Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Y'all come on in and sit a spell. All things Slide and alternate tuning. Celtic, country...whatever. Get your fill of DADGAD, open G and whatever tickles your fancy. Strictly on topic please.
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Vic Lewis VL
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Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by Vic Lewis VL » November 15th, 2009, 4:45 pm

I was noodling around earlier, playing blues shuffles then picking up a slide and soloing. Suddenly I had a revelation - playing those blues shuffles, I'm using my index finger for a barre, third finger for the 5th, and pinky for the 6ths and 7ths. I've always played slide with it on my ring finger - pinky's too, well, bent and damaged to put a slide on.

But I thought, what if....I put the slide on the finger that's not actually doing anything during those rhythm guitar blues shuffles, then can I go straight from rhythm guitar to slide?

Does anyone else do this?

I think I saw a video of Joe Walsh playing with a slide on his middle finger - but Joe usually (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!) plays in open E, I think. I've been playing more and more in standard tuning, and I think a slide on the middle finger's the perfect solution....

It's actually the only finger I've never tried a slide on....tried lap-steel style, with the slide on my 1st finger; tried it on my ring finger, which is what I use now; and tried it on my pinky, got no control.

As always, any advice would be greatly appreciated: I can't actually try anything out for a few hours, I'm going to get some sleep (it's 1/4 to one AM here) then I'm going to have to change strings - just broke the top E on my Telecaster, not to mention the nail on my RH index finger....

:D :D :D

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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by dogbite » November 16th, 2009, 4:37 am

well, with lap style playing I never slide my finger into a slide, but hold it with several fingers.
my slide use on regular guitar I use the usual suspects; pinky and ring.
however, you bring up an interesting point. the middle finger is very strong and the other fingers are free to hit other non sliding notes.
if it works, why not.

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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by gnease » November 16th, 2009, 12:30 pm

+1 on holding the slide (tonebar) for lapsteel -- much more comfort, control and flexibility for various techniques (slant, nose)

I play standard tuning for most slide*, and it's ring finger bottleneckin' for me. already know I'm def not a pinky or index guy, but I may give middle a shot for grins.

* except on lapsteel: C6
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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by Steinar Gregertsen » November 16th, 2009, 1:08 pm

Vic Lewis VL wrote: Does anyone else do this?
How about Bonnie Raitt?

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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by Vic Lewis VL » November 16th, 2009, 3:21 pm

Had a try at it earlier. Doesn't seem too hard to keep control of the slide with that finger, I think with practise it'll feel more natural. Hardest part was trying to keep the slide up and away from the frets while playing a (rhythm guitar) blues shuffle, but again, with practise, I think it's pretty doable. I'll work on it for a few days, I think, see how it goes.

Got to be advantages in being able to go from rhythm to lead, in a tuning (standard EADGBE) I'm familiar with, without having to pause to put a slide on!

:D :D :D

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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by greybeard » November 16th, 2009, 11:54 pm

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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by Gchord » November 18th, 2009, 8:00 am

I do it,it just feels natural to me.I've tried to use the pinky and ring finger,but I keep goning back to the middle finger.I don't mute or play chords,just the slide.I may not play the proper way,but it works for me. :mrgreen:

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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by Ricochet » November 21st, 2009, 2:25 pm

Billy Gibbons slides with his middle finger, too.
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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by cacheseeker » January 22nd, 2010, 6:49 pm

Joe Walsh uses his middle finger, by the way i'm with you all the way with the middle finger slide

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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by tinsmith » January 23rd, 2010, 8:24 am

I started out using the middle, then switched to ring & finished on the pinky when I got cubital tunnel several years ago......I say make use of the lil bugger.

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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by NaT(5)e » November 1st, 2010, 11:28 pm

Were in the exact same situation. I only play slide on my middle finger for the same reasons too. fretting after the slide is great, i do play in open E alot though. but yeah when my pinky became too damaged to fit a slide on i cut a hole in the wrap i was in and popped a slide on my middle finger. gotta learn sometime, might as well if its the only finger youve got haha

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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by Minotaur » May 13th, 2011, 6:01 am

I see this thread is old, but it's relevant to me because I'm just getting into using drop D for one-finger power chords. I slide them up and down the neck. I was wondering how a slide would work for this. Because my middle finger is the strongest and longest, I would use the slide there. But if I wanted to use power chords on the 5th string, I'd use the slide on my index finger for the root, and my ring finger and pinky for the 5th and octave notes. I'd still barre all the strings but hit the 5th, 4th and 3rd strings. Any takers on this idea?
It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.

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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by obsessed76 » August 13th, 2011, 3:15 pm

Not that I play a ton of slide but when I do it's middle finger. I'm pretty sure Jeff Beck, Joe Walsh, Billy Gibbons, Bonnie Raitt all slide with the middle finger, so that's enough to convince me.

Anyway, they say the pinky finger is good because it frees up your hand to fret chords and such, with creative usage I find that I"m not missing much at all by keeping that middle finger dedicated to the slide.

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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by Ricochet » February 18th, 2012, 1:25 pm

I use my middle finger now and then. Oh. You're talking about for the slide. :lol:
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Re: Anyone here use a slide on their middle finger?

Post by tinsmith » February 18th, 2012, 5:43 pm

Well, well......Hey Rico....

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