Slide

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by somedude, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. somedude

    somedude Member

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    I'm looking at getting into playing slide guitar. I have a guitar that I can setup for the purpose of being a dedicated slide guitar, just wondering what I should do with it?

    Also, what's a good all around slide tuning for blues/blues-rock?
     
  2. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

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    You can play slide in standard tuning or Open G, D, E, A, etc.

    I lean towards open G. . .

    Some people have their slide guitar set up real high and use heavy strings. The slide isn't supposed to actually touch the fretboard or nuts.

    Check out Sonny Landreth on youtube.com for some awesome slide guitar.
     
  3. 8Painting

    8Painting Member

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    You can be just fine with 9's or 10's depending on the action.

    10s are the best sounding/easist to play when it come down to it.

    Just remember, no picks. Ever.
     
  4. 9fingers

    9fingers Supporting Member

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    No pick is one good way to play slide, not the only way. I play most of my slide with a flatpick and do many things the no-pick players don't/can't do. Conversly I don't/can't sound just like the no-pick players. It is a wide world & it is OK to find your own way.
    Any guitar with a medium action can be a fine slide guitar. I used to have to set the action up quite high to keep the slide off the frets but after several years of slide playing can slide fine with a medium action that is easy enough to finger as well.
     
  5. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    I used to play open tunings, however I find that standard tuning is easier, since that is what the guitar is in, and you can simulate open E or G tuning with a partial slide, I finger pick, and mute the unplayed strings with my picking hand, usually the thumb to mute the unplayed E A D strings and ring and pinky to mute the unplayed B and e string. never really tried it with a pick, since I need my fingers for muting the strings.

    Warren Haynes has a great book on Slide guitar, really suggest picking it up, it covers standard tuning playing and muting techniques which are so important when playing slide guitar.
     
  6. vicilux

    vicilux Member

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    I've been seriosly playing slide now for 9 months and really enjoy it. I was going back and forth between standard and open E. Then I realized open E is where it's at for me. I'm a huge Duane Allman fan and really like Derek Trucks, so this tuning works well for me. The muting thing was the most difficult for me. But I keep at it and it gets better like everything else. I'm 40 now and don't know why I didn't start playing slide a long, long time ago. I think it intimidated me. But things are often easier than they appear at times. Listen to Duane and Derek, but also definitely Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Son House and all the old cats. There's so much to be learned from it!
     
  7. somedude

    somedude Member

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    Cool.

    I'm going to lift my action for the time being. I've tried playing on my normal action (somewhere between low and medium) and I keep hitting the frets. Maybe some day I'll get around that, but for now I'm just going to set a guitar up for slide and leave it that way.

    Just messing around with open G for the last little while. I don't seem to have a problem with muting using the picking hand thanks to years of high gain, but muting behind the slide is going to take some getting used to.
     
  8. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    The Geoff Hartwell DVD goes into a lot on standard tuning slide, good basic (and not so basic) techniques, etc. Plus a +1 on the Haynes DVD.

    I'm not great, but I prefer a guitar with normal action, standard tuning, just pay attention to your touch and your muting.
     
  9. Loni Specter

    Loni Specter Member

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    I produced a session on Tuesday with Paul Barrere from Little Feat. He played a '69 Strat with the action medium high. It was strung with 13-54 flatwounds. Less string noise. He used a chrome socket for the slide
    He used a pick and fingers. Hell of a great player as you know. He also played a couple takes with my National Reso-lectric (resonator and P-90 solid body) He tuned to open chords.
    I suggest raising your action and for starting out, use a glass slide, as it's not as heavy and won't bump the frets as easy.
     
  10. jordanL

    jordanL Member

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    Raise the action and, and try some heavier strings when you're starting out. AS you gain more control of the slide you may not need as high an action. I also recommend open tuning when getting started. Hotlicks has a Lee Roy Parnell instructional DVD that is an excellent intro to slide. While I usually prefer glass slides I've become a big fan of the rockslide. http://www.therockslide.com/new/main.php
     
  11. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    I've played slide for many years. I prefer a set up that lets me easily slide & fret, but that wasn't the case initially. Make it easy for yourself -- high action & at least a gauge heavier strings than you usually use (at least 11s should work OK.) Don't start with a really light slide; it's important to feel how it moves. Plus, a little more mass helps keep the slide steadier, especially while you're working on intonation. It's also easier to start with open tunings, as your damping isn't liable to be very clean, yet, and that cuts down on dissonance.

    One additional reason that heavier strings are helpful for slide is that many tunings are dropped, so the tension is going to be lower on the detuned strings.

    As for metal vs glass or fingers vs pick -- there's simply no right answer. At this point, I use string gauge, tuning, pick, and slide choice like other guitarists use pedals.

    Slide is great fun.
     
  12. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    I like open G or "keef" tuning alot, I just raise the action quite high and almost always use the bridge pickup. When I do use a pick, I use a thumbpick and banjo picks on my first and second fingers.
     
  13. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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