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Slide guitar...

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by gcconspiracy, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. gcconspiracy

    gcconspiracy Strat-O-Master

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    Okay, I was given a slide for Christmas a few years back, but never got into it. Recently I picked it up again (it's a glass dunlop slide), and still could not get a good tone out of it. I keep getting these whine-like harmonics from every other string when I'm trying to play one note. I know very little about playing slide besides just barely touching the strings, and playing over the fret wire (not in between). Any help would be awesome. Also, what about tunings, I've heard guys use alternate tunings with the slide...
     
  2. ArlenBucy

    ArlenBucy Senior Stratmaster

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    I like open G tuning and Open C# believe it or not. I ain't too good at it myself though. The only advice is practice.
     
  3. stratagem

    stratagem Strat-Talker

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    It sounds like you need to mute the strings behind the slide with your other fingers. The 'whine' is because the tone is coming from both sides of the slide. You only want the bridge side to ring out. Put the slide on your pinky or ring finger and lay the rest flat on the strings behind the slide.
     
  4. gcconspiracy

    gcconspiracy Strat-O-Master

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    okay, I'll have to try some of those tunings (how do I tune to an open tuning?), and I'll have to try the muting technique. Thanks for the help! Anyone else?
     
  5. Tone Deaf

    Tone Deaf Senior Stratmaster

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    For different slide tunings, try this link....

    Slide Guitar Tunings

    Also, it's nice to have a guitar dedicated to slide.
    I.e. strings up a little higher off the fretboard, and you don't have to re-tune / re-setup every time. I also like to use the neck or neck and middle pickup with the tone rolled back a bit - sounds a little more mellow and not as "whiney".
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  6. gcconspiracy

    gcconspiracy Strat-O-Master

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    Thanks TD!
     
  7. stratagem

    stratagem Strat-Talker

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    Alternate tunings are fun because errant notes are more likely to fit. I was also given a slide and a book several X-mas' ago and just got into it. The book I have starts with standard tuning and the muting techniques. The author spends a lot of time on both left and right hand muting (including with your fingertips of your picking hand). I think these are the keys to slide guitar.

    Another good tip I read was to always 'under-shoot' your location when moving the slide. Hard to describe but if your going for the 12th fret then aim for 11 1/2 and bring the note in tune over the fret wire. The idea is that if you aim for 12 you're likely to 'over-shoot' which sounds bad.

    Also, I like to practice on an acoustic. It's a little easier with the higher action and string gauges
     
  8. gcconspiracy

    gcconspiracy Strat-O-Master

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    wow... good stuff, I look forward to trying this stuff out tonight!
     
  9. Lowdown

    Lowdown Strat-Talker

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    That's it. Use all your fingers.Mute/dampen those other strings ringing out. Even try a heavier slide - brass or steel might help you.
     
  10. S. Rock

    S. Rock Senior Stratmaster

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    along with everything else that has been mentioned, be sure that the slide fits your finger(which ever finger that you wear it on). I like to use mine on my little finger. that leaves the other 3 for doing other things. as for tuning, I have a Korg Chromatic Tuner CA-30. it works great. there are books dedicated for displaying open tunings. so, it shouldn't be hard finding one that you like. now, go have some fun. :D
     
  11. elementlax

    elementlax Senior Stratmaster

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    yea, the mutingis the most important thing when it comes to slide
    i ahve my own slide that i made out of a bottle and i love it
     
  12. Sarge

    Sarge Strat-Talk Member

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    Well, slide is my thing. I play 7 different tunings (All open tunings are related), and have tuaght myself lap steel too. What you are talking about is Double Damping, damping behind the slide with a finger and using a finger on individual strings to stop noise, with your picking hand. It is tough to figure out but once you do it, your leads become very clean. If you know how to fingerpick you are well on your way. You need to concentrate on placing a finger on un used strings, alternately. Kinda like chicken pickin. Just -practice with the 4th and third strings, using your thumb and 1st finger, pick each alternately, placing the non-plucking finger on the unused string to damp it. once you are comfortable with that, moved on to other string groups with other fingers- after a while you can banjo roll, rake, and many other things that folks do in standard.

    Now if you are using a pick, it becomes tougher, but not impossible. If you already hybrid pick, use the heel of your hand to damp, moving your whole hand up or down as you play.

    You can also use this technique if you use a pick only.

    I prefer fingers, but many players use picks very well, so whatever you are comfortable with is what you should go with.

    A fer other pointers: never slide directly to a note- either slide up or down into the note.
    3 frets up is magic- say you are in open G (my favorite) and you are playing an E chord at the 9th fret, slide on the 2nd or 3rd string up to the 12th, which brings you to a Em7 suggested note. It gives you soul!

    Apply no pressure: get a slide with enough weight to make sound, the slide should glide over the strings

    Let notes ring, don't feel you have to fill up space, let the other guys do that- say alot with a little

    Sometimes not being directly over the fret can sound cool too, with two git players it makes a slight chorusing effect live.

    Let the slide do the work- relax your hand, and sometimes just wave it over the strings while you are picking, to see what you get. Also very important in vibrato, relax and wave the slide and your vibrato will ARCH over the strings instead be striaght on all strings.

    LISTEN! this is far more important than being techniquely accurate, slide is more about touch and feel than being right on the spot- close your eyes, slide up the neck until you hear what's right. play along with some song you already know- you will be suprised at how easy and fun it is to play slide, once you get just a few techniques down.

    If you want to play slide and standard on the same git- raise the action a quarter turn on the tailpeice or saddle, if that doesn't work go a quarter turn more. I can actually play on any git despite the action, but I have been doing it a long time.

    I hope this helps

    To see what I am talking about: Go to you tube and See Derek trucks or Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule) they are very good at it.

    Sargeslide
     
  13. kdda191

    kdda191 Former Member

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    I dabble in slide once and a while. I have a Squire 51 set just for slide. High action, and open G is what I use. It can be really fun turned up loud with a few barley pops in ya!!
     
  14. patl

    patl Strat-O-Master

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    I imagine that flatter radius fretboards are better for slide than 7.5s, and usually slide guitars are set up with high action. How about the size of frets? Is it preferable to use taller frets, or smaller vintage style ones?
     
  15. gcconspiracy

    gcconspiracy Strat-O-Master

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    Thanks so much guys, I'm going to keep trying to incorporate this stuff into my playing (you gave me a lot to digest!), but I think things are going better already! Thanks to EVERYONE who responded to this thread, it has been a huge help, and a great encouragement to me.
     
  16. Donovan

    Donovan Strat-Talker

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    Great thread! I have been wondering these things as well and can't wait to give it all a try after a few poor undertakings in the years past.
     
  17. gcconspiracy

    gcconspiracy Strat-O-Master

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    This was exactly why I started this thread! I have tried and failed so many times, I wanted this one to count!
     
  18. Diamond Jim

    Diamond Jim Strat-O-Master

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    For some inspiration, here's a slide player I recommend.

    Lee Roy Parnell.

    Very tasty. Look him up.
     
  19. dman

    dman Strat-O-Master

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    As Stratagem said, undershoot the note and vibrato up into it, rather than overshoot it. Open tunings are cool, but you can do a lot in standard tuning...get Warren Haynes' DVD and/or his book/CD. He plays almost exclusively in standard. The trick to playing in standard is really using your righthand fingers to damp the unplayed strings...in open an errant note will still be in harmony, but in standard it'll sound like a cat being strangled. Using your fingers vs. a pick works best, but it can be done with a pick..check out Rory Gallagher! Try using the neck p'up for a more mellow tone (if you've got single coils, roll the tone down a bit) and add a bit of overdrive for sustain. Finally, strive to be smooth, not fast. Speed will come in time. Slide is usually the three S's...slow, smooth and swampy. (Unless you're Sonny Landreth, who apparently is not of this planet!!) Don't get frustrated...work at it a little each day and quit when your technique goes south. Good luck!
     
  20. Bruster

    Bruster Strat-O-Master

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    Derek Trucks, just watch Derek Trucks!
     
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