Bottleneck vs. “slide”

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby ricochet » Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:26 pm

tobiepsg wrote:if Steinar says it, then that's how it is. Take the man's opinion as worthy - and listen to his lapsteel music if you like - it's amazing stuff!

+1 to that!
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby laurieforti » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:49 pm

>… Typically a long post like this would be written in response to a query from another member, or, if it's the start of a thread, have a preamble or conclusion broaching discussion or other contribution.
. . . . .Anyone understand this?

> … My initial response was exactly like Dan's.
. . . . No meaningful or relevant discussion, just shameful self-promotion?

> … Assuming this is the start of a discussion and not a sermon from on-high telling us how we're all wrong:
. . . . You will please notice that I, unlike most, offer reasons that support my opinions. This is to foster meaningful discussion. So, could you please hold the pejoratives and respond to the issues, not interjecting insults?

> … I object strongly to using the term "bottleneck" to refer to the tubes of pyrex, porcelain, chrome, and brass that I stick on my finger to slide around on the guitar strings bottleneck style, as the items in question are demonstrably not the eponymous necks of bottles.
. . . . .What, if anything, is this supposed to mean? The –geometry- of necks of bottles, HINT: hollow cylinders, is IDENTICAL regardless of the material of construction.
> … Please inform Jerry Douglas (or any other skilled lap style player) that it is not possible for him to hammer on, hammer off, damp with fretted fingers, damp with strumming hand, etc.

. . . . And, I forgot slapping the strings, like common to Delta Blues guys: Charley Patton, Big Joe Williams, …

. . . . How come you understood my main thesis, the two styles (Bottleneck and Hawaiian Slide style), are very different because bottleneck has many more techniques that Sliders do not have. Therefore, bottleneck has superior stylistic variance, and is more musically-complex and rich.

>… that's a pretty weak case for railing against the whole field of steel guitar
. . . . .I am not “railing against” anything, except pointing out how erroneous terminology confuses the issue, and impedes meaningful conversation.

Calling two very different things the same name is intellectually lazy and sloppy.
> … few guitars set up with extra string pairs like yours, set up by "Train Wreck" in Berkeley. A nice idea.
. . . . Any pictures possible?

> … Of course, many guitarists play in keys other than the one naming the open chord that the guitar is tuned to …
…. I think the concept was that I have never heard anyone else play Delta Blues in C and D in Open G. Has anyone?

> … Without hammer-on's & pull-off's "slide" playing (your term) …
. . . .Missed the point? I do not use the term “slide guitar” for the reasons stated repeatedly.

> … Damping them with the right hand is done with almost every note / chord played, otherwise the strings would just keep on ringing. In fact, this is the first technique to master when you pick up your first steel bar.
. . . . .Right-hand damping sounds different in Delta style; it has a distinctive dull , thudding sound; I doubt if lap steel folks do that.

> … Bending is done by a lot of guys - by pulling strings with the "extra" fingers behind the steel bar.
. . . . Bent strings sound different in Blues because the string is held down against the frets while bending. An open string ¼” over the frets can not produce the same dynamic.

>… other than having frets available on "bottleneck" style, most of the other techniques can be done much faster & more efficiently on "slide" guitar!
. . . . can’t do the same bending (as mentioned above), can’t slap strings, can’t hammer on, or off (the bar would produce clunking if this were tried), … can’t hold a fingered chord and twiddle other strings, can’t barre and bottleneck simultaneously, …

> … Just to strengthen my point above - try this without any of the the techniques discussed:
. . . . Flashy, and soul-less, but not Delta Blues, nor Blues of any kind. The discussion was started in reference to Delta Blues.

> … It's definitely spam in that it has links that have nothing to do with this forum.
. . . . Never heard of sig files? Spam refers to commercial advertising; there is none in my posts.

> … only someone who doesnt know about slide playing or lap steel playing would post that Steel players are limited.
. . . . Are you knowledgeable enough to try to discuss the limitations I enumerated? Or are insults all you have?
. . . . The most severe and obvious limitations of steel players is that they CAN’T play Delta Blues, so discussions of “steel” are Off Topic for this discussion.

> … To me they are two different animals. The lap steel has the ability to use tunings you can't use on a round neck guitar.
. . . . .Agreed, my point is that the styles are so different and orthogonal, that calling them the same name is misleading, confusing, and intellectually lazy.

> … This still smells like spam to me, but at least there's an interesting guitar involved.
. . . . .Spam is unsolicited COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING; I would never do that. But, this false accusation is another perfect example of the ignorant not understanding the meaning of a word, and therefore causing false accusations and pejorative and false accusations. An illustrative example of the same lack of respect for the language we speak; thanks for emphasizing my point.

. . . . .Laurie
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby Steinar Gregertsen » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:53 am

Uh, you just posted the same post over again... Time warp? :blink:

I'll try to take your post(s) seriously, and here are a few points -

1 - If you, in your initial post, simply had stated "In my opinion bottleneck slide is better suited for delta blues than Hawaiian steel guitar" (yes, it's "steel" not "slide") then I wouldn't have had any problems with it, in fact I would have agreed with you. But you didn't, you went on to make a truckload of false assumptions about the world of steel playing, like -

2 - "Thus, bottleneck style provides an incredibly rich tapestry of sound and musical subtleties that are simply not possible clunking around with a heavy metal bar."
By using the term "clunking around" you reveal that you have absolutely no knowledge of steel playing, and even less respect for it. When you talk about "rich tapestry of sound and musical subtleties" it's natural to assume that you're talking about music in general and not limited to delta blues (even if this is a blues forum). No wonder people saw red.

3 - hammer ons and pull offs are standard technique on a steel (aka any stringed instrument played lap style with a steel bar), but only in combination with open strings, naturally.

4 - Try this with a bottleneck, the infamous "split slant": In D tuning. slide to the tenth fret on the top three strings for a C major triad, THEN slant the bottleneck so it covers fret 10 on strings 1 and 2, and fret 9 on string 3 for a perfect C minor triad. A bit tricky, eh? You'll need to fret behind the slide to do that with a bottleneck, but then you'll no longer be sliding. Nothing wrong with fretting behind the slide, I do it a lot myself, but the ability to play moving slants like this is a definite "subtelty" that the steel has over the slide.
Even worse, try the "moving X slant" - play the third string on fret ten and the third string on fret eleven, then - while the notes are ringing - move the bottleneck around so it now plays the third string on fret ten and the first string on fret eleven (you can do this anywhere on the neck of course, I use these positions as examples only). No? I thought so......
And while you're at it,- try a three fret reverse slant, like string 1/fret 10, string 2/fret 11, and string 3/fret 12. Then, just for sports, you can move that slant around (with all notes ringing) into a minor triad as I described above. "Clunking around", uh?

5 - You claim that you can't damp strings with the fretting hand - that's dead wrong, steel players does that all the time. And yes, you can beat the instrument senseless with the fretting hand if you want (ever seen Bob Brozman live?), though I wouldn't recommend it on an 80 year old fragile Weissenborn. Perhaps it's not a common thing to do, but now we're talking about what's possible, not what's common.

6 - You claim "An open string ¼” over the frets can not produce the same dynamic" - you forget that on a steel guitar the bar acts as a fret and the string is bending against it. The only difference is that the "fret" is over the string instead of under it. Pulling string behind the steel bar is a quite common technique among steelers, and it can be every bit as emotive as bending strings on a guitar. It's also often done "double stop" style.

7 - You claim "The most severe and obvious limitations of steel players is that they CAN’T play Delta Blues" - with all due respect, that is utter nonsense and only proves that while you may be familiar with bottleneck slide, you don't have a clue about steel playing.
Did you check the links I posted re Watermelon Slim and Black Ace?

Sure, bottleneck slide and steel playing has their obvious differences, but I've heard raw delta blues played on steel and soothing Hawaiian played bottleneck slide.
Why put up some sort of musical Berlin Wall between the two? Why chop off one of two musical legs? They are both musical instruments and not musical styles and personally I have no time for purists,- delta blues on a steel? Sure, I'll even have heavy metal on a clarinet if it sounds good!

Cheerio!
Steinar

PS - for educational purposes I'd highly recommend you check out Bob Brozman's Slide Guitar for Blues - Lap Style Volumes 1 & 2. If you, after watching these videos, still claim that delta blues can't be played lap style (aka "steel", "Hawaiian steel", "lap steel", etc etc...) then you'll never get it.
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby zhyla » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:47 am

Wow, this is the most fascinating thread we've had in a long while. Seems like the whole point of blues is not to get too wrapped around the axle over terms and technical details. Slide, bottleneck, "hawaiian" style, whatever you want to call it, it all sounds good.

Laurie, welcome to the forum. It's an odd forum in that I can't remember there ever being an actual argument here (shocking!) and every member I've run across here are really nice, reasonable people. Hope you enjoy it here and we can all learn from each other. But if you're looking to pick a fight kindly pick it elsewhere.
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby tobiepsg » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:43 am

zhyla wrote:if you're looking to pick a fight kindly pick it elsewhere.

All the man needs is a pint or two whilst getting educated via Bob Brozman's Slide Guitar for Blues - Lap Style Volumes 1 & 2... :|
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby maxx england » Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:47 am

I have held back and considered my words carefully and am aware that we have standards of behaviour here which preclude personal attacks or abuse; this means I will not be unkind to Lauriforti, but suggest a little "lightening up". We're here to have fun, not get into pedantic tit arguments.

Hang loose? Mine's fell off :wha:
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby slickcat » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:20 pm

laurieforti wrote:>… Typically a long post like this would be written in response ....................Blah...................Blah.................Blah..................of the same lack ...............Blah................of respect for the language we speak; thanks for emphasizing ..................Blah.............Blah...........my point.

. . . . .Laurie


Dude,
Do me a favor, go crawl back under the rock you came from....... :blink:
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby Steinar Gregertsen » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:39 pm

Steinar Gregertsen wrote:You claim that you can't damp strings with the fretting hand - that's dead wrong, steel players does that all the time. And yes, you can beat the instrument senseless with the fretting hand if you want


Oops, that should have been "picking hand" not "fretting hand"...... :oops:
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby Borgnine! » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:53 pm

Wow---this "laurieforti" person certainly has a pedantic and obnoxious way of introducing him/her self to the board.

Borgnine! (the artist formerly known as juke boy bob)
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby NEONMOONY » Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:56 pm

Without actually acquiescing to the point of whether or not her terms are proper, the idea that one must restrict oneself to preferred or proper terms in a folk genre like blues, and that improper or slang terms should be avoided seems ludicrous.

Next time I play out and our other guitar ( a gentleman quite knowledgeable on the blues BTW) player asks if I brought anything to “slide” with or when people ask if I brought the dobro or the hubcap guitar, should they be corrected?

When playing certain tunes like Guitar Hurricane, as a crowd pleaser thing, I like to start out a song in “bottleneck” position, play a while, then quickly flip the guitar (dobro?, resonator?, lap? I’m so confused) onto my lap, while changing my hold on the tubular sliding device, and play lap for a minute, then quickly flip back to bottleneck style, (preferably without missing any beats). Did I cease playing blues for a moment? I don’t think the crowd knew it. Granted I may not have applied each and every technique during the process but patrons like it.

I may have to find a new music style as I have always been an advocate of creative slang terms. When the vocab, style and technique police show up with definitions, it becomes rigid and less innovative. These opinions expressed are strictly those of NEONMOONY and are not to be considered as representative necessarily those of the host.
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby laurieforti » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:50 pm

> Uh, you just posted the same post over again... Time warp?
___No, the msg board software is faulty.

> I'll try to take your post(s) seriously, …
___Try dropping this pointless sarcasm, for starters.

> 1 - If you … stated "In my opinion bottleneck slide is better suited for delta blues than Hawaiian steel guitar" …
___That would be dead wrong, irrelevant, and totally absurd. But, this seems to be the way you “think”. I can not be responsible for your lack of understanding of simple English.
___Perhaps this explains it: “Arendal, Norway” might explain your unfamiliarity with common English.
___It also helps to understand that there is NO Delta Blues or “bottleneck style” on your site: http://www.myspace.com/steinargregertsen; no Blues of any kind, right? Not being able to play Blues is what makes you an expert, right?
> "Play to express, not to impress"
___Your lack of ability in Delta Blues is, indeed, impressive.
> … then I wouldn't have had any problems with it, in fact I would have agreed with you.
___One who does not understand can not “agree” with anything, for there is no comprehension.

> But you didn't, you went on to make a truckload of false assumptions about the world of steel playing, …
___What I said is simply that the recent popularization of the term “slide” as applied by most contemporary guitarists is unnecessarily misleading because bottleneck style (there is NO mention of ANY bottleneck artists on your site) allows a multitude of stylistic expressions that are IMPOSSIBLE using a monolithic bar. Simple, and irrefutable, fact. But, you did not understand this, so went off with some idiotic personal pejoratives.
___I will not take responsibility for your lack of understanding of (Amerikan) English, nor your lack of understanding of social mores common in a civilized society.
> By using the term "clunking around" you reveal that you have absolutely no knowledge of steel playing, and even less respect for it.
___My first interest in music occurred, in a stultifying melodic context of white mid-1950’s Top 40 vapidity, when I heard “Country & Western Music” on the local Boston, Massachusetts, USofA, commercial radio station.
___Why? I did not know at the time, but I have understood that my attraction to C&W (remember the Blues Brothers line?: We like BOTH kinds of music here; Country AND Western.) was that is sounded different than the white bread commercial crap pumped into the mass consciousness: Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Julius LaRosa, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Patty Page, The Andrews Sisters, cartoon music, Spike Jones, …
___You young know-it-alls should research this crap and listen to some, and you MIGHT appreciate how musical rigormortis held control over Amerika until Black music invaded the white suburbs disguised in Elvis Presley (first white imitator of black R’n’B) twice-disguise as a “new” kind of music: Rockabilly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockabilly
___So, all you children that think that music started with AC/DC might educate yourself a but as to where Amerikan music, rock and roll, and Blues came from.
___So, you teenybopper Eurowankers are living in a musical vacuum, don’t have a clue, and would be well advised to do some research before you embarrass yourself further in public.
___Now, to the point (yes, there is one). Not ever living in either (the C or W) I developed an interest in C&W because of two musical techniques NOT present in white pop music; viz; glissando and melisma. My C&W interest lasted until I heard R’n’B, Blues, and Gospel music over the only Black AM radio station in Boston. And that was the end of my white music period (Little BigMan reference). I had discovered “soul”; totally absent in steel guitar techniques.

> When you talk about "rich tapestry of sound and musical subtleties" it's natural to assume that you're talking about music in general …
___Ass/u/me To assume is to make an Ass out of You and Me; try to respond to what I SAY, not to your own silly misinterpretations of a non-native language.

> … and not limited to delta blues (even if this is a blues forum).
___Here’s a special clue, just for you> Everything I say will be related to Delta Blues.

> No wonder people saw red.
___Didn’t we just do “assume”? STOP making ASSumptions about what other people see, think, feel, or experience in any way. You are NOT telepathic, so stop lying about your non-existing ability to read minds. You are really confused about consensus reality, right?

> 3 - hammer ons and pull offs are standard technique on a steel (aka any stringed instrument played lap style with a steel bar), but only in combination with open strings, naturally.
___There is NO “hammer on” gambit with strings ¼” above the fretboard, simply because the strings can NOT be made to HIT the fretboard. You don’t know what you are talking about.

> 4 - Try this with a bottleneck, the infamous "split slant":
___Could you PLEASE give me an example of these tricks in a Delta Blues tune? No? Ignorant of Delta style?
___Your commentary is irrelevant and highly distorted.

> Even worse, ..
___I was hoping it would not get any worse.

> 5 - You claim that you can't damp strings with the fretting hand - that's dead wrong, steel players does that all the time.
___You corrected this mis-quote later, a little bit of credibility seeping through?

> 6 - You claim "An open string ¼” over the frets can not produce the same dynamic" - you forget that on a steel guitar the bar acts as a fret and the string is bending against it.
___NOPE! The string does NOT BEND “against it”. One who actually plays guitar should KNOW that bending a string increases the TENSION in it, thus INCREASING the PITCH. The BAR does NOT BEND the string.
___Lying does not support your claims.

> The only difference is that the "fret" is over the string instead of under it.
___Lie. The string is NOT stretched by the BAR.

> Pulling string behind the steel bar is a quite common technique among steelers, …
__Incomprehensible nonsense. Explain what is doing the “pulling”. The bar? A finger? That narrows the choices, but neither, as is your style, makes any sense.

> It's also often done "double stop" style.
___Please define, and illustrate.

> 7 - You claim "The most severe and obvious limitations of steel players is that they CAN’T play Delta Blues" - with all due respect, that is utter nonsense and only proves that while you may be familiar with bottleneck slide, you don't have a clue about steel playing.
___I maintain they CAN NOT, simply because the stylistic variations I enumerated (and added string slapping) are possible ONLY with a bottleneck simply because of the geometry involved. You ignorantly chose to misinterpret what I said trough YOUR profound lack of familiarity with the English language as an attack on steel players.
___You are dead wrong! The issue I raised was linguistic, the confounding caused by using “slide guitar” incorrectly, and I enumerated the profound differences, hoping people like you might be able to refine their verbal output such as to foster more, NOT LESS, understanding.
___Your juvenile attempt to twist my thesis to be an attack on steel guitar PLAYERS is illustrative of your lack of comprehension of English, music, psychology, and common manners.
___You could apologize, but are you ethical enough to so? I can’t wait<g>.

> Did you check the links I posted re Watermelon Slim and Black Ace?
___I first heard Ace in the ‘when his first LP came out; he does not play Blues, he des not play Delta Blues, he has absolutely NO soul.
___ Slim’s site reveals no Blues, some weak soul, no Delta, right? He has no soul, no power.

> … I've heard raw delta blues played on steel …
___Like most of your definitive statements, this one needs support. Con you provide any EXAMPLES so I can fairly respond?

> … and soothing Hawaiian played bottleneck slide.
___ EXAMPLES

> Why put up some sort of musical Berlin Wall between the two? Why chop off one of two musical legs?
___You, sir, are a blithering fool. You choose to intentionally distort my posts into some politically-oppressive scheme. You are a liar, and are concocting lies in a juvenile attempt to discredit me. You do not have the ability to engage in honest debate or polite discussion of issues.

> They are both musical instruments and not musical styles …
___Your profound ignorance is revealed in just a few words, thanks for our support. If you are incapable of understanding that a quasi-infinite number of musical STLYES may be played on ONE instrument; the PIANO, then your pathological profile is undeniable.

> and personally I have no time for purists,
___Nor do you have the ability to exchange ideas in a polite manner; you are a buffoon. Ever wonder why musicians have the reputation they have re: intelligence? Look in the mirror.
___To the sincere folks here; I have responded to this unjustified and distorted criticism to show how confusion about common terminology used among musicians leads to lack of understanding, as the current example abundantly illustrates.

_____Laurie
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby allanlummox » Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:54 pm

It seems to be covered with some sort of porous membrane.
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby Fishfeathersmacteeth » Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:55 pm

...Laurie....

..does this mean you'll be heading off and not returning...?

...promise...? 8)
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby drob » Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:12 pm

wow this took a turn for the worse. oh well I'll just shut up and play my guitar.
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby Steinar Gregertsen » Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:24 pm

Holy crap..... :blink:

You end your post with:

Nor do you have the ability to exchange ideas in a polite manner; you are a buffoon.


After throwing this at me:

Perhaps this explains it: “Arendal, Norway” might explain your unfamiliarity with common English.
___It also helps to understand that there is NO Delta Blues or “bottleneck style” on your site: http://www.myspace.com/steinargregertsen; no Blues of any kind, right? Not being able to play Blues is what makes you an expert, right?
> "Play to express, not to impress"
___Your lack of ability in Delta Blues is, indeed, impressive.


And this:

___So, all you children that think that music started with AC/DC might educate yourself a but as to where Amerikan music, rock and roll, and Blues came from.
___So, you teenybopper Eurowankers are living in a musical vacuum, don’t have a clue, and would be well advised to do some research before you embarrass yourself further in public.


You're throwing one personal insult after another at me, and you're calling me a buffoon? :wha:

I know my blues very well, thank you, the fact that I prefer to look ahead in the music I write does not mean I don't know the roots. I respect the past, I study it, but I do not live in it. But, according to your ignorant and arrogant xenophobia, Europeans can't know anything about the blues and American roots music in general, so I guess you got me there....

Thanks for the "teenybopper" thing though,- turning 50 this year I needed the encouragement, I didn't realize I look that good.. 8)

You are obviously a person in great pain, I recommend you seek help to solve the issues that makes you behave like this. And that's not meant as sarcasm.

Steinar
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