Learning slide...

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After years of half assed attempts at learning, I’ve decided to make a real effort at getting better at playing slide. 

Anyone got any recommendations of sources, books, online or general hints and tips? Mainly struggling with the right hand technique of playing and muting strings. 

Cheers!
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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 1853
    For a back-to-basics guide to slide playing this You Tube vid by Justin Guitar is pretty good:

    https://youtu.be/GpdFe-6ydpo

    In addition listen to recordings of Duane Allman, Derek Trucks, Bonnie Raitt, George Harrison and others for electric slide and no end of artists for acoustic slide.

    As Justin says in the vid, it’s essential to play over looped or recorded backing while practicing to be totally sure you are playing in tune.
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  • jfraze5150jfraze5150 Frets: 193
    Jimbro66 said:
    For a back-to-basics guide to slide playing this You Tube vid by Justin Guitar is pretty good:

    https://youtu.be/GpdFe-6ydpo

    In addition listen to recordings of Duane Allman, Derek Trucks, Bonnie Raitt, George Harrison and others for electric slide and no end of artists for acoustic slide.

    As Justin says in the vid, it’s essential to play over looped or recorded backing while practicing to be totally sure you are playing in tune.
    Oooft, his finger nails are giving me the boke!  :s
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  • jfraze5150jfraze5150 Frets: 193
    Cheers guys... I should have mentioned I'm just about beyond basic/beginner level. Always been an Allmans fan and Trucks is about the best guitar player out there right now I think. His wife is a bit shouty for my taste though...

    As the second video mentions there though @Wasmeister, I usually try and practice for about a day or two then my guitars get tuned back up and I don't pick up the slide for another 6 months... It's basically fucking hard.

    I think I'm regretting never really learning to play finger style on an acoustic. I think that would have stood me in better stead for that right hand playing and muting technique. 
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  • jfraze5150jfraze5150 Frets: 193
    I found this video to be pretty helpful... 
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  • LewyLewy Frets: 1631
    edited April 2020
    The gold standard for right hand muting imo is Sonny Landreth - he basically assigns a finger to each of the top three strings (and the thumb has a roaming brief on the bottom three) and they rest there the whole time, only lifting to pick their assigned string. It takes some practice but it’s achievable. It’s what enables him to have his slide across all the strings most of the time. But you can lighten your right hand damping workload by NOT having the slide across all the strings all the time - say you’re playing something on the second string...you could just have the slide resting on strings 2 and 1, and not any of the ones physically above string 2. By developing the ability to move the slide across the strings not just along them, you can cut out a lot of noise. It also makes it easier to achieve a nice vibrato because you have more control of the slide the closer to your fingertip you are using.
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  • jfraze5150jfraze5150 Frets: 193
    Lewy said:
    The gold standard for right hand muting imo is Sonny Landreth - he basically assigns a finger to each of the top three strings (and the thumb has a roaming brief on the bottom three) and they rest there the whole time, only lifting to pick their assigned string. It takes some practice but it’s achievable. It’s what enables him to have his slide across all the strings most of the time. But you can lighten your right hand damping workload by NOT having the slide across all the strings all the time - say you’re playing something on the second string...you could just have the slide resting on strings 2 and 1, and not any of the ones physically above string 2. By developing the ability to move the slide across the strings not just along them, you can cut out a lot of noise. It also makes it easier to achieve a nice vibrato because you have more control of the slide the closer to your fingertip you are using.
    This is the sorta thing I was meaning! Thank you very much. That’s very helpful. 

    Yeah, that right had technique is kinda like the Duane Allman technique I’ve seen explained in a few videos. 

    Putting some heavier strings on, raising the action and finding the right slide have all made BIG differences so far. (Slinky 11s and a Dunlop Blues Bottle 272 on my ring finger for anyone who cares) 
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  • Fishboy7Fishboy7 Frets: 994
    edited April 2020
    Have you experimented much with different slides?  The little one here is by far the easiest to play with.  I always use it on the pinky.  Seems like your wasting a whole fretting finger by wearing on the ring finger 


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  • jfraze5150jfraze5150 Frets: 193
    Fishboy7 said:
    Have you experimented much with different slides?  The little one here is by far the easiest to play with.  I always use it on the pinky.  Seems like your wasting a whole fretting finger by wearing on the ring finger 


    Yeah! I’ve got quite a few now. Thin and thick wall. Brass, steel and glass. One I find the easiest is a regular thickness, medium Dunlop blues bottle. That’s a 272. I’ve tried pinky, ring and middle finger and ring finger is the best for me. I use the index finger on left hand to mute and the middle to support the slide. 

    I’ve not tried one of those with what looks like a scalloped edge on the far right there though. 

    I’d like to try one of the MagSlides. About £50 though once shipping is considered. 
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  • LewyLewy Frets: 1631
    Fishboy7 said:
    I always use it on the pinky.  Seems like your wasting a whole fretting finger by wearing on the ring finger 



    Ring finger has the advantage of better control, and the opportunity to fret in front of the side with the pinky, so it's swings and roundabouts. It's good to be able to choose between pinky and ring finger depending on what you're playing I find.
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  • jfraze5150jfraze5150 Frets: 193
    Then again... players like Bonnie Raitt, Ronnie Wood and Jason Isbell all play with it on their middle finger and they seem to get by ok.  
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  • jfraze5150jfraze5150 Frets: 193
    Lewy said:
    Fishboy7 said:
    I always use it on the pinky.  Seems like your wasting a whole fretting finger by wearing on the ring finger 



    Ring finger has the advantage of better control, and the opportunity to fret in front of the side with the pinky, so it's swings and roundabouts. It's good to be able to choose between pinky and ring finger depending on what you're playing I find.
    I barely use my pinky when playing normally so why would I use it trying to learn slide!   :)
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  • Fishboy7Fishboy7 Frets: 994
    Ha, probably stick with whatever feels most natural.  Interestingly a lot of the great slide players don't play massive strings and super high action but just have a really light and accurate touch.  
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  • LewyLewy Frets: 1631
    edited April 2020
    Then again... players like Bonnie Raitt, Ronnie Wood and Jason Isbell all play with it on their middle finger and they seem to get by ok.  
    True enough. Jeff Beck too I think?

    As long as you play cleanly and in tune, everything else is down to a) what is comfortable and b) what best enables you to play what you want. Slide is just a technique, like legato or sweep picking. Yet people expect to be able to put way less effort into it than, say, sweep picking and then fall into the trap of thinking the reason they're not sounding great is because they need these strings, or that slide etc. Those things help a bit but they are not essential, otherwise the world would be awash with amazing slide guitar players, and it certainly isn't

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  • jfraze5150jfraze5150 Frets: 193
    Lewy said:
    Then again... players like Bonnie Raitt, Ronnie Wood and Jason Isbell all play with it on their middle finger and they seem to get by ok.  
    True enough. Jeff Beck too I think?

    As long as you play cleanly and in tune, everything else is down to a) what is comfortable and b) what best enables you to play what you want. Slide is just a technique, like legato or sweep picking. Yet people expect to be able to put way less effort into it than, say, sweep picking and then fall into the trap of thinking the reason they're not sounding great is because they need these strings, or that slide etc. Those things help a bit but they are not essential, otherwise the world would be awash with amazing slide guitar players, and it certainly isn't

    Yeah. Very true. I think one of the reasons is that a competent player can try to learn a new technique, take it slowly and sound pretty good still. You start to learn slide and it sounds awful to start with. I mean, you go from being competent to really shit sounding instantly so I can understand why people don’t persevere. 
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  • *Aaron**Aaron* Frets: 15
    How is your slide playing progressing jfraze?........ did you discover any handy resources for learning?
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