79Lespaul

Metal Vs Glass Slide

49 posts in this topic

I'm told that the only true slide is the glass medicine bottle , but I see mostly metal. How do you decide? Glass, Stainless steel, Brass,Copper? Whats the pro vs con of each?

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I have a custom made heavy leaded glass slide which is the exact brother of Kirk's brass slides. I prefer the brass and almost never play the glass. I prefer the growl of brass.

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I'd always heard that the 'true' slide was a bottle neck. The more I got into slide, the more I found that weight was the best asset when it came to slides. The heavier the slide, the better the contact with the string, the clearer the tone, the longer the sustain. But, the trade off is that you need to use heavier strings. The ones I have made for me are as heavy as I could get, that's why I love them. Those Coricidin bottles are the exact opposite: almost no weight, thin sides, zero sustain (for me, anyway) and mosquito-like tone. I used one for years before realizing that dense weight was the answer for me.

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Hi Kirk,

What gauge strings do you play on slide? I saw this gadget for lap steel guitar that looked like an anvil with a handle. Is this too much or should I try a particular brand? which one do you prefere?

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Hey '79. Do you mean a Steel?? I saw that a few times in Musician's Friend!

As for the main question, I use brass 'cause it's indestructible (damn near, anyway).

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Hi Kirk,

What gauge strings do you play on slide? I saw this gadget for lap steel guitar that looked like an anvil with a handle. Is this too much or should I try a particular brand? which one do you prefere?

I use 16 - 18 - 24 - 34 - 44 - 54, so that's a B string I use for the E string. Gives me a BIG note on that top string.

I'm nor sure about brands, I'm afraid. I have my slides made for me and I sell them if you're interested. They're a little shorter than most as I don't need them long to play in Standard/Dropped D. Here is where you can find out more:

Brass slides

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Hi Kirk...Wow! 16 0n the E ! I looked at the brass slide you suggested and I wanted to know why go with the short slide vs slide that covers all strings?

I'm interested in seeing these custom guitars you spoke of. Are these for more advanced players like you or for most anybody wanting a great slide to play?

Is a lap steel slide overkill?

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Hi Kirk...Wow! 16 0n the E ! I looked at the brass slide you suggested and I wanted to know why go with the short slide vs slide that covers all strings?

I'm interested in seeing these custom guitars you spoke of. Are these for more advanced players like you or for most anybody wanting a great slide to play?

Is a lap steel slide overkill?

In Standard or Dropped-D, you don't really need to span the 6 strings. Chords are 'smaller' than that in those tunings, whereas open tuning chords are the full span. It's more comfortable wearing a shorter one.

I'm not sure what custom guitars you're asking about. :dunno:

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Its true that there a lot of different types of Slides, and how to use them. However, no one has talked about Porcelain. Lets get with the rock people! If Porcelain was good enought for Aerosmith its good enough for me. Plus this slide will absorb moisture from your finger so the slide dosen't slip off. Here is an example of a Porcelain slide.

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I have tried Brass, Chrome, Porcelain,Glass and copper.

The Copper slide had a gritty thin tone.

The Chrome gave a lot of harmonics and was bright sounding.

The brass has nice sustain and isnt as bright as chrome. It gives a nice growl to the notes..

Porcelain is smooth has less sustain has a mellow tone.

Glass sustains well (if its thick) Its very smooth on the strings (less sliding noise) has less harmonics than Brass or Chome.

My fave is heavy brass...followed by heavy glass.

I like 15mm ID and 2 inch length (I bar all six strings)

Trying lots of slides is part of the fun of slide guitar :)

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I use all kinds of slides...brass, copper, glass, steel, and a ceramic Mudslide. I have even put a glass slide over the top of a brass Rockslide. My least favorite is steel...just too bright of a sound for me. I prefer the thicker Dunlop glass slides, the 215 in particular, for electric guitars. On my acoustic, I use the Mudslide.

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I have not heard anybody say yet if a lap steel guitar slide was good for an electric guitar or if it was too much slide!

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I have not heard anybody say yet if a lap steel guitar slide was good for an electric guitar or if it was too much slide!

I can see no reason why it wouldn't work, but they are designed for playing a guitar while it sits on your lap, flat in front of you. Since they don't fit on your finger, I would think it hard to use one while holding a guitar in the normal manner.

T-Bone Walker played his guitar adjusted where it was nearly flat in front of him while he played, though.

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Well, whats got me on the lap steel guitar question is I've been struggling with slides for years and never realised why I was having difficutly until Kirk suggested a HEAVIER slide! It has dawned on me that the WEIGHT of the slide helps you to play slide easier and sound better! Kirk, correct me if I'm wrong! The composition of the slide obviously matters too, but only an expert can take a light weight slide and make it work!

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Lap slides are like bars of metal, all heavy steel chrome or brass. You certainly would have to play it lap steel style with your left hand cupped over the slide, your back fingers muting what you don't want sounded and your guitar turned flat like a dobro. I have to agree with guitar gal. To each his own but I'd stick to a nice heavy brass slide. The heavy strings that Kirk suggests are needed partly so you don't bang into your frets and make a bunch of unwanted noise.

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I guess the best thing to do if you can is to have a guitar set up just for slide and nothing else! ? The perfect setup? ? Best to let a pro do it for you?

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It all depends on your resources, but doing it yourself is satisfying. Setting up a guitar for the purpose you want it for should be easily researched on the net or the library for that matter. I'm certainly no expert, and not a great player, but I sure like to fiddle around with my guitars. Changing a set of strings is even a satisfying endeavor.

Good luck with it.

Bolerama

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Ok , if I'm looking for a glass bottle to cut the neck off of - what brand of beer would you think would have a heavy enough glass to use?

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Well, whats got me on the lap steel guitar question is I've been struggling with slides for years and never realised why I was having difficutly until Kirk suggested a HEAVIER slide! It has dawned on me that the WEIGHT of the slide helps you to play slide easier and sound better! Kirk, correct me if I'm wrong! The composition of the slide obviously matters too, but only an expert can take a light weight slide and make it work!

Sorry 79LP ... I missed this.

Yes, I think the composition does make a difference to the feel and to the sound. I find glass too hard and slippery myself. Chrome too. I guess I've just got used to brass, but I like the traction I get with brass. It's not as slippery, there's a bit of dig-in, a bit of drag. The metal is quite soft, in fact you get little grooves in it after a while, and I like that, myself. But, to each their own, it's really what you get used to, I think.

I think these days with all the pedals and over-drive and compression, it's a lot easier to make a light weight slide sound OK, but in the old days, you're right. Duane was the only one to really get a good sound out of a light slide. To my ear anyway.

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.... Changing a set of strings is even a satisfying endeavor.

I hate changing strings! That's why I leave mine on until they're dead as doornails and untunable. It drives me nuts fiddling and tuning and clipping and stretching.

My old pal Tommy Emmanuel changes his every gig, which means once or twice a day!

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