slide playing effortless. Throw a couple slide licks into a standard solo on the fly, for added color and depth.

    thought it might be interesting
     
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  2. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic

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    I've found you don't need any changes to the set up, but it certainly helps if you can make some. The key is loads of experimenting and then loads of practice with whatever set up you go for.

    Apart from my resonator which is a different animal, my avatar Tele is permanently set up for open D. The nut is cut normally, relief is normal, but the action is just a smidge higher. Not so much that it's not perfectly playable without slide though. Biggest difference is the strings - I use Newtone's set for electric slide 13-52. Great tone and no banging slide on frets.

    It takes a while and lots of experimenting to find a slide that works for you! I use about 4 of these.

    20190109_102236.jpg

    You might find the forum on Michael Messer's website useful. And there's a useful intro to slide technique by Bob Brozman

    http://www.bobbrozman.com/tip_slide.html

    I've found slide in open tuning has really opened up some new horizons. Have fun!
     
  3. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    I think, over time, we all develop our own preferences, based on the kind of music we like, the instruments we use, the advice we trust.
    I've always set up guitars with heavier strings and a higher action for slide but because I play a lot of acoustics and resonators, my fingers are accustomed to the fatter strings, when I switch to electric instruments.
    I was doing some recording, recently and the superior tone of a home made bottleneck slide was really apparent, compared to the Pyrex Dunlop type that I sometimes carry, for lightness and ease of replacement, when they get lost or damaged. The tight acoustics of the studio really amplified the difference. The bottleneck isn't a good fit on my pinky finger, which creates control issues. Rather than wrapping my finger, I tend to use custom fitted slides, made by Diamond Bottlenecks. I recommend them but I'm sure similar items can be acquired locally, if you live outside the UK. I like short glass slides, for control, as well as tone. I have a longer brass one, for playing fat fretboards, when all six (or twelve) strings will need to be played at once. I struggle with the weight, for intricate work but it sounds great, for Son House type stuff

    I usually use 52-11s on electric guitars but my slide instrument always gets 52 or 54-12s. I use similar gauges on acoustics and heavier again, for resonators, 56-13s.

    I generally tune slide guitars to open D and open G, using a capo for most other keys and tweaking the tuning a little, for minor keys. This is easy on guitar necks and lowers the action a little, of course. I play a lot of chords and riffs in these tunings, as well as single string leads. G is the easiest tuning to learn these tricks in, with three strings remaining in Standard tuning. This definitely adds variety and depth to my sound and has been worth the effort and time involved. In the pre-internet era, this was a real hit-and-hope effort, with few resources to help.

    For resonator playing, I've struggled and persevered with finger picks. To begin with, I could only keep them on my digits when they were painfully tight and the improved tone was masked by the endless, clanging mistakes. Highly recommended- if only as a way of exploring the limits of your patience and to display the benefits of humility. ;)
     
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  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I just use my normal guitar, too much work carrying special guitars around for bar gigs. You cant have your action super low but pretty low and I dont like it too low anyway. Finnesse.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  5. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    As others have said ....

    1) Getting a slide that feels right is essential, after 3+ years learning I'm 12 in already and think I've settled on 3 of them that I actually like. btw - for me that's heavy (4mm) thick glass and extending slightly over the end of the finger it's on.

    2) Deciding which finger to use, now there's the rub ... if I'm just playing a slide part it's 3rd finger, if I need to slide and fret ... that means little finger for me.

    3) I can play slide on my 'low action' SG, Strat and even the Tele with 7.25" rad and 9s .... But I'd only use those for when I just need to slide in a few chords/notes here and there ... .think "Handle me with care" type stuff. BUT

    4) For serious slide I've got a G&L Bluesboy semi set up with a higher action and 12's that's usually in open G. Now on this guitar it's not just about sliding chords/notes but also keeping the strings behind the slide muted whilst also keeping a bass rhythm/syncopation going with the thumb ... can't do that on my other guitars and slide!

    PS. Diamond (only a few mles from where I live) do great glass, but ime not very quickly :eek:. Certainly for UK bottleneckers ... take a look at Voodoo Slide Company (don't know if he posts abroad but no reason not too I guess?) ... great value and service from Rob :cool:
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  6. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Bonnie Raitt, who's been known to play some slide ;), uses her "how d'ya do" finger
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Holic

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    For slide I play my regular guitars in standard tuning, simpler for giging. My action is set about 4/32" at 12th fret.
    I use my pinkie and make my slides out of stainless steel. IMG_20190819_164732027.jpg
     
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  8. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Meister

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    I've mostly been the only guitarist in any band I've ever played in so I only use a regular set-up guitar when I play. Slide goes on my pinky so I can still play chords.
    It just requires a light touch and I've never had any problems with it.
    If you're heavy handed then that approach may not work for you. I don't think I would want to carry an additional guitar just for slide. But that's me.
     
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  9. Telecentric

    Telecentric Tele-Meister

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    I have a dobro in open G, and a Tele in open E. Normal action, though when I started I jacked it up a bit. Once you get some control, you can lower it back down. I like to be able to fret as well as slide in open tunings. I have a bunch of slides. Cut sockets (11/16 for me), Stainless, brass and copper tubing. Full length and shorter. Also have a few glass/pyrex slides, and the ubiquitous Coricidin bottle required for Sky Dog licks. I have found that heavy stainless works better for acoustic, and glass for electric. Your mileage WILL vary.

    I don't do the scrunchie behind the slide thing, because I like to play open strings as well, so just lay your index finger over the strings behind the slide, works great.
     
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  10. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    I use glass heavy slides and old pill bottles. I use a slide on any guitar electric or acoustic in standard tuning. Humbucker electric's are my prefered, but single coils are fine too. Its all technique.
     
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  11. verb boten

    verb boten Tele-Holic

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    Yer absolutely right about slide sizes, a perfect fit for your finger seems impossible to find and the real joke; they are always in packaging in the stores that makes it impossible to try it on before buying.
    HEY GUITAR STORES, you need to:
    List I.D. size on the package.
    Packaging should allow the slide to be tried on for size.

    Most of my slide playing is on a beater acoustic i keep in my shop, a Dixon. 12s and mile-high action, almost impossible to play normally. I also have a Regal wood reso and a Galveston brass body, both cheap but they reflect my ability. :D
    I have yet to master electric slide but i think it would be easier on an electric with high action, which i don't have.
    In review (FWIW):
    Heavy strings, high action and a well-fitting slide.
    Good luck RLee!!
     
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  12. ScribbleSomething

    ScribbleSomething Tele-Holic

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    I don’t have a special action for slide but I’ve made some over all adjustments to aide slide.

    I raise it a little over all so I can attempt to fret behind the slide. I like to raise the two thinnest even with the others. That helps the slide and also helps with big bends.

    Most guitars are in open D, but a few prefer open E. I have one in open C. I’m still working out the best strings and guitars for that. I’d like to make it my main tuning.
     
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  13. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I bought a bunch of different glass slides, medicine bottle types with closed bottom, different sizes, thicknesses and weights. The smaller thin light one fit my finger best but still needed packing. I like it to stay on my finger from the knuckle down and not have it limit my normal finger bend. I'm still searching for the right slide. The closed end types fill with sweat and leave my finger looking like a shrivelled prune. I found a small light weight slide worked best for me due to my preferred low action and large frets.
     
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  14. Daytona.57

    Daytona.57 Tele-Meister

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    Slide is a lot of fun. I use my Epi Les Paul, Alinco II pickups, in E tuning, low action.

    Amp is a Fender Pro Junior IV Tweed and Cannabis Rex in a Fender 1x12 cab.

    I prefer a Dunlop heavy short glass slide on my left ring finger. My ring holds the slide in place.

    I find that E tuning is very articulate and l have to watch the volume. When playing clean, I use the neck pickup. Distortion, I use the bridge pickup, Saucy Box and Archer Ikon.

    YMMV
     
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  15. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a couple of Guitars that are for slide, a Republic Tri-Cone and a Blueridge BR-40 both tuned to open G. And after trying many different slides, and I mean many! I finally found my slide!!!!
    It's a Eric Sardinas Preachin Pipe, I knew it was the "One for me" in about 2 min's;) One day I'll get this down, but it's been on hold the better part of this year:(
     
  16. Maricopa

    Maricopa Friend of Leo's

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    I pretty much only play slide and I use Open D and Open G tunings with flat wound 12s and high action.
     
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  17. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    This thing works. I can play pretty normal with it flipped back. It's easier to get it loaded than it is to get it out of the way, but a little practice gets it poking in and out.
    15662786130604646295174336693179.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  18. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

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    I use glass slides as I like the sound. To help hang onto them I spray a liquid adhesive inside the tube. Once it dries it acts like a grip coating
     
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  19. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Trying not to giggle as I read this and failing. Sorry.
     
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  20. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    I use the slide on my ring finger mostly and also on my pinky if I play licks. I agree on the pill bottle, but for one song its fine.
     
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