Thursday, September 11, 2014

Slide Guitar

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If you are like me, there is a special place in your heart for slide guitar. It can be so dynamically expressive. The phrasing and stylistic technique can be so different from what is typically done on the guitar, that it really opens up a new door or window into a new musical world.

It's hard to tell exactly when slide guitar first started. I imagine it wasn't too long after someone first thought of stretching out some string to twang on. It probably didn't take them too long to start experimenting with plucking the string with their fingers, other devices, and also using other items to depress the string, or strings, while they played them.

There are a lot of different materials that will work well for a slide. You can use steel, brass, glass, or ceramics. Of course , to keep things interesting these come in all variations. Some slides are solid, so you would hold them with your fretting hand. Most slides are hollow and fit and over your fretting finger of choice. Guitarists have different preferences for what fretting finger they wear their guitar slide on.

Often , guitarists will want to play slide guitar, and also be able to play fretted notes with their other free fingers, when they are not playing slide. You can also get a slide for just an individual finger.

Players used a variety of techniques to pluck, or strike, the strings. Some just use their bare fingers. Others use a pick. You can use pick and fingers. And not to be left out, you can use finger picks. Ah, and now we get to the instruments. The article title is Slide Guitar, but give me a little leeway here. You can play slide on electric, acoustic, dobro, pedal steel, lap steel, and probably even some more I have left out. All a dobro is, is a modified guitar with a metal resonator built into the guitar body to amplify the sound.


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