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Andre S

Tips for Slide Playing?

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The local store finally got a slide that fits my finger...a Dunlop glass slide....Its definitely not as easy as it seems..I think I started off fairly ok, but sometimes I get a good clear sound and others the slide bangs on the frets or lifts off the string completely.

 

I got frustrated at one point because the tone was rubbish, but I heaped on the reverb and it got a lot lot better.

 

Slide is pretty fun, but I want to try a metal one to see the different tones.

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Everything Rocky4 said....and I prefer metal slide to glass....

 

Loose the flat pick is great advice...most top slide players use thumb pick and fingers or just fingers....I've just started using thumbpick Johnny Winter style....he never even tried playing a guitar with a flat pick..lol

 

Also try some 'easy' tunes to start you off....anything from The Rolling Stones Exile on Mainstreet should do...

 

lot's of open G stuff with basic I,IV,V progressions...they sound cool and will get you going...have fun!

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Yea I wanted to try metal first but, they only had glass....oh well some other time....

 

I tried playing with out the pick, especially for slide guitar playing with the fingers really makes it feel a lot more heartfelt.

 

The first tune I started learning is actually the one that got me interested.

 

 

the crossroads bit he plays halfway through.

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Raise the action

Tune to an open G DGDGBD

Play over the fret

lose the pick

work on the vibrato

 

Play light, very light. Smooth touch, don't beat the strings down. Pick depends on what you wanna do. I sometimes play more "punk blues" and I use a flat pick for that, other times I just use my fingers.

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Glass is more popular overall, easier to handle and warmer sound. I also have bronze and chrome and they are great but if you are having a bit of trouble with glass you'll have a hard time with any metal. I have no experience with ceramic slides.

 

I use a normal flat pick or a silver flat pick, at this point I see no need to add to the learning curve by learning to use slide picks or thumb picks. Once I get better I will try to use my fingers or specialized picks.

 

Start with an open tuning as it is more forgiving and frankly better for full songs on the slide.

 

Open A and you can play the White Stripes Seven Nation Army or In My Time of Dying by Led Zeppelin.

 

Open E will get ou to the classic blues riff used a lot by Elmore James.

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Glass is more popular overall' date=' easier to handle and warmer sound. I also have bronze and chrome and they are great but if you are having a bit of trouble with glass you'll have a hard time with any metal. I have no experience with ceramic slides.

 

Start with an open tuning as it is more forgiving and frankly better for full songs on the slide.

 

Open A and you can play the White Stripes Seven Nation Army or In My Time of Dying by Led Zeppelin.

 

Open E will get ou to the classic blues riff used a lot by Elmore James.[/quote']

 

Not too much trouble, I've only played for 3 hours so far first time in my life with a slide.

 

I will try In My Time of Dying,

 

Which finger is best to use?

 

I'd figure its the ring finger, two before for chords and one after for whatever, but it feels most natural on my middle finger, a lot easier but I thin its better to have two for chords, which do you use?

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Which finger is best to use?

 

I'd figure its the ring finger' date=' two before for chords and one after for whatever, but it feels most natural on my middle finger, a lot easier but I think its better to have two for chords, which do you use?[/quote']

 

I'm more comfortable with the ring finger leaving the first two fingers open for whatever, but each player has to decide what's best for them and what they want to do. There's really no right or wrong, but playing with it on the ring finger

or pinky, has it's advantages for string noise deadening and playing notes or chords without the slide fingers.

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I can really see the advantages of having a guitar setup especially for slide...

 

And to keep switching these tunings is a b!tch..

 

I must look more into the people who make the robot tuning stuff.

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I can really see the advantages of having a guitar setup especially for slide...

 

And to keep switching these tunings is a b!tch..

 

I must look more into the people who make the robot tuning stuff.

 

Ooohh... Robbie Robot Reporting for Duty.

Just kidding. Robot guitars and the "V-Strat" are all good for that application. However, having a guitar already tuned for open tunings is always advisable.

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Its getting a lot cleaner with practice.

 

Though now, I have to angle the slide slightly to match the radius of the string when I'm sliding only on one string.

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In my teens and twenties I tried to play slide, after playing with a few really good slide players I realized I sucked. I had no aptitude for it and decided to leave it to the professionals. I have played in three different bands with slide players, and my current blues band features a slide player.

 

One of the best slide players I ever played with used only a freshly emptied Budweiser long-neck bottle, and played overhand (reached over the neck with the bottle). One night we were playing a bar that only served beer in cans, I thought he was going to freak out. But he then went out to check his car for empties and came back with one in hand. Problem solved. I also played in a band with a left handed upside down guitar player who played a pretty mean slide.

 

My bandmate and guitar playing partner in my blues band for the last 18 years is an incredible slide player. He does not use a special setup for slide playing, and in fact plays slide on the same Strat and Dobro that he uses for fingerstyle. His action is a little higher than what most people would like, but it works easily for both styles. I know he strings the Strat with 12's, and maybe the Dobro also. He does, by far, the majority of his slide playing in STANDARD TUNING, and ONLY uses open tuning when it's absolutely necessary to be able to play a particular run.

 

He has a large collection of slides and people give him slides all the time. He has had a few people even make him slides and give them to him. But come showtime, he always pulls out the ole standard chrome plated metal one. He wears his slide on his pinky finger to leave first three fingers open for chording, standard single note playing and muting. He uses a small hard flat pick or a thumb pick, in conjunction with the other fingers on his right hand, again the same as he uses for fingerstyle.

 

There isn't a show we do where someone doesn't come up to him at intermission, or after the show, and want to talk slide playing. His biggest piece of advise is as a general rule never slide up (or down) to a note (or chord) more than half a step, otherwise it starts sounding like Hawaiian music. Another thing I've noticed about his slide playing is even when mimicking a chord, he never plays more than two or three strings.

 

Just a few tips from the school of hard knocks.

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Never... no wait... Always use a Heiniken Bottle for slide work.

 

NO WAY!! Everybody knows Corona bottles sounds better.... [cool]

 

I prefer glass on electrics, and metal on acoustics.

 

One thing that helped me a lot was just practicing dampening the strings behind the slide, and playing over the top of the frets. Once you have that down and are comfortable with a slide on your finger, then the rest will be much easier.

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Not too much trouble' date=' I've only played for 3 hours so far first time in my life with a slide.

 

I will try In My Time of Dying,

 

Which finger is best to use?

[/quote']

 

 

In My Time is in open A (I think).

 

Use what finger feels best. I use my ring finger so I have two fingers to fret with.

The type of slide to use is irrelevant until you catch on. One wont make you play any better than the other as long as it fits right.

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In My Time is in open A (I think).

 

Use what finger feels best. I use my ring finger so I have two fingers to fret with.

The type of slide to use is irrelevant until you catch on. One wont make you play any better than the other as long as it fits right.

 

I was going to start last night, but I made it halfway through the bit in the vid I linked, so I'm continuing with that, then maybe Rambling on My Mind and then In My Time Of Dying.

 

Slide is fun.

 

But I broke a string on my acoustic retuning it after trying out Rambling on my mind.

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Back in the days when girlfriends or little sis got lipstick in metal cases, some of 'em would fit my left pinkie. Alas, I lost my last one and ain't played much slide since, excluding using a knife.

 

Yeah, open tuning.

 

As for even the knife, when I was playing slide it was reeeeeal old style blues. So... there was more of a need for feel than any real degree of virtuosity.

 

m

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NO WAY!! Everybody knows Corona bottles sounds better.... #-o

 

I prefer glass on electrics' date=' and metal on acoustics.

 

One thing that helped me a lot was just practicing dampening the strings behind the slide, and playing over the top of the frets. Once you have that down and are comfortable with a slide on your finger, then the rest will be much easier.[/quote']

Corona does work Way Better. More Bare Glass than most other bottles [biggrin]

 

Remember folks, the slide (bottle) should land directly over the fret.

 

There are no Absolutes for learning or playing slide, but there is beginner technique and more advanced technique. If you're new to slide, grab an acoustic, Raise the action a touch, tune it to a chord and experiment.

 

More advanced, just grab your guitar and start sliding in whatever tuning you have with the lowest action you can imagine.

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okay.... getting even more serious now...

 

First, get into an open tuning. Second, play the guitar that way, using the barre technique simply to figure the chords. In some open tunings I personally think it's easy to play chords too since they're similar to a banjo G tuning.

 

Then.... think about playing some leads finger style just that way. Then start using the slide for those leads.

 

m

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Put Ry Cooder, Warren Haynes, and Derek Trucks on repeat for a few weeks straight. Pick up their different/similar playing styles. Just keep listening and playing back parts you like to hear. Mute or "ghost" the strings behind the slide and mute the strings with your palm of your fingerpickin hand. Have fun and if it still sounds like a cat dying when you play, dont give up just take a break.

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Easy there, bobrollar. Right idea, but maybe a little on the advanced side for learning the basics. Try some Elmore James or Black Crows first, maybe even George Thurogood (not my favorite, but easy slide stuff). Warren, Derek, and Ry are good long term goals.

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