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Friggin' slide guitar

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,915
I hate the idea of dedicating a single guitar to slide playing because I don't like to play slide on anything besides a tele or an SG, but I use my guitars each equally for different things. I like the tones of either of those for slide more than anything else, but the problem is I cannot for the life of me play a guitar normally if the strings are more than the width of a quarter from the frets. I'm constantly knocking the frets with my slide with such action and the clank drives me nuts! It reminds me of how much I suck at slide :D I don't play slide for any reason but for fun so it doesn't really matter anyway. I just feel like spewing, and this is where I've aimed.
 

dk123123dk

Member
Messages
3,890
I too have this problem. I usually play slide on a beater acoustic guitar.

That being said why not grab a partscaster tele or a nice squire or mim tele or peavey raptor or fernades tele copy for your slide guitar. It wouldn't be that expensive, and you could sell it back for your money if you buy used.


dk
 

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,915
I really want a partscaster tele that is vintage style so I can then dedicate my current tele to slide playing.
 

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,915
vintage style meaning butterscotch with a white pickguard and vintage hot pickups.
 

FLStratcat

Member
Messages
514
I've got a pine butterscotch Kramer tele (that I'm trying to get rid of.. :p ) that I used for slide for a while. NAILED that Ry Cooder twang for me with a brass slide..
 

Powertwang

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
306
There are a couple of things that you might be able to do to make your existing setup work. First, I'd make sure that you're using a lightweight slide made of glass or even a thin chromed steel one. This should cause less travel of the strings toward the frets. Second, I find that having an extra stage of gain and/or a compressor turned on while playing slide helps both with keeping sustain while playing slide w/ low action and also just to make up for the fact that in playing slide you often lose some of the overall output of the guitar and having some extra gain gives me a great deal more control for both long sustained notes and more articulated phrasing.

It doesn't really matter if you're a blues guy playing straight into a Super Reverb or, like me, a guy who keeps a fairly clean rhythm tone that I augment with a couple of dirt pedals (a Tim for my same basic tone plus more dirt and a Keeley-modded Blues Driver for more distinctly dirty rock sounds), a compressor and a Fat Boost for taking my basic overall tone and making it louder for solos.

One of my bands plays tunes like "Something To Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt and, if I say so myself, I do a pretty good job of copping her clean-but-dirty tone by cleaning up some of the initial attack w/ the compressor, but having the notes sustain with plenty of dirt as the compressor starts pushing the pedals. During this tune I generally turn all four of these pedals, taking it up to full-on solo level, which is too loud for comping during the vocal parts, so I play the tune with my foot on my volume pedal, adjusting it up and down as needed for the various parts of the tune (loudish intro, lower levels in the verse, louder in the instrumental bridge power chords and wide open in the solo.

Anyway, all of this is a bit far afield from just a string height issue, but getting a thin slide and making sure you've got enough level might go a long way toward helping you with your difficulties.

Good luck,

John
 

335guy

Member
Messages
5,228
Danelectros are the ultimate slide guitar and they're dirt cheap, vintage or re-issue.
Danos sound great for slide. Problem is many have non adjustable saddles and bridges, making getting the strings higher difficult. I also prefer to set the action higher for playing slide, so I got an old Harmony electric to do just that. But if you prefer a tele, then pick up a cheap copy, or a Squire. The cool thing about slide is the neck shape, frets and action isn't as important, so a less quality guitar can work just as well. RE: the slide itself. I used to use a chrome slide, but switched to a brass one, as the tone was better. And yeah, you do need some gain/sustain to work with on an electric.
 

modernp

Member
Messages
2,112
Maybe practice. Everbody wants an easy way to get there now days. I just use the guitar i am gigging with when I do a slide tune. Did it come over night no but being able to do that is a plus.
 

blues junkie

Member
Messages
1,722
I own only 1 guitar... so I learned to play slide in standard tuning and I set my guitar up for a happy medium between playing slide and not. The whole "I need a slide guitar" is just an excuse for buying another guitar,take the time to learn slide in standard tuning and with whatever action you have on your guitars and you will be a better player for it.
 

Tommy Biggs

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,453
so - what gauge strings are you using? 9's are rough for slide, bu I can do 10's - without jacking the height up. I do find it easier if I'm set a little high, but that also seems to help me technique-wise for non slide - I get more on top of the notes (terrible description)...
 




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