I play the guitar in an acoustic band and I'm getting more and more interested in open tunings played with bottle necks (Eric Sardinas-style).
I was wondering if this guitar technique is well placed in music genres like blues or bluegrass or if it finds its place as well in "contemporary" music.

For example, on our acoustic set list we have "Drive" by Incubus and "Don't look back in anger" by Oasis. Will a slide guitar sound bad with these non-blues song?

Thank you
It depends if you have another guitar player for chords, if you do then no it will not sound bad at all just use the slide for little melodic lines, if you don't have anyone playing chords then yes it would sound bad.
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Drive probably wouldn't sound good.
its got that thing that gets you moving, its jumpy and runny, slide guitar generally doesnt have the same vibe. its got this draggy feeling.

dont look back in anger might work, as the above guy said, if you use it for melodic lines. that would have the effect of highlighting the slide guitar since its in contrast to the non slide guitar, so the slide guitar effect doesnt mess with the rhythm.
Last edited by pushkar000 at Apr 19, 2013,
I tried that and yes, you get really cool lead parts, but it's difficult to get full sounding rhythmic parts..
I don't understand if it's just because I'm a beginner or because since modern songs use "more complex" chord progressions as your usual dominant 7 blues, the open tuning become pointless.
There is a very long history of using open tunings for blues slide guitar (both acoustic and electric), with Open A, G, D, and E being among the most common tunings.

If you want to play bluegrass, you normally use a the "steel" playing style rather than the "bottleneck" playing style since it allows you to do certain techniques, such as open string hammer-ons/pull-offs, slanting, and only "fretting" a single string (to allow both "fretted" and opens notes simultaneously for pedal steel type "bends").

Keep in mind that in bluegrass a resonator guitar (generally a single cone and usually genericized as a "Dobro") with a square neck and very high action (around an inch or so; this makes playing the Dobro without a slide more or less impossible but facilitates significantly easier slide playing) is used for slide instead of a normal acoustic, and it is played on its back similarly to lap steel guitar (the back faces down and the strings face up rather than the back being against the player's frontside). Open G tuning (either DBDGBD or GBDGBD from low to high) is the standard for this, and a special Dobro capo (designed to accommodate the high string action) is often used to facilitate easier playing in keys other than G (A, B, C, and D are also very common in bluegrass).

That being said, there really is no reason why a normal acoustic guitar couldn't be played for bluegrass lead, though there are a couple of potential difficulties.

First of all, it may make some difficulties when switching from rhythm to lead (certain chords like Em and Am7 that are very common in bluegrass would be very difficult) and rhythm guitar is extreme important in the rhythm section of a bluegrass band, and so this would not be practical unless you have two guitarists, such as in Muleskinner.

The other problem is that without the increased volume of a resonator, an acoustic guitar played with a slide may not be loud enough to cut through the mix if you are playing acoustically (without any sort of microphones, amplifiers, etc) even if you do shuffle around as is common in bluegrass.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
Hey thanks for the accurated reply but I was more interested in using it in non-bluegrass/blues songs, like "Drive" or "Don't look back in anger"
different sounds just don't work together. basically its the vibe that each sound offers in terms of rhythm and stuff.

nobody wants a harmonica solo in a metal song - unless done very well, it sounds weird

specifically, drive is not a good open tuning or slide song because of its chords and rhythm. its got a fast and jumpy rhythm, uses sharp, clear and cutting chords, but slide sound doesnt offer that sharpness clearness or jumpiness, so this contradiction ruins the overall tightness and sound(in the rhythm)

for the same reason its good for lead because the slide sound offers contrast to the rhythm so it gets prominence in the mix.

so in my opinion its not the complexity of the chords or the fact that you are a beginner(dont worry im sure you rock)

(all my opinion only)
Last edited by pushkar000 at Apr 19, 2013,