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Bottleneck Guitarists?

26 Apr 98 - 12:43 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 27 Apr 98 - 08:28 PM
Gene E 27 Apr 98 - 10:32 PM
Jon W. 28 Apr 98 - 01:14 PM
Will 28 Apr 98 - 03:44 PM
Earl 28 Apr 98 - 05:01 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 28 Apr 98 - 07:59 PM
Paul Jay 28 Apr 98 - 10:17 PM
Gene E 28 Apr 98 - 11:45 PM
Earl 29 Apr 98 - 12:07 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 29 Apr 98 - 02:54 AM
Jon W. 29 Apr 98 - 10:16 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 01 May 98 - 01:30 AM
Axe 01 May 98 - 07:28 AM
Earl 01 May 98 - 08:48 AM
Gene E 01 May 98 - 11:24 PM
Frank in the swamps 02 May 98 - 07:59 AM
Earl 02 May 98 - 08:16 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 02 May 98 - 08:34 PM
Roger Himler 02 May 98 - 09:08 PM
Gene E 02 May 98 - 11:35 PM
Dave deltasound@southwest.com.au 03 May 98 - 11:31 AM
Gene E 03 May 98 - 11:54 AM
Jon W. 04 May 98 - 11:15 AM
Jon W. 04 May 98 - 11:18 AM
Gene E 06 May 98 - 09:44 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 07 May 98 - 07:19 AM
07 May 98 - 10:30 AM
Dale Rose 07 May 98 - 08:29 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 07 May 98 - 09:34 PM
Jon W. 08 May 98 - 11:55 AM
Gene E 08 May 98 - 09:24 PM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 09 May 98 - 05:44 AM
Gene E 09 May 98 - 10:50 PM
Earl 11 May 98 - 08:32 AM
Bill in Alabama 11 May 98 - 08:42 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 11 May 98 - 08:27 PM
Roger Himler 11 May 98 - 09:19 PM
12 May 98 - 01:18 PM
Dale Rose 12 May 98 - 02:27 PM
Earl 13 May 98 - 09:14 AM
Earl 13 May 98 - 09:20 AM
Gene E 13 May 98 - 10:21 PM
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Subject: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From:
Date: 26 Apr 98 - 12:43 PM

It's been a while since we called role of the bottleneckers on the Mudcat.

Now that response time is so much better, I bet more Delta BluEs fans will post. ? ?

Me myself, I dig any Delta stuff but I really like to oplay and listen to resonator and other accustic slide guitar.

How about yawl?

Gene E


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 27 Apr 98 - 08:28 PM

I am still too much of a beginner to play bottleneck, but I hereby register my interest. I like to listen to it, and I intend to learn master it some day.

I was recently looking in on the "acoustic guitar" newsgroup and somebody gave the URL

http://www.slideguitar.com/

as a slide guitar homepage. I haven't had time to look at it yet.

I recall there was a previous thread about the disadvantages of the standard dreadnaught for slide work in that it has a curved fingerboard. I saw a 12 string guitar that was strung for six strings in a shop recently. I couldn't resist trying it. It has a nice wide flat fingerboard. It might be a cheap alternative to a custom guitar.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Gene E
Date: 27 Apr 98 - 10:32 PM

Hey murray@

I like a nice wide fret board but I'm almost as at home on any old thing. Matter of fact the old Delta Bluesmen played what ever they could get their hands on.

A slim curved neck is a bit tricky but it's not so bad that you couldn't do it. I started on a cheap Ibenez dreadnought and still use it for some work.

The point is, start with what ya got, put some 13-56 bronze medium whatevers on it, tune up to open G and let the blues do the rest. ;}

Gene E


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Jon W.
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 01:14 PM

I've tried a couple of tunes, not enough to sound good, I need more time and more guitars (so if I get frustrated with the slide I can pick up another without retuning and play something I know) and more privacy--I don't think my wife would appreciate me practicing slide for an hour a day. But I am interested in learning, eventually. One experience: I was at church and found my daughter's diaper (that's nappy to you Australians and English) to be dirty. We had forgotten a diaper bag, so I took her home to change. She kept pooping after I got the diaper off so I tried to hold her on the toilet- but she screamed about that and kept dropping poop on the floor and screaming. I eventually got another diaper on her and suddenly she fell asleep. I was so frustrated that I took out my guitar and slide and played some approximation of Robert Johnson's "Come On In My Kitchen" and I'll tell you what, it really soothed my nerves to do it. That must be about ten years ago - that particular daughter is 11 going on 12 now.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Will
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 03:44 PM

I just got a wonderful Ellen McIlwaine compilation, with some great slide work on it. The combination of her voice (strong and assured) and the scream of the slide is great.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Earl
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 05:01 PM

I'm not great but I can get a decent sound bottlenecking. I agree with Jon W. privacy is essential when learning if you care at all about your loved ones' ears.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 07:59 PM

To tell the truth, I tried it on my dreadnaught, but not with blues (I hope this doesn't get me banned from the thread :). There is a Carter Family song that starts "G'wan and leave me if you want to," in which the Autoharp accompanyment slides. I tried to imitate that. The slide is in the opposite direction from the bottleneckers (I think.) The results were encouraging--at least it didn't go bump, bump, bump over the frets as I feared.

I am using extra-light strings and a piece of copper plumbing pipe that I smoothed down to make safe for my finger. My privacy is sort-of guaranteed by the lack of volume. I would be curious to know what other people use.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Paul Jay
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 10:17 PM

Murray How about using Bottle neck? You will have to drink a bottle of wine or wiskey for this. I know it will be hard , but bear up. The trick is to get a bottle with a straight neck then cut, or have it cut just below the lip and about 2 1/2" down from there. Or you can wimp out and go down to the music store, and if they are into acoustic stuff you can get one of several sizes of glass tubes with nifty little sacs to carry them in. Oh yes, If you make your own take some wet/dry snadpaper and take the edges off. Try open "D" I think its easier than "G". D A D F A D Major progression courds on 5 7 12 & 3 Happy sliding*-


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Gene E
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 11:45 PM

Howdy all,

I prefer a Jim Dunlap #222 brass slide over glass but I want to try a glass Delta Slider one of these days.

Gene E


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Earl
Date: 29 Apr 98 - 12:07 AM

Paul, What brand bottle do you recommend? I used to cut my own but I've had trouble finding necks straight enough. Then I usually screw up the cut.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 29 Apr 98 - 02:54 AM

Earl, perhaps the secret is to cut the bottle on a different day from when you empty it ;-}

Murray


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Jon W.
Date: 29 Apr 98 - 10:16 AM

This is mostly from reading, some from practical experience: you want to use as heavy a slide as possible to effectively stop the string. Also fairly heavy strings, for better volume. One book recommended a solid (not wound) third string. I've tried slides of copper pipe and electro-metallic tubing (recommended by Johnny Winter) and also bought a rather light glass one from a music shop. Heavier ones are available now and ought to be better. I've even heard of people using and recommending deep sockets (the kind you use to tighten nuts and bolts) which can be bought at automotive tool stores or Sears. Ought to work okay if there's no embossing that gets in the way.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 01 May 98 - 01:30 AM

I imagine a test tube of the right diameter would work also.

Here is a snippet from what the slide guitar site that I mentioned earlier says. It includes the socket wrench suggestion:

"As to what kind of slide to use, this can create very boring and nerdy sounding arguments. It's a question of what sounds good to your ear. Basically, though, you have a choice between glass and metal. There are a few plastic slides available, but most aren't worth the money. Some people (Johnny Winter being one) use a metal slide that's part of a socket wrench. Just take yourself down to Sears and look in the tool section -- but don't get one stuck on your finger. It creates unwelcome attention. There seem to be even more options when it comes to using a glass slide. Interestingly enough, a popular glass slide which looks like a 1960's era cold medicine bottle is, in reality, surplus unused (we hope) urine testing bottles purchased from the military! Glass produces a certain slightly thinner and more delicate sound and seems to w ork fairly well for electric guitar. For acoustic, metal gives a forceful kind of tone that helps bring up th e sound. Naturally, it all has to do with a person's style and the way they want the guitar to sound. Since we' re not talking about a huge purchase - most are under $8 - try one of each and see which you like."

Murray


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Axe
Date: 01 May 98 - 07:28 AM

I play mainly finger picking blues (Hurt, Davis, Broonzy, etc.) but also some slide. I've tried glass, brass and chrome-steel. For the moment I like the steel one. It's not quite as heavy as the brass so it's a bit easier to control. I've always found glass too light, but maybe that's because I generally use light gauge strings. It definitely helps to have a couple of guitars so you can keep one in open tuning. I use my old Yamaha for slide; I find the fact that it's a laminated soundboard doesn't affect the sound for slide playing as much as for standard playing.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Earl
Date: 01 May 98 - 08:48 AM

Murray, What a novel idea, I'll bet I save on bandaids too.

I think real bottle necks look the coolest, but these days I a heavy duty glass slide. $2.85 at Elderly Instruments.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Gene E
Date: 01 May 98 - 11:24 PM

I just found www.jimdunlop.com and have ordered a #227 concave brass slide to try on my round neck F60 Dobro. They also have a thick glass slide I might try on my Duolian.

I've tried the "Mudslide" the "Chrome Dome" and several thin slides but I always come back to brass.

Gene E


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 02 May 98 - 07:59 AM

Earl, I'd be happy to empty the bottles for you while you cut 'em down (special thanks to Murray!). But seriously..

I noodled a little bit with slide, but rejected the approach. I love the sound, but simply had to set it aside as one of the many things in life I don't have the time to work on. I am curious however, are you laying your guitars flat like lap steels, or holding them upright? And what finger are you using for the slide if upright? Just because I don't play a certain way doesn't mean I have no interest in your technique.

If it's of any interest, I also noodled with alternate tunings, I barely use them at all, but one I do use occasionally is to simply tune the A string down to a G. I find it gives some good bassline possibilities in the flat pick style.

Frank .i.t.s.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Earl
Date: 02 May 98 - 08:16 PM

I use open G almost exclusively, though I've experimented with others. I use the slide on the ring finger, I don't know why. Many years ago I used a lipstick tube on my little finger. I was trying to imitate Tom Rush and didn't realize he was using an open tuning.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 02 May 98 - 08:34 PM

Gene, I have seen the description "round necked" for Dobros and some other instruments. What does it mean?

I bookmarked the Jim Dunlop site for future reference.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Roger Himler
Date: 02 May 98 - 09:08 PM

I play my guitar upright and use a glass on bronze store bought slide on my pinkie. It leaves me some fingers to fret with.

Dobro made guitars that were intended to be played lap style and the back (non-fret side) of the neck was basically square in cross-section. It was also quite thick. It made for a very sturdy neck, but precluded playing the guitar up-right. The round-neck dobros you hear about were designed primarily for lap-style dobro playing, but the neck is more traditionally shaped and could be played upright.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Gene E
Date: 02 May 98 - 11:35 PM

Frank, I hold the guitar upright and place the slide on my left ring finger. I don't mute much behind the sile like many instructional videos advise because I like the rattles and pops to provide a percussive rythm. My technique is a combination of bass line in the right thumb, barr chord accomapnying single string picking using fingering or slide. I find it really hard to describe! It's not so hard to do.

Murray, The term round neck just means that the fret board has a radius like all modern guitars. OMI (the company that produced Dobros until '97 built a wood body guitar with a neck with a 7.1/2" neck radius, a short neck (12 frets to the body.) I also have a Duolian with a flat neck which many Dobros have but it's not a reinforced neck for playing like a lap steel. It's a bottleneck guitar.

I keep the Duolian in open G and the F60 in open D.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists? Swapping Songs
From: Dave deltasound@southwest.com.au
Date: 03 May 98 - 11:31 AM

Would there be anyone that would like to swap some of there work for mine in mpeg format,i am a keen player and love early delta blues.and am still learning like most.............keep on slidin .............dave..


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Gene E
Date: 03 May 98 - 11:54 AM

Hey Dave,

What's mpeg format?

Gene E


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Jon W.
Date: 04 May 98 - 11:15 AM

MPEG is a file format for exchanging sound files and/or video files. I think it's the technology behind Castle Wolfenstein and other games that look like movies (I could be wrong about this). Anyway, it seems to be quite a bit more compact than .wav files. Click here for an FTP menu that will let you get some shareware for creating and playing the files.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Jon W.
Date: 04 May 98 - 11:18 AM

PS I tried the one called mpgaudio.exe and it seems like a nice package.

PPS I'm going to start a new thread since this will be of interest to the others.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Gene E
Date: 06 May 98 - 09:44 PM

I'm afraid the swapping of files is over my head.

I'll just stick to my Dobros. :}

Gene E


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 07 May 98 - 07:19 AM

I'm glad to see this thread resurface. Otherwise I was going to keep the following to myself.

With reference to my previous posting. Urban legend has it that the army has all kinds of ways to torture recruits--extra blunt needles for injections, etc. Well a urine sample bottle that will fit on your pinkie (or even ring finger) sounds like one of these.

Gene, often when I see the phrase "swapping files" I read it as "swatting flies." Freud would have something to say about that.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From:
Date: 07 May 98 - 10:30 AM

Hey Murray,

Just don't go swatting flies with a pinkie urine bottle slide afixed around your favorite axe. It could be dangerous.

Gene E


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Dale Rose
Date: 07 May 98 - 08:29 PM

I don't play, and this is my first time to even look at this thread, but some of the earlier comments reminded me of Sylvester Weaver and Walter Beasley's Soft Steel Piston on the Before The Blues volume 1 on Yazoo. I have always wondered if the title is a reference or a tribute of sorts to the steel player's tools. My favorite album of such music is the Columbia Roots and Blues CD of old time black slide guitarists, The Slide Guitar: "Bottles, Knives, and Steel". The new Old Time Mountain Guitar album which is coming out soon on County is bound to have some great white slide guitarists on it. That is going to be a don't miss album for me.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 07 May 98 - 09:34 PM

(I hope this isn't another one of those multiple postings. I seem to tacitly reload whenever I go to another site and come back while composing a message.)

Dale. I didn't know there were old-time white slide players. Did they learn from the blacks or vice-versa? Come to think of it, where did the Hawiians learn to slide?

For playing a guitar on your lap, where you don't have to slip the slide around your finger, you can certainly use a piston. Since copper and brass are good, soft steel should be too.

When I saw the title of this thread a few minutes ago, a penny dropped (as we say in Australia--probably the equivalent to "a light bulb lit up in my head.") I recently posted a thread asking for identification of a member of the Foggy Mountain Boys. He is on a picture of them, and he is the only one not holding an instrument. Amongst those with instruments, there is no dobro. So, can anyone describe the dobro player with the Foggy Mountain Boys?

Would anyone like to discuss the relative merits of steel-string, classical, or resonator guitars as fly swatters?

Murray


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Jon W.
Date: 08 May 98 - 11:55 AM

I think that classical guitars would be the best fly swatters - being lighter, you can swing 'em faster. Also they "fly" apart more readily on impact. Besides, what else can you do with a guitar with nylon strings?

All in good fun, Jon W.

PS - some bluesmen have said they favored the metal-bodied resonator guitars because they were a superior weapon to the wood guitars.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Gene E
Date: 08 May 98 - 09:24 PM

I could kill the fly from the movie "The Fly" with my Duolian!! But I'd rather not, I might have to retune it.

Gene E


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 09 May 98 - 05:44 AM

I have to be careful of what I say about and do with classical guitars, Jon. My next-door neighbor is a classical guitar teacher. She is a European of the old school and has little truck with the steel string. Whenever I complain about the aches and pains associated to learning to play the instrument, she tells me I wouldn't have that problem if I played a classical guitar. I think if I fell in a manhole in her presence, she would tell me that wouldn't have happened if I played the classical guitar.

This thread is degernerating into a humour thread--they seem to do that sometimes. I don't mind, but I might as well fill in my education. What is a Duolian?

Murray


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Gene E
Date: 09 May 98 - 10:50 PM

murray murray,

A Duolian is brass bodied resonator guitar with a 14 fret neck with a flat fret board. A great bottleneck guitar.

I've been thinkng about trying wome nylon strings on it! :}


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Earl
Date: 11 May 98 - 08:32 AM

The story I heard (and I'm sure there are others) is that Hawaiian music became fashionable around the turn of the century after Hawaiian musicians appeared at the various world's fairs. Their slide style influenced country guitarist, both black and white. Resonator guitars were originally made for Hawaiian players which is why the guitars traditionally have tropical scenes etched or painted on the body.

There was also an older, African-American tradition of using a glass slide on a single string nailed to the side of a house.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 11 May 98 - 08:42 AM

Murray:

The dobro player for Flatt and Scruggs was "Uncle" Josh Graves. He is of medium height and build, dark hair. After the death of Lester Flatt Josh teamed up with Kenny Baker and the duo appeared widely. I believe that they also cut an album or two. When I left the circuit (1995), Josh was still performing.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 11 May 98 - 08:27 PM

Thanks Bill. Let me tell you why I asked the question and you might be able to give me more info.

I have an album of the complete Mercury recordings of Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. On the cover is a picture of the group. There is only one man there who isn't holding an instrument. He is wearing a straw hat, a checked flannel shirt and suspenders. He is the only one without some kind of necktie (except for a bandanna). I was trying to figure out who that was and what he played. (The reason I asked about the dobo player was because all the other musicians are holding instruments and none of them have dobros. I was wondering if he was the dobro player---but he looks to be a bit on the tubby side, rather than medium build.

If you know the picture, he is the one standing furthest to the right.

Gene. That must be a heavy instrument! I guess you play it on your lap.

Earl. Let's take it one step further back. Who introduced the guitar to the Hawaiians? (Or did they discover it independently.) I read somewhere that that one-string affair was called a diddly bow and it is from that that Bow Diddly took his name.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Roger Himler
Date: 11 May 98 - 09:19 PM

Murray,

I own a new National Resophonic Tri-cone. It is a metal bodied guitar with a wooden neck, like the Duolian. Sure, it is substantially heavier than even a dreadnought style guitar, but I play it strapped over my shoulder just like my D-28.

I don't think I am ready to put in long hours strapped in however. Older blues players seem to uniformly sit down and rest their guitars on their legs and hold it in the traditional upright position. Some of them did play their metal bodied guitars flat on their laps when they played bottleneck style.

If I practice a couple of days straight with the National and then pick up my D-28, I allmost toss that guitar through the ceiling because it seems so light.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From:
Date: 12 May 98 - 01:18 PM

Murray, Now I'm really out of my league, but I heard that the guitar was introduced to Hawaii by the Germans. I don't know whether they were missionaries or settlers or what, and I don't even remember where I heard it.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Dale Rose
Date: 12 May 98 - 02:27 PM

For a good example of Hawaiian guitar playing, go to the Rounder site, and check out Sol Hoopii Both of his albums have WAV/realaudio sound samples, though something was wrong with the ra files today. If you click on the album cover for an enlargement of volume I, maybe some of you sharp eyed experts can figure out what he is playing. The liner notes (not included for this album on the Rounder site) do not tell what he used.

Another good album is Rounder 1012, featuring performances by Sol Hoopii / Frank Ferera / Jim and Bob, the Genial Hawaiians / Biltmore Orchestra / Lemuel Turner / Pat Patterson & his Champion Rep Riders / Andy Sanella

Another album worth checking out would be Roy Smeck on Yazoo.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Earl
Date: 13 May 98 - 09:14 AM

Here is a page with a hisory of Hawaiian music. It claims the guitar was brought to Hawaii in the early 1800's by Mexican cowboys(?) and whaling vessels, and that standard Hawaiian slide guitar was developed in the late 1800's by Joseph Kekuku who moved to the mainland in 1904.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Earl
Date: 13 May 98 - 09:20 AM

I see that the link I posted does not go deep enough. Click on "Hawaiian Music - by David Brown" to get to the page I was talking about. The other links look pretty good too.


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Subject: RE: Bottleneck Guitarists?
From: Gene E
Date: 13 May 98 - 10:21 PM

Hawiian influence . . yes!

Duolian heavy . . yes! But I play it strapped over my shoulder, sitting down.

Gene E


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