collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

In a typical program he would introduce 'an extinguished guest'... then play the blues of Bobby Rush or the gospel of the Mighty Sons of Glory, then rhapsodize about Dip's Drive-in Laundromat. Community news - for instance, who was about to be 'funeralized' - might follow - Early Wright, obituary to the DJ, WROX Clarksdale

Author Topic: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?  (Read 4663 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline dj

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 2615
  • Howdy!
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2012, 11:31:21 AM »
You might also want to think about trying a set of Newtone Aloha strings.  They're 15 - 56, but made for wood-bodied Hawaiian guitars - the wound strings have a lighter gauge core than normal, so they tune to pitch at lower tension.  I've had them on my old Stella Hawaiian for a couple of years now (high bass, but tuned to F: FACFAC) with no apparent damage to the guitar.   

Offline blueshome

  • Member
  • Posts: 1371
  • Step on it!
    • Blueshome
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 12:02:06 PM »
Those Washburn parlours sound nice, I've an acquaintance who plays one, gets that pre-war vibe.
I wouldn't put more than 12's on it, maybe add a 13 top string. Experiment with a few sets when you get the guitar. The action should be set up for fingerpicking, not super-low, you need to put a bit in to get a decent sound out.

With all respect to Mr.Feldmann, slide doesn't need anything special by way of strings or set up if you can develop a good touch. This rush to heavy strings is a fairly recent phenomenon, mostly led by the resophonic guitar community.

Offline Michael Cardenas

  • Member
  • Posts: 79
  • traditional Blues singer & slide guitarist
    • Myspace
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 01:46:44 PM »
I like dj's suggestion of the aloha set, but bending and fretting a .15 throughout a song in Open E might not be such a gas. I also agree with Slim's suggestion of the .14 the idea being a closer balance in tension and gauge between the standard .13 to .17 spread. I can't admit having two strings next to one another which are only  2 mm apart aids in tonal balance. On the top end the closer you can get to the 4 mm spread the better.

Lately I've been in Open E and the strings which hate the tuning most are low E, D and the high E (.13) being most unforgiving. After today I am tempted to rely on a .14 for the top just to keep recording momentum at a max.
LISTEN TO BLUES MUSIC

Offline NotRevGDavis

  • Member
  • Posts: 256
  • "Hat on a cabbage head- I've never seen before"
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2012, 02:27:26 PM »
I use John Pearse #700M Mediums (.013, .017, .026, .035, .045, .056) on my Larrivee 000-50 (12-fret) and I had Gryphon shim the nut when I could only take one guitar to PT and I wanted to play slide. I actually prefer the slightly higher action when I'm not playing slide.
I have D'Ad EJ42 (.016, .018, .028, .035, .045, .056) Resophonic on my NRP "Model 97" (metal) Tricone because I wanted a slighly bigger 1st string and the John Pearse #790NR (.013, .017, .026, .036, .046, .056) on my NRP M-1 (wood) Tricone came on the guitar when it was new.
I have only tuned the 97 and the M-1 to standard a few times it never seemed a problem. I have tuned the 000 to almost everything with no problem. It likes standard in D and "Crossnote" or open D minor but stays mainly in standard in E.

Once you play slide the day will come when you will join the ranks of the "Resonator Hooligans".
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2012, 07:40:34 PM »
Start with a 13 and see how you like it. Or start with a PoS guitar you can afford to have buckle.
You are speaking of a normal "run of the mill" pack of mediums?  The Dobro strings are basically a set of mediums with the 13 swapped out in favor of a 16. Bob Brozman recommends a beginner use mediums with the 13 swapped for a 14 or 15, which is pretty close to a 16 ;).  Do you think that would make a huge difference as far a tension goes?  I might have to order some more strings than.  Tom's suggestion seems to be getting dismissed here and it's making me rethink the Dobro strings! Although this guitar was intended to be pretty much used just for slide playing, if I put 13s on it, I'd be able to play fingerstyle as well.

I haven't seen Tom's suggestion dismissed, might have missed something, but in the clip you posted from his Fred McDowell lesson he says he uses a 14 on the top string and a 24 unwound string for the 3rd. He also has a higher saddle. So he had set up the guitar specifically for slide, and is using a 24 on the 3rd string specifically to get McDowell's sound. An unwound 24 is putting a lot more tension on the guitar than a wound 24, since the core on the wound string would be much thinner. At least that's my limited understanding. He also says he does not use this set up in his personal playing but has done it to get McDowell's sound, and presumably he knows exactly what his guitar can handle. All that to say, I would want to know my guitar well and make sure I wasn't about to cause damage whatever string gauges I used - just be careful and see what results you get. You could, for instance, start with a light set and swap the top string for a 13. You are tuning up in that Fred lesson, so already you're getting better conditions for slide playing. For an unwound 3rd string, you could start with a 21 or even a 20. Or if it's a heavily built parlor, use a regular medium set and swap the 3rd for a 21 for starters. If you need to increase gauges from there, you can.

As for Brozman, I presume he is talking about stringing resonators, not wooden parlor guitars. Frankly, I find his playing of limited interest for actual country blues. It is more his own Brozmanistyle, technically brilliant, which is fine, if you like that kind of thing.

Looks like Tom Feldmann does a nice Fred lesson there, IMO.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 07:42:30 PM by uncle bud »

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6942
  • I like chicken pie
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2012, 08:25:07 PM »
Quote
All that to say, I would want to know my guitar well and make sure I wasn't about to cause damage whatever string gauges I used - just be careful and see what results you get. You could, for instance, start with a light set and swap the top string for a 13

Exactly. You can play perfectly good slide with light gauge strings. If you can't then sorry but you're not going to get there just by putting on heavier strings. You might get slightly better tone, but that's all. Do not destroy perfectly good wooden body flattop parlors with heavy strings, send them to me for a reasonable price, I will look after them. Go for incremental improvements, work on technique with a standard setup, then tweak the materials and tolerances. When the bridge flies off and/or you hear a loud bang take a deep breath, get over the PTSD (takes about a year), and regroup.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 08:49:13 PM by Rivers »

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6942
  • I like chicken pie
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2012, 09:05:08 PM »
Best of luck there. I had a Gibson guitar from the 60s that came alive, briefly, after I put on Snarling Dogs heavy strings. Tone heaven for a day, followed by a loud bang that eventually consigned it to the dustbin of guitar history. You live and learn.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 09:06:12 PM by Rivers »

Offline frailer24

  • Member
  • Posts: 337
  • Good Mornin', Judge
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2012, 09:35:06 PM »
Westside, now that is a great idea! I was afraid you'd be trying to tune to F Vastapol (that's what I have to do on my clunker).
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline frailer24

  • Member
  • Posts: 337
  • Good Mornin', Judge
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2012, 01:08:13 AM »
I should get a tailpiece for the "Clunk Machine". That may help things a bit with the crap bridge.
That's all she wrote Mabel!

Offline Michael Cardenas

  • Member
  • Posts: 79
  • traditional Blues singer & slide guitarist
    • Myspace
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2012, 10:18:19 AM »
An unwound 24 is putting a lot more tension on the guitar than a wound 24, since the core on the wound string would be much thinner. At least that's my limited understanding.
This is true, I use an unwound .26 and the string when tuned to an A flat is a punishment on the bridge.
LISTEN TO BLUES MUSIC

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6942
  • I like chicken pie
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2012, 07:40:14 PM »
A quick search might help: http://weeniecampbell.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=2754.msg21214#msg21214

In fact I might merge this whole thread into the previous thread quite soon <sigh>
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 07:46:30 PM by Rivers »

Offline Rivers

  • Tech Support
  • Member
  • Posts: 6942
  • I like chicken pie
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2012, 08:30:21 PM »
The luthiery threads we haven't really worked on indexing down to a single tag much, I think we need to get around to doing that. I'll take a look on the weekend. It would make it much easier to provide a single useful reference.

Offline NotRevGDavis

  • Member
  • Posts: 256
  • "Hat on a cabbage head- I've never seen before"
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2012, 09:03:16 AM »
Some manufacturers supply string tension guides. D'Addario is here as a .pdf- should cover almost everything. If not here is a  string tension calculator.
G


<on edit>
I also have a set of Micheal Messer strings 16-59 (Michael Messer National guitar strings tune to pitch at lower tension than other guitar strings of the same gauge) I wish I could Find out the total tension on these guys!

Is the 12 string constructed in a much different way than a 6 string to be able to handle the tension?  The 12 string that I have in front of me (a cheap Martin/Sigma) looks to be constructed in much the same manner as my 6 string Martin Dead? 

Be careful when using Micheal Messer/Newtones strings they will unwind if cut before tightened on the tuning peg I used to use them they are a great product but they are hard to find and $$$. Strings and Beyond carries them in the U.S.. National ResoPhonic uses the John Pearse Resos on their Resonators now.

I have a Taylor 355 Jumbo 12-string I use Dean Markley VintageBronze Mediums .012/.012 .016/.016 .026/.010 .034/.017 .044/.024 .054/.030 without problems even after replacing the high third string with a .013 but I keep it tuned down to D standard. Sounds much different.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 03:12:25 PM by NotRevGDavis »
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline Norfolk Slim

  • Member
  • Posts: 980
    • Moonshine - Available at Bandcamp now...
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2012, 01:10:24 PM »
For UK folks, Eagle Music do some own brand strings made by Newtone- and presumably very similar to the more expensive ones...  You cna make up your own preferred gauges troo.

Online Johnm

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10831
    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: How do you set up your guitar for slide playing?
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2012, 09:29:29 PM »
Hi Ryan,
It occurs to me that you might consider a more empirical sort of approach to this whole issue of set-up and string gauges for playing slide.  However much you think about issues in advance and get advice from others, the best thing you end up with is what worked for other people.  Since what you're really interested in is what will work for you, the only real way to determine that is to start playing and pay attention to what you find as you go.  Are you getting a lot of rattles with the slide?  If so, either it's too heavy or your strings are too light.  Just start playing with the set-up you already have and make adjustments as necessary.  It's definitely possible to over-think such things.  No amount of research can supply you with the perfect answers in advance of your actually getting on the instrument and playing it.  And once you start doing that, things will become clearer and you'll care less what other people think and what their experiences have been.
All best,
Johnm

Tags:
 


anything
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal