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: 10167

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 10:43am

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 12:07pm

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 3:00pm

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 12:50pm

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 11:35am

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 10:35am

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 4:19am

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 3, 2012 at 11:26pm

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 Basics

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


Forum

How to Get Your Own Music on Spotify

Started by Cigar Box Nation in Feature Articles. Last reply by Southern Ray yesterday. 2 Replies

Duel output jacks

Started by Justin Stanchfield in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by A.D.EKER Jan 29. 3 Replies

CB Bass Guitar

Started by Mi Rankin in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Justin Stanchfield Jan 27. 5 Replies

HELP !! IN VERMONT.

Started by Ranblin' Dan Stevens in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Patrick Kelly Jan 21. 7 Replies

Fat Back Neck

Started by Jim Booth in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Jim Booth Dec 15, 2023. 7 Replies

Brick House CBG

Started by Ian Boyd in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Taffy Evans Dec 13, 2023. 3 Replies

Best power tool for building?

Started by Justin Stanchfield in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Taffy Evans Dec 11, 2023. 10 Replies

Latest Activity

BrianQ. commented on AGP #'s photo
Thumbnail

AGP #523 -''Clean Machine''

"Covering a metal covered pickup with more metal will give unwanted eddy currents? I would’ve…"
5 hours ago
AGP # liked CaptnCatfish's video
6 hours ago
AGP # commented on AGP #'s photo
Thumbnail

AGP #523 -''Clean Machine''

""Thanks A.D.", Yep!, sometimes things don't go quite as planned, but there's…"
6 hours ago
AGP # commented on AGP #'s photo
Thumbnail

AGP #523 -''Clean Machine''

""Thanks UJ", the Round Soundhole was the result of the failed Ghosted Pomade Tin effort,…"
6 hours ago
Uncle Toad commented on Uncle Toad's video
Thumbnail

Gotham epoxied-in rod piezo demo - no squeeze

"Wooden box - if you see the Gotham Guts photos, you can see the severely hacked away back and…"
6 hours ago
Uncle Toad commented on Uncle Toad's video
6 hours ago
AGP # commented on AGP #'s photo
Thumbnail

AGP #523 -''Clean Machine''

""Yes BQ", Horrible Feedback Noises when using the Distorted Amp Settings, and a very…"
6 hours ago
Uncle Toad commented on Uncle Toad's video
Thumbnail

Gotham Sound Check

"Poorness Studios- I am not a pro at soldering… it took hours, and one of the three way…"
6 hours ago
Southern Ray replied to Southern Ray's discussion Camera suggestions?
" Thank you for the link, Timothy. I'll get to that later today. Hoping for something with…"
6 hours ago
AGP # commented on AGP #'s photo
Thumbnail

AGP #523 -''Clean Machine''

""Thanks UJ", Built this one with the idea of trying to get a bit of an Acoustic Sound to…"
6 hours ago
Uncle Toad commented on Uncle Toad's video
Thumbnail

Gotham Sound Check

"Southern Ray - there are two complete circuits with separate output jacks - one for the strat…"
7 hours ago
Southern Ray commented on Uncle Toad's video
Thumbnail

Gotham epoxied-in rod piezo demo - no squeeze

"I don't think I'd have ever thought about the JB weld. Cool. Is this a metal box as well?…"
7 hours ago

Events

Music

© 2024   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->