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Slide, need to get better

 
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flavaham



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 13
Location: Aurora, Co

PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:56 am    Post subject: Slide, need to get better Reply with quote

So, I haven't really played a lot of slide in the grand scheme of things but I'm thinking I should really start to learn a bit more. I learned a few Allman Bros. tunes a while back (Statesboro, Done Somebody Wrong, etc.) mostly using open E tuning. I use my ring finger for the slide because it seems more comfortable. I'm noticing that a lot of people put the slide on their pinky. Any particular reason? Same reason I use my ring finger? Just more comfortable?

Anyhow, I'm looking for tips on getting better at slide. I find that my vibrato is a bit tight and forced. Not really as fluid as I'd like. I listen to guys like Derek Trucks and hear all these quick stops and I just don't see how they are as "on point" as they are. He does these runs where he just grabs one string, plucks once and starts sliding all over the place with ninja precision! I noticed that Steve is also pretty much at ninja status on the slide when I saw him play Toungue N' Groove the other night. Obviously there is no substitute for practice but I feel like when it comes to slide I end up practicing bad habits, like getting lazy and looking away from what I'm doing...

Long story short - anyone got some help for getting better at slide? haha, that was way wordy. sorry. and thank.
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kimock



Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 441
Location: Lehigh Valley

PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Slide, need to get better Reply with quote

flavaham wrote:
I find that my vibrato is a bit tight and forced. Not really as fluid as I'd like.


Hey Flava!
If you want to get your vibrato together, figure out what you're already doing in terms of physical technique, and try to to play the vibrato YOU WANT TO HEAR by doing whatever comes most naturally BACKWARDS.

You want to move your hand in exactly the opposite way that you naturally do. Force yourself to play what you want to hear, depth, rate, frequency-wise with the vibrato while having to be super deliberate about the execution.

By the time you figure out how to start getting what you're really hearing, when you revert to your natural technique it'll be a piece of cake.

I know that sounds really weird, but that's what I had to do to get a handle on it. My vibrato didn't exactly suck to begin with, lots of years of "just lettin' it happen naturally", but I could never really DO anything with it: it was just kinda there.

I noticed that i would always begin my vibrato motion with the slide at a certain angle, that would promote this little clockwise motion that actually changed the vibrato direction.
Once I isolated that natural movement and very laboriously learned to do the exact opposite, that's when I finally started to get some control over all that rate, depth, tempo, etc.

I still have a LONG, LONG way to go, but that was the trick for me, identifying the natural tendencies that were producing the effect I didn't like and applying myself to creating the effect I wanted by deliberately going against those natural tendencies.

Once I really heard myself making the sound I wanted, I just went back mostly to my natural motion, but I had it under control.

Quote:
I listen to guys like Derek Trucks and hear all these quick stops and I just don't see how they are as "on point" as they are. He does these runs where he just grabs one string, plucks once and starts sliding all over the place with ninja precision!


OK, that's actually pretty basic, exercise-wise, you just have to put in the reps.
That bit is exactly "One note higher (or lower) each time."

So, hit the string once and slide up to the next scale tone and back down.

1 2 1. . . up one and back down

1 2 3 2 1. . . up two and back

1 2 3 4 3 2 1 . . .up three etc.

Right? take your time try to play clean and in tune and trust the string to carry the note.
You'll be surprised how long you can milk some of those moves.
I guess you already are or you wouldn't be bringing it up, but that's the drill.
Basically, obviously you can bury the idea with ever increasing complexity, but if you just get a handle on "up and back", and "one more each time", the fancy stuff will begin to take care of itself.

Please be patient, this shit takes forever. I work real hard and my progress is glacial at best. You just have to stay on it, it'll come.

Go Flav, Go!!!
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flavaham



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 13
Location: Aurora, Co

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks man! This is as in depth as anyone has ever explained this stuff to me. My biggest problem with my playing is that I flat out DON'T PRACTICE!!! I've found that any time I do I end up just running through exercises when playing rather than playing the lines that I want to hear. In a lot of respects, I'm unfortunately very lazy with my playing. I feel like I could really be a very good, tasteful player but my laziness keeps me from achieving this! It's my own fault! Haha.

I like the idea of the clockwise motion. It seems like a very deliberate move that you have to be very aware of. I find myself just shaking my wrist violently and this really does not produce a very pleasant vibrato. I've tried to make an effort to just slow it WAY down and move up and back slowly. It sounds slightly better but still not quite there. I'll try this out.

As for the one string move, I guess I could've put that together had I just thought about what the movement was, but again, I'm f'n lazy!! haha, it's no excuse! I'm really trying to expand my music vocabulary right now so this is exactly the type of thing I need to do!

I'm figuring I'll set up a click track and try to just run through scales. Start with two notes, move to three, etc...until I get to the octave and back down.

Thanks again man! You have no idea how much you've helped my playing recently! I really do appreciate it!!
-Gabe
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flavaham



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 13
Location: Aurora, Co

PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One more quick note. I know that one thing that I do when playing slide is to tense up like a mutha. I can feel my shoulders tensing and this is what's causing some of the "unpretty" vibrato. I know this is just a matter of getting myself (and in turn, those muscles) to relax, but it's definitely something that is working against me.
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