Slide Guitar and Slide Guitarist


Slide guitar or bottleneck guitar is a particular method or technique for playing the guitar. The term slide refers to the motion of the slide against the strings, while bottleneck refers to the original material of choice for such slides: the necks of glass bottles.

Instead of altering the pitch of the strings in the normal manner (by pressing the string against frets), a slide is placed upon the string to vary its vibrating length, and pitch. This slide can then be moved along the string without lifting, creating continuous transitions in pitch.
Some Guitarists like to play a wooden Acoustic Guitar, some a metal Acoustic Resonator as shown on the right and some like an electric guitar just like old Hound Dog Taylor and Seasick Steve.
> See a History of Slide

The technique of using a slide on a string has been traced to one-stringed African instruments similar to a "diddley bow". The tuning and bend filled playing style resembles the blues-harp.
> See Jack White make a Diddley Bow

Arguably the first influential classic electric blues slide guitarist is Elmore James, whose riff in the song "Dust My Broom" is copied from Robert Johnson and is held in particularly high regard. Elmore tended to favour an Open E tuning on his guitar
> See Open Tunings for Slide Guitar and Cigar Box Guitar

Blues legend Muddy Waters was also very influential, particularly in developing the electric Chicago blues slide guitar from the acoustic Mississippi Delta slide guitar. Texas blues musician Johnny Winter developed his distinctive style through years of touring with Waters. Slide player Roy Rogers honed his slide skills by touring with blues artist John Lee Hooker.
> See Roys excellent Slide Tutorial DVD >

Resonator Guitar


ceramic slide
Everything about playing slide is up to the individual slide player, try out a number of different slides till you find the one that suits you, some of the earliest exponents of the art used bits of bottles and knives to get a sound. Today, slides come in a variety of sizes to suit most hands.

Here are three of the most popular materials used for modern slides

* GLASS SLIDES - Tempered Glass Slides for a warmer, thicker tone accentuating the middle harmonics of your sound. Today's most popular slide. Processed from high quality Boron Silicate.

* BRASS SLIDES - Chosen for its bright resonant tone and comfortable weight, the extra weight of Brass sits nicely on the hand and aids the balance of the hand. Good for Acoustic and Electric Slide.

* CERAMIC SLIDES - Ceramic slides give a rich, full resonating tone. Individually hand formed to withstand years of regular use. Porous interior absorbs finger moisture to reduce slipping.

> Slides Page for more details about Slides and Steels >

Slide Techniques
With the guitar in the normal position, using a slide called a bottleneck on one of the fingers of the left hand; this is known as
< bottleneck guitar.

Harry Manx holds the guitar horizontally with the bass strings towards himself and he uses a slide held in his left hand, this is known as
lap steel guitar
Which is the best finger for the slide

THE INDEX FINGER - is not normally used as you need a least one finger to mute the strings behind the slide. Though there always are exceptions, check out this Dave Hole vid. You then have a choice between middle finger, ring finger and the little finger. There are advantages and disadvantages whichever finger you choose.

THE MIDDLE FINGER - a strong finger to use but as you have to lift your other fingers out of the way and it can cause problems adding chords. However, there are exceptions to every rule, check out this Bonnie Raitt vid, Bonnie gets a great sound using this method.

THE RING FINGER - favoured by Duane Allman, Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes. This method leaves you with two fingers behind the slide for muting strings. This is still a popular finger to use but it restricts the use of chord work should you want to play Delta style. However, Duane, Derek and Warren are fantastic players who have mastered this method. Check out this Warren Haynes vid to see the style in action.

THE LITTLE FINGER - if you want to combine both slide and normal fingerstyle chord work then the Little Finger is the one for you. It leaves your other fingers free for muting and playing chords. If you are about to start playing slide then this is probably the best finger to hold your slide as it will open up many more possibilities to you in the future. Check out this vid by the masterful Sonny Landreth chording behind the slide

Play Chords and Slide together - Delta Style - Click Roy Rogers Performance in the list below
Chords for Open Tuned Guitar
Open Tuned Slide Guitar

When you have your guitar tuned to an open chord why not add a few chords to your slide playing. The excellent Roy Rogers advocates the Delta Blues style where he plays chords and slide. See his excellent Tutorial DVD where he explains how to mix it up.
< Click here for Chords
Modern variants of the original Resonator Guitar - Check them all out here !

Dean - Brass

Dobro - Steel and Wood

Recording King - Steel

- Got The Shirt ? Exclusive Slide Guitarist Designer Shirts - lots of colors and designs available
Duane Allman
Dickey Betts
V. M. Bhatt
Joe Bonamassa
Bob Brozman
Ry Cooder
Jerry Douglas
John Fahey
Pura Fé
Blind Boy Fuller
Rory Gallagher
Lowell George
David Gilmour
Ben Harper
George Harrison
Warren Haynes
Hound Dog Taylor
Sol Hoopi
Dave Hole
Son House
Mississippi John Hurt
JB Hutto
Elmore James
Homesick James
Robert Johnson
Blind Willie John
Leo Kottke
Sonny Landreth
Furry Lewis
David Lindley

Harry Manx
Fred McDowell
Robert Nighthawk
Charlie Patton
Bonnie Raitt
Will Ray
Chris Rea
Tampa Red
Roy Rogers
Arlen Roth
Xavier Rudd
Eric Sardinas
Seasick Steve
George Thorogood
Derek Trucks
Muddy Waters
Bukka White
Johnny Winter

Cigar Box Guitar Kit

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