Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Box of Slides
I've seen it said that anybody who starts trying to play steel guitar ends up with a box full of steels. This is my box, built by my father. I occasionally play slide and I occasionally play steel, both basically as a bedroom player, so it's only a small box, but we'll see.
There's the fake Coricidin bottle slide, which I think is a little big but is my go-to. There's the Lowell George-approved 11/16s socket. It's a Craftsman, so if I play my blues hard and break it, I can take it to any Sears and get it replaced. There's a Zippo, which I never really used as a smoker. I think I saw a video of John Mooney playing like that. I have a shiny chrome slide and a less shiny brass one. I think the brass grips a little more, causing more of the characteristic string noise for bluesy acoustic work. I have a Stevens bar that came with my lap steel, and a Dunlop bar I picked up later, and they're heavy enough that I can really only use 'em for action-enhanced steel playing, rather than slide playing on my normal guitars, which is fine. The big one is a threaded test tube I got from the lab where I work when they were ridding themselves of glasswork. I thought I could make it into a bottleneck but never cut it off. I use it for steel stuff but it is light enough to easily go over to the spanish-style guitar, for playing like Danny Gatton and his beer bottle. Except that I'm not that good. But that's OK — saying you're not as good as Danny Gatton is like saying you're bipedal.
I know, this post is useless without audio, so I'll throw that on the list.