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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been posting a few threads an slides and slide guitar and trying to play slide guitar. I thought I should start a thread dedicated to anything slide guitar playing - electric, acoustic, resonator, lap - what slides you use, how you use them, what strings you use, how your guitar is setup - what you are learning, what works for you, what problems you are having,... anything slide.

I hand tried several times in the past number of years, rather feebly I might add, before I finally hit on in the last 6-8 weeks. I'm still in kindergarten here, but I am slowly moving forward. I have a dedicated guitar for LEARNING - my $75 special, the Art & Lutherie Ami parlour guitar. I have settled on 15-56 strings and Open E tuning because the combination gives gives high enough string action and the right tension for learning in my case. I would never be able learn slide on my strat with its low actin and 9-46 strings - my fretting hand lacks the finesse and intelligence for that right now, as it is such a slow learner.

I have two slides I am working with right now and have another on order. Still experimenting with ring finger and pinky, whole finger or to the knuckle. I just watch a few YouTubes using Open E - all helpful, wearing the slide three different ways. Just a matter of finding out what works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here's a simple Duane Allman type lesson in Open E on an electric.

 
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I like flatwound strings on at least a few guitars. D'Addario Chromes are my choice on electric, not just because they're very smooth for slide but because they sound like old fashioned electric flatwounds from the '50s for every style. D'Addario Flattops (EFT16) flatwounds on the dobro most of the time, though if I don't have any on hand I'll manage with EJ16s. I use EFT16 or 17 on the Weissenborn copy as well, tuned to open F (CFCFAC) because it's always on the verge of collapsing because it doesn't handle string tension well. Chromes in open G on the electric lapsteel.

Slides? You name it I have it...or have had it. These days I prefer ceramic but use glass/pyrex and sometimes brass. A shubb chromed steel for lap style, but I have the notion to get a potter I know to make me a ceramic one.

Finger? Mostly third finger a la Derek Trucks, but once in a while pinky.

Tunings? Standard if it's just a cover band solo, open G and the aforementioned open F. Rarely open D.

Set-up? Fairly low as slide goes, so I have to be careful, but slightly higher on some acoustics.

Influences? Derek Trucks, Rory Gallagher, Jimmy Page, Leo Kottke, David Lindley, Lowell George.
 

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you may find the combination of open E and that string gauge combination a bit heavy for that guitar. i realize open E puts the slide right where the bar chords go, but open D might be a better tuning for those strings and the life of the guitar.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
you may find the combination of open E and that string gauge combination a bit heavy for that guitar. i realize open E puts the slide right where the bar chords go, but open D might be a better tuning for those strings and the life of the guitar.
This works better for learning slide in my case. I really don't care about the life of the strings and the guitar only cost me $75. I had it tuned to open D for about 6 weeks, but the current setup works better right now.
 
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Thank you Robert for starting this. I just recently have taken an interest in playing with a slide!
 

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I'm still learning it--have been at it off & on for a few years--after I designated one of my guitars for slide--and set it up that way (And put in good pickups too)
I'm got a book & CD by Bob Brozman--quite helpful--especially since it is for open G--which is my preference--but there are lots of resources out there for various tunings--both dedicated to one and ones that feature different ones.

Enjoy!


And of course there is my acquisition post Christmas when I was gifted with a Blues Box...
 
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I've been playing bad slide guitar for probably 8 years - occasionally. I should dedicate a month solid to it just to really get it down but that hasn't happened yet.

I have a variety of slides - 3 glass, 2 brass and a chrome one. I love the sound of brass but haven't been able to find one that actually fits my pinky finger - although I have a pair of them I bought on eBay. My pinky needs a 20mm inside diameter slide - I've only found those in glass. My current brass ones are for my third finger but I'm trying to just play using pinky.

I've learned standard and open tuning playing, open G is what I use most when not in standard tuning. I try put some slide playing in when performing with the band - but I tend to mash down too much on the slide when performing, although it 'sounds great at home' ;)

Started working on the Sonny Landreth alternating slide and finger runs - gah.

This is an example of my sloppy acoustic slide playing https://soundcloud.com/https%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fhardwirespeers%2Frabbit-run
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I still can't coordinate my thumb and fingers on my picking hand. At my age, I wonder if I ever will.
 

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I have been playing the Ventilator Blues (Rolling Stones) riff using a slide. I found a tab in standard tuning. There is a small bend (blues curl??) that I converted to a brief 2 fret slide.
I use my slide, a custom made one frm Daddy Slide in Germany, on my pinky. I find it more comfortable and it is easier for me to chord also. I don't like a lose slide so I use the foam from one of thos foam paint brushes. When it eventually disintegrates its easy to replace. Nothing else works so comfortably.
 

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I have been playing slide for about 3 years now. Not great at it but I sure love playing when I can. I would love to devote more time to slide. I use my pinky finger for the slide - feels the most natural for me. For slides - I have different ones - brass, ceramic, pill bottle and two silica slide. I really like my silica slides as I have a bent pinky so its hard to find a slide that fits properly. The silica slide has a taper in the middle so its sits nice and snug on my finger. Strings - I quite liked the d'addario balanced tension in 52s though I just change to EB Cobalts in 54. For a guitar - I needed an excuse to build another guitar so I figured I should build a dedicated slide guitar. Made it from a Dean Cadillac template. Made the neck quite thick and almost flat in the middle as I find my thumb sits there more that when I play without a slide. Brought the action up too... Favorite tuning is open E

Fave players - Derek Trucks, Duane Allman, Luther Dickinson

A big push for me in learning the slide was taking the Andy Aledort Truefire course. It was pretty hard for me but I kept at it. Now going to try the Sonny Landreth course.

GuitarPix - that was some great playing!

I did a recording of a slide song from Jeff McErlain's solo blues course but added some drums. Its a bit sloppy but I really like the melody. Its the "Big Slide" song in the list

ReverbNation
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Doing slide on the A&L Ami is driving me nuts - I just can't work with the 12 fret no cutaway. I think I will pick up a cheap used solid body electric with a stop tail and tune-o-matic bridge. Easy to raise the action and put heavy gauge strings on. Will see how it goes on that. In future I would consider a 14 fret resonator with cutaway if I make the progress on the electric.
 

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I too having been playing a ton of slide lately. Not only am I new to slide, but open tunings as well. I mainly play in open G simply because the used Dobro I got off Kijiji was tuned to open G when I bought it. I wish I was kidding. I mean, why bother learning other tunings when your guitar is already tuned to G? :)

I play with a full-finger metal slide on my pinky. I was using my ring finger at first but find it easier to chord with the slide "out of the way" on the end of my hand. The trickiest part I'm finding is getting used to wearing a thumb pick and metal finger picks. It's been fairly clunky in that department but I feel like things are coming along.

For guitars I use the aforementioned brass-body Dobro but over the holidays caved hard (real hard) and picked up a National 14-fret Style O. I'm not sure what the plan is for the Dobro now that the National is here, but in the meantime I'll probably tune one to open G and experiment with an alternate open tuning on the other.

Great thread, BTW, Robert. Thanks for starting this.
 

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Delete double post.
 

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Great idea for a thread!

I have farted around with slide here and there but really need to get serious about it. But I keep saying that......

I have arthritis in my fingers so playing slide makes it possible to play without pain. If my fingers ever get so bad that I cannot play normally then I can keep playing slide. It doesn't hurt that I love the sound of slide guitar. I often think that I could be perfectly happy playing nothing but slide. I am about to start normal lessons with a new teacher because there is a bunch of stuff I want to work on but I have also considered just taking slide lessons. Apparently my new teacher plays slide so we can work our way up to that. I really need to learn some theory and to learn the fretboard better as both of those will help with slide playing - the fretboard for knowing where notes are and the theory for being able to transpose stuff from standard tuning to an open tuning. I heard a version of Amazing Grace done with a slide and it sounded fantastic, but I have no idea how to transpose the notes to open tunings so that I can play it too. I really need to learn how to do that so off to learn some theory I go.......

At the moment I am using an Epi LP Custom for slide work because it has been set up for that, but I want to grab an SG for dedicated slide playing.

I have a thick brass slide but prefer glass slides. I have a couple and prefer nice thick ones. I wear it on my ring finger, but only down to the knuckle. Forming chords with my other fingers would be easier if I wore it on my pinky, but if I am playing in open tunings that is less of an issue.

I have a couple of slide tuition books by David Hamburger, one for acoustic and one for electric. I also have a Rick Vito video and, I believe, another video done by someone else. But those videos are beyond my capabilities at the moment so I should stick to the books.

One thing that I need to search out is a website that has slide tabs on it. Those would be helpful, especially if there were some easier songs included.
 

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Doing slide on the A&L Ami is driving me nuts - I just can't work with the 12 fret no cutaway. I think I will pick up a cheap used solid body electric with a stop tail and tune-o-matic bridge. Easy to raise the action and put heavy gauge strings on. Will see how it goes on that. In future I would consider a 14 fret resonator with cutaway if I make the progress on the electric.

I use an Epi Les Paul Custom which has been set up for slide (new higher nut, etc.). It works well for learning but, as I said above, I am seriously considering grabbing an SG for slide use.

I have come to the realization that I don't love Les Pauls. I was considering trading my ebony Trad for a Gold Top but think I should probably sell it and buy an SG. I'd love to find a Derek Trucks SG at a decent price, if not then a '61 Reissue. Or maybe a 2012 or 2013 Standard (those are the small pick guard versions, which I prefer over the full pick guard SGs).

Maybe you should look into an SG too? Even an Epi G-400 would work and those can be found nice and cheap.
 

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And of course there is my acquisition post Christmas when I was gifted with a Blues Box...
hi all! i've been lurking and when i saw this i had to join. last christmas i got one of these two. i got a whole new disease now. hmmm...was going to post a few pics of some cbg builds but first i got to figure out how...

the gift and to the right the first cbg build...


the second build...


 
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