There are a lot of fun ways to the play the guitar. You can bend the strings to crazy heights, cause blaring feedback, and so much more. A style that has been around for so many years is slide guitar playing. This is the use of, typically, a rounded or tubular piece of material on the strings to create a gliding or sliding effect.
This amazing and challenging technique originated way back in Africa in conjunction with a single stringed instrument called the “diddley bow.” It also came from Hawaii with the use of the steel guitar.
As we all know, blues music is steeped in African culture and has ties to slaves that were brought over to America. As a result, most of the musician’s learned things from their parents that translated into their music. The early Mississippi Delta players utilized objects like knives and bottles to create unique tones on the guitar.
Today, slide guitar is mostly associated with blues music and is presented as another way to play the instrument. Although some players still pick up the occasional beer bottle as an impressive bar band trick, slides are now made from a wide range of materials. Some of these include glass, pyrex, brass, steel, wood, and others. Each material produces a different tone and varies in weight.
There have been many players who have attempted slide playing over the years (Jimmy Page on “In My Time of Dying” comes to mind) and others who have perfected it and are linked to slide playing, like Derek Trucks, and of course Sonny Landreth. According to our own Joe Bonamassa, watching Sonny Landreth play slide is like “watching a well-oiled machine, it is inane.”
If you like slide playing and wand to check out some cool tracks, check out this article! https://www.guitarworld.com/artists/essential-listening-10-stellar-slide-guitar-songs
As always, for more great blues photos click here: https://keepingthebluesalive.org/still-blues/