Jump to content
aberdeen-music

Slide/Bottleneck guitar


Flaneur
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just wanted to start a thread about this technique of playing.  I often wonder how many players are out there, as I don't hear many at gigs.  I don't think it's ever been a popular style, amongst Scottish players, in any genre but I believe most of the obvious drawbacks are more intimidating in theory, than after a bit of practice.  ;)  Playing in Standard requires quite a light touch and deft damping (of three strings) whilst open G or D involve a new vocabulary of partial chords, or a repertoire of slide vamping, which can be a bit repetitive.

This would be the thread to post your favourite players' YouTube heroics, or to voice your frustrations, having bought a slide and given up, after an hour of cacophonous misery. 

I've played slide in Blues bands, in a Country band, in Folk sessions and at a few solo gigs.  Anyone used slide with a baritone guitar ?  I have a feeling that could be epic, in the right hands.......

I've been to festivals where they've held Slide workshops.   Would there be any demand for such a thing here, do you think?  I don't find online tuition addresses the nuances very well- although there are plenty of resources to choose from.  What's a good compromise action?  Why heavier strings?  How much noise is acceptable -and how do I damp it?

I love the sound of Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Lowell George and Ry Cooder.  Where is the next generation of players coming from, if not Aberdeen?  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Johnny Winter was pretty hot on slide and some of the old blues guys like Fed McDowell had their own unique style of slide playing too.

I played a couple of gigs at Dundee a couple of years ago with a wee Canadian guy called Jimmy C. Jimmy is just something else on guitar and a pretty good slide player as well. One of his tricks was to take a glass of booze out of someone's hand and use it to play a slide solo. Amazing wee guy.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a big fan of slide guitar from listening to alot of blues players and many rock / blues rock music such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackmore, Floyd, Clapton (not a great fan), Rory Gallagher, Blues n Trouble, Dr Feelgood (these last three all who have played at the Douglas hotel over the years). I tend to use the three middle strings of the guitar missing out the lower E and A strings and occaisionally playing the top E. I use fingers only (no pick) and dampen the strings as i play the notes and move to the next string or use two or three strings together when sliding up or down (usually with an open tuning however the three middle strings standard tuning lend themselves perfectly for chord slides). I dont have any specific slide guitars but use standard guitars which work ok but may pick up one with a high action and unwound strings where i could utilise all of the strings (such as Gilmours pedal steel style). I sometimes use e-bow on one string and slide which gives a kind-of pedal steel effect). I always liked Blackmores playing and sometimes could,nt figure out if he was playing slide or not he was so fluid and bluesy. Remember this was pre-you tube so you had to listen to music not listen and watch. I disagree about the use of slide in Scottish music. OK maybe not in trad style but i use it alot in many of my own songs and find slow hymnal type songs are a perfect backdrop for slide. One other little give away here (and its a gem) is that i dont use the slide on my pinky finger but simply hold it between thumb and first finger and always sit down with the guitar flat on my lap - its so much more natural to do this.

 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yorlum, I think Flaneur meant it in the context of Scottish guitarists playing slide, rather than playing slide in Scottish music. I like your description of how you play with the slide between your thumb and first finger and the guitar on your knee. I'd like to see and hear that sometime. Only person I have ever seen do it that way is the late blind guitarist Jeff Healey.

I was lucky enough to play for about sixteen years with one of the top slide men in Scotland, Stefan Kocemba. Latterly he was using an acoustic Yamaha 12-string with a Woody pickup and nine or sometimes ten strings on it. He doubled up his strings tuned to the same pitch to give a 'thicker' sound. It seemed t work a treat.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for replying, guys.

Yorlum- I think your approach demonstrates the compromises involved in slide playing.  Damping three of six strings is fiddly and restrictive- but for many players, preferable to the extra aggravation of playing in an open tuning- where nothing is at it 'should' be.  You sound like an ideal recruit to the world of lap steel playing- but that might be a subject for another thread?  ;)  For myself, the benefit of using a standard guitar(with a high action) rather than a lap instrument, is the extra flexibility- an opportunity to grab chords, play fills and riffs- using the fingers not occupied by the slide.  Jeff Healey developed his technique to an amazing extent, with the guitar in his lap- but I wouldn't know where to start!  :)

I like your idea of using an E-bow.  Having enjoyed your spring soundclips, I realise that the palette you are painting with is not like my blues/rock/country sensibility: it's a whole different soundscape.  :)

Of the famous players you mention.... I think I saw them all, back in the day.  I still go seek out Sandy Tweeddale, when he's playing anywhere north of Perth.   As a slide player, I would prefer Rory Gallagher to any of the others.  His love of the musicians who inspired him shone through, in every song.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah i see re comments by Trikelops and Flanuer - think i may have misinterpreted the Scottish music angle  - apologies. Another great Scottish slide player was the guitarist with Nazareth and i liked the voice of the vocalist too. Always thought he would have been a better replacement for Bon Scott than that Geordie lad that is if he is still alive. Trikelops suggested he may like to hear some of my material - well the best place to go for that is my website at yorlum.com but i do a fair number of slide songs (some original some not) on you tube which is accessible via yorlum. I have yet to play any of this live as such but occaisionally do the odd song on looper at Musa in Aberdeen. My acoustic duo with Penny is playing a 45 minute set at Brewdog on Sunday though i dont use much slide if any on these songs however the slide can be heard on several songs at Millbrigmusic.com too and of course Soundcloud.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...