1st slide question, tone, pressure issues on my regular ax.

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Clifford-D, Jan 12, 2008.


  1. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    I have an ASAT with a med/high action, more on the high side.
    I like it for my regular playing, it really sings.
    And I use 10's.

    Kimock was talking about Derek Trucks and how he can play a
    regular set up guitar and still get his wonderful tone.

    When I do it, the tension against the string is like walking on rice paper.
    There is a fine tolerance between good tone and bad. Lots of
    'rattle' in the contact. Mostly when playing non adjacent strings
    like playing 6ths.

    I do have other less used guitars, non that have the tone of the ASAT.
    But would one of them be better if set up for slide only (mostky).

    By the way, in my opinion, Kimock is right up in the same stratosphere
    as Trucks. :)
    And when they play together. man.
     
  2. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Ouch.
    Derek and I are good friends and have been sitting in with each other since the early 90's. I'm twice his age and he's ten times the player I'll ever be.
    Thanks though. . .

    The touch issue on slide guitar with light strings and low action is probably mostly about the weight of the slide and how you wear it on your finger.
    I think a lot of guys start out thinking they need a slide that covers all the strings, and then try to hold the slide flat against the strings with all the fingers straight, matching the position of the finger "trapped" in the slide.

    With a normal light string set-up, this will be at odds with the radius of the neck, and pressure sufficient to get a sound out of the 1st and 3rd string at the same time will probably rattle the 3rd string on the fret. There goes your 6ths. . .

    At this point, most guys raise the action a little, and if the slide itself is still too heavy, most guys will go up a string gauge to try to support the slide and avoid the pitch distortion produced by the radiused light strings being unequally depressed by the straight playing surface of a slide covering all the strings.

    Whew. . .
    You might be better off wearing a lighter slide only as far down as your second knuckle so you can maintain a more natural curvature to your fingers, and not trying to cover all six strings at once with your fingers stiff, right?

    On lap steel, the set-up trick is trying to get the top playing surface of all the strings in the same plane so the bar doesn't chatter in the low positions. If any string is "too tall", it's going to be sharp when you push the bar down for any double stop with a "shorter" string, and if you let the bar float, the "short" string will chatter or rattle against the bar.

    Just think about that ideal straight, flat, high action steel guitar set-up, and work backwards to some compromise for the double duty slide/standard guitar set-up.

    cool?

    peace
     
  3. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Does that mean the radius depression difference makes it impossible
    to play in tune across all three strings?

    I really haven't been that interested in covering all 6 strings.
    But I am very aware of the vertical structures that lay across the guitar in standard.

    Also, all the micro bending I've always done in my normal blues playing
    transfers to my sence of intonation with a slide. It feels like a snap
    in some ways.
    But always, this nagging chatter tone thing.

    Maybe I should set the Epi Blackbird up for slide,,
    or a cheap Ibanez 'plank' guitar that I frankenstiened,,
    and leave my G&L alone??

    Does the nut need to be flat or flatter?

    ?????????????????????????????????????

    For days.

    Thanks Steve.
     
  4. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Well, it's not impossible, but you obviously can't carry your open string tuning up and down the neck intact with a straight bar and a radiused nut and bridge.


    Check out the Cooder "crazy bout an automobile" clip at about 3:20, he's fretting those high notes with the slide, and you can hear the slide going chromatically up that minor third. It's OK to whack a fret, and it's perfectly legal to do the "glass finger" thing and fret notes with the slide.
    Do your best to lose the chatter, but don't get hung up on it. Use it.

    Just play and adapt as you go. Watch anybody that plays that you dig and you'll realize that none of the novice slide instructional stuff that you'll get around here is taken as gospel at the professional level.
    Same as the chord/scale stuff on standard guitar, how we learn and how they play are two really different things.:)

    p's
     
  5. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Steve
    Just play and adapt as you go. Watch anybody that plays that you dig and you'll realize that none of the novice slide instructional stuff that you'll get around here is taken as gospel at the professional level.
    Same as the chord/scale stuff on standard guitar, how we learn and how they play are two really different things.:)

    Clifford D
    So why even go there.
    The problem I see is I'm already a player, I'm not going back to training wheels.
    Pro level thinking is the way to go.
    Even for the beginner.
    I'm all for a little truth.
     
  6. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Well, the truth is, there's an acknowledged master smacking the slide into the frets at a weird angle using absolutely no muting with either hand, and that's the high point of the solo. . .:dude

    Sounds like a million bucks, what are ya gonna do?
     
  7. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    Oh, man what's his name?? Lap steel?

    You played with him in Psychedelic Guitar Circus, [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]

    Freddie Roulette.

    That could fill that bill.

    Am I in the ballpark?

    He's a fine player.
    [/SIZE][/FONT]
     
  8. kimock

    kimock Member

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    well, you're outside and it's a beautiful day. . .

    I meant Cooder in that clip where he's fretting the high note with the slide. . .

    :D
     
  9. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    When I started out on slide, I needed a very high action not to hit the frets. Ater a few years my touch just changed. I play a medium+ weight ceramic slide (I'm a potter & make my own) on a medium action now on .010-.046's & get no fret rattle. I can play fingered guitar on the same guitars just fine. The increased tension of Open E does help.
    Mainly it is just time with the slide- the touch comes. You might crank up the action on one guitar to start off & gradually lower as you play more slide. It will come & likely fairly quickly if you play a fair amount of slide, staying mindful of what is going on.
     
  10. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    The weight of the slide seems pretty important.

    Not unlike the harp player, Slide players have
    their 'slide kit' with different slides etc...
    I saw Steves.
    So these slides are for standard and the open E
    or different setups??
    One slide does not fit all???

    I have one glass 2 3/8" x 3/4"
    about 1/8 thick.
    So I would think that was medium??

    T ha nk s b ro i t h elp s
     
  11. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

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    You are so funny.

    I was outside and it was a beautiful day.


    I must remember that these posts "flow".
     
  12. geoff_hartwell

    geoff_hartwell Member

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    Just adding my two cents at Kimock's request:

    No matter what setup you use, slide playing is a ridiculously touch-sensitive approach. I use Hamers with D'addario 10's and stock action, and I recommend using about as much pressure as you would to sound a harmonic. Especially since you have experience playing fretted guitar, this will be an adjustment, but I encourage you to let the strings SUPPORT the slide as much as possible (rather than jacking up the action so you can "dig in") and then make the micro-adjustments letting your ears move your hands, as far as tilting to compensate for radius and intonation across strings.

    Kimock's comments about WHERE you touch the strings with your finger inside the slide are incredibly important as well- If you didn't have a slide on, you wouldn't fret a note all the way down with the THIRD joint on your finger. You have the most dexterity (and SENSITIVITY) from the tip of your finger to about the second joint.

    There'll always be times when you fret out, or get a rattle from another string, but nobody's perfect. I'm certainly not.

    Practice makes PROGRESS! :)

    (*plug coming up*>>>) Check out my slide DVD- you can get to it from my website- it deals with a bunch of these issues (as well as lots of other stuff), pertaining to using standard tuning and stock setup.
     

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