Setup for slide question

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Cuthbert, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Cuthbert

    Cuthbert Member

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    Setting up my 62 RI strat with the 7.25 radius for slide and it seems that the strings should not curve to the radius of the neck but all be raised and set evenly or flat across ? Is that correct?
     
  2. modernp

    modernp Member

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    Just play it with a slide and see how it sounds. I never change the actions on any of my guitars for slide. If I play a slide tune I just do it on the guitar that I am playing at that time. It just takes practice and a lighter slide.
     
  3. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Yeah, kind of. The "just play it" answer works too.

    The reason to flatten the radius is to allow you to play with the slide across all six strings, or at least more than one or two, without screwing up the tuning by pushing the inside strings down farther than the outside strings.

    Or having the slide chatter or miss strings if you don't press hard enough.

    It's an idea borrowed from steel guitar set-up, getting the string tops all level to eliminate bar chatter and help carry the tuning up and down the neck.

    On the Strat, you still have the radius at the nut, so fixing the bridge isn't a slam dunk.
    I play slide and regular fretted on the same Strat, and have the bridge set pretty flat across, but inclined so it's higher for the treble strings.
    That works for me, I think . .:huh

    Anyway, you don't have to jump through any hoops to play bottleneck, just put the slide on and go, but if you were to adjust the action, that's why you'd do it, to get the slide to press evenly on the strings across the neck, assuming you're playing more than two strings at a time.

    good luck!!
     
  4. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Supporting Member

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    This!, although I notice most here are inclined to want to dedicate one of their seventeen guitars for slide. Perhaps it helps justify having seventeen guitars?!

    My favorite bottleneck guy is Robert Nighthawk, so, like him, my style is more single note than diad/triad style. Having the strings set in a radius (as for any normal set-up) helps me get a cleaner single note. If one's style is more chordal than melodic than having the strings more level across the tops might be an advantage. All of my "hawaiian"-style guitars are set up like this necessitating a "tilted" bar for single note work. Whatever works for you.
     
  5. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    I have messed with radius on other guitars used for slide, but not on my old strat. It has the 7.25" radius, not set up or adjusted for slide playing at all. But seems to do very well anyway.

    As Steve says, raising treble side strings is the only thing you might consider. Depending I guess on how your action is set to start. Mine is not super low, so the strat is fine as is for slide without a capo. It's only when I start capoing up that I sometimes wish the high E was just a little higher.

    MD
     
  6. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    Or use the neck off a wine bottle. Those often have a concave radius surface.
     
  7. strumminsix

    strumminsix Member

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    My suggestions:
    1. learn how to use another finger to dampen behind the slide
    2. They sell slides that are curved for for rounder fingerboards
    3. 16" radius necks ROCK for slide :)
     
  8. street

    street Member

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    Unless your action is super low, you should be able to play slide on necks with any radius and any string gauge.
    As stated previously, just adjust your touch accordingly.

    And as suggested, wine bottle necks are perfect and pretty easy to make.
     
  9. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Member

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    I've been playing slide for a long time on a lot of different guitars, and I just can't play on a 7.25. Anything with 9.5, or 12 radius are fine for me, but I can't make 7.25 work.
     
  10. Cuthbert

    Cuthbert Member

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    Oh boy guess I need to buy a new neck now...
     
  11. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    Read Kimock's post again, the points about how many strings you note at one time are very important to this discussion. While I'm no Kimock, I find that I will have sounding at most three strings at a time, more often two or one. If anything, more radius makes this easier to do and not sound the other strings, not harder. That might not be what works for you, but just play what you have for a while and then make changes according to what you perceive to be a problem.
     
  12. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Member

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    Great point. When I said I can't play on 7.25 neck, I didn't mean that someone else can't!!

    This sounds like a sensible approach - just to flatten it out somewhat. I imagine my limitation comes from playing mostly on flatter necks and that the 7.25 just needs a bit different technique, and if I had only 7.25 I imagine could make it work just fine. There sure isn't just one way to play slide...
     

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