Bottleneck vs. “slide”

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

Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby laurieforti » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:28 pm

Bottleneck vs. “slide”

.....With the recent profusion of new “slide guitar” enthusiasts in the past 40 years, comes a major confusion and obfuscation of terminology.
.....“Slide guitar style” is more properly used in reference to Hawaiian Slide Guitar style, and is inherently more restrictive and limited than bottleneck guitar.
http://www.well.com/~wellvis/steel.html

.....Bottleneck (not slide) has several major advantages over using a heavy, unwieldy, monolithic metal bar on a lap-held guitar.
.....Here are some common techniques used in Delta Blues and other bottleneck styles that are not possible “sliding” around with a heavy metal bar:
1> ability to play fingered, normal, fretted chords; thus providing many more chord options than with a ‘slide’
2> ability to produce ‘bent glissando’; i.e., bend individual strings
3> hammer on
4> hammer off
5> 1> combined with 3>
6> damp strings with fretting fingers
7> damp strings with strumming hand
8> bar with index finger and fret, or hammer, top strings with different finger

.....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.
.....Also, out of respect for the fact that the people who developed bottleneck style actually USED a cut and fire-polished neck of, guess what, a BOTTLE, this more descriptive and accurate terminology is preferable.
.....In another post, someone asked for opinions on an inexpensive metal-body ax.
http://ecologos.org/9.htm
.
.....Laurie
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby allanlummox » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:44 pm

Thank you for clearing that up for us.
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby rustyslide » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:23 am

Unsolicited informational posts always strike me as odd (see the lesson on damping/muting that someone posted, twice).

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.

My initial response was exactly like Dan's.

Assuming this is the start of a discussion and not a sermon from on-high telling us how we're all wrong:

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. I do have one slide with actual liquor bottle pedigree, and I refer to it as: "my bottleneck slide".
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby 5_iron » Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:56 am

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. while using a metal bar. Please...

For that matter, try slanting harmonized thirds at breakneck Bluegrass speeds with a bottleneck.

Bottleneck and Steel are both beautiful techniques with many capabilities unique to each style. There is some obvious crossover (particularly in the Blues genre), and I'd agree bottleneck is more commonly suited to delta style blues, if that is indeed your point. If so, that's a pretty weak case for railing against the whole field of steel guitar.

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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby allanlummox » Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:36 am

Seriously, though, I have seen a few guitars set up with extra string pairs like yours, set up by "Train Wreck" in Berkeley. A nice idea.

Of course, many guitarists play in keys other than the one naming the open chord that the guitar is tuned to - the easiest example I can think of is the last song, "Nobody's gonna ask me why", here, from my 2002 release, "Please and Thank You" - that's C in open G tuning.

http://cdbaby.com/cd/lange

Check it out.
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby tobiepsg » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:05 pm

Hi guys, I haven't been around for a while - wow, what a great improvement in the BB format - congrat's to the one(s) who masterminded it!

Laurie, why not kick off immediately with helping you right here? :wink:

Without hammer-on's & pull-off's "slide" playing (your term) will be doomed. In fact it's done much more regularly than in "bottleneck" style of play. Some steels (e.g. the GS) are actually made with sharp edges to speed up pull-offs, by pulling the steel sideways instead of liting it.

Damping strings with the left hand are as easy as pie - simply lift the bar without ifting the left hand during play. 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.

Bending is done by a lot of guys - by pulling strings with the "extra" fingers behind the steel bar.

A lot of play is done by placing the bar on one / more strings whilst leaving other strings open, specially when playing harmonic scales. So, buddy - other than having frets available on "bottleneck" style, most of the other techniques can be done much faster & more efficiently on "slide" guitar!
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby tobiepsg » Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:27 pm

Just to strengthen my point above - try this without any of the the techniques discussed:
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby allanlummox » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:06 pm

That's some playing.
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby ricochet » Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:09 pm

Might the original post be a bit of vegan spam?
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby zhyla » Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:31 pm

It's definitely spam in that it has links that have nothing to do with this forum. Or rather, it used to :lol:
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby rustyslide » Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:43 pm

ricochet wrote:Might the original post be a bit of vegan spam?


It's not like spam had any meat in it anyway. ;)

zhyla wrote:It's definitely spam in that it has links that have nothing to do with this forum. Or rather, it used to :lol:


What the fuck? :wha:
The person had a link in their signature to their website, the same one that hosts a page about her nine-string resonator. I hardly think that's inappropriate, and have reinstated the links.
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby grumpygroo » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:53 pm

rustyslide wrote:What the fuck? :wha:


What the what :?: :?: :?: Has the cretinous autocensor finally broke :?:
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby drob » Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:59 pm

tobiepsg....that was burning!
I don't get into this "versus" idea at all.
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby rustyslide » Mon Jul 07, 2008 9:11 pm

grumpygroo wrote:Has the cretinous autocensor finally broke :?:


I hit it with a hammer. If profanity actually becomes a problem, I might reconsider putting it back in. It was always possible to defeat it with clever tag-use anyway.
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Re: Bottleneck vs. “slide”

Postby NEONMOONY » Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:32 pm

lso, out of respect for the fact that the people who developed bottleneck style actually USED a cut and fire-polished neck of, guess what, a BOTTLE, this more descriptive and accurate terminology is preferable.


Preferable by whom? Not the girls I go with!
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