Jump to content

Educate me about slide guitar. [James Duke content]


Crxsh
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Members

Blame it on ignorance or whatever you want, but I'm clueless when it comes to slide. That said, I could really get some mileage out of what this guy is doing in this song:

 

[video=youtube;UJDguHJ34SE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJDguHJ34SE

 

So, um, questions...

 

1. I assume I'm going to have to use some different tunings, right?

2. I have a metal slide... but the diameter is kinda small and I hate trying to use it. Suggestions?

3. More generally

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I'm no whiz on it, but there are zillions of alternate tunings. I think the most common is "Dropped D" (correct me, please, you experts) where both E strings are set to D and another string is also dropped--I forgot which one. It's called an "open tuning" because it's always a triad chord. Your local GC or Sam Ash should have books with alternate tunings. Slides come in all kinds of sizes, to fit your fingers and come in glass, chrome or brass, which sound a little different. Glass is richer, chrome gives it a more steel guitar sound. Glass DOES break (having broken one). Again, find one that fits the finger you want to use. Most use the ring finger or pinkie, but many use the index or middle finger as well.

 

Even without a slide, Pete Seeger always uses a dropped tuning on his specialty Taylor-built V-hole 12 Strings. Richie Havens has always played open tuning as well, and I think Joni Mitchell used a lot of open tunings as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I'm no whiz on it, but there are zillions of alternate tunings. I think the most common is "Dropped D" (correct me, please, you experts) where both E strings are set to D and another string is also dropped--I forgot which one. It's called an "open tuning" because it's always a triad chord. Your local GC or Sam Ash should have books with alternate tunings. Slides come in all kinds of sizes, to fit your fingers and come in glass, chrome or brass, which sound a little different. Glass is richer, chrome gives it a more steel guitar sound. Glass DOES break (having broken one). Again, find one that fits the finger you want to use. Most use the ring finger or pinkie, but many use the index or middle finger as well.


Even without a slide, Pete Seeger always uses a dropped tuning on his specialty Taylor-built V-hole 12 Strings. Richie Havens has always played open tuning as well, and I think Joni Mitchell used a lot of open tunings as well.

 

DADGAD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

So I just typed up a long post about what I've learned about playing slide and I just lost it. So I'll just say that muting and intonation are the most important aspects to slide. Muting is a two-handed operation and requires a lot of coordination. There are plenty of youtube videos out there explaining the purpose of both left and right hand muting for slide playing that you should check out. Intonation requires listening and a lot of practice. Go slow and it'll pay off. Play scales with a slide and practice riffs or lines you already know with a slide. It's a slow process to play slide well, just keep at it.

 

Based on that video, you want a thick walled glass slide just like he is playing. Other material (metal, ceramic, etc.) will just not make the sound like in that video. Alternate tunings are also not essential to slide playing. In fact, I think alternate tuning for slide makes it a lot easier to fall into cliche slide parts and techniques. Try playing in standard. You already are familiar with the fretboard in that tuning and how to play what you hear...just do all that with a slide.

 

Anyway, just have fun with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I consider myself a slide player. Been doing it for years.

 

You can play in standard tuning which is particularly nice for lead stuff making it a little easier to navigate for more complicated runs and the ability to come back to more accustomed chord forms.

 

But...

 

A lot of the stuff you hear as bottleneck or lap style slide is done in open tunings and won't sound quite like that in a standard tuning.

 

You can get a lot of millage from open E and open G. Some people like open D which is the same as open E dropped down a step. Some people like open A which is the same as open G up a step. But the more common ones are E and G.

 

I personally would recommend learning open G to start off with. Why? There's a number of instruments that use open G as their standard tuning. For instance the tuning is thought to have come from the method of tuning the banjo. In fact one of the slang terms for open G is "banjo tuning". Dobro is also tuned to open G as well as a few others. Why would you care about that? There's tons of banjo chord books and online material. Not so much for open E or open G in regards to guitar. That will get you up and running quickly being able to play chords and slide leads. No diss to the others they are all useful, you'll want to learn them all down the road.

 

Slide material is a personal choice. I like those thick Dunlop glass slides for some stuff and I use copper pipe the kind you find in a hardware store for other stuff. You can buy like a foot or two and cut them to length. If you loose it you're out maybe $.20? They also sound really good on electric. Take some sand paper to get the surface all scratched up. For seated slide work I have a number of different tone bars depending on the application. You can also cut your own glass slides from bottles. Wine bottles work great.

 

Last but not least the finger you hold the slide on. I started out with it on my pinky and quickly found out that the best for me was to put it on my ring finger. The reason being is for certain fretted work it's a great advantage to be able to stretch that pinky to fret a note making it much easier to form chords when you're not doing slide work. You'll notice that a lot of slide guitarists also do the same.

 

There's so many slide guitarists to listen to but if I could recommend someone to start off studying in particular their phrasing it would be Ry Cooder. Check out his slow stuff, incredibly emotional phrasing.

 

[video=youtube;InQMhyDHhJ8]

 

[video=youtube;X6ymVaq3Fqk]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

+1 on what's been offered here.

 

If you want to play slide on a standard-tuned guitar with low action, get a light slide and increase your gain settings. Use a very light touch.

 

But the best bet for learning slide is to take one of your gits and get it set up for slide -- settle on one open tuning at first, later you'll branch out to others. Better yet, learn on an acoustic. Just get a beater and set it for slide and get at it.

 

btw, here's the beater I started learning on many years ago. It's a 1930s no-name archtop that I got for $50. Open D tuning, bottleneck slide.

[video=youtube;gF6MBiQar8o]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF6MBiQar8o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

You don't need opentunings if you're just playing single note melodies. If you want to play chords you'll have to use open tunings, I usually use DADGAD DADF#AD, open E, and open G. Its also fun making up new tunings. Don't press the slide down, and use vibrato in your technique. It's pretty easy to play a passable slide part. The slide part in that song is about as simple as it gets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

[video=youtube;N65cP52NC8s]

[video=youtube;7czlanjaObs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7czlanjaObs&feature=BFp&list=FLSfNUgnlGkbRWCDPg8rD7uA @3:34

[video=youtube;MWj6MoMQNeo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWj6MoMQNeo @1:59

 

One thing I love about Derek Trucks is that he uses a lot of micro tones and has a really frantic vibrato. George had a wonderful way of sliding into and out of notes and his playing always sounded like skating on fresh ice. Another thing about slide playing is to develop your own voice. There are lots of ways to play slide so find one that is you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I consider myself a slide player. Been doing it for years.


You can play in standard tuning which is particularly nice for lead stuff making it a little easier to navigate for more complicated runs and the ability to come back to more accustomed chord forms.


But...


A lot of the stuff you hear as bottleneck or lap style slide is done in open tunings and won't sound quite like that in a standard tuning.

 

This.

 

I enjoy slide playing very much, but I don't claim to be any good at it. I always play in standard, with a chrome slide.

 

I started off trying to mimic David Gilmour's lap steel playing, but in truth these days I like it just for the sound the slide imparts. It reminds me a bit of the old cassette recorders I had as a child. :lol:

 

With that said though, I really like Eric Johnson's slide playing, and Guthrie Govan's a great slide player also. There's a video in which he gives a short lesson on playing slide in standard, but unfortunately I can't find it.

 

But if there's one thing that's important in slide playing, it's the obvious: Intonation. And use the slide on the finger it's most comfortable. For me it's the third, though my wedding ring gets in the way a little bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

The question was directed towards BTBAM but I can chime in from years of experience playing bottle neck slide. You don't want a slide that's going to constrict but at the same time you don't want one too loose. You'll learn from experience exactly what you like, you just got to get out there and try a few on for size. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...