The 'Official" Slide Guitar Thread

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Frankenstrat2, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    I check into the Playing and Technique Forum regularly, and there seem to usually be a few threads kicking around dealing with various aspects of slide and bottleneck guitar. I thought it would be cool to start a dedicated thread where we could hang out and talk about slide stuff, the gear, the players, technique, all things slide.
    There are some really great slide players that hang out on TGP, and I'm hoping everyone will check in and chime in from time to time.
    I'll kick it off with this description of what to look for in the slides themselves.
    ***********
    Size- length, width and wall thickness
    The length of a slide relates to the players needs in terms of how few or many strings they need to span across the fingerboard. The width of a slide is the total of its interior dimension combined with the thickness of the walls of the slide. Players will find varying comfort depending on the feel of different widths on the finger
    Weight- The actual weight of the slide will be influenced by both its size and the mass of the material it is made from. A thin walled metal slide can weigh more than a thick walled pyrex slide, etc. Some players prefer a light slide for dexterity, others demand a heavy slide for more sustain.
    Shape- Slides and be closed or open-ended. Dome-tipped or flat edged. They can have rounded or beveled edges. There are slides that have ‘comfort-cut or crescent notches cut to accomodate the pad of the inner palm and web of the finger. There are slides with grooves, notches or flat edges to rest adjacent fingers against. There are straight-walled slides, but also slides that taper slightly or drastically both for fit and feel
    Materials. Most commercial or custom slides fall into two general categories- metal or glass.
    Metal slides can commonly be made of steel, chrome-plated metal, copper, brass and aluminum. There are gold-plated brass slides.
    Glass slides fall into the category of soda-lime (bottle glass), boro-silicate (pyrex) and lead-silicate (lead glass).*
    There are also ceramic slides which are fired pottery with an exterior glaze.
    A new entry into the slide field is a plastic/lexan type material recently introduced by V-Pick.
    Glass slides can be hand blown and fire-polished, or cut from tubes and grind polished. True bottleneck slides are cut from various glass bottle necks
    Esthetics-There are hand-blown, custom designed and colored lead glass slides that are signed, dated, and numbered, like individual works of art. There are clear glass slides that are painted and decorated internally both for color and to make them less slippery on sweaty fingers. There is a myriad variety of decorated ceramic slides in colors, patterns, and designs.
    Finish, Texture, & Drag- Different materials have different feel on the strings. Besides the weight and mass, texture is very important. Some slides have a porous or rougher surface and exhibit more drag on the strings. Others are silky smooth and glide easily. It’s a matter of preference, but each differing shade of smoothness will influence your playing and your tone to some degree.
    Cost- A perfectly good bottleneck slide can be made from discarded bottles with a bit of string and some lighter fluid for pennies each. A collectible hand blown lead glass slide can cost $50.

    Choices- Perhaps the most important factors in choosing a slide are fit, comfort, and its intended application. A slide should fit the finger nicely being neither too tight, or so loose that it will go flying across the room. If you don’t need to span the entire width of the fingerboard for big open tuned chords, you may find that a shorter slide is more user-friendly. As far as application- I would not recommend a heavy, thick-walled slide for electric slide on a guitar with low action and light gauge strings unless you have a lot of slide experience already. If you are mostly an acoustic or resonator player, a thin-walled light weight slide will not produce very big tone.

    *Credit to www.diamondbottlenecks.com from their F.A.Q. page for the info on the technical names of the types of glass commonly found in bottleneck slides
     
  2. Diamond

    Diamond Member

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    Excellent post Barry ;) - you've written pretty much all the necessary information required for fledgling slide-players to take that scary, initial step into 'the unknown' :BEER

    Slide On!

    Ian.

    www.diamondbottlenecks.com
     
  3. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    Now, here's where to go get 'em:
    The Bottleneck Slide Resource Thread

    Kirk Lorange's heavy brass slide
    http://planetalk.thatllteachyou.com/slides.html
    Diamond Bottlenecks
    http://www.diamondbottlenecks.com/
    Big Heart Slides
    http://www.bigheartslide.com/
    The Rock Slide
    http://www.marksguitarshop.com/trs/
    Nunwells- Go to the link for 'Store'
    http://www.mattsmithsworld.com/
    Dunlop slides
    http://www.jimdunlop.com/products/slides/index.html
    Planet Waves Slides
    http://www.planetwaves.com/Pgeardetails.aspx?ID=4
    Snarling Dogs Spinslide
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...18334?v=glance
    BlueMoon Bottlenecks
    http://www.bluemoonbottleneck.co.uk/Slide_Shop.htm
    Gen-U-Wine Bottlenecks
    http://www.highroad.org/ericpark/bottlenecks.html
    The Real Bottleneck Company
    http://www.rbnc.net/
    John Pearse 'The Edge" slide
    http://www.janetdavismusic.com/the_edge.html
    Lap and Pedal Steel bars
    http://www.janetdavismusic.com/do-stls.html
    Delta Slider Blues Bottleneck
    http://emol.org/music/musicians/glombecki/delta.html
    Latch Lake Slides
    http://www.latchlakemusic.com/products/slideshop.asp
    London Resonator Center Slides
    http://www.resocentre.com/index.php?id=82,0,0,1,0,0
    Old Chicago Slide Company
    http://www.nd.edu/~ncarmich/slides.htm
    Bird of Paradise Rotateable Slide
    http://www.birdcapo.com/slide_info.html
    Moonshine and Mudslides
    http://www.moonshineslides.com/
    Harris 19mm Brass Slide
    http://www.zzounds.com/item--DNP231
    Silica Slides
    http://silica-sound.com/
    Rocky Mountain slides
    http://www.rockymountainslides.com/
    Blooze Bottle Slides
    http://bloozebottle.com/
    V-Pick Slides
    http://www.v-picks.com/Slides.html
    Mr. B's Bottleneck Slides
    http://www.mrbsguitarslides.com/

    Feel Free to Add More Links
    Pix Too!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008
  4. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    Good Lord, Barry! Very nice work - whatta resource this set of links is alone!
     
  5. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    Finding the "right" slide is very difficult, thay do some things well and impose their limitations to your playing.

    1) coricidin bottle slidkes which were used by Duane Allman, nothing else gets that great tone

    http://www.rbnc.net/aboutrbnc.html

    2) the only slide that gets out of the way that I have found is the Rocket Slide, I think thats its name, can not find it by googling, its ring that fits on the ring finger and has a bar that is pressed against the stings, it does not have a lot of mass, however it is a slide that permit you to use all your finger while not playing slide, don't know why they are so hard to find, I got mine at a guitar back in 86, only seen them a few times after that, its one of my favorite slides.

    3) Rock Slides, are metal slides have several of these, they have a cutout for the bend of the finger, and are a favorite especially their pinky slide which is fairly small and prefect for standard tuning, which is what I am now doing, since you only play a limited number of strings this is perfect for that, I prefer their brass slides,

    http://www.therockslide.com/new/main.php

    4) Will Ray of the hellecasters has a slide called the stealth slide, He sells them at guitar shows that is where I got mine, I have two of them, they are basically rings, that adjust in size, in my fretting hand the slide only covers two or three strings at most, but its a slide that can be worn all the time, I wear mine on my pinky finger, the slide can also be worn on your picking hand, pinky for me again and its backwards, I can get slide effect with my picking hand this way, and that generally what I use these slides for, prefer the rock slide for my fretting hand.

    [​IMG]

    They are $18 on will rays site

    http://www.hellecasters.com/WillRay/WillRay.htm
     
  6. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    What tuning to use is very important, typically Open E tuning which Duane Allman used E B E G# B E is popular, as is Open G tuning which Keith Richards typically uses which is D G D G B D, however I find that standard tuning is the best, since I am in standard tuning most of the time, and I can use a smaller slide when playing which also helps since I like to be able to play chords and riffs as well with my fingers.

    some cool alternate tuning sites are

    http://eceserv0.ece.wisc.edu/~sethares/alternatetunings/alternatetunings.html

    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/WarrenAllen/tunings.htm

    for a good book on standard tuning playing Warren Haynes Guide to Slide guitar book and CD are excellent and cheap, $17.

    http://www.amazon.com/Warren-Haynes-Guide-Slide-Guitar/dp/1575605244

    It is excellent book, I really got a lot out of it, especially the standard tuning stuff.


    I started with Arlen Roths Slide Guitar Book and really recommend it for open E and G tunings

    http://www.amazon.com/Slide-Guitar-Book-Record-Arlen/dp/0825601622
     
  7. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    Thanks!
    There's a few dead links I'll go back and correct later. This is a list I put together a while ago for another Forum. Its a work in progress, there are always new guys emerging, like Vinni from V-Picks right here on TGP.
    Cool slides, by the way.
     
  8. RavenMadd

    RavenMadd Member

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    anyone here make or try to make their own slide?
     
  9. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    I've made my own bottlenecks from wine bottles with varying degrees of success.
    I got interested in 'heavy metal'.....slides, that is, and decided that the commercial stuff was too wimpy and toneless. so I went into my local plumbing supply store and asked the counterman to show me various diameters of unthreaded solid brass pipe. Much to his amusement I started sticking my pinky into the various pipes until I found one that wasn't too loose or too tight- just right! Of course by now I had to explain why i was 'fingering' their pipes. Next I sheepishly inquired what the shortest length was they would cut. The answer was 1 foot. It was not expensive. i took my prize home, got out my dad's hacksaw and made a sloppy cut. But 5 minutes later I had a custom sized-to-fit heavy brass slide. Later I got to a grindstone and fashioned a comfort cut, and beveled the edges. Crudely, but it had MOJO!
    if you try this, be sure to have some fine sandpaper handy and a file. You don't want to leave any burrs inside the walls to cut your hands up.
    Another tip about brass- it oxidizes rapidly. And the oxidation makes drag on the strings. so you need to keep some Noxon and a polishing cloth handy and keep your brass slide well polished so it slides smoothly.
    or, save yourself a ton of trouble and pick up a gold-plated Rock slide with comfort cut. http://www.therockslide.com/new/main.php
    Making home-made bottlenecks is an entirely seperate post. Lots of different techniques-some easy, some complex.
     
  10. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    How to Make your Own Glass Bottlenecks
    From a 2006 Big Road Blues Forum Post
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]The Cigar Box Guitars web site (www.cigarboxguitars.com)
    is right on. Here are a few tricks I've learned that expand on the info there that might help.
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial]First, though I think this should go without saying, WEAR HAND AND EYE PROTECTION!!! Glass breaks and broken glass will cut you. Ever had to play with a cut finger tip? I have and it sucks! A $3 pair of suede gardening gloves will protect your hands so there's no excuse. And unless you want to be the next "Blind Boy [your name here]" keep something unbreakable between the glass and your eyes. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]An old blues guy told me he used to cut bottle necks by wrapping lighting a kerosene-soaked string tied around the neck then putting the bottle in cold water. I tried this. It always broke the bottle and never the way I wanted. I can't recommend it unless you need a bottleneck that doubles as a weapon in close combat. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]It can be tricky using masking tape to get a perfect circle. The good part is you can keep moving the tape until you get it right. If the sides on the neck of the bottle you are going to cut aren't perfectly flat (most aren't) it helps to use a flexible tape that can be stretched to follow a curve. I've had good luck with blue painter's tape.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]If you see a circa 1970's bottle cutter at a flea market, snap it up! The "cradle" style cutter usually doesn't work because the wheel can't reach the neck. The type that goes in the top of the bottle with a cutter on an arm works best for me. I've tried both. If it's been used, expect to replace the cutting wheel. Fortunately the steel wheels are cheap.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]Scoring a deep cut with the class cutter isn't necessary. It's more important to have a straight and consistent score. Use less pressure and concentrate on getting an even score rather than a deep one. A friend that makes stained glass windows showed me this one. He makes a very light cut and told me he's cut glass 1" thick that way.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]If you are going to tap the glass inside to cause the neck to break along the score, put a drop of kerosene on the score first. This will result in a cleaner break. (Thanks again to my stained glass maker friend.) Be patient! This method works but if you tap too hard the neck won't break the way you want. The problem is that the glass in the neck often isn't consistently thick. When you tap think of it as coaxing the neck to break.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]The hot water/cold water trick suggested by Scotty at Cigar Box is excellent but may not work unless you have really hot tap water. Water heater thermostats are sometimes turned down to save energy and/or protect children from scalding hot water (both good things). If you try the hot/cold water thing without luck, that may be the problem.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]Heating the bottle with a candle, butane lighter, or propane torch works. The trick is to heat the bottle SLOWLY and EVENLY. (This I learned from a friend that makes glass beads.) Keep the bottle turning and move it slowly closer to the flame. If you heat it too quickly or unevenly the heat will crack the glass and not where you want it.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]Don't overheat the bottle! If you do it will crack when you put the neck in cold water. All of it will crack and you'll be left with pieces. If it stays together there will probably be vertical cracks in the glass and the first good bump will turn everything into shards. Heat slowly and evenly and plunge it into cold water when just warm. If the neck doesn't separate easily, dry it off and try again, a little warmer this time. Eventually it will break off easily.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]Smoothing the edge:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]I use a pair of nippers or side cutters to nip away larger chunks of glass. The trick is to nibble away a little bit at a time rather than hack off large chunks. Get it close with nippers.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]To finish the edge, nothing I have tried beats a Dremel tool. I use various grades of stone wheel to get the larger chunks off and to round the edges. Finer wheels will polish it smooth. I use steel wool and emery cloth to polish the edge. (My glass bead making friend showed me how to do all this with a glass torch but it takes a long time and if you aren't very careful with the heat it will break.)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]Don't have a Dremel tool? I have also used a knife sharpening stone (whetstone) with very good luck. They aren't expensive (Sears sells a good one) and you can use the corners to grind down the inside edges. Take your time and don't press hard. Let the stone do the work. Once I get a round edge with the stone I use various grades of steel wool to polish the edge.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]Bob Brozman (my hero!) used a Mateus wine bottle but I have big hands and never found one that fits. My favorite bottleneck, which I've used for 10 years, is from a Courvoisier Cognac bottle. The big one. The neck is very straight and the glass is thick. It was a bear to cut and shape (I used a whetstone) but it fits perfectly. I have found some French red wine bottles have reasonably straight necks of reasonably consistent thickness. Ask all your friends that drink wine to save bottles like that for you. Promise to recycle the left-over glass too.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]Good luck![/FONT]


    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]And This was another great Post- Same Forum[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]On cutting bottlenecks:
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial] A tile wet saw.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]I've got one because I am a tile and stone contractor so I thought before I give this sage advice I'll go out to the garage and try a couple. Worked 6 out of 7 times clean as a whistle. The one that failed was a thin beer bottle neck that you wouldn't use for slide anyway but the three thickest ones were the easiest and cleanest. Now some of you are probably saying that that's all well and good but you don't have a wet saw. Well every Home Depot does. It's at the end of the tile aisle and it's for weekend warriors to get their more complex cuts done. The one near me lets all the homeowner Joe's make their own cuts so that situation would be easy but if the one near you has the staff do it just slip 'em a 5 spot and off you go. Or have your wife ask 'em that always works. Either way you might have to buy $3 worth of tile put some marks on 'em and pretend you need some cuts done and slip the bottle in at the end. This will work. Home Depot people do not care about things like this.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial]Water jets and a fast spinning diamond wheel. It's a beautiful thing.

    The Entire Thread is Here:
    http://www.guitarseminars.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000604.html
    [/FONT]
     
  11. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    Diamond Bottlenecks 'Ultimate' Hand-Blown Lead Glass
    [​IMG]

    Diamond Reversible

    [​IMG]

    Rockslide Gold-Plated Brass

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2009
  12. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    Cool tuning alert, and one that I've never seen before anywhere else:

    A - C - E - G - B - D, low to high.

    For this I'm using the following string gauges, which seem to work:
    .044 - .038 - .032 - .024 - .019 - .017.

    It consists of stacked thirds (which I've seen), but alternating minor and major, which I haven't. It gives you lots of minor and major chords all over the neck. I'm pretty pleased with it so far, though I only tried it this week for the first time.

    Another tuning I have tried with good results is this one (also not seen anywhere else, and I can't quite figure out why not) -

    F - B - D - G - B - E, low to high

    So the top 4 strings are standard, which is how I mostly play slide anyway. Like standard, it gives you the Em7 on top, but you have a tritone on the bottom that gives you the dominant 7th and the 3rd of the G Major. I think it's cool, anyway.
     
  13. Diamond

    Diamond Member

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    More Slide Porn!!! I've just salivated all over my keyboard!.......thanks Barry:BEER The Guitar Seminars thread posted above by Barry (Frankenstrat2) is probably the definitive thread for folks interested in making their own bottleneck slide - it's been on-going for many years now and every method we know is listed on there....good luck;)

    Slide On!

    Ian.

    www.diamondbottlenecks.com
     
  14. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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  15. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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  16. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    Here's some videos to keep you amused:
    Ry Cooder- Vigalante Man
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoGkPTjZoBg&feature=related
    Jackson Brown & David Lindley-Runnin on Empty
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoGkPTjZoBg&feature=related
    David Lindley Live- Mercury Blues
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAbbgSKUZB4
    Johnny Winter- Highway 61 live
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8siLZ4zNbY
    Rick Vito-Rattlesnake Shake
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E0XB1KksQg
    Sonny Landreth and Arlen Roth-
    Blues Attack
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjec7Zq8kGs&feature=related
    Lowell George Little Feat Cold, Cold, Cold
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmG8sdaeCYk&feature=related
    Derek Trucks Band- Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN5cvrDtv3M&feature=related
    Dave hole- I'm A Kingbee
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDwuEFgZez8
     
  17. NitroLiq

    NitroLiq Member

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    Have any of you guys checked out Warren Haynes—Guide to Slide Guitar? I was thinking of picking it up but am wondering if it's just a rehash of the basic slide techniques he goes into on his blues and slide DVD. Anyone know?

    On another note, I just moved to a new apt. and going through the boxes I found a really old slide book I bought in the 80s that has a black & white picture of Johnny Winter on the cover and one of those plastic sound sheets (ala old Guitar Player magazines). Pretty interesting...covers lots of open tunings and various artists from Keith Richards to Bukka White. I'll have to mp3 the soundpage when I get my rig set up again.
     
  18. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    That sounds interesting. I'd love to hear it.
    I had Warren's original instructional video. There wasn't much there in technique, IIRC. He was one of my early heroes- got me playing slide in natural tuning. I do hear good things about the new release. Big fan of his slide playing. Since Derek joined the ABB it seems you only hear Warren play slide with Gvt. Mule.
     
  19. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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  20. NitroLiq

    NitroLiq Member

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    I have the video as well and it's pretty rudimentary stuff. I mean there are still some nice licks to learn from but the slide work is just the very basic. I may give the book ago since it's pretty cheap...it looks like it may be arranged in a similar fashion as the Dave Grissom book, which is pretty good.

    Regarding the other book, the soundpage probably has a lot of bleedthrough so the quality isn't going to be totally up to snuff. I think it was mostly open tuning rhythms and things of that nature...nothing really ripping.
     

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