A mouse in my triolian.

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

A mouse in my triolian.

Postby ricbleu » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:53 am

As with most of you bottleneckers before me, I have tried a whole variety of bottleneck slides. Having a liking for self made things and discovered a relatively easy method for cutting through bottle glass. So I made a truckload of glass slides from beer and wine bottles, but was dissatisfied with them all - they were not heavy enough to produce decent sustain and mostly they had straight sides (not parallel but straight). So anyway, I finally settled on a Dunlop brass slide which tapers at the waist to conform to the curve of a guitar fretboard. It's a good slide; plently of heft, it fitted my pinky well enough and was long enough at 65mm to cover all the strings at once.

Problem? 'Fraid so. I hadn't made it myself.

So I kept on looking and finally in a junk shop came across an old whisky bottle (empty alas) with a long curved neck. After I cut it, finished the ends and ground and polished the seams off, I was most pleased to discover that it conformed perfectly to the fretboard and was a meaty 4mm thick, weighed almost as much as my brass and sustained long and sweet. I had my self made bottleneck slide. Case closed.

Not quite 99. I notice that when I play the two unwound steel strings (b&e) the glass on steel produces a high pitched squeal, the two materials needing some lubrication between them. It only occurs when I play hard with lots of pressure and the squeal mostly gets lost in all the other sounds, but I can hear it enough to annoy me.

So to wind up my long and rambling story, has anyone else had this phenomenon and found out how to overcome it? :D Peace.
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Re: A mouse in my triolian.

Postby bottleneckjohn » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:10 am

Nice job!!
And those tiny squeals have bothered me before as well..

I did send a home made slide to Mr McWee at Diamond Bottlenecks in the UK and they polished to a mirror glaze, haha!
No more problems after that!!!!

All bottles have a rougher surface and therefore they produce unwanted(mostly) noise..

I don't think there's any good method for polishing glass at home though..

Send it to a glass forming company and have yours fixed!!! :mrgreen:
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Re: A mouse in my triolian.

Postby ricbleu » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:30 am

John, I love the fact that you are in Sweden (I presume) and I am on the other side of the planet and here we are conversing about squeeky glass. Ho Ho. Thanks for the advice, it makes good sense: the slightly rough surface would 'grip' the surface of the string. But I don't want to spend any money on this. I have a friend who is a jeweller and she uses jewellers' rouge in the course of her work. I've got a buffing wheel and I suppose that Lynn (the jeweller) has something the same. If the thing still squeeks then I'll just call it "bottleneck feedback" and make a virtue of necessity. Soon everyone will be at my door trying to prise the secret out of me. HOW DOES HE DO IT? :D Peace.
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Re: A mouse in my triolian.

Postby The Breeze » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:27 pm

ricbleu wrote: So I made a truckload of glass slides from beer and wine bottles, but was dissatisfied with them all - they were not heavy enough to produce decent sustain and mostly they had straight sides (not parallel but straight).


Champagne bottle, much thicker glass, Though I did come across a rather pleasant wine which came in a particularly heavy bottle. So I have a stak of about a dozen waiting to be converted, (not drunk, that bit was easy). Always go for modern glass unless you want to polish.
Solution? Drink more... :D
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Re: A mouse in my triolian.

Postby texas blues » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:20 pm

I used to get my noggin' in a knot over slides. Glass? Brass? Ceramic? Tried and spent I dunno' how much jing on who knows how many. So what do I use? A cheapo fat glass Dunlop. One day I had an epiphany that it didn't matter what slide I played but how I was playing it, which was usually rather sloppy. I cleaned that up and now pick up just anything from a brass slide to a zippo lighter and make it sound good. I ain't no Duane and I prefer a more crude and raw style ala Elmore but it works for me.
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Re: A mouse in my triolian.

Postby ricbleu » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:32 am

Yes, I agree with you in principle, Texas. We spend far too much time wondering if our guitars are going to sound better if we sandpaper the braces and our bottleneck slide if we polish them one more time. But if we look back to the masters on whose shoulders we stand, it is as you say, 'grab a git' and get on with it'. How much time did Robert Johnson have his guitar on the bench lowering his action by 1/64"? I suppose the only reason we get so neurotic over all this stuff is because we can; we have the time to fuss, the money for another set up. Instead of a means of making music, our guitars have become an end in themselves - something to pamper like fluffy little dogs. And I am guilty as accused on this - but in my defense I will just say that I set out on this project as a bit of an experiment and because I like making things and using the things I make. If I want to, I can sit on a chair or stool, play a teardrop acoustic or a solid electric lap steel with different tone bars, all that I've made myself. I guess I've been blessed with a very practical aptitude - I'd rather make something than study about it. My time is short now and it gives me great pleasure to potter round on these small projects.

And to BJ, thanks for the advice old buddy. This afternoon I crouched over my buffing disc which I frequently smeared with Autosol, a German made metal polish, and got that slide so darned smooth that you could, you could....well you know what I mean. And so my mouse has departed for another amateur slide maker to terrorise. :D Peace.
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Re: A mouse in my triolian.

Postby Buffalo_Bill » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:57 pm

Yes, we modern humans do waste a great deal of time and intellect examining the methods of the ancients.
Do you wonder if those guys ever said words like mixolydian or pentatonic as a departure from diatonic? :blink:
Maybe they wore wasecote, lace cuffs and powdered wig as they scribed their melodies, quill pen in hand. :roll:
I dunno… :wink:
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