Today, in the spirit of — The Great Capo Showdown — we proudly present, “The Super Slide Slapdown!” If you play guitar, you might be curious how to use a slide to give your sound that Bluesy, moaning, growl. Our friend Warren Haynes — of Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, and soon-to-be Man in Motion fame — can show you how to put your finger into a slide and play in video, or you can buy his new book and go page by page to learn slide guitar from the modern master.
Warren’s teaching on the page and on video is just great. He’s real. He’s human. You get him right away.
For all you capo lovers, here’s Warren singing his hit, Soulshine, live:
Here’s Warren playing — Old Friend — with a steel slide on an acoustic guitar:
Guitar slides come in a variety of shapes and sizes and a materials. You can wear the slide on your pinky, annular finger, middle digit or even your index finger if you are so inclined. Most guitarists wear their slide on the annular finger so the other fingers are free to barre and take fret positions. Since your weakest finger is the annular, it makes sense to lock it down into a “slide-only” mentality.
Some slides are made of ceramic for a muted and esoteric sound:
Most slides you see in performance are made of steel or chrome-plated brass — and they provide that unique “metal on metal” trill and glissando so many metal bands made famous in the ’70s:
You can also buy thick brass slides for a really thumpy, but shiny, sound:
Here’s Duane Allman — one of the greatest slide players of all time — using a metal slide on his acoustic guitar:
Duane was also famous for using a glass Coricidin medicine bottle as an impromptu slide that became an international guitar obsession.
Today, in the entrepreneurial spirit of honoring Duane Allman’s slide style, you can now buy a glass “Coricidin” bottle shaped slide that imitates the look and feel of the original.
Glass slides are the easiest to use because they are lightweight, you can see through them to help your fret positioning and they’re cheap to purchase.
Old slide master, Danny Gatton, sometimes played slide guitar with an open beer bottle filled with beer. Then, he’d wipe off all the beer he spilled on his fretboard with a towel and use the towel as a slide. You won’t believe what I’m telling you until you watch it with your own eyes:
Slide guitar can be tough and meticulous to learn, but once you get that special sound right a few times, you’re hooked forever!