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Well i have a slide...
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Well i have a slide...

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Eminent Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 21
Topic starter  

so i really love slide guitar, it sounds amazing. I got a slide as a gift a while ago and i want to know, what's the next step? i've watched a few videos and know the way a slide works and alternate tunings and such but i can't seem to get anywhere, i try to play but i just don't know what to do i sound like a fool when i play with it lol and i can't find a video that's actually helpful. I mean i can use the damn thing, my "technique" is fine i just don't know how to play with it you know so i ask again, whats next?

So you're telling me i can sing AND play guitar at the same time.....? Since when?

New Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 3

I am learning through the dvds from Stefan Grossman's workshop both his and Tom Feldmann's lessons which you can find samples of on youtube. I'm interested right now in pre war slide, which I don't know whether you are interested in. Also I have worked and learned from Michael Messer's DVD.

They offer an on demand version which I like - the player allows you to slow down and go forward and back.

Honorable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 549

Slide is a physical thing. You say your technique is "fine," and that's all well and good, but with slide you gotta just put the thing on your hand and work with it to find your voice. That probably sounds stupid & simple, but I've found it to be true. Put the slide on your finger and just walk around with it on your hand -- get used to the weight and contours. Put the slide on your finger and play everything in your repertoire with it for a week or so. It has to become a part of you. Speaking of "technique," start paying attention to how you mute strings, with the slide hand, and with the picking hand. When slide players sound foolish, it's often because they can't mute properly. I find fingerstyle playing helps with muting, but that's just me.

What kind of slide were you given? I find heavy slides are more rewarding than light ones -- the tone is better. Heavier strings also make slide playing more fun IMHO. My ideal setup is .012s with slightly higher action than normal, and a real bottleneck or a Craftsman socket wrench. When folks play low-slung .009s with a fake Coricidin bottle or a thin-walled brass slide, it's just so much more work to get a good sound.

Open tunings really make the slide come alive. Lots of people play slide in standard tuning, and it's probably a good practical skill. Tuned to an open chord, however, the slide seems more articulate. Your mileage may vary. Try everything, if you're serious about playing slide. Open G, open D, DADGAD... the possibilities are endless.

I guess my point in all of this is that the slide is more than just a casual accessory, like a heavier-than-usual flatpick. Slide turns the guitar into a whole different instrument.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa

Trusted Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 79

Slide is a different beast all together. I've tried at different points to pick it up with little results.

What worked for me was finding a cheapo acoustic and removing the 6th and 1st string. I then tuned the remaining strings to open G and looked for lesson on youtube for CBG's (cigar box guitars). All of of sudden, it seemed to click. I've since added back the 6th and 1st string and I'm actually playing slide guitar, something I never thought I accomplish.