Hello, I would like to buy a guitar slide(to play songs like more human than human and etc.), It's my first time, I would like to ask more experienced players, what should I know before buying it? Is the material it was made from is important? It's size?(for example if my finger is too thin or thick)
I know of pro players who use slides on their pinky, on their ring, or on their index fingers.

Lesson: figure out which one you're most comfortable using and go from there.

Martial type can affect your tone. Glass doesn't sound like brass which doesn't sound like stone which...well, you get the picture.

Lesson: figure out what your favorite slide players are using and try that out. Or, get adventurous and surf the net!

Here's some I know of:

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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at May 11, 2015,
They way I figure out what I like was just by playing wit different slides. At first I was too sloppy and didn't have a good technique so a steel slide was noisy for me so I tried brass, and ended up using glass all the time. I bought a rockslide(expensive) that actually fits into your finger and doesn't fall off, but now I use a piece of steel pipe.
Size is important and really depends what finger you use.
Using your pinky let's you play basic cords with the other fingers using your index gives you better control of the slide.

Material for slides can sound diffrent I would try a couple cheap glass or brass ones first before going to exotic with them.

As Danny said there's alot of personal preference in slide playing.
Thanks for the tips. I prefer John 5, I guess he is playing with steel or brass. Actually couldn't find correct answer, just guessing from what I saw on youtube.
A lot of the guys in harder genres prefer some kind of metal.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Looks like he uses steel to me.
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More human then human was before jhon 5s time. It was recorded by white zombie with j on guitar. Might help your search for his gear. Not that it means much jhon plays it live all the time and sounds great with whatever he is using.
I've tried all sorts of things, and narrowed it down to two types 1) Thick-walled glass (I use genuine bottlenecks; I make and sometimes sell them)) with light strings and/or a low action and 2) thick-walled brass with heavy strings and higher action.

Thick wall gives sustain in any material, and brass counter-intuitively, is the quietest I've tried. However, heavy brass can hammer notches in the frets if you have a heavy touch, light strings and/or a low action.

I put cork rings inside my slides to give some grip for my very small pinky.

The picture is a bit blurred, but you can see the cork rings.
If you have a set of deep well sockets in the garage you might want to give one of those a try.It would cost nothing to experiment. Just about anything you can put on a finger will work metal glass ceramic the choice is yours. There is no right or wrong answer.

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I've played slide for 30 years or more, and used everything I can find, including a Zippo lighter. That's how I learned. I use antique glass medicine bottles for electric, a thick brass Mighty Mite bar for acoustic. Music stores sell other types, including replicas of the old Coricidin cold medicine bottles used by Duanne Allman and a lot of other folks. I never was able to find an original one.

Brass is bright and louder than glass, makes a lot of noise if you bang a heavy brass bar against the frets. Glass gets a warmer and smooth sound for electrics and plenty sustain. With acoustic, the glass bottles just don't work as well and get less sustain. Electrics have a lot more sustain by nature so glass works well.

I use my ring finger, that's what was most comfortable to me. Many players use their pinkie - Johnny Winter, Roy Rogers, Leo Kottke, Clapton, plenty others. Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes of Allman Brothers both use their ring finger, Joe Walsh and Billy Gibbons use their middle finger to hold the slide bar. I've never seen anyone use their index finger.

Use a light touch, keep the index finger in place to lightly mute the strings behind the slide bar to kill unwanted harmonics from notes between the bar and the guitar nut, place the bar directly over the frets to get the note you want, not between them as you do fingering notes without the slide bar.

Try out some open tunings. Open G is my favorite, I use open D and open E sometimes too. Need to work on those more though. Finger picking is recommended, that also lets you use the fingers on the picking hand to mute notes you don't want, but it takes some practice.

I look all the time in resale shops and antique stores for old medicine bottles that fit well. The bar or bottle should fit well but not too tight, generally should not wobble around a lot. Every glass bottle sounds slightly different. Thicker ones sound best and get better sustain. I have about a half dozen, one brown one I like best. Not easy to find though.

Brass gets a bright sound, and louder so good for acoustic. I made one when I was a machinist from stainless steel, not much different from the brass one the same size but I rarely use it, I like my brass one. Made another one from brass as a back up in case I ever lost it, use that one some but the original factory made Mighty Mite is the one I use most for acoustic. Johnny Winter used a bar made from a piece of a broken high hat stand. I think he said it was Dunlop that made a replica to sell in music stores, but he always used the original hand made one. That's plain tubing that was chrome plated.

Watch glass ones, a rough surface will sound scratchy. I've had to sand down the mold lines on one of my bottles, it sounded good but the mold lines were really scratchy so I sanded them down. Took a lot of time, but it works well now. So you need a bottle with a smooth surface. Same for metal, has to be smooth.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
Forgot- Billy Gibbons, Bonnie Raitt and Joe Walsh all use their middle fingers for slide.

Dave Hole uses his index finger.

There's also a guy named Jim Houston who uses a heavy brass slide on his index finger.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at May 12, 2015,
i like thick glass slides the most. i would go to a local music store, and see what they have and see if they will let you try different ones. i went to a shop and tried several on and found what i liked. i also have a steel one as well. to me the glass 'sings' a little sweeter.
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I use a Jetslide, it's awesome 'cause you still got all your fingers to do the fingering stuff.
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Materials: It's mostly what you get used to. A lot of guitar players use "found" materials (Coricidin bottles, piece of pipe, end of a beer bottle, etc.).

I have problems playing slide because most of my guitars have very low action, and it requires some delicacy to play slide (I have NO delicacy in any part of my body) on those without accidentally fretting something. I've been practicing it for a while, and just when I think I'm getting it, I'll see something where Bonny Raitt or Joe Walsh is doing it on a strat, and then I'm back to practicing again.
Soooooo much ditto to that.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!