I have to play Freebird at a live show this Thanksgiving, it is something that all my dads friends do every year, and the only guitarist plays Freebird every year. The guitarist that plays it only plays the rhythm for the non-solo portion of the song, there has been no one playing the slide part during the non-solo portion. I was thinking about getting a slide and learning all the slide parts, and learning the solo (which I know most already), so we could finally have a real freebird, with the triple guitars and slide. I was just wondering how hard is playing a guitar with a slide and basically what to not do, etc.
Well, if it's only for one performance, it might not be worth it... you can play it with your fingers and with enough vibrato you can effectively play the same as the slide part just by sliding the fretted note with your finger held down as long as you do it fluidly. HOWEVER this doesn't have the same tone as using a slide. Playing something like freebird with a slide isn't hard really, as long as you mute the other strings with your fretting hand and keep the slide loose against the strings. Just take a bit of time getting used to the slide and practise just sliding up and down a single string without making the other strings ring out. When you've got the hang of this just play what you read in the tab and for proper slide effect, use lots of wide vibrato (done with the slide by sliding in and out of the note quickly) on any held notes, and you shouldn't then have the trouble of pitching the note perfectly.

Edit: Oh and to mute the strings cleanly, rest your first finger on the strings behind the slide as though in position for a barre chord but DON'T actually fret the barre.
Last edited by last_biscuit at Mar 19, 2007,
What he said^
Don't be demoralised if it seems like a lot to learn, its more of a feel thing, and freebird was the first slide tune i learnt, so its not too hard.