View post (Getting started on Slide Guitar, once again !)

View thread

Mike51
Registered User
Joined: 04/10/05
Posts: 67
Mike51
Registered User
Joined: 04/10/05
Posts: 67
01/05/2010 9:44 pm
I've been playing guitar for about 7 years now and have always wanted to learn to play slide. I've noodled around with it from time to time and have come to realize that it is a matter of dedication and control. As a beginner years ago I had very little success, mostly due to improper string muting and damping (I'm beginning to find out now), and to the fact that as a beginner you tend to use ultra light strings, 9’s and 10’s. Which is not conducive to good slide guitar sound.

So I went out the other day and got a good Dunlop glass slide to replace a brass slide that I was completely unsatisfied with and am having a bit of success with it. Now I have come to the realization that I’m going to have to dedicate one of my electrics to slide and I’m going to raise the action a bit. I’ve chosen my Epi LP for the change because of the double humbuckers. I’ll be searching the local papers and Craigslist for an unwanted Christmas gift that I can get cheaply. (wink wink)

My question here is twofold. Knowing that there is never a hard and fast rule for where the action should be… I should at least have a baseline or a jumping off point. What would be a good starting point in string height and what is the string gauge I should be using. Is 11’s heavy enough or should I be using 12’s or 13’s? I’m afraid that if I go up too much I’ll have to open up the nut slots and I’m not interested in doing that.

Plus, how do I get that rich sound? You know the Duane Allman sound that every slide player strives for. I realize that I’m never going to sound like Duane Allman, but I’d like to sound better than a cat in an alley. I know that tone comes from your technique, your hands and fingers. But what about the effects loop? Obviously there’s overdrive involved but it has to be more than that. Treble up, treble down? OD, Distortion, Reverb, Gain? I don’t have a Marshall amp, so playing through a Marshall isn’t the best of answers. ;) Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Mike