#1
 Hey folks I'm new here and I have a couple questions I'm hoping some of you more experienced players can help with.  I’ve been playing guitar for a few years now and been playing slide for about a year now on a cheap Les Paul knockoff and I’m hooked; I have a second guitar, a G&L ASAT for my standard playing. 

My buddy is a luthier and is getting started in the guitar building game and is willing to build me a custom guitar to help get the word out about his new business. I was already looking at picking up a used SG to make a dedicated slide guitar but for just a bit more I can get a hand made one, made to my exact specs and I was thinking it would be a purpose built for slide but as I mentioned I try to play pretty much everything on the guitar I have set up for slide now and in open E ala Derek Trucks so I still need to be able to fret it and I like to keep the action reasonably low.

For body shape I’m going with a double cut away as I want the full neck access all the way to the end of the fret board and also will probably go with a neck through so it has a smooth consistent neck feel all the way in to the body with no neck joint. I am leaning towards a mix of a SG and a Les Paul double cut style with probably some ergo shaping of the body to make it even more player friendly.

That said I have to decide on some of the detailed specs, like scale length (I’ll probably stick with the shorter scale length like Gibson or PRS but open to suggestions), fret board radius (flat vs radial: 9.5, 12, 14, 16?), neck shape, nut material (bone, tusk, brass or zero nut), Bridge, tail piece (stop tail, pull through or stop bridge) and fret size.

What are some of you more experienced slide player’s thoughts?

Also I was leaning towards the Seth Lover Pickups, thoughts on those? I really want that Fat, Warm PAF sound ala The Allman Bros/ Derek Trucks type tone as that is the type of music I play the most.

Thanks! 
#2
Welcome to the forum.

I'm a fingerpicker, and I only play slide on electrics. Your specs are different than mine would be (I follow the likes of Ry Cooder), but I would suggest a fairly flat radius board if you want to do full slide barres on the low frets. I would also go long scale, since you don't need the fretting advantage of a short scale if you want it just for slide. 
#3
Tony Done  Thanks for the reply, what is the benefit of a longer scale length for slide? any thoughts on fretboard/nut width or fret size? I will be fretting about 40% of the time as I play it for pretty much everything, lead and some rhythm.  
#4
Let me start by saying I am NOT an experienced slide player, I'm really just starting down that road myself. I've gotten a few custom guitars over the years, too. And most people familiar with my collection of guitars would say I have unusual tastes.

The guitar I've chosen to use on my slide odyssey is a Godin Belmont.
https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Godin_Richmond_Series_Belmont_Dorchester_Review

The SD 59 it packs in the bridge is one of my favorite SD pickups, and it partners nicely with the SD Lipsticks in the middle & neck positions. Lots of classic rock tones on tap.

All that was said to give you a hint as to my mindset before posting suggestions.

1) I think Tony Done has a really good point about the longer scale length.
2) I think a HSS, H/P90, P90/SS, 2xP90 or 3xP90 would make for a killer custom slide guitar. Charlie Christians or miniHBs would also make for good choices.
3) I'd mix a hotter bridge pickup with smoother pickups in other positions. This would maximize your tones on tap, as it were.
4) I'd probably wire any HBs in the build for splitting for the same reasons
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!
#5
Quote by dannyalcatraz
And most people familiar with my collection of guitars would say I have unusual tastes.


Really?






Last edited by dspellman at May 31, 2017,
#6
CCG30 

The differences in scale length between Gibson and Fender aren't physically noticeable to me, but I would go for the possible tonal advantages of the longer Fender scale. OTOH, if you play lap steel, short scales can have big advantages for doing slants, which is why many electric lap steels have a 22" (or so) scale. At the other extreme are baris, which are easier for slide playing on the high frets than the shorter scales, because of the wider fret spacing. I used to gig (slide) with a 30" bari, I also use it tuned to open C, with a conversion capo to get open D lap steel.
#7
dspellman

One gif was sufficient. ONE!

(Fillion FTW.)
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!
#9
dannyalcatraz That Godin is a killer guitar! I wish I could find one to put my hands on and play. Also thanks for the coil split suggest that is a great idea. 
#10
Quote by CCG30
dannyalcatraz That Godin is a killer guitar! I wish I could find one to put my hands on and play. Also thanks for the coil split suggest that is a great idea. 


You'd probably dig it. It's almost SG light, and Godin makes very nice necks. I like the one I have so much, I'm actually shopping for others. Depending on where they are, they're running @$500-800- the latter prices usually from island nations like Japan or Australia.
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
dannyalcatraz  Yeah that is the feel I'm going for too. Basically trying to build a super SG blues deluxe tone machine! haha by taking the elements I like from the LP double cut, SG and Strat and maybe a few other suggestions and combining them all together with some tweaks to make it as close to the perfect guitar for me and my playing style as I can get. So I thought if I could cram 24 frets in like some of the newer SG have, it might be worth it. I'm thinking of having a slightly thicker body like the LP for more resonance and tone but more of the SG neck shape and the SG's deeper cuts at the neck joint for full access to the top frets and toss in the body contour aspects of a Strat to make it more ergo and top it off with a neck through design so as to remove the neck joint all together so I can really reach those top frets with out having to change my hand position much. I don't like putting my thumb in front of the fret board to play the top frets like i have to now with my LP or Tele. plus if I was to play it like a standard guitar I like to have my thumb over the top, so that top cut away is great for playing the upper frets as well. I was thinking 12-14 radius on the neck, with a TOM bridge but pull through strings for more resonance as I've read that pull through strings adds to the tone because the strings connect to the guitar body directly than. Probably bone nut and medium frets and definitely double humbuckers and i'm leaning towards the seth lover, at least for the neck pick up. 
#12
Hmmmm...

I don't know that you'll detect much difference, no benefit in making the body thicker,
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!
#14
I don't think you'll see much difference in resonance if you make the body thicker.
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!
#15
dannyalcatraz cool i'll take that into consideration. I actually like the thickness of my tele with the stomach cut out. I'll probably go with that width