Slide material

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by K65, Nov 27, 2017.


  1. K65

    K65 Member

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    I’ve been getting into slide guitar in open tunings and have tried several different materials and sizes. Not crazy about any of them, but bone and ceramic glazed are pretty close. What sizes and materials do you prefer?

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Bluedano1

    Bluedano1 Member

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    I dont play much slide, and I'm a ' slide on pinky' player; I prefer just playing in Standard tuning and really like the glass ( thick but short) Dunlop 212
    - a perfect fit, good tone
     
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  3. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    There are many different grades of ceramic. I do ceramic art for a living and make ceramic slides with high fire fine particle clay & glazes and the sound is more focused than the mid-fire commonly used. There are many different grades/harness of glass too.
    Bone is much softer being a calcium based material vs ceramic and glass being silica based.
    It depends on if you want some "grit" from the slide or a smoother sound. Bone & brass have some grit, with glass and ceramic being smoother sounding. I actually prefer brass on National resonators for the grit and sustain combined. (I don't see brass in your original selection, you might try it). Chromed steel is kinda in-between.
    I do need some weight in a slide for acoustic guitar.
    Nice photo in the OP!
     
  4. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Member

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    I use two slides; Dunlop #228 heavy chromed brass, and Rock Slide. I like heavy slides; glass is too bulky for me and the ceramics are too slippery. I prefer a slide that gives a bit of friction over the string. I find that excites the string more and brings out more harmonics than some of the super-smooth stuff being touted as 'perfect'.
    These are very good; tapered on the inside for a good fit, and have a little cutout for your first knuckle. http://www.therockslide.com/
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
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  5. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    Genuine bottlenecks, which I make myself, and thick wall brass. Thick wall ceramic would also suit.
     
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  6. alberob

    alberob Member

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    I like thick wall glass slides but my favorite is the Latch Lake solid Brass slide with a slight concave radius.
     
  7. mannish

    mannish Supporting Member

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    Craftsmen deep well socket for acoustic & THICK Dunlop glass slide for electric

    the socket works better than any slide I have bought - try it for yourself, top heaviness is great for vibrato been using one about 20 years
     
  8. TheoDog

    TheoDog Supporting Member

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    I have only experimented with glass, steel and brass.
    The glass always gave me the sound I was expecting. For the longest time I wanted to use the Dunlop glass (medicine bottle copy) but wasn't confident with right finger slide, so I suffered with the brass and steel pinky slides. This summer, I got a Rock Slide glass for my pinky and it has made all the difference. good weight and very comfortable.
     
  9. rmconner80

    rmconner80 Cantankerous Luddite Silver Supporting Member

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    Medium wall brass for acoustic. Glass doesn’t have enough mass for me. With brass though I need to get out the drill, sanding drum (for inserting into the slide), and metal polish a couple times a year to get the funk off.
     
  10. Bluzeboy

    Bluzeboy Gold Supporting Member

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    fit is more important than material. Too loose and too heavy = no control, too small and it doesn't fit right and just "feels" wrong.
     
  11. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    For me it's heavy glass from diamond slides in the UK. But I want a very clear articulate sound to come out of my resonators. I never want words like "dirty" or "nasty" to describe my tone. Closed end things like the domed one in the OP pick kill me. I'm amazed so much sweat can come out of a pinky...
     
  12. thebowl

    thebowl Member

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    Medium thickness Dunlop glass. I've made a few from wine bottles, but they seemed to be either too heavy or too curved. Ceramic was OK (Mudslide). I don't care for the sound of brass.
     
  13. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    I've got a small pinky, so I put a cork ring in them:

    [​IMG]

    These would be difficult to make without a cork borer, but other materials, such as garden hose, can be used.
     
  14. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Member

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    Brass for me. I’ve dropped and broken too many glass. I do own ( and use) glass ceramic and steel, slides are very personal and whatever you like is best.
     
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  15. justabubba

    justabubba Member

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    for electric, furious slides (titanium) was a game changer
    silica sound glass (mole skin inside for sizing to my pinky) continues to be my ticket for acoustic
     
  16. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    My first slide was a bottleneck, made from a wine bottle. This was back in the early 70s. I had it for a long time, drop it once and it took a chip out of it but still was usable, had to be careful not to cut myself. I finally drop and broke it I think.

    @K65 Slide is so personal, there are a million ways of doing it and probably 1/2 million different kinds of slides. I used metal ones after I broke my bottleneck, til I found Dunlop #212 ones, glass. Love'm. But that is me. Tons of guys like metal ones. Personally, I prefer glass on acoustic. Well, electric too, but I can use metal on electric. I never liked it on acoustic.
     
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  17. ELmiguel

    ELmiguel Member

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    [​IMG]

    It depends on which guitar I'm using

    .
     
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  18. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    I don't have a collection of slides like that, I found one I like and use it for everything, though I do still have those 2 metal ones from 70s.

    BUT, I must have easily that many pedal steel and non pedal bars. Same thing, different feels, different weights, tried some and don't use them, or am not using them currently, but I used to, or used something for a while, now using something else. and all sorts of lengths and width and on and on. And they sound different. There are a million tone bars too, lol.

    They seem to collect, don't they? ;-)
     
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  19. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    Me too, heavy strings (acoustics), heavy slide, light strings (electrics), light slide. Action height is also a consideration.
     
  20. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Yeah, doesn’t matter what it’s made of if it fits properly.
    Assuming you figure out which finger it’s supposed to fit.

    Material options needn’t be too high on the priority list if you’re just getting started.
     
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