Tips On How To Use A Guitar Slide ~ Slide guitars are when a guitarist uses a slide, an object usually inserted in your fingertips and placed against the strings while playing. Using guitar slides is commonly used in blues and country music, and they are mostly in a metallic cylinder shape. This creates a unique sound effect that seems like the notes are winding up and down.

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Slide guitar can be quite tricky. It is mostly because there are basic things that you have to do differently when playing the guitar, and if it fails, it is not going to work.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve the kind of sound you are looking for.

Wear The Guitar Slides In Your Ring Finger

In theory, depending on the size and built of guitar slides, you can put it in any of your fingertips. Wearing the slide in your middle fingers can give you enough control over the slide. Meanwhile, while wearing it on your pinky finger will mean you can reach a long way and have enough fingers for interspersing normal playing.

Wearing it on your ring finger is the perfect balance between the two options above. It gives you enough control and still strong and will leave your other fingers the normal playing. You can also reach the neck and can be held steady and straight.

Hand Finger Position In The Fret

It is a misconception about slide guitar playing. The slide should not be in the middle of the fret but instead should be at the front end of the fret. If you play with the slide in the middle of the fret, the note will be flat lower than its correct pitch. It means that you will be out of tune, and everything will be a mess. The workaround is to hold the slide further forward, right between the target fret and the next.

It may not be clear alone, but once you are in an ensemble, it will be heard right away. It needs to be on your top list from the beginning when learning a slide technique.

Amount Of Pressure

The amount of pressure needed is the same pressure as a natural harmonic. The right amount is when the slide is in contact with the string. But not too much that the string is being pressed down onto the fretboard. If that happens, you will be able to tell since there is a lot on buzzing noises present. The trick is to imagine that the fretboard is not there at all. Just moving the slide along with the string in mid-air.

Tunings To Use

Most of the guitarists commonly use open tunings. It means that the strings are already tuned, so all of these open strings will form a chord. The reason for this is that chords can be played with the slide itself, and licks tumble out easily just by sliding between strings at the same fret. Open E, A, D, and G are the most common tunings.


In conclusion, it helps to enjoy what you do when playing and learning a new aspect of an instrument. If you can follow it, you can start your sliding journey. Give yourself some time and patience. All of this is not possible to do overnight. It’s through hard work and perseverance.

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