Considerations for Selecting a Bottleneck Slide for Guitar

Considerations for Selecting a Bottleneck Slide for Guitar

Materials

Glass - In my opinion, glass tends to offer the best tone due to it's density. Thick wall quality glass from a wine bottleneck has a desirable heavier weight than the lighter glass found on beer bottles.

Metal - Brass or steel are the most common. Metal has the advantage of not breaking if accidentally dropped. Avoid light weight thin wall slides. They tend to float on the strings, instead of riding correctly and produce a weak tone.

Bone - Serious Mojo factor. Bone tends to be slightly softer / not so bright, but with more of a haunting tone. Mississippi Fred McDowell wore a beef bone ring.

 

Ceramic/Porcelain - The material varies. Usually lighter in weight, but still dense. They tend to be surprisingly bright.

Size

I prefer a snug fit. Some like it loose and floppy. Knowing my pinky ring size is a 9 (3/4") makes selecting possible options for slides easy by simply measuring the opening for my finger. BTW: Never stick your finger in a bottle. The vacuum will cause your finger to get stuck. LOL

Length

I like the slide to be long enough that it is possible to bar across all the strings. Cigar Box guitars with 3 or 4 strings have fingerboards not as wide as a standard 6 string. A stubby slide may be better.

Which Finger?

I would suggest using the pinky or ring. This allows for usage of the other fingers to play notes and bar chords. Although, if you were going to be playing mainly lead guitar while being backed by a band, the middle or index can work too.

Making your own Slide

Search the internet for other instructions. Laying the bottle on it's side, I simply drew a line around the bottleneck where I wanted to cut it. Using a hacksaw, I cut while turning the bottle round and round. After a long time, this created a stress point and the bottle just snapped. Then using crocus cloth, I polished the lip smooth. There are much better easier methods, but this worked for me.

       

My Collection

A - Vintage Mateus Wine: Made by me in the 1980s.

B - Keni Lee Model: Made by www.ebay.com Search: willy's slides

C - BonerZ: Made by www.ebay.com Search: bonerz slide

D - Mojobone Works: Made by www.facebook.com Search: Randy Bretz

E - Titanium Bottleneck: Made by Bill Helferich

F - 3/4" Deep Well Socket: Cut down to reduce weight by Bill Helferich

G - Dunlop Rev Willy's: commercially available

H - Vintage Brown Glass Pill Bottle: Flea market find

I - 1970s Brass: Made by Mighty Mite (like used by Sam Mitchell)

Lessons

Instructional Video CDs with email student support

CD 1 - CD 3: Open D and G tuning on 6 string guitar (CD 1, 3 string CBG too)

CD 4 - CD 6: 3 and 4 string Cigar Box guitar

www.ebay.com Search: keni lee

Views: 7897

Comment

You need to be a member of Cigar Box Nation to add comments!

Join Cigar Box Nation

Comment by Keni Lee Burgess on July 4, 2015 at 5:43pm

Sockets are okay, but they can be a little too heavy. Bill took my deep well socket and cut some metal off at the connection end. Considering slides are relatively inexpensive, experimenting is a fun game. LOL Enjoy.  

Comment by flatsville on June 3, 2015 at 7:07pm

Keni - I'm using Craftsman sockets as slides.  I can get a great fit in the mm sizes.

Comment by Keni Lee Burgess on September 21, 2012 at 10:00pm

Well Emmy you are at the right place. Post your question as a discussion and I am sure you will get more information then you will ever need. LOL   

Comment by Emmy DePolo on September 21, 2012 at 7:50pm

Hi Keni...don't know how to lower nut and bridge. Guitar came with extra light strings and is tuned GDG

Comment by Keni Lee Burgess on September 21, 2012 at 6:35pm

Hello Emmy,

You need to lower the string height (known as action) at the nut and bridge and bring the strings closer to the fingerboard. If you try to fret notes with high action, the string bends and plays out of tune. / The string height for regular playing (fretting notes, chords, etc) is about the same for bottleneck slide. "Possibly a little higher, but you still want to fret notes over the entire fingerboard easily". The "correct string tension" for the slide to ride on the strings correctly so you don't bottom out and hit the frets is a balance between string gauge and tuning. Use at least medium gauge strings. Lower tunings below standard tuning (EADGBE) like Open D (DADf#ad) use heavier strings. On CBG - GDg or DAD. Higher than standard like Open A (EAEac#e) use lighter strings to take the pressure off the neck. On CBG - this would be AEa or EBE. I hope this helps. Enjoy, Keni Lee     

Comment by Emmy DePolo on September 21, 2012 at 5:35pm

My strings are high off the neck. They sound muted when played without a slide. How do I play leads, cords etc

Comment by Keni Lee Burgess on May 4, 2012 at 11:19am

You should also mention that in addition to slides, you make bone picks, bridges, nuts...etc. Check it out!

Comment by Randy S. Bretz on May 4, 2012 at 6:26am

Also Mojobone Works " half n half " slides, bone on exotic wood, gives you the brightness of a bone slide with the softer tone of a wood slide all in one slide. C.B.Gitty has a full selection of these slides on his web site.

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources

Forum

Guitar Amp Stand / Sound Enhancer DIY

Started by Ron "Oily" Sprague in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Ron "Oily" Sprague 6 minutes ago. 11 Replies

Back on nights!

Started by Cause the Blue rat in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat 6 hours ago. 4 Replies

Gigging with a small amp

Started by Dustin Aurand in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by ChickenboneJohn 21 hours ago. 11 Replies

Speakers

Started by Dropout in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Timothy Hunter yesterday. 10 Replies

Diddley bow music?

Started by Snuffy Smith in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Gary W aka Rev. Bluejeans Jun 21. 6 Replies

Blog Posts

introducing cbg to guitarists

Posted by Donald Rees on June 21, 2017 at 10:27pm 12 Comments

Tricone Resonator CBG

Posted by Hal Robertson on June 21, 2017 at 3:30pm 4 Comments

Backslider Washboards

Posted by Milt Haselmire on June 19, 2017 at 6:30pm 4 Comments

Latest Activity

Richard Sundberg commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

Hot Sticky Blues -Original Blues by me

"There's one app out there I know of that will give your video that vintage film reel effect.…"
4 minutes ago
Steve Arvey left a comment for Mike
"Nice builds. Next time I go through Knoxville I will come by."
5 minutes ago
Ron "Oily" Sprague replied to Ron "Oily" Sprague's discussion Guitar Amp Stand / Sound Enhancer DIY
"Rick, Presumably, you'd like the dimensions of the center one, which had the best performance…"
6 minutes ago
Uncle John commented on Andries D. EKER's video
Thumbnail

Missisippi B Dylan - A D Eker 2017

"This is a switch up from your recent songs.   Very nice.   Playing style, sweet…"
25 minutes ago
Uncle John commented on Derek Rose's video
Thumbnail

Double Rainbow - an original song

"Ha, ha.   Love it.   A little Jimmy Buffet and that Reggae sound.  …"
27 minutes ago
Uncle John commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

Hot Sticky Blues -Original Blues by me

"Thanks, Andries.  I wanted to add the old movie 'flicker', but could not figure out…"
30 minutes ago
Estone Villan commented on Stefan Askernäs's photo
Thumbnail

two string wine box bass

"Or I wonder whether I could just stain a tiny strip onto the bindings half way between the frets…"
34 minutes ago
Estone Villan commented on Stefan Askernäs's photo
Thumbnail

two string wine box bass

"It does look great doesn't it. There's no reason I couldn't do it with a fretted…"
37 minutes ago
gary herget commented on Mr.C's photo
Thumbnail

Not bad for a hand made neck

"That's really nice "C", great work!"
50 minutes ago
Stefan Askernäs commented on Stefan Askernäs's photo
Thumbnail

two string wine box bass

"For my first build I used nails, but two builds ago I came up with this: Since I currently only…"
1 hour ago
Dave Lynas commented on Elio's video
Thumbnail

J. S. Bach: Cello Suite Nr. 1 BWV 1007, arr. Smaro Gregoriadou, rectangular guitar

"Fabulous! Bravo! I feel like an ape. Dragging my knuckles on the gravel. Perfection is hard to…"
1 hour ago
Rick McAlister replied to Ron "Oily" Sprague's discussion Guitar Amp Stand / Sound Enhancer DIY
"Ron, I am very interested in the dimensions to this enhancer. I apologize if this is not a PM but I…"
1 hour ago

Music

Loading…

© 2017   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service