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Author: Subject: Need some advice from the guitar players...

Ultimate Peach





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  posted on 8/13/2007 at 08:50 PM
Well, I'm a guitar and dobro player since 1979, played in several bands and done some recording, but for some reason I've always limited my slide playing to the dobro.(Bluegrass style, not blues)

Anyway, I've decided to start playing some slide on my Les Paul. Being a 35 year ABB fan you would think I would have been playing electric slide a long time ago, but for some reason I've always played straight lead on electric.

So....I know the scales, where the notes are, and how to tune in open G and open E. And I have picked up a couple of Coricidin bottles to use. But I just just have some basic questions, since I see the slide used in different ways.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to putting the slide on the 2nd finger, or 3rd (ring) finger?

Also, what are the pro's and con's to putting the slide all the way down the finger, as opposed to having it rest on the 2nd knuckle?

Any other tips regarding playing electric slide that you might find usefull will be appreciated as well.

Thanks!

"D"

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 8/13/2007 at 09:43 PM
quote:
What are the advantages and disadvantages to putting the slide on the 2nd finger, or 3rd (ring) finger?
It sounds like you have always played lap style on a squareneck instrument. Ever considered continuing that style on an electric lap steel instead?

Which finger you wear the slide on is a trade-off of control and balance vs. fingers you can use for normal fretting and chording. The best balance and control is with the slide on the ring finger. You could do more fretted chords with the slide on the pinky. Experimenting and finding personal preference will be the main thing. The ring finger always worked for me. The pinky never feels right to me, and I never saw how Bonnie Raitt, Dickey Betts or Ron Wood could play good slide using the middle finger.

 

Peach Master



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  posted on 8/13/2007 at 09:54 PM
What I always thought about it is this fact-don't overlook just simply trying to get a good sound coming from the slide and your hands. Slide is largely feel; it is somewhat less technical if you will. Sure, there are differences if you wear it on the third or fourth finger, one being the fact that fretting chords will be more difficult if the slide is on the ring finger as opposed to the pinky. Some people feel that on the ring finger facilitates slide soloing, and wearing it on the pinky is better for chording/sliding. In the end it's how it feels to you.

Some of the other nuances, such as how far down the finger, etc., seem (IMHO) to have a way of working themselves out...you may notice that after a few days, hours, or weeks, that you are doing these things without your knowing-you just look down one day and find that the slide is all the way down your finger, and that's how you're most comfortable.

The fingers behind the slide can lightly touch the strings if you want a cleaner sound (damping). But some players don't damp as heavily, and as a result, get a 'dirtier' tone.

Sliding on acoustic is quite different than an electric, especially a Les Paul. Obviously the sustain creates a different experience. But I think that once you get your basic technique down, you automatically adapt to the differences.

These things are just what I've noticed, I'm sure others will have other tips

Happy sliding


 

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  posted on 8/13/2007 at 10:01 PM
well i guess you could call it all a preference thing, but i really don't see any disadvantages to wearing it on your pinky. i know the thouhgt seems really uncomfortable, but it gives you the ability to so much behind the slide, be it chords or amazing licks; Sonny Landreth is a real master of this. And when you are straight sliding, if you have the rest of your fingers aligned properly (pressed together and resting on the strings behind the slide), then balance isn't an issue. learing how to land right on top of the fret takes some time to learn regardless of which finger your slide is on. then again, it truly is a preference thing and this is jsut what i've learend to love.

 

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  posted on 8/13/2007 at 11:10 PM
Don't forget that slide playing is just another extension of your ability to get what you hear in your head, onto the guitar. Comfort is everyting,middle finger, ring finger...where does the sound you are looking for come from?
I discovered open E about 5 years into my guitar playing history. Having learned to play slide in standard, Open E was so easy for me, all the notes were, right there.
Use your amp and guitar settings to your advantage. tinker, find your sound.
The heel of your palm is another really effective "tool". Dampening with your palm can really enhance your capacity to give your playing that "Little Milton" sound.

Go for it.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 8/14/2007 at 08:04 AM
I personally feel that the middle or ring fingers are preferable because you can use other fingers to mute behind the slide, and use your pinky to muted unplayed strings in front of the slide (and your palm to mute lower strings). This leads to a cleaner sound with less rattle and overtones. I use my ring finger, as it's the strongest finger and lends itself to more precise placement for better intonation. And, of course, that's the finger that Duane used.

If you're used to a different finger because of your acoustic playing, by all means use whichever one you're comfortable with. Tom

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/14/2007 at 09:19 AM
i use the pinky..you can pretty much play most of your normal chords and still slide..i play standard tuning for the most part..just now starting to wrok with open tunings

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/14/2007 at 10:12 AM
I am a pinky player for slide.

partly because my hands are big and the coricidin bottle goes down to
the first knuckle and that finger but not the others.

So I get more control on the pinky with more finger in the bottle.

don't limit yourself to E or G, I also play in C and standard.

peace
John

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 8/14/2007 at 10:49 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies and good advice.

I've taken the advice here and pretty much just been "playing around" with it the last few days. trying this, trying that, etc...and just waiting to see what feels right.

As of right now I've pretty much settled in on placing the bottle on my ring finger. Like a couple of folks said, it seems the most *natural* and balanced...for me...on that one.

Its taking a little getting used to. I've always played the dobro bluegrass style, flat while holding the bar in the palm of my hand, so the whole "on the finger" style is new to me. And its taking a little while to to get used to not seeing the fretboard flat in front of me like with the dobro.

But I've been tuning in some of the blues and ABB style rock stations on XM radio and live 365 and playing along. Its feeling more and more natural the more I play. Its really neat...you can get sounds and nuances that you could never do with your fingers.

Of course I've known that from listening for years, but its really neat to be playing this way myself!

Yiiiii Haaaaaaa!

Thanks folks!

"D"

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 8/15/2007 at 03:39 PM
Just play from your heart.
spdb

 

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Peach Head



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  posted on 8/15/2007 at 04:51 PM
anyone know of the two lesson books warren putout about playing slide? I`ve seen them on amazon, think they come with a cd or something to play along with?
 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 8/15/2007 at 06:29 PM
I have one of em...pretty basic, nothing you cant get from a record.
Just listen...Duane will teach you all you need to know.
spdb

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 8/15/2007 at 07:17 PM
Duane wore it on the ring finger and thats good enough for me, although much different from most of the players before him.

Whatever works for you.....

I wish I could play slide.....

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 8/15/2007 at 07:38 PM
quote:
Duane wore it on the ring finger and thats good enough for me, although much different from most of the players before him.

Whatever works for you.....

I wish I could play slide.....


you can..

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 8/15/2007 at 11:07 PM

hound dog taylor's slide hand (unretouched photo)

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 8/16/2007 at 01:13 AM
Whoa!

What the heck is going on with his hand??? Did he have 6 fingers???

"D"

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 8/16/2007 at 10:09 AM
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What the heck is going on with his hand??? Did he have 6 fingers???

Polydactylism. Hound Dog Taylor had an extra finger on each hand. I read he sliced off the extra digit on his other hand himself.

 

Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 8/16/2007 at 10:43 AM
D28Guy and others who may see this post please go to the Shop Talk section of the Forum and surf through the topics you will find some very informative threads on slide with links to various sites which budding sliders as well as regular pickers will find a boon to their playing. Normally the pinky is the accepted best digit for slide because it allows fretting with the other fingers. Sorry for the run on sentence beginning my response.

 

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