#1
Quick question. Just got a (guitar) slide, my first one. It's brass. They're supposed to get scratches on them right? It's not that I'm using it wrong or anything I hope? I know I'm not supposed to put pressure on it
Last edited by GodsPrototype at Jul 1, 2014,
#2
Quote by GodsPrototype
Quick question. Just got a guitar, my first one. It's brass. They're supposed to get scratches on them right? It's not that I'm using it wrong or anything I hope? I know I'm not supposed to put pressure on it



Presumably you have a brass slide, not a brass guitar? That would be ridiculously heavy...

Yes, they will get scratches on them.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#3
Quote by Arby911
Presumably you have a brass slide, not a brass guitar? That would be ridiculously heavy...

Yes, they will get scratches on them.


Haha my bad, sorry for that. Ok great. That's a relief. Just started playing with it for the first time. I started playing guitar 3 months ago, and this slide is amazing. It's a really fun thing to play with. Happy to know scratches are normal! Thank you!
#4
Brass is pretty soft and scratches easily. I'd also say that you've picked the worst possible slide to learn with. Get yourself a glass one; much easier. I use glass and steel myself. When I am playing fast with a lot of lifting of the slide on and off the strings, I reach for the glass one.
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#5
I have a glass slide.

It just sounds the best. No other reason. I don't like metal slides.
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#6
I like both for different reasons. Depends on what I am playing. In my current band I am a full time slide player. It's fast and manic so I use a glass one exclusively. When I was playing Rose Tattoo stuff I was using steel because it sounded better for that. Horses for courses.
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#7
I've always liked the sound of an old glass pill bottle I have for slide. (actually I have two I found in the woods on my parents property.) That said, I suck at slide other than simple stuff. I have bought a few glass slides and they sound close in sound to those glass pill bottles whereas the metal slides I own sound different but good for different stuff.
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#8
I use thick walled Dunlops. One of them is over 20 years old, has been dropped numerous times and still going strong.
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#9
I've always preferred glass slides.
When I play slide, its in the vein of Duane Allman (not that I can even come close to approaching his talent), and some harder stuff like what Mick Mars does.

To The Op, when learning slide, it helps to raise the strings up a bit.
Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd) has been known to put a screwdriver or even a short length of instrument cable under the strings to temporarily raise the strings up.
I read somewhere that the studio version of Freebird, he used a screwdriver.
You can do it without anything (And I don't raise mine up), but it takes a delicate touch and is a little more difficult.
#10
I don't use a tall nut because I sometimes have to fret the guitar. I have it raised a bit higher than normal at the bridge, but I don't go overboard. It does make playing a full chord on slide at the nut a bit tricky (I am also using a 7.5" radius guitar which doesn't help that) but I cope. It just takes practice to get the pressure right.
With practice you can play slide on just about anything. My backup guitar isn't set up for slide at all (apart from the tuning) and I can still play slide on it, you just have to be more careful. It has a flatter radius than my actual slide guitar. That is a big factor. I like the smaller radius because I can use the slide like a violin bow (ie I can keep open bass notes ringing while using the slide up high on the top strings) but it means I have to push harder to touch all the strings for full chords - so the action has to be higher. If the radius is flatter I can play slide with quite a low action. I'm not a beginner though.
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#11
Brass is softer than steel, so it will scratch with use.


I actually prefer metal slides, and have a metal one I made out of a hydraulic cylinder's ram. Perfect size for my finger and the inside is textured (ie rough cut) for a better grip on your finger
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#12
I use a brass slide with heavy strings and a glass slide with light ones, and find the brass slide quieter than the harder materials. The scratches don't matter, they wear off as soon as you start ussing it. A good way to polish it is to keep it in your pocket with your key ring or some coins.

My take on slides (I make and sell genuine bottlenecks) is that a thick wall is good, and you choose the material to suit the weight you prefer.
#13
The material matters if you are lifting the slide on and off the strings, not just the weight. In fact, I'd go as far to say that weight isn't that important if you have good technique and a well fitting slide. Metal slides have a greater tendency to go clang than glass when you place them on the strings. Glass is more forgiving.
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#14
Quote by Cathbard
Brass is pretty soft and scratches easily. I'd also say that you've picked the worst possible slide to learn with. Get yourself a glass one; much easier. I use glass and steel myself. When I am playing fast with a lot of lifting of the slide on and off the strings, I reach for the glass one.


It's funny to hear that, i went through some glass slides when i was learning to play slide and found it much harder, it wasn't until i found a perfectly sized piece of thick brass pipe in a workshop at uni that i really got into slide. I actually found that extra weight made it a whole load easier, and the scratches it had attained actually gave it quite a cool sound.

Now i've been using a steel slide live, which is quite weighty but doesnt scratch nearly as much. I personally can't get a good enough sustain or thickness with glass ones, you think the thicker glass ones are better?
#15
I've got both a thin walled and a thick walled Dunlop. I bought the thin one by accident. I can't say I can hear any real difference in sound tbh. However, I don't like the way the thin one feels and I'm scared of dropping it. It's odd really, because my steel one is the same sort of thickness and it feels ok. I think it may be a purely psychological thing, it's thin glass and my brain is telling me, "it's gonna cut you."
I use a fair bit of distortion (I play slide in a three piece punk band and have played a lot of Rose Tattoo type stuff) and once it's in the mix I don't think there's an appreciable difference in sound between even steel and glass. It's there but it's more subtle than anybody out front could ever hear once the bass and drums start up.
Steel is just harder to use if you lift on and off. You have to be conscious of not making it go clunk. Glass I just go hell for leather and don't have think about it. When I play Rose Tattoo, I use steel. Not many lift offs in that. The slide goes down and stays down pretty much.
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Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at Jul 2, 2014,
#16
Quote by Cathbard
Brass is pretty soft and scratches easily. I'd also say that you've picked the worst possible slide to learn with. Get yourself a glass one; much easier. I use glass and steel myself. When I am playing fast with a lot of lifting of the slide on and off the strings, I reach for the glass one.


I tried a steel and glass slide in the store. The steel one was ok, but I didn't like the sound of the glass slide, even though it was easier to use. I really love the sound of my brass slide, and I love the fact that I can rotate it with my thumb to play normally. It's really nice. Overall, I prefer the sound of a brass sound, that's why I took that one.
#17
Additional comment. The reason I use glass for light strings and brass for heavy ones is because I like thick walled slides, and heavy brass slides can too easily damage the frets with light strings. I have a light touch, but I use a low action, and after a few beers at a gig....... The OLP bari I used to gig with has notches in the frets from using it as a lap steel with a heavy brass slide.
#18
Quote by Arby911
Presumably you have a brass slide, not a brass guitar? That would be ridiculously heavy...



Hey, Wait a minute...

For the 1979 NAMM Show, Ibanez built this:



And by the way, Dean Guitars makes a resonator guitar with a distressed brass resonator. For slide playing.


Last edited by dspellman at Jul 3, 2014,
#19
Quote by dspellman
Hey, Wait a minute...

For the 1979 NAMM Show, Ibanez built this:


And by the way, Dean Guitars makes a resonator guitar with a distressed brass resonator. For slide playing.




The Ibby weighs 76 pounds!!! Not exactly a gigging axe.

The resonator I like.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#20
Quote by Arby911
The Ibby weighs 76 pounds!!! Not exactly a gigging axe.

The resonator I like.



A comment on that Dean reso. My mate had one in his store for a while, and one day I saw it on his workbench. The neck tenon stick was so badly cut that it was cross-grained in the middle and had broken spontaneously. He fixed it by converting to to a dobro-style short stick. It turned me off Dean, and made me wonder about the rest of these generic Chinese resos. The bodies look like they all come from the same factory, don't know about the necks.