Finding a Slide | The Canadian Guitar Forum

Finding a Slide

Discussion in 'Theory and Technique' started by troyhead, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. troyhead

    troyhead Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Location:
    KW, Ontario
    I recently picked up a guitar that I figured would be good for learning to play with a slide, which I have never done before. I've read a bunch of the tips about guitar setup, string dampening, etc, but the choice of slide seems very subjective and "what works for you". Inspired by @player99 's thread about trying different overdrives for slide, I thought I'd ask what y'all use for the slide itself.

    I feel like I'm leaning towards a brass slide, for whatever reason. Which probably means I won't put it on my pinky finger because I think it's too weak. I've heard of people using anything from their pinky finger to their middle finger for slide. What do you use? Does anyone ever use their index finger? It seems that conceptually that one would be easy because that's the finger I already use for barre chords, but I don't know of anyone who uses that finger.

    What kind of slide do you have? Has anyone tried one of those Rock Slides with the little cutaway? Any advantage to a ball-tip slide?
     
  2. loudtubeamps

    loudtubeamps

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    North shore :Prince Edward Island
    I'm not a great slide player but I do keep these on hand for when I want to change things up, I use my pinky only.
    I have a couple of each and find they cover all the bases for me.
    The dunlop fits well, the ceramic is heavy and is very responsive...a bit of foam glued inside the tube keeps it from slopping .
    https://www.amazon.ca/Yibuy-30x20x7...e&qid=1575469439&s=musical-instruments&sr=1-4

    https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0002GWNNE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I keep them at the ready with these... attached to my strap.
    https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0027I767S/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Cheers!
     
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  3. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON
    I'm not a great slide player either, but have dabbled. It's a nice variation when everyone else in the band is strumming or picking a lead. The slide I use depends a bit on the song, and on the guitar. You'll have to experiment.

    I like the Dunlop Rev Willy ceramic on my 3rd finger. It's thick and heavy.

    I like a long thin brass slide that fits on my pinky.
     
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  4. jimsz

    jimsz

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    I use an 18mm deep socket on my pinkie finger as that's the one that fits best. I went through several stores, Canadian tire, Princess Auto, etc before I found the perfect fit. I've tried glass, steel and brass. Didn't like the tone of glass and both the steel and brass quickly rusted inside and out. The deep socket is indeed heavy, but slides effortlessly on the strings with very little pressure and offers a superior tone compared with the thinner steel or brass. Of course, I got the idea from Lowell George.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  5. colchar

    colchar Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Location:
    GTA
    I keep screwing around with learning, then move on to something else. But for a few reasons, I am now committed to learning. I picked up a used Gibson SG Special for $399 and am having that set up for slide. I really wish there was a slide teacher in the western GTA to give me a hand with learning this style, but for now I will use online lessons, books, etc.

    I use my ring finger and use a thick walled glass slide for electric. Currently using a Dunlop and also have one of their versions of the Coricidin bottle that Duane used.. I have a thick walled brass slide for acoustic.
     
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  6. troyhead

    troyhead Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Location:
    KW, Ontario
    Never would have thought to look in my garage for something like this, so I already grabbed one and tried it! And while it is probably on the heavy side for my liking, it did teach me something valuable. Trying to use a slide on the index finger makes me need to bend my wrist at a very weird angle, so I think I'll go with ring finger or pinky (if there's a light enough one).
     
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  7. jdto

    jdto Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Location:
    Toronto
    I recently picked up a National NRP Steel and intend to learn some more Delta and fingerstyle blues, along with slide guitar. I've tried brass and glass, both on the ring finger, as well as a thinner brass on the pinky. Recently, I picked up one of those Rock Slide ones and I really like it. I wanted to try the ball end Ariel Posen model, but couldn't find it, so I got the Landreth one, which is similar, but without the ball end.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  8. Mooh

    Mooh Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Southwestern Ontario
    I've got more slides than I need but they tend to be impulse purchases.
    Experiment, one type doesn't fit all, at least to my ears.
    I prefer ceramic, but use glass and brass for tonal differences as needed.
    For lapstyle I use mostly a Shubb S-P but sometimes a big ceramic one.

    Once upon a time I did the beer bottle thing a la Danny Gatton. IMG_3658.jpg IMG_3657.jpg

    The pictures show some of what I have.
     
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  9. jimsz

    jimsz

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    It doesn't take long to get used to the weight on the pinkie especially considering that the finger next to the pinkie can be used to stabilize the socket. I find it quite comfortable and no need to bend the wrist at awkward angles. Of course, the socket itself should be a very nice fit on the pinkie, this is important, snug and where the tip of the pinkie just touches the inside of the top of the socket. That's the reason why it took me a few trips to various stores to find just the right one. Good luck in your quest.
     
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  10. jimsz

    jimsz

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    Btw, here's the interview with Lowell where he talks about his Craftsman deep socket slide...

     
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  11. nnieman

    nnieman

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Location:
    Cavan, ontario
    I have glass, wine bottle, brass & copper.
    My favourite is old wine bottle (the darker the colour the better) and copper pipe.
    Walk down the plumbing isle at your local hardware store and find some pipe that fits your finger.
    Brass & copper cut real easy with a hacksaw and smooth out with sandpaper.
    According to George Thorogood he uses copper pipe because he saw muddy waters using copper pipe.

    FYI I’m not a particularly good slide player, I was making slides to sell for a while.
    But breaking witness bottles nicely is harder than it looks on YouTube lol
    I’ve got a really dark green bottle neck that sounds fantastic but looks like a prison shiv

    Nathan
     
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  12. 1SweetRide

    1SweetRide Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Overheard at Canadian Tire "Mommy, why is that strange man putting his finger into that thing? Honey, men have been known to put their fingers into all kinds of strange holes".
     
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  13. 1SweetRide

    1SweetRide Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    This thread is very timely. I've been wanting to try slide for a while too. I picked up a glass Dunlop pinky slide from Steve's when I was in Montreal this weekend. Haven't yet been able to gain any consistency with it but it's a lot of fun. There's a course I saw that I might sign up for. It's on sale now for $13.00 bucks (don't know what currency).

    Slide Guitar Made Easy
     
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  14. player99

    player99 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2019
    Location:
    Ontario
    I was using a Dunlop glass slide. I also have the ceramic Mud Slide. I just bought the Rock Slide with the ball end. I was using the glass slide as my main slide. But the new Rock Slide is brass and the notes ring better. Especially high strings higher up the neck. I think the Mud Slide gives me the same clarity, but without the weight it seems to be a little harder to use. I think the brass Rock Slide is more for overdriven slide songs, while the glass and the Mud Slide are better for cleaner softer slide.

    So the ball end for me is not helpful in one situation. It actually hinders to some degree. With a cut off slide in open G tuning I can play the open top string (6) and slide the 5th, 4th and 3rd strings from the 5th fret to the 7th fret while keeping the open string ringing. The ball end will stop the 6th string from staying open and ringing.

    I watched a video with Ariel Posen who has a somewhat smaller version of the ball-tip slide as a signature product. I found it to me too light for me. When the slide is too light, the diameter too small and or the wall of the slide too thin, I find the notes to be noisier than a heavier or thicker walled slide. In the video I watched he also said he plays with the tip of his slide finger, and gets more accuracy out of it that way. With his smaller lighter slide this may work. With the medium sized one I got, the slide makes my finger length longer, so it is harder to use the tip of the ball end as the tip of my finger.




     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  15. colchar

    colchar Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Location:
    GTA

    I've got a couple of links that I can share later, including a course from Andy Aledort. Not sure of current pricing though.
     
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