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What Is A Guitar Slide For

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What Is A Guitar Slide?

If you are a beginner guitar player you might have never heard of a product referred to as a guitar slide, but this product is a very popular and inexpensive guitar product for playing slide guitar. For those of you who listen to blues music this technique is commonly used, you place your guitar slide against the guitar strings which creates a cool vibration sound.

Using A Guitar Slide

Once you purchase your guitar slide you place it on your preferred fret hand finger, so what you need to decide before you can even order your guitar slide is which finger are you going to be using your slide on. The best finger choices are your ring finger, middle finger, or your pinky finger, I am sure you are thinking which finger is the best to use a guitar slide on.

Middle Finger

The middle finger is a good choice when you will be only playing slide guitar, you will not be able to play any chords when you use your guitar slide on your middle finger.

Ring Finger

Your ring finger is a popular choice for many guitarists, you will experience your guitar slide will cover your entire fret board.

Pinky Finger

When you use a slide on your little finger you are able to play chords as well, you will find this is the most popular choice among the majority of guitarists.

Slide Types

There are several guitar slide types available on the market today, but the two most popular slides are the metal slides and the glass slides.

You should never clamp down your guitar slide to the neck of your guitar, you should only be pressing against your strings of your guitar enough to create a cool sound effect. If you clamp your slide to your neck you will most often only hear a buzzing type sound, and many guitarists prefer to use flat thumb guitar picks when they are using a guitar slide.

guitar slide buyers tips

Slide Guitar Songs

Anyone who listens to blues or classical rock music has heard the sound effects you receive when using a guitar slide, but many of us never knew how these sound effects were made before reading this post.

As you can see many of your favorite musician’s have been using the slide guitar technique to provide the awesome music you love so much, I am sure now you are beginning to understand what slide guitar sounds like.

The Best Guitar Slides

For anyone interested in purchasing a guitar slide you can own one of the best guitar slides for less than thirty dollars, and most of these slides are twenty dollars and less.

Shopping For A Guitar Slide

Home-Made Guitar Slide

Some of you might be interested in making your own home-made guitar slide, but for my part for the price I would prefer to just purchase one online.

  • One Wine Bottle Recommended
  • Glass Cutter
  • Sandpaper
  • Gloves
  • Eye Goggles
  • Hearing Protection

Wine bottles are recommended to be your best choice because of their long straight neck, but you can use any bottle as long as it has a long straight neck. I recommend you invest in a glass cutter which you can purchase for less than five dollars at most hardware stores, you might even be able to pick up one at your favorite dollar store. You will need some extra course sandpaper to smooth any rough edges, even though gloves, eye goggles, and hearing protection is optional I recommend you consider these seriously.

guitar slide buyer guide

Let’s Get Started

You will begin by cutting your bottleneck with your glass cutter, I recommend you choose the straightest section of the bottleneck for your guitar slide. Now you grab your bottle by the neck above your glass cutter line, you now will smash your bottle against a solid object such as a sidewalk is a good choice.

After you clean up all your broken glass you should have a nice straight piece in your hand to make your guitar slide, I talked to guitarists who make their own slides and they recommend you rub the rough edges on a wet sidewalk as your first step in smoothing your rough edges, you now can use a hand grinder if you happen to have one to smooth your edges even smoother. A dremel type tool is recommended to smooth the inner edges which is where your finger will be, I would recommend investing in a guitar slider factory-made considering it would be such a small investment. This is just my own opinion, but for those of you are into DIY projects this would be a good challenge for you.

What Guitar Slide Size

You should by now have made the important decision which finger you are going to use your new guitar slider on, but many of you might be thinking how do I know which size to order. The easiest and the most accurate method is to simply visit one of your local jewelry stores and have your finger sized, I have checked with the jewelry stores where I live and all of them provide this service for free. You can find your preferred finger size in less than about one minute most of the time, I recommend you choose the size which is a snug fit just like if you was going to purchase a ring.

My Recommendation

What Is On My Mind Today?

This is hopefully an interesting and useful post for anyone interested in learning about guitar slides, I could not possibly provide you with all the information in this post on the guitar slide and the technique,but this should give you a general idea what the guitar slide is, and how it can provide your music with a unique sound.

 

22 Comments

  • Spot On Website! says:

    As a fellow guitarist I have played around with a slide for a number of years. I am no Derek Trucks but I can get by.

    What I learned from your post was the DIY guitar slide using wine bottle. It makes sense it would make a good slide. As you point out a wine neck is long and straight.
    I have to try this out to see for myself.

    Positioning of the slide depends on how you are going to interact chords or if you plan to play slide 100%. I appreciate you pointing out the reasons for using it on your middle finger, 3rd finger or pinky.

    I think a lot of guitar players will enjoy and find value as I did with this post.

    • admin says:

      Thank You

      I am happy to hear from a fellow guitarist, I have considered in the near future writing a post just on the technique of using a guitar slide. This post was intended for beginners to get a general idea what a guitar slide is and how it is used, I thank you for your reading my post and commenting and I wish you the best of luck with making your own guitar slide from a wine bottle.

      Jeff

  • Christina says:

    I am much better listening to guitar music than playing it! I never really knew the value of the slide until exploring your article. I had to play some of the music you listed to see if I could “hear” it.
    All great songs that I have loved forever so made this article great fun 🙂
    I am pretty much a beginner, very novice. Think a guitar slide is still a bit out of my range? Thinking about getting one to play around with a bit.
    Thank You,
    Christina

    • admin says:

      Hello Christiana

      The guitar slide is an inexpensive guitar product which can add to playing the guitar even more fun
      for many people, you can learn to play the guitar with patience and practice. Many people give up
      on learning to play the guitar when all they need to do is make a little time each day to practice,
      you can benefit from even 15 minutes every day before you go to bed.

      Give the guitar slide a try,
      Jeff

  • oliver says:

    This is enlightening,
    Even though I’m a huge music fan I’ve never paid any attention whatsoever to the technicalities of guitar playing. Perhaps its my dire inability to play any kind of musical instrument but when it comes to music I’m just thrilled and amazed at the wonderful sounds it brings to my ears.
    I would think perfecting the skill of guitar slide playing requires many hours of practice and perseverance
    You choose 14 songs above , I’m curious, are there many, many more popular slide guitar songs and if so, why did you choose these 14?

    Oliver

    • admin says:

      Thank You
      I hope you are enjoying your weekend and the weather is nice,
      it has been raining here past few days so my lawn needs mowed
      this weekend if the weather permits.

      The music I shared in my post are the best for beginners to play
      with their new guitar slides to perfect the technique.

      Jef

  • Oshea says:

    I always wanted to play the guitar. I played around with a guitar before though, but it seems like something great to learn.

    I learned a lot from your post, about the DIY guitar slide using wine bottle. I learned a few tricks from my grandpa, and I agree it would make a good slide. You also mentioned that a wine neck is long and straight.
    I would love to try it out myself.

    I appreciate people that shares and give advice to other people.

    I’m pretty sure that a lot of guitarists will love the information you are sharing and find value as I did.

    • admin says:

      Thank You Oshea

      I am truly honored you found my post on the guitar slide interesting, I really think you should learn to play the guitar. I have faith anyone can learn to play the guitar and it is a great hobby, you will find it very relaxing when you play right before going to bed for the night

      Wish you the best

      Jeff

  • Hi Jeff.
    You know I have a connection with this one. I had a friend a few years back that absolutely loved guitars. He was very good at playing. But he kept coming up with all these devices I had never heard of before. This slider was one of them. I remember wondering what he was doing with this. But once he started playing using the slider it truly took the music to a whole different level. I loved how the sounds just mixed together so nicely with this. It really made a whole new sound all together. Now his was metal. Now I am sure it does, but just to make sure, would the glass provide a different sound as well? Thank you.

    • admin says:

      Thank You Melissa
      The guitar is the most popular musical instrument people desire to learn to play, I also have realized the piano is
      high on the list but what makes the guitar the most popular is many of us can not afford a piano.

      The slides are a way to perk up your music without a doubt, the best part is the slide for a guitar is very affordable
      for all budgets.

      The different type of slides are mainly personal choice, but some guitarists do claim they get a better sound from
      different slides made from different materials so much of this could be the guitar you own provides you a better sound
      with different slides.

      Jeff

  • Hightek says:

    Lоtѕ of good аdvісе hеrе, so I dоn’t have muсh tо аdd. I tаught myself tо рlау 5 years ago аnd what rеаllу hеlреd mе wаѕ hаvіng mіlеѕtоnеѕ thаt I could hit аlоng thе way. Fоr еxаmрlе bу lеаrnіng the thе chords A, D аnd E, or G, C аnd D, I wаѕ able to play a whоlе multіtudе оf three сhоrd ѕоngѕ that was really ѕаtіѕfуіng. Then by adding Em in аlоngѕіdе G, C аnd D, I соuld play a whole bunch more songs. I thеn just built from thеrе and thеrе was always ѕоmеthіng fun to рlау.
    Thаnkѕ fоr your реrѕоnаl mаrvеlоuѕ posting! I trulу enjoyed rеаdіng іt, you соuld bе a grеаt author. I wіll bе ѕurе to bооkmаrk your blog and wіll come bасk someday. I wаnt to encourage уоu tо continue your grеаt wrіtіng
    Thаnkѕ

    • admin says:

      Thank You Sir,

      I appreciate you kind words and I am happy you enjoyed my post. I also taught myself most of what I know about playing the guitar, I started this blog out of my love for playing the guitar in hopes to help others become interested or even improve their guitar skills

      Jeff

  • I was always a fan of guitar songs, but never looked the technical side – however – now that Ive reading this, I’m much more interested. But.. I nevet played a guitar.. so will it be to hard for me already with all of this?

    • admin says:

      Hello Emmanual,
      I suggest you visit Justin Guitar for free guitar lessons, you might find an interest in learning
      to play the guitar with his easy to follow lessons
      Jeff

  • Tyler Redlev says:

    I have been playing guitar for some while, but I took a break because I just can’t find enough time for it. But when I used to play, I had a great appreciation for the guitar slides. The effect they create is just marvelous and so cool!!!

    I prefer using the pinky finger. It gets harder to slide but gives you more opportunities in terms of playing.

    • admin says:

      Hello Tyler,

      I am happy to hear you are a guitar player by heart, I also was not able to play for many years and recently I started playing again and to my surprise it only took me about one week to get back into half decent form, I guess it is like riding a bike once you learn you never forget.

      I am sure it takes some time to teach that little pinky finger, you must have a strong pinky finger to be able to use your slide on that finger. I agree with your slide on your pinky it leaves your other fingers free to do other things, you can get very creative using a guitar slide and the investment is so little.

      I hope you can get back to playing soon

      Jeff

  • Patrick says:

    What a cool topic! I’m really interested in psychology, so this strikes a chord with me. Music is one of my favorite things in the world as well. I have been playing the guitar for about 10 years, and then I quit for another 10 years when I moved to Asia. The Thai police confiscated my guitar when they caught me driving a scooter without a helmet on. Well, they didn’t just take it.. I had to sell it to them for 14usd. Asshole.

    • admin says:

      Hello Patrick

      I understand how it is to lose your guitar and not able to play as you used to do, I gave my guitar to my youngest son when he went off to college and I went years without playing the guitar and just recently purchased a beginners guitar to start playing again.

      Maybe you can purchase a guitar in Asia,

      Jeff

  • Erick says:

    Ha, I remember my dad trying to teach me how to play guitar it is simply wasn’t for me but I really admire my dad talent with the guitar and I think that was his main weapon to conquer my mom haha. But I do love guitar music especially rock, is there is any way I can notice when a guitarist is using a slider? I remember dad used his middle finger to do some kind of Hawaiian music impression.

    • admin says:

      Hello Erick

      I am sorry the guitar was not your musical instrument to play, maybe you should give it another try now that you are older?

      The slide is a tubular object which is put on your finger, most guitarist use it on their pinky finger but you can use it on any finger you like.

      Jeff

  • Kevin says:

    Interesting article! I haven’t touched a guitar since college, but was interested to know more about the slide guitar. I didn’t realize you could use different fingers to do it. Could you use the index finger? I love listening to blues like Eric Clapton and the 60’s Rolling Stones and have heard the slide guitar on some of their songs.

    • admin says:

      Hello Kevin

      Happy to receive your comment on my guitar slide article, you can use the guitar slide on any finger you choose. many use it on their pinky finger if they wish to use their other fingers for regular chords along with the slide, you should consider starting to play again

      Jeff

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