#1
I'm going to be taking one of my guitars to the shop to get it set up so I can learn slide, probably in Open G.

I know I need to have the action raised- one person has suggested not only raising it at the bridge, but also getting a taller nut.

Several times, I have seen reference to using heavier guage strings, like 12s or 13s. I'm cool with that.

Besides those steps and finding a proper size slide in a material that I like the sound of, is there anything else I need to do in terms of gear?
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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#2
If you plan on playing in the Spanish or standing position, don't alter the nut. It isn't necessary, and will make any fretting you do on the low frets difficult. You only need to raise the nut or use a conversion capo if you plan on playing lap style.

String gauges depend a fair bit on how light your touch is, and how high you set the action. I use 10-46 on electrics with a glass slide and 13-56 on acoustics with a heavy brass slide. My action isn't much higher than some would use for normal playing - about 1.6 to 2mm.

FWIW, I can get by with any thick-walled slide, glass, ceramic, metal, but thick-walled metal ones need some getting used to.
#3
I have a gorilla grip, probably from decades of playing cello- heavier strings, higher action, no frets.

That said, my guitars are usually set up with fairly low action, and my standard tuned electrics are usually strung with 10s or 11s.
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!
#4
Look at this image closely



Gary Rossington during freebird.
Thats a piece of guitar cable under the strings there.
Whether he raise the bridge or not, I don't know.
He uses regular tuning, except the b string he tunes to the same g as the string above it.

As for me, I don't change a thing.
Most of the time I play in regular tuning, sometimes an open tuning. Which one I use varies. Mostly either open E or open dm.
I use 10s.
I don't change the height of anything.
But that takes A LOT of practice to do it right if you don't raise the bridge.
I kinda had to do that because, for a long time, I only had one guitar.

I use a glass slide.
Took me like several years of trying and buying probably about 20+ slides before I found one I really liked. Found it a combo RadioShack/guitar store in Bishop, Ca. several years ago of all places.
Thickness of the slide is also another factor, not only the fit.
With more thickness, you get more weight, usually requiring less pressure.
You don't want a tight fit, but you don't want it to be to loose either.
It may take several tries and buys before you find one that works for you.
Its kinda hard, IMO, to know if a slide is gonna work for you in 5 minutes, but you might get lucky.
And sometimes they (Dunlop mostly) are packaged in some of the hard plastic crap these days too.
So sometimes, you can't try them out before you buy them, which really sucks.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Jan 14, 2016,
#5
Big fan of many slide players- besides Rossington, there's Raitt, Trucks, Harper, Cooder...

One thing I have figured out is that slide is probably the most idiosyncratic style/technique there is. Besides the tunings and slide materials, even which finger varies- the only one I haven't seen is thumb,

From past explorations (in standard, with low action), I know I'm going to need to use my pinky. None of the others feel comfy. This also means my 2 slides (1 glass, one steel) will remain useless, since they don't fit that 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!
#6
Gary starts playing about 1:20 in, goes to town a bit around 2:20
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA7d6cLyrvE


Edit:
Yeah, I forgot about finger choice too.
I use my ring finger.
That's a personal choice. Look at enough slide players, and you will see every finger being used.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Jan 14, 2016,
#7
I only raise the action at the bridge and I don't raise it that much.
I use 11's and they're fine.

Open G is easier to learn with but open E is more fun once you are used to it. The open 6th string is much much better as a tonic. The 6th string on open G is a 5th. What use is that? That's why Keef plays a 5 string in open G.

For the slide, glass is easier to learn on but I use steel.
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#8
Playing slide is less about equipment and more about technique. Tuning can be a choice, but isn't required. There are plenty of folks that play slide (including myself) on a standard tuned guitar. But a lot depends on how much you intend to play slide. I might opt to do it differently if I were playing slide on a lot of songs, but it would have to be a LOT of songs for me to dedicate a guitar to that purpose.
#9
I have two guitars dedicated to playing slide. I play in open E exclusively these days but I have Hipshot Trilogy on one of them so retuning it to open G (Or open G6 which I like) is a breeze.
Gilchrist custom
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
#10
Quote by dunedindragon
Playing slide is less about equipment and more about technique. Tuning can be a choice, but isn't required. There are plenty of folks that play slide (including myself) on a standard tuned guitar. But a lot depends on how much you intend to play slide. I might opt to do it differently if I were playing slide on a lot of songs, but it would have to be a LOT of songs for me to dedicate a guitar to that purpose.

Don't really know how much slide I'll end up playing, but like I said, I have a lot of guitars, so dedicating one- or even two- for the purpose of this experiment isn't a big deal at all.
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!
#11
TobusRex sent me a PM asking if I knew about resources for learning slide, so...

Originally posted by sliding- tom over at LPF:

http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/showthread.php?128230-Statesboro-Blues&p=1535054&viewfull=1#post1535054
O.K. - here's my "slide primer" I've put together for requests like yours, hope it helps.

action: definitely use a higher action, one that allows you to slide cleanly without rattling on the frets and that's still low enough so you can fret the occasional note - especially on the bass strings, where you'll play rhythm. Would be good if you have one guitar that's devoted to slide.
string gauge: you'll want a bigger string for tonal reasons and to get more resistance against the slide. At least a set of .011-.049 for standard and higher tunings (open E and open A), .012 - .050 or .052 would even be better. For lower tunings (open D and open G) at least a .012 or .013 set and maybe you'll want to swap the first two strings for heavier gauges. I am using a custom slide set of .0145 - .052 with a medium high action in open D and G tuning.
string type: whatever sounds good to you - steel or pure nickel and if you don't like the noise that a slide can make on the strings you might consider a flatwound or half round wound.
radius: some say they prefer a totally flat radius so they can play all six strings at the same time, but I prefer a slightly radiused setup, because I rarely play all of the strings at the same time and you'll apply a little pressure anyway so the slide can touch all the strings even when radiused.
slides: get a few of different materials to see what you like best in tone and feel. Some guitars seem to prefer a certain material. As for length, it shouldn't be longer than the finger you put it on. I get the most control when the slide's top is just where the top of my sliding finger is. My current favourite is "The Rockslide".
finger: I would advocate to use the pinky because you'll have three adjacent fingers left for fretting, then. Ring finger gives you a little more control over vibrato but can be a little arkward.
The most important thing is damping: behind the slide (towards the nut) where you should barely touch the strings with your index and on the picking side to get rid of unwanted noise and strings not being played. But: you can use this noise or the “ghost” notes between the slide and nut for good effect, too, especially at the 5th, 7th and 12th fets.
You can use a flatpick, thumb- and fingerpicks or just your natural fingertips, whatever comes natural and sounds / feels best to you.
Starting out it's not the worst idea to start in standard tuning because you already know where your notes are and with standard tuning you'll be forced to practice your damping technique.
If you care for video lessons, here's two that are good for starters but also useful for advanced players alike:
Rick Vito - Complete Slide Guitar
Roy Rogers - Slide Guitar For Rock And Blues.


Also, YouTube is your buddy- there are all kinds of slide tutorial videos, in all kinds of tunings out there.
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 Jan 14, 2016,
#13
I like how you mention Trucks but fail to mention where he stole all his licks from in the first place.


*cough* Duane *cough*
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#14
Open Tunings seem to be most popular with slide guitarists, for obvious reasons of the simplicity of always having a chord when you slide.

Here are some I tracked down:

Open A (A,C♯,E)

Repetitive: A-C♯-E-A-C♯-E
Overtones: A-A-E-A-C♯-E
Popular variant: E-A-C♯-E-A-E


Open B (B,D♯,F♯

Repetitive: B-D♯-F♯-B-D♯-F♯
Overtones: B-B-F♯-B-D♯-F♯
Popular variant: B-F♯-B-F♯-B-D♯


Open C (C,E,G)

Repetitive: C-E-G-C-E-G
Overtones: C-C-G-C-E-G
Popular variant: C-G-C-G-C-E


Open D (D,F♯,A)

Repetitive: D-F♯-A-D-F♯-A
Overtones: D-D-A-D-F♯-A
Popular variant: D-A-D-F♯-A-D


Open E (E,G♯,B)

Repetitive: E-G♯-B-E-G♯-B
Overtones: E-E-B-E-G♯-B
Popular variant: E-B-E-G♯-B-E


Open F (F,A,C)

Repetitive: F-A-C-F-A-C
Overtones: F-F-C-F-A-C
Popular variant: C-F-C-F-A-F


Open G (G,B,D)

Repetitive: G-B-D-G-B-D
Overtones: G-G-D-G-B-D
Popular variant: D-G-D-G-B-D


Cathbard has already stepped in to state he prefers Open E. I've been thinking Open G, but I may try Open C. Because of its similarity to NST.

OR I might try some of the others listed there...or the ones for some of my favorite slide tunes...

Anyone else have a preferred slide tuning? And a reason WHY you prefer it?
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 Jan 14, 2016,
#15
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
I like how you mention Trucks but fail to mention where he stole all his licks from in the first place.


*cough* Duane *cough*

Man, if I went through the list of who I like and who they stole from, it would be a wall of text
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!
#16
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Man, if I went through the list of who I like and who they stole from, it would be a wall of text


Forgetting Duane is like forgetting Hendrix
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#17
I didn't forget him, I just stopped typing.
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!
#18
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I didn't forget him, I just stopped typing.


Touche!
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#20
Pete Wells (Rose Tattoo) used open E. That's why I started using open E myself - covering Tatts songs. After a doing that for a while I switched over to open E, myself. Open E is Rock and Roll.
That's EBEG#BE. Once you get the hang of the G# string, it's easy.
Gilchrist custom
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