a few tips on damping for slide guitar

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a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby david lamar » Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:42 am

to get a clean sound playing slide guitar, damping is essential. if you listen to many acoustic slide players (bukka white comes to mind), there's little or no damping, and is to a point, central to that style of playing. if you listen to ry cooder for example, you're hearing damping at it's very best. it's central to that sound, and style of playing. the following is mostly for the fingerpicking approach which im' guessing your favorite players use. mr. cooder mr. allman, and mr. landreth, to name a few, all use, or used, referring to mr. allman this technique. note: some players have developed a personal style of damping, and of course these tips don't apply to them.

the left hand is the less complicated of the two. simply drag your other 3 fingers (of your left hand) lightly over the fingerboard behind the the slide. you don't want to press very hard , as that can create all kinds of problems. you also want to keep your fingers straight. i've seen some of the above mentioned players do this with 1 finger instead of 3 at times. but for me 3 is easier.

the right hand is a lot more complicated. start with the thumb, it basically damps the lower 3 strings. it's relaxed, and straight. im' using the outside edge, and lay it lightly on the lower 3 strings and keep it there at all times when im' playing on the upper strings, (1st. 2nd. and third strings). that's all good, but what happens when you want to play a lick on the bottom strings? you simply block the other low strings with the thumb. for example if im' playing a note on the 5th string, im' keeping the thumb at about the joint over the 6th string, and have the 4th string blocked with my index finger. if im' playing on the 6th string. i block the 5th string with my index finger, and the 4th string with my middle finger. and my fingers are at this point on strings 6 to 2 (yes the baby finger is used. simple math says that you have 5 fingers, and 6 strings. what you do is roll you hand enough so that the baby finger touches the first string. it's a bit uncomfortable, but in reality that's how it works. what about using the thumb on the 2nd string , as in "chicken pickin"? simply use the lower part of the thumb, and part of the palm to block all the other strings. the fingers block in the following way. i simply keep one finger over each of the top 3 strings. that is , the fingertips resting lightly on them. the idea is simple, im' blocking everything but the string i want to hear with the thumb, or other fingers, so that the only sound i hear is the sound of the string, or strings, in the case of double stops. here's the tricky part , as you move from string to string,you need to block with the finger you just played with. again the trick is to always block the strings you don't want to hear. this will take some practice until it becomes a reflex. i don't know about anyone else, but i look at the slide guitar as a seprate instrument. as a teacher, i insist that all my slide students be , or become decent fingerpickers. needless to say, all of the above mentioned players are great fingerpickers. if you want to here some examples of this. you can visit my site at davidlamarmusic.net. p.s. im' playing all that you hear.
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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby bottleneck » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:54 am

yeah,well,i guess that's one way of looking at it.

me? i just like to play my a$$ off. :)

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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby rustyslide » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:14 pm

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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby 112inky » Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:01 pm

String damping is quite simply the deadening of strings to keep them from unwanted ringing. Damping is desirable at times. Some of the Damping methods are Damping using the free fingers on your slide hand, Damping using the palm edge of your slide hand, Damping using the heel or palm edge of your picking hand, Damping using the fingers of your picking hand.
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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby maxx england » Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:01 pm

bottleneck wrote:yeah,well,i guess that's one way of looking at it.

me? i just like to play my a$$ off. :)

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That's two of us. See you outside, let's go and hit an open mic and damage some bottles :mrgreen:
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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby bottleneck » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:13 am

now see,you tempt me.being the british motorcycle fanatic that i am,if i could afford to get to the UK..............

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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby maxx england » Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:25 pm

4 miles from the National Motorcycle Museum. Not that I'm trying to tempt you or anything.
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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby goldbrick » Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:44 pm

i heard the new Triumphs are made in thailand ???
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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby maxx england » Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:36 pm

Wouldn't be a surprise. Anyway, where else in the world are you going to see New Imperials with "pistol grip" tanks (including a 500 with the world's most vulnerable magneto) or a Scott triple or even a Sociable?
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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby birddog » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:09 pm

I used to love just slightly damping to outside of my left boot sole when cornering on a nicley banked curve at when riding my Norton Commando. :mrgreen:

Thinking about putting her up on the bay this year :cry:
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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby maxx england » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:04 pm

Shims or adjustable? And why sell? Hope you're not getting crunched in the credit machine. You know the best British bike engine anybody made? XS650 :mrgreen: Had one, the frame was profoundly unnerving, but the motor was a gem. Go on, book a flight, I hear we have a direct connection these days to the US. Upton on Severn festival 17-19 July, 40ish miles from here :wink:
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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby goldbrick » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:11 pm

I still want a Gold Star or a 441 Victor
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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby maxx england » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:17 pm

A real Goldie can be expensive, and it's easy to end up with a "genuine fake" from the spare parts shelf, since there were cooking versions of that engine as well as the CRTT fires every lamppost street racers. Tread carefully if you tread at all.

441 Victor? What's the matter? Don't you like yourself? It's only a C15 with ideas above it's station, and that was descended from a 150cc Triumph of all things. Ever seen a Terrier?

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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby birddog » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:35 pm

maxx england wrote:Shims or adjustable? And why sell? Hope you're not getting crunched in the credit machine. You know the best British bike engine anybody made? XS650 :mrgreen: Had one, the frame was profoundly unnerving, but the motor was a gem. Go on, book a flight, I hear we have a direct connection these days to the US. Upton on Severn festival 17-19 July, 40ish miles from here :wink:

The Norton "isolastic ride" I beleive it was called(shims). 72 750 commando, titled as a 73 though.
You have a good line on spares ?
Lets see, to put her back on the road I need a crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons & a set of jugs. My lower end cases are good & my head unscathed but the last time I had her out many years ago I shut her down just before the rod came apart.

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Re: a few tips on damping for slide guitar

Postby maxx england » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:58 pm

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