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Guitar slide finger: which is better?

Bottleneck: qual'è il dito giusto da utilizzare?-Guitar slide finger: which is better?

Hi sliders! I’m Sebastiano Lillo, endorser and demo player for QP Slide. This article aims to briefly look at a very familiar topic to us “bottleneck” lovers.

Which finger should I wear the bottleneck on? Any, would be the first answer, but if we rule out the thumb for obvious reasons and observe that are very rare players who wear the bottleneck on the forefinger, we are left to consider only the middle, ring and little fingers.

In this feature I will look at incredible slide guitarists Ilistened a lot to: BONNIE RAITT, DEREK TRUCKS and ARIEL POSEN.

Bonnie Raitt: her favourite guitar slide finger

Bonnie Raitt is an exceptional musician, with an incredible style and voice, she wears her slide on the middle finger; what I noticed immediately is an incredibly tight and solid sound, featuring a  very powerful attack, The finger choice led the Burbank based artist to develop a phrasing that’s linear but extremely vocal, with a vibrato you can recognise from miles away.

The slide wornon  the middle finger could definitely create limits in fingering chords and it could be harder to search for comfortable harmonic shapes, but this has certainly not limited Bonnie’s  unique playing style (I would call’it swamp bluesy) that allows her to be considered among the guitar greats, in particular regarding to slide playing.

Click here to listen to a song by Bonnie Raitt

Derek Trucks: his favourite guitar slide finger

What should I say about Derek Trucks,? There’s nothing to add about this musician who is positioned above any ranking, I dare say he’s an “alien”. His musical training and stylistic choices, combined with his unique taste and talent have led Trucks to be one of the most significant guitarists and musicians of this millennium.

He was raised on “bread and Allman Brothers” by his uncle Butch Trucks and absorbed many other influences ranging from jazz to world music.

Derek Trucks wears his slide on the ring finger, a choice that produces great attack and very interesting features (big sound and a good ability to finger notes due to the free pair of index and middle fingers).

The horizontal phrase development and an unbelievable vibrato, combined with the lyric character of his phrasing make this guitarist truly unique!

Click here to listen to a song by Derek Trucks

Ariel Posen: his favourite guitar slide finger

Last but not least is Ariel Posen, a musician and guitarist I love. Ariel’s playing is a mix of pop, rock and blues – the fruit of a stylistic research  that has led him to be featured in the gotha of modern guitarists both as sideman and as a solo artist.

Ariel Posen wears the slide on his little finger, a choice that led him to develop techniques such as “fretting behind the slide” (a technique already undertaken by Sonny Landreth) in a completely original way, cleverly combining slide and fingered notes.

A slide on the little finger allows you to have free index, middle and ring finger, thus allowing an excellent execution of harmonic shapes with and without slide, maybe loosing some attack in favor of a cleaner sound and a larger palette of expressive capabilities.

Click here to listen to a song by Ariel Posen

QP Slide: custom and signature slides models

Which finger do you prefer to wear the slide on? Did you notice the differences by trying the different options? Let us know in the comments!

Click here to have a look at our store and find the most suitable slide model for you! From the simplest models to the signature of emerging artists in the blues world!

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