Slide Talk with Paul Barrere

So many people ask me how I got involved in playing the slider guitar.  Well, when I first started playing guitar, when I was 13, I played with a lot of blues records and I played with a lot of folk and folk blues.  And that’s where I discovered Mississippi John Hurt and his very simplistic slide approach on tunes like ‘Sliding Delta’ and ‘Stagolee’  things like that.  I use a metal slide, actually it’s a Sears & Roebucks 5/8” socket wrench.  I used to use only glass but when I joined Little Feat, they kept breaking and Lowell finally said “Here, try this one - it’ll never break, and if it does, it gets replaced for free.” 

Keiko T. asks:  Is it recommended to mute the strings between the slide and the nut?

There’s a trick to playing slide guitar and that is that you have to dampen the strings.  I use the palm of my hand since I use the slide on my pinky finger so I’ll have the other 3 fingers to chord behind the slide.  By dampening the strings you get less of that overtone and ringing and so forth, or unwanted string noise.

Bill B. asks:  Are you still playing Epiphone acoustics, what are your typical settings?

Yes, the EJ 200 is the work horse of all my acoustics - I use medium gauge strings tuned to an open G-  For years, I’ve used only the open G tuning, but as of late I’ve been using a lot of open D as well. And try my best to conquer playing slide in standard E tuning. I hope this helps, and keep slidin’!