Author Topic: [muso] Playing Slide Guitar  (Read 2506 times)

[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« on: February 04, 2004, 11:32:06 AM »
A topic from The Bomb'd Shelter that I want to keep.  Hopefully my Ma will get a chance to pick me up a steel slide today on her way down.

Quote from: "Neil"
Ok, finally starting to lean to play Free Bird, but I'd like to get a slide and play it how it's meant to be played! Plus, I just fancy fannying around with slide guitar anyway. Anyone got any tips or good links? It can be difficult finding good sites as there's so much commercial stuff out there, however this one seems OK: http://slide.8k.com/ Also, if anyone has any good sites for finger-picking (with lots of patterns) then I'd love to hear about em. Ta.


Quote from: "VM"
I don't know whether it's of particular interest to you, but my favourite song with prominent slide guitar action is Albatross by Fleetwood Mac, which is really good to play.
In fact I can't wait until wednesday when my Ovation arrives.

http://fretplay.com/tabs/f/fleetwoo...atros-tab.shtml

I won't tab it out (as it's massive), but this guy has done the closest to what I play. Have fun!


Quote from: "Frinky"
It's not a slide song, though. It's bends and vibrato.


Quote from: "Neil"
Deffo a song worth learning though, someone in real life asked me if I could play that a while back "cause if I could play guitar, *that's* the song I'd learn!" Good point. Like I say, I've been playing the intro to Free Bird with my finger but want to do it right. So what sort of slide do I go for, how much do they cost etc? Not more than a fiver, I'm hoping!
 


Quote from: "VM"
Thanks, you tosser.


Quote from: "Frinky"
I would reccomend In My Time Of Dying by Zep (Oh, would you reeeeeally, Frink? How original of you) - you'll have to retune to godknowswhat, but it's great. It's also one of those songs that sounds really great on a cheap and scratchy guitar (check out the live versions).


Quote from: "Frinky"
Neil wrote:
So what sort of slide do I go for, how much do they cost etc? Not more than a fiver, I'm hoping!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Glass slides give a "warmer" tone. Metal ones are more trebly. Despite the terrible descriptions, there's a world of difference. If you want gentle slide, go glass. If you want to, ahem, "rawk," go for a metal. And they should be had for under a fiver, yes. Failing that, go to B&Q and beg for an offcut of copper piping


Quote from: "Neil"
Heh, Zep *are* fab though. Must learn Kashmir as that's one of my all-time faves. Oh, can't rememeber who it was who mentioned the Old Gray Whistle test version of Free Bird (The Geej?) but I found it on Soulseek last night, yay! Can't wait to finish downloading it.


Quote from: "The Unicorn"
Slide prices vary, depending on the type, and whether you get the glass or steel kind. Prices are usually under a tenner.
Being a cheapo, I always used a Lynx deodorant can, although it had a tendency to cause a lot of bum-noteage.


Quote from: "VM"
The start of Out to Get You by James has a simple, but very effective slide. Perfect if you're starting to learn slide.

At the lack of any cock-shitting tablature:

-------------------------------------------------
-5<>7--5<>3------------5<>7-7-7<>8-8<>10-10--
---------------2<>4<>2--------------------------
-------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------


Quote from: "The Unicorn"
"Love Spreads" by The Stone Roses has a great slide intro, although it's pretty hard to master and the low E string is tuned to D:

http://www.tabcrawler.com/archive.php?action=view&file_id=46252


Quote from: "VM"
Are you *sure* it's slide? I've been playing it for years just using pull-offs and hammer ons.

*checks link*

Hmm..Apart from the start, mostly finger work. Good.


Quote from: "Neil"
Ooh Stone Roses, good call, need to learn some of their stuff. Got a new A4 pad this week so I'll start writing down some new tabs I think.


Quote from: "Gazeuse"
Before I got me glass one I used an old battery.

Nice sound. I also use my tremelo arm to bow the strings, but then I like Daevid Allen's antics.


Quote from: "Rats"
Have you done any of your own tunes nelly? I'd love to hear one.


Quote from: "Neil"
Not really, well I wrote a simple three chord finger-picking thing on my acoustic this week when I was boozing and toking down at my sisters. First time I've tried to *make* anything really, I've just been concentrating on improving my technique and learning chords. I did write a couple of nice riffs tonight though during that shit Cameron Diaz movie. I'll have to fiddle about some more and write this stuff down, it's ace fun, plus I'd like to take part in the BandWhores thing when the site comes back.


Quote from: "Rats"
You're the total oppisite to me then. I don't even know one chord, I just pick the thing up and hope for the best. I'd love to be able to play properly. I think I've out-lazied you on this one


Quote from: "Neil"
Yeah I've heard you say that before, but seriously, just get a full set of strings on there and start playing something every day. Just fuck around with simple open chords like D, Em, E, A, Am etc. So much more fun when you have a basic idea of what you're doing, and trying to play beyond your skill is how you get better. Being able to play along with something like Free Bird or Little Wing is amazing.


Quote from: "Rats"
Nah, I really don't think it's worth me trying, my hands shake a lot. It's not really my instrument of choice, I play keyboard better because you just push down on that but I like playing it because I'm really restricted and it sounds awfull and flat. I'd love to have steady hands and be able to play well though, I'd probably never put it down if I was any good.


Quote from: "Neil"
It's worth trying! I used to think my mitts were too big and I'd never be able to do a simple A chord but there are other ways of doing things. I love it, wish I'd not wasted so many years though, I should have got lessons or just kept practicing every day.


Quote from: "elderford"
Every so often I have a go at slide, but usually lapse back into pretending to be in The Fall after a few hours.

Try and wear the slide on your little finger.
Use the fingers behind it to rest on the fretboard to stop the strings ringing too much.
Try and get out of standard tuning, it's a lot easier in open tuning.
A lot of blues tuning books have open tunings where the strings are tuned up (I'm always too much of a girl to risk it).
DADGBD is a favourite, as well as my new discovery of CGDGB(E).

[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2004, 11:42:57 AM »
Oh, and another half-remembered hints for all you metallers with your light gauges and low actions:

heavy strings and high actions recommended for sonic weows without the train track clunk-clunk as you ride over every fret.

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2004, 01:53:21 PM »
Wot U Need 4 Slyide



Fender Telecaster, on the bridge pickup with 3 brass, vintage-style saddles. The bridge pup is bolted to a brass plate underneath. Nice high action, 10-52's or higher. All this gives the ultimate twang sound, which sounds perfect clean or distorted. To ease off on the twang, roll down the tone knob. To make the twang very scary (and get into Lapsteel territory) adjust the pickup height to riiiight under the strings. Simplicity itself (and shedloads of fun).

Re: [muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2004, 02:23:38 PM »
Quote from: "elderford"

Try and wear the slide on your little finger.
Use the fingers behind it to rest on the fretboard to stop the strings ringing too much.


Yep, my main problem with playing slide has always been stopping the strings I don't want to sound from ringing. The trouble is, if I try and muffle the strings with fingers behind the slide, my slide finger tends to lift a little, and then I just get half-slide, half-muted strings, which sound horrible. Generally though, I find that whilst it's fun playing slide for a few minutes, I tend to get bored of it quite quickly - it's really quite limited in terms of what you can play, or at least what I *want* to play. Generally it's blues-y rock, or country blues-y rock, and that's it.

One good tip I have found is to wear the slide on the middle finger, cos then you still have a finger to go behind the slide, but also a couple to go in front for playing non-slide notes with too, if that makes sense.

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
Re: [muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2004, 02:29:57 PM »
Quote from: "Bonely Child"
One good tip I have found is to wear the slide on the middle finger, cos then you still have a finger to go behind the slide, but also a couple to go in front for playing non-slide notes with too, if that makes sense.


Yup, also gives you much better fretting capability, which is cool, you might find that opens things up a bit for you... so you can play mini-riffs with slides added to it.

[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2004, 03:41:00 PM »
Quote
Yup, also gives you much better fretting capability, which is cool, you might find that opens things up a bit for you... so you can play mini-riffs with slides added to it.


Hence, why I mentioned open tunings, it opens up the opportunity to play alternate 5ths, riffing, or plodding bass notes on the low strings, whilst retaining sliding for the top three strings.

I think I'm going on about being your own one man band, obviously if your just playing lead: standard tuning and arseing about around the bridge a la Gilmour/Pompeii Floyd is fine.

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2004, 04:39:22 PM »
No, I agree that different tunings for slide and are far better, I'm just hoplessly shit with them. I'm not at all creative, you see, so these things tend not to make a great deal of sense to me.

[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2004, 05:08:00 PM »
Open tunings are a wonder, although it really does help to have more than one guitar as it takes time to get used to the new chord shapes or soloing patterns.

So, if you're constantly re-tuning in and out of standard tuning it becomes tedious.

A nice starter is to just drop the low E to D in standard tuning, this then gives you DAD, so you can power chord a moveable 5 chord using the bottom three strings (with one finger barring).

DADG, gives you a fifth heavy Amin7.

Then when you feel a bit more daring tune the G down half a step to F#, to give you DADF#, which will enable you to play a moveable major triad using just one finger.

I don't usual have the top two strings on my guitar, but I suppose you could tune the top E to D and the B down to A, although I would be tempted to go for a unison of both strings tuned to the same note (I think that is what that lad from Placebo does, top two tuned to B)

[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2004, 05:14:27 PM »
Quote from: "elderford"


DADG, gives you a fifth heavy Amin7.

Then when you feel a bit more daring tune the G down half a step to F#, to give you DADF#, which will enable you to play a moveable major triad using just one finger.


I've been playing guitar for nearly 10 years and I've no idea what you're talking about!

i'm not a technical player at all, I just don't believe in it, I think music tuition and guitar lessons are a really bad idea. The best way to get a unique style is just to try to create the sounds you want, in whatever way you want. Forget about rules about scales and chord structures and tunings, if it sounds good then do it I say. All of the best guitar players from history were self-taught, it's the only way to go unless you just want to be a session musician.

Having said that, it's definetly worth messing about with different tunings. Dropped D is a pretty standard one but there's loads more that no-one's tried yet so just have a fiddle about and see what happens.

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2004, 05:36:33 PM »
Quote from: "The Unicorn"
All of the best guitar players from history were self-taught, it's the only way to go unless you just want to be a session musician.


Um, yes... becuase they read and learnt their scales from books, and copied the playing styles of those who went before them. That's what self taught tends to mean - they didn't have lesons, but they researched it endlessly. Besides, you're just limiting yourself if you don't have at least a basic grounding in thoery, you really are. Do you think you're as good as you could be after 10 years? I ask that with all due respect, of course, but those who ignore thoery with scales, modes, etc, are just cutting themselves short. Think how much you've not discovered. When I started reading about Jazz chording and progressions as part of my thoery, I was astounded. With the music I listen to, I would have never come accross it. I'm a better player for it. The "best players" weren't just Gods who had it come to them, they had to work really hard, hole themselves up with classical thoery, etc. Townshend, Page, Clapton, Les Paul, etc, all you care to mention. Yeah, there are a few exceptions, say, BB King, but £10 he'd have a hard time doing anything else than blues-based rock.

Quote from: "The Unicorn"
unless you just want to be a session musician.


"Just"? Maybe I'm reading you wrong there, I'd love to be "just" a sessionist, it'd be the greatest  job in the world. You can do anything, blend styles... a lot of the "greatest players" started out as sessionists, you know.

Quote from: "Elderford"
although it really does help to have more than one guitar


Heh heh, got that covered, trust me :)

Thanks for all that, though. Drop D I'm familiar with, I've never really considered a tuning as such, cos it's so easy to pop in and out of. I use it a lot for Led Zep stuff and also some The Music songs. Certain bands have made a living from that tuning. I had my 335 tuned to open G for a while but never really got on with it, then had to return it to standard and nver went back. I might give some of that a go tonight, I really need to learn open tunings better. Cheers!

[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2004, 05:40:48 PM »
Music Theory Lesson

Major Scale
eg C major is
C D E F G A B C

Major Triad
Root = C (first note in scale)
Major Third = E (third note in scale)
Fifth = G (fifth note in scale)

Remove the third from the chord and this prevents the sounding of the third, so the chord can be played along with another instrument which is playing either a major or a minor.

This chord only has:
Root = C
Fifth = G

Usually called "power chords", so in the drop D tuning example, DAD the notes sounded by playing the bottom three strings is a power chord where the root is doubled (across one octave) and the fifth note of the chord is sounded so it is a 5 chord (in this case a D5).

Amin7 D heavy (drop D tuning bar across the bottom four strings)
Root = A
minor 7 = G
suspended fourth = D (in the bass)

Cocked that one up really, because the deepest sounding note would be the D it would be more likely to sound like a D chord (unless a bass guitar was playing the A), so it would be something like D5sus4.

[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2004, 05:47:32 PM »
Quote from: "Frinky"
Quote from: "The Unicorn"
All of the best guitar players from history were self-taught, it's the only way to go unless you just want to be a session musician.


Um, yes... becuase they read and learnt their scales from books, and copied the playing styles of those who went before them. That's what self taught tends to mean - they didn't have lesons, but they researched it endlessly. Besides, you're just limiting yourself if you don't have at least a basic grounding in thoery, you really are. Do you think you're as good as you could be after 10 years? I ask that with all due respect, of course, but those who ignore thoery with scales, modes, etc, are just cutting themselves short. Think how much you've not discovered. When I started reading about Jazz chording and progressions as part of my thoery, I was astounded. With the music I listen to, I would have never come accross it. I'm a better player for it. The "best players" weren't just Gods who had it come to them, they had to work really hard, hole themselves up with classical thoery, etc. Townshend, Page, Clapton, Les Paul, etc, all you care to mention. Yeah, there are a few exceptions, say, BB King, but £10 he'd have a hard time doing anything else than blues-based rock.

!


I'm perfectly happy with the way I play, I'd hate to sound like just another Townshend/Clapton/Page clone. By the same token, if someone spends too long looking at scales and progressions are they going to lack creativity? If you want to have your own sound, you have to work from the ground up, put yourself in the shoes of the very first guitar players, who had no knowledge of what to do, that way you create your own path, your own guitar history.
Obviously, it's a good idea to know chords and stuff, but this is something you would discover eventually anyway, looking in a book is just a nice short-cut to the information.
Learning how to play from others, to me, is nonsensical, it's like learning how to think. You can get ideas, but there's a difference between being a technically good guitar player and being a creatively good guitar player. I'd choose the latter every time.

[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2004, 05:48:22 PM »
To echo Frinky, a wiseman once said:

The problem with guitarists is that they try to memorise everything (chord shapes, scales, etc). Whereas those who learn keyboard instruments read music, so there is more emphasis on understanding how it fits together and understanding what is going on rather than desperately trying to remember everything.

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2004, 05:58:12 PM »
Quote from: "The Unicorn"
But there's a difference between being a technically good guitar player and being a creatively good guitar player. I'd choose the latter every time.


We'll agree to differ. I say the two go hand in hand.

You take the accepted layouts, chords, modes and adapt them to how you want to play them. I'm gonna keep citing Page and Townshend now. They both did: Blues, Rock, Country, Folk, Classical, and "prog" if you like, using Guitar, Bass, Synth, Piano and more (Theremin, in Pages case). Townshends classical influences came though quite strongly in his early Who stuff. Both were the large creative force within the band - they arranged the compositions and arrangements, wrote parts for different instruments (and then played them if need be). Townshend was responsible for synth being accepted into modern rock. And lo - they are two entirely different guitarists, two utterly different styles, and they both changed the world. Page - persistant use of insane tunings, doubleneck guitars with different tunings on each part - he essentially wrote most of Led Zeppelins stuff - the keys, bass. You can't just "have" that kind of skill - you need to understand where it comes from. If you can be a kickarse guitarist from just noodling on a six-string, then it's a pity you're not famous - you've obviously got a lot of talent (and lets face it, guitar music right now desperately needs it).

They read thier thoery, saw it practiced by others, and adapted it to fit where they wanted to go. There's an irritating romanitc misconception that the best guitarists are too cool or too good to bother actually doing the written work, the transposing, the disciplines and stuff. That's simply not true. People who assume this tend to give up guitar eventually and never understand why they never mastered it. I think a lot of people don't bother today, which is why we're blasted with that powerchorded bollocks most of the time.

Elderford -

Thanks a ton for that. It's essentially what I've got in my (many) books that I really need to pay more attention to. For the time being I just find it easier to look at existing songs and learn them till I get my mits properly up to speed. I'll be saving that (in case the board dies again).

[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2004, 06:16:58 PM »
Quote from: "Frinky"
. If you can be a kickarse guitarist from just noodling on a six-string, then it's a pity you're not famous - you've obviously got a lot of talent (and lets face it, guitar music right now desperately needs it).

).


I think our definition of 'kickarse guitarist' differs. You seem more into the hard rock sound that was popular in the late 60's/early 70's, while I'm more influenced by 'minimalist' guitarists like Johnny Marr, Nick McCabe and John Squire (though not his Second Coming stuff, which, although technically great, also sounded like someone who's had way too much coke and listened to way too much Led Zep).
Most of my guitar playing is arpeggio's, often with a capo or after the 12th fret to give a clean, chiming sound over basic chord structures, and I'm happy with that. I could learn a load more stuff but I'd rather concentrate on songwriting, because good guitarists are ten a penny these days.
The fact that Page/Townshend influenced loads of guitarists isn't really that great of a thing, think of all the really shite fret-wankers that came out in the 80's hard rock scene. They had their own styles but other guitarists seemed to fail to realise that just copying them note for note wasn't the key to being a good axeman.

Apologies, by the way, for hijacking this thread somewhat. I think me and Frinkster will just have to agree to disagree on this matter.

Frinky

  • Enormous chip on shoulder stemming from insurmountable superiority complex
[muso] Playing Slide Guitar
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2004, 06:25:31 PM »
Quote from: "The Unicorn"
I think me and Frinkster will just have to agree to disagree on this matter


Not yet! :P

Quote from: "The Unicorn"
I think our definition of 'kickarse guitarist' differs. You seem more into the hard rock sound that was popular in the late 60's/early 70's, while I'm more influenced by 'minimalist' guitarists like Johnny Marr, Nick McCabe and John Squire (though not his Second Coming stuff, which, although technically great, also sounded like someone who's had way too much coke and listened to way too much Led Zep).


Not true, but I can see how I give that impression. My other heros? Coxon, from Blur... James Dean Bradfield, Manics... Adam Nutter (the Music), and that Jonsi guy from Sigur Ros. Most of them were self taught, but they still went to the book, read the book, scribbled on the book, changed the book, and walked away with thier style. Pagey and Bignose are just two easy examples. But there's a huge variation in styles between those players, but I don't think they've been as world-changing as my first two examples/.

I just don't think it's wise to dismiss the books and the learning offhand like that. I guarantee there's something in it for you.

But now we can agree to disagree.

sorry Neil.