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picking up slide guitar

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Step, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Step


    Feb 20, 2008
    Hey everybody,

    I've been thinking about pickup guitar in addition to bass, mainly to expand my musical horizons, and since I don't have an amp in my dorm, to be able to hear myself play
    In particular my interest goes out to blues/slide guitar, do any of you play slide guitar?

    - I plan to fingerpick, do you think this would help or hurt my bass-playing (I really am trying to avoid regular picks here, don't like them)
    - I also plan to use open tuning (open G), I feel like I'm playing too much in patterns now and not on hearing, which is what the change in tuning would be able to help with, do you think this is worth it?

    any other thoughts?
    Thanks, Step
  2. Playing slide is a good way to develop touch and ear as well as to add different sounds to your collection. I have 2 slide guitars an old 6 string lap steel in DADGAD or an open D and a bass steel tuned in fifths like a cello but an octave lower CGDA. Finger picking will work but you will give up than singing steel sound it will be a bit mellower. FWIW developing the skill to use a pick is always a good technique to have in your quiver. There shouldn't be any reason this would hurt your bass playing. I use a Zoom G1x to get the sounds wanted.
  3. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    i have two thoughts on this.

    1. playing a non-well tempered instrument is a great thing for anyone to do, especially if you study music theory or classical music. to make it short- musicians nowadays tend to not understand enharmonic equivilants (the two differnt names for a black key on a piano.) Bb and A# are not the same pitch- mathemetically, the frequencies are differnt. a piano works becase all the keys are perfectly out of tune with each other. (same with fretted basses, guitars, ext.)

    so in that aspect, (assuming your a player with some musical understanding) you'll learn some stuff about some "true" intervals that might intregue you. or, you may not understand anything i just said..

    my second thought is, listen to jacob fred jazz odyssey after 2008. they've been using slide guitar since then, and its really well done slide playing.

  4. Step


    Feb 20, 2008
    I understand what you are saying (except the bolded part, I assume you mean perfectly IN tune?), this is why slide is also more interesting to me than 'regular' guitar, it requires me to think outside the box

    the music I'm aiming to play is not very difficult (blues mostly) theory-wise, which is why the open tuning will train my ear more I guess

    thanks for the advice

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