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Any suggestions on improving my horrible slide playing?

7 Posts
6 Users
Reputable Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 336
Topic starter  

I just can't seem to control the slide and slide all over the place.

I love the sound, I love the blues but I can't play worth a...

Somebody give me some direction please.

E doesn't = MC2, E = Fb

Music "Theory"? "It's not just a theory, it's the way it is!"

Jonny T.

Noble Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 2167

I think Steinar and others have suggested that a good way to practice is to 'not' slide into the notes, but to play them as if you weren't playing slide. Just get used to placing the slide exactly above the fret you want, hit the note, stop it, then place the slide on the next note and the next the same way.

After you've gotten that down, 'then' add vibrato and sliding in and out of notes.

Hope this helps.

Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 503

How long have you played slide? It takes time...

Here's a few suggestions that works well on lap steel, probably will for bottleneck slide as well;

* Play/practice slow. If you play stuff faster than you can control it, you're only practicing your mistakes and make it worse. Find simple melodies and riffs and play them s.....l.....o.....w (imagine you're a Norwegian, that'll make it feel more natural.. :D ).

* Pick some simple melodies and imagine you're playing regular fretted guitar; don't slide into the notes and don't overdo the vibrato. This will teach you how to control the slide and improve your pitch, then you can start adding all those beautiful slides and vibratos later.

* Be patient.

* Be very patient.


PS - Demo, you beat me to it, you.... you.... you... :shock: :lol:

"Play to express, not to impress"
Website - YouTube

Noble Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 2167

Hehehe, I waited, I really, really waited. ;)

But the 'play it with no slide/vibrato' thing you said weeks ago in some other thread, I find myself doing.

Especially with those gosh-darn slants! :)

Estimable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 126

When I was first learning(i still struggle) I would try to recreate licks that I do without the slide with the slide. Then once I could get it to sound similar then I could start to emphasize the slide more. This helped me with accuracy cause I knew what the lick sounded like and I would was trying to get as close as possible to it.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348

when I first started slide work I was interupted by the strange or new noises i heard.
placing a slide on a moving string makes a little chatter noise, for example.
then four years later I have realized that there is a certain naturalness to these noises...which are now defined by me as sounds because I dont find them noisy any longer.

I had a hard time being careful to fret the slide ever so careful so the note would not be sour. now I use vibrato and the sharp/flat sounds natural and real to me.

the steel bar in my hands felt like a paper weight at first.
now it feels like a friend, a handshake, an extension of my thoughts. it moves around in my hand. sometimes tipping up at the back. it is as normal as a writing utensil.


Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 14

"A writting utensil"

Tht's a REAL goood was of saying it! when i thnk that over, it just makse it esaier to grab hold of the whole concpt of playing steel.

Thanks for that one man. :)

Practice; don't ask, just practice