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Flare Guitar Slide Question

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I recently bought a Dunlop flare guitar slide (No. 234 to be exact).  The guitar associate at Guitar Center told me that the Flared side should go over my knuckle down to the base of my finger, while the non flared side should be pointing up.

 

But then I just watched a video of Billy Howerdel of A Perfect Circle on Youtube giving a lesson for their song "Judith."  In this song there is a slide part, and he has a flare guitar slide with the flared side facing up and the non flared side resting on his knuckle instead of over his knuckle to the base of his finger.

 

Was the guitar associate at Guitar Center wrong and Billy Howerdel right?  Or can it be worn either way based on preference.

 

Thanks.

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Likely the associate at GC was incorrect...but the reality is you need to use it the way it works best for you, not how someone else uses it!

Spend time with it, try it on different fingers, find what you like and do it your way.

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Its all preference.  If you dig into it you'll see lots of different hand positions, slide shapes, and slides on different fingers.  Some like it on their first finger, some middle etc.  I suck at slide, but, I personally like it on my ring finger.

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Ok, cool.  Thanks daddymack and mrbrown49.  Your replies were very helpful.

 

lol @ 1001gear.  That's funny stuff.

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Yup... slide is deeply personal. Bonnie Raitt wears hers on her “F-u” finger” (her words, not mine) while Duane Allman wore his on his on his ring finger, and others wear theirs on their pinkie...and of course there is also a wide range of slide material and positioning preferences too. There is no “right” way to play slide guitar IMO.

Having said that, I use a vintage Coricidin bottle, and wear it on my ring finger, the way God and Duane Allman intended. :lol: 

 

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Posted (edited)

raise action way up unless have a fine touch a guitar with a effed up neck but sounds good

a heavy sparkplug socket

etc.

glass

pottery

 

Edited by nice keetee

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8 hours ago, nice keetee said:

raise action way up unless have a fine touch a guitar with a effed up neck but sounds good

a heavy sparkplug socket

etc.

glass

pottery

 

I definitely agree with the "heavy" suggestion. Lighter slides are much harder to use and to get a decent sound out of. The very first slide I tried was a commercially-made glass slide that was super-thin, and I almost gave up completely because it was so hard to get a decent sound out of it until I tried a heavier, thicker piece of glass... 

As far as raising the action, it can definitely help too. If you're thinking about getting into slide, one of these (a nut height extender) can really come in handy, and they're relatively inexpensive... 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/PerfectNut--grover-perfect-guitar-nut-height-extender

 

And one of these may come in useful too... 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SlideConvert--dunlop-capo-slide-converter

 

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and once you get the right slide on the right finger [I'm a pinky guy myself, but I'm also an atheist 😉] then come back and we can talk about open tunings, fretting behind the slide and such...😎

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I need to chime in on this.    First, the idea of the flared slide is that it follows the radius of a fretboard which has a lot of radius to it.   When you do slide barres you can get more even pressure on all of the strings.   For most of us who play on acoustics with relatively flat fretboards a cylindrical slide works pretty well.    

If I was using a flared slide (which I don't) I would want the flare closest to my hand so I can control it over the first two strings while doing barres.   When I pull down to use the tip of the slide for single string stuff I would want to use the straighter part.   As others have said, there are many ways to play slide and if someone else puts it on the other way, whatever works.

What might not work too well is the nut extender in Phil's post,   They are designed to raise (and flatten) the strings on a round neck Spanish style guitar for lap style play.   I guess it could be used Spanish style but I've never seen one that way.   Most people who play slide include fretted notes, they would be very difficult to do with a nut extender.    I happen to have one on my old round neck Dobro right now that I go back and forth between lap and Spanish style play.

The capo thing seems like a complete waste but I've got to admit that I've never tried (or seen) one.  If you are playing slide on an electric guitar you are probably tuning up to A or E, why would you want to capo above that?    And I'll be very honest, a good slide player probably does not need excessively high action - I play slide on everything I own with nice reasonable low "fingerstyle" action.   If you want to optimize a guitar for slide (my resonators are slightly higher than my acoustics or my electrics) then do so but there is no need to get carried away.

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Slides are very personal.

I have tired a lot of them, my fav is a piece of copper pipe I personally cut.

Which is front row between the socket and the 2 brass ones. 3rd from the left

Slides.jpg

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Different slides seem to suit different guitars too. A thick-walled glass slide sounds dull on my resonator, where the best I've found so far is a 17mm spark plug socket. However on a small-bodied acoustic I prefer that thick glass slide but not a thin-walled one (see the LHS back row of Mikeo's picture to get an idea). My preference is pinkie or third finger, and need a slide with a relatively narrow opening so it stays put on the finger - a heavy slide like a spark plu socket can also need a bit more strength to support and move quickly when playing for a couple of hours.

 

I have tried a nut extender, but just hated both the feel and inability to fret notes, although if you're going for the lap steel thing then it's probably helpful.

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