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SETTING UP ELECTRIC GUITAR FOR SLIDE


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#1 OFFLINE   denray

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Posted 06 July 2004 - 11:24 AM

WHAT IS THE EASIEST OR BEST WAY TO RAISE THE ACTION ON THE NUT END OF THE NECK? IS THERE AN OPTIMUM HEIGHT FOR THE STRINGS ON THE FRETBOARD? I HAVE AN ELECTRIC WITH STOP TAILPIECE, ADJUSTABLE BRIDGE, DUAL HUMBUCKERS BUT THE NUT END FRETS ARE TOO LOW. THIS GUITAR IS NEW SO I WOULD LIKE TO RAISE THE ACTION ON THE NUT END WITHOUT INVALIDATING THE WARRANTY. ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED. HOPE THIS FORUM TAKES OFF. THANKS.

#2 OFFLINE   Kirk Lorange

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 11:31 PM

Hey denray.

Would be possible to turn off the caps in your posts? It's very hard to read when it's all caps...

I'm not really qualified to answer, as I know very little about setting up guitars. I just use heavy strings on my Strat and they tend to pull the action up enough to make playing comfortable. the heavy strings are nice and tense too, so I don't seem to need extra height.

If anybody else can help, drop a line.

#3 OFFLINE   Frankenstrat2

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Posted 11 July 2004 - 05:21 PM

Hi Denray
I play slide on all my guitars, electric and acoustic.
I have never raised the nut on any of them.
I do use heavier strings, and I usually raise the action on the bridge quite a bit.
I think if you bump up at least one guage in strings and raise the bridge you should be OK
In the beginning its all about touch and damping more than string height.
Just keep at it.
Barry

#4 OFFLINE   Ricochet

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 11:39 AM

I agree, any guitar can be played with a slide, with any string gauge or action height. It's much more demanding of sensitive technique to play with light strings and a low action. But I've long seen my teacher grab random guitars off the music store racks for lessons and play stuff so sweet it'll bring tears to your eyes. Some time back I bought a little Epiphone that came with .008s on it and, being a cheapskate, I played it for about 2 months like that before putting heavier strings on it, first .010s and later .012s. The fatter strings have a great tone and I don't have to concentrate quite as hard, but playing it with those .008s, low action and the slide was good for me.

Some guitars (like Fenders) have a narrow, very arched string layout. A bottleneck that's got a slight concave curve on the sides works a lot better on these than a straight-sided slide.

#5 OFFLINE   pbradt

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 09:16 AM

When I got my Strat, I had a new nut put in that radiused the strings at 12" and perhaps raised them slightly (maybe 1/16") I also had the string spacing set as wide as possible. The bridge was also radiused at 12". However, I don't think I'd like a concave slide very much.

I tend to think of a slide much in the way a fiddler thinks of his bow. It's a rare thing you're playing ALL the strings at the same time and the straight slide allows you to "bow" the strings, even though it's with your left hand, something like a fiddler bows the fiddle strings.

Of course everybody's different and if concave floats your boat, by all means use it, but this is another way of approaching it.
"Pete, if they don't get it by now, they never will." - Lee Roy Parnell

#6 OFFLINE   pbradt

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 09:18 AM

admin said:

I just use heavy strings on my Strat and they tend to pull the action up enough to make playing comfortable. the heavy strings are nice and tense too, so I don't seem to need extra height.

When you put the heavy strings on, I hope you got the truss rod adjusted. That extra tension will bow the heck out of your guitar's neck.
"Pete, if they don't get it by now, they never will." - Lee Roy Parnell

#7 OFFLINE   Ricochet

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 06:47 PM

Doesn't bow it much. Like he said, it does raise the action slightly, making for a nice compromise for fretting and sliding.

#8 OFFLINE   BlindRalphJr

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 10:26 PM

Elderly among others has a nut extension that fits over a regular nut with no modifications. Item EN02.

Something I have thought about is a replacable top section for a Les Paul style bridge with the strings in a level line. The top section come off when the strings are removed anyway so it would be easy, if such a thing was made, to do a conversion of an electric to a good slice guitar without making any permanent changes.
"Take it easy, greasy, you gotta l-o-n-g way to slide"
BlindRalphJr

#9 OFFLINE   Ricochet

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Posted 30 November 2004 - 06:26 PM

You don't want a nut extension unless you intend to play lap style or exclusively with slide. About 70% of my slide playing is fretted, and in blues that's typical. A nut extension will make fretted playing impossible. You don't need it, anyway. I'm doing fine right now with .009-.046 GHSs on my Agile AS-820, stock strings with a stock setup. I've held off on putting heavier strings on, because I'm not sure I want to make this an exclusively slide guitar. That is, I don't want to.

#10 OFFLINE   Johnniez

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 07:00 PM

View PostKirk Lorange, on 07 July 2004 - 11:31 PM, said:

I'm not really qualified to answer, as I know very little about setting up guitars. I just use heavy strings on my Strat and they tend to pull the action up enough to make playing comfortable. the heavy strings are nice and tense too, so I don't seem to need extra height.

That sounds like you would get a fatter sound with heavier strings..

So, What gauge of heavy strings do you use?

Johnnie

#11 OFFLINE   Kirk Lorange

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:31 PM

I use a 016 as E string -- so it's really a B string tuned up a fourth (very scary to do), then 018, 024 wound, 034, 044, 054. It's mainly those top strings, the thin ones, that need beefing up, not only for a louder sound, but that extra tension keeps the slide itself up off the frets.

Make sure your guitar can take the extra tension on that top E. I use my Strat and it's never had any problems, but some necks are glued on and might not like it.

#12 OFFLINE   Michael Seidl

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 05:50 AM

this might sound ruthless, but a couple of years ago I set up a cheap strat copy for slide by simply loosening the strings an sliding an allen wrench between the strings and bridge saddles.
worked a treat...

#13 OFFLINE   aquataur

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 09:21 AM

I have set up a guitar (LP copy) specifically destined for slide, with slightly raised action (5mm) at the 12th fret and a stock .012 jazz guitar set of strings just to find, that my Strat, that uses a regular (.010) top and heavy bottom set of strings, was more comfortable.

I use a zero fret on the Strat for better intonation that makes for a slightly raised nut, but otherwise it is perfectly playable fretted. I fret and slide whenever it seems appropriate.

Sometimes you have to be careful on the lower frets for not to touch them, but no problem on the higher frets.

I have an acoustic guitar which is optimized for fretted playing using .012 string sets, but this one is unplayable for slide. The action overall is too low.
I gather if you were very good at sliding you may even play that one, but a beginner is IMHO better advised to perfect his/her technique on a guitar that helps you.


-helmut





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