Using a slide on the bass? Has it been done?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by IAMERICCOCHRANE, Aug 5, 2003.



    Nov 29, 2002
    Arvada, Colorado
    Well after listening to alot of Allman brothers, I started to wonder what a slide used on a bass would sound like. I tried to do it, but since im not very good at the slide to start with, It sounded really bad. I want to know if anyone here has played with a slide and made it sound good or knows any bassist that use a slide and sound good.
  2. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    As a guy who plays slide guitar on the side, I find that playing slide on a bass is difficult.

    First, the action on my basses are too low for me to play slide and get the right sound. Slide guitar sounds much better with high action.
    Two, the bass strings are heavier which results in wider string vibrations. That seems to make the slide sound "clangy". Slide may sound better on my six-string since the strings are a little slimmer, but I haven't tried that yet.
    It doesn't mean that I am done trying to make slide work. The key to playing slide is to use the fingers behind the slide to mute the strings. Think of the slide as a moveable capo. Rest the slide on the strings, but don't press so hard that the string hits the fretboard (this is why high action is good).

    I haven't found a way to use it to groove. When I do really need to slide for noise effects, I use my microphone stand.
  3. Tried it in the 70's ---- didn't like it because it made screaming noises on my steel roundwounds using high amplification.

    Unless you're in a solo passage, I find it gets lost in the mix anyway.

    But, it's always worth a try. Just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean you won't find a way to make it a "big thing."
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Mark Sandman (RIP) of Morphine used to play slide on a bass/guitar hybrid.
  5. stefan from dave matthews band uses a slide occasionly. sounds pretty sweet.
  6. Bassmasta86

    Bassmasta86 Guest

    Dec 16, 2002
    Toronto, Canada
    I used to bust out the slide a buncha's pretty hillarious.

  7. jaggedsphere


    Jul 15, 2002
    actually...:oops: if u 'bow' the slide on the strings and add lots o' fx you can get a pretty eerie sound :p :bassist:
  8. genesis6891

    genesis6891 Guest

    May 29, 2003
    I play jazz and fusion on a fretless...I slide quite a lot!
  9. Corwin81


    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    I've got a Shubb Pearse SP2 steel that I used to use when I was into lap steel playing and rigged my Les Paul up with a nut extender, I'm starting to mess around with using it on bass since my strap is low enough to let me lunge forward to get it kinda in a lap steel position and then stand back up to start the heavy(main) part of the song.
  10. Howard K

    Howard K Guest

    Feb 14, 2002
    Slide on BASSS!!! :eek: NO!!! NoOOOOOO!OO!OoO!OO!O!

    Dont do it,,, the world will enddd!!!!