Now that you have the right slide on the finger most comfortable to you, it’s time to play.
To play a note, simply rest the slide directly above the fret on the strings, making sure you are not pressing so hard that the strings hit the fretboard. Now strike the strings and move the slide up and down, maintaining contact between the strings and the slide the entire time.
There are some options when it comes to which type of slide to use, and many opinions on which is best. Just as in most aspects of the guitar, the choice on which type of slide to use is a matter of personal preference. The different types of slides are:
Slide guitar is that simple. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Try using fingerpicking when playing slide guitar. Most slide players play this way because you get better control and you can mute the strings with the picking hand.
If you are having trouble getting a good sound, you may want to get thicker strings or raise the action on your guitar. Raising the action means literally raising the strings higher off of the neck so there is a lower chance of the strings hitting the frets. Be careful! If you raise the action up too high, you won’t be able to fret the strings when you go back to playing normally. Even worse, you might offset the tension with the truss rod, so make sure you are experienced or working with someone who is trained as a Luther.
Use vibrato extensively when playing slide. Vibrato gives your slide playing a personal touch and feel. You can create specific moods based on the type of vibrato you are applying.
Listen to slide guitar greats like Muddy Waters and BB King in order to hear how their
style and trademark vibratos create their definitive sounds, then try to mimic them.