10 Best Slide Guitar In 2020

The unique sounds in rock or blues music are the distinguishable sound of slide guitar. Slide playing involves a soft pressure of an object called slide guitar against the strings of a guitar, smoothly gliding it accordingly to generate various tones, of course, without allowing the strings to touch the fret-board.

Back in history, many guitar players utilize a bottleneck, using it as a slide. The rise of the term bottleneck guitar originated in the earlier time of the twentieth century. Other players used a metal pipe and cut into short lengths, utilizing it as a slide. Comparing the two types of slides, varying tones are produced from these different materials. A glass slide generates a smooth tone while metal slide furnishes a bright sound.

In the present year, the availability of metal and glass slides are present in many stores. Some manufacturers even made a ceramic type of slide for another distinct sound finish. Most slide players place their slides on the fret fingers. Many renowned and famous musicians like Johnny Winter and Robert Johnson wore it this way. However, wearing a slide may vary depending on the users.

What is the best tuning for slide guitar?


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In slide guitar, the best tuning for it is an open tuning, suggesting that string notes must pertain to major chords. This tuning type is best when accompanied by other types of musical instruments.

Typically the usual open tunings are D, E, A, and G. An open tuning of E is largely the best choice for Derek Trucks, and Allman is prominent slide guitar players. The open E tuning is low to high E-B-E-G#-B-E. Few typical open tunings for the slide are D-G-D-G-B-D and D-A-D-F#-A-D.

Open tuning may be unusual for you, usage of a regular guitar tuned is still possible. However, your slide playing may not be competent to produce similar sound as open tuning could do.

How to play slide guitar?

Slide Guitar

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Slide guitar playing can seem complicated at the start, but it can get easy after a few practices. It is a technique in guitar usage that can be fun and adds extra spice and expression on playing with style, especially in genres like folk and blues.

Learning the basic principles of slide guitar is a fundamental thing to do.

First step: Identifying the best finger to wear the slide. Commonly, the second finger or named as the middle finger is where a slide wear as it allows the best control of the slide. The fourth finger or the pinky finger, as it called, could be ideal if aiming to reach up the neck, particularly for acoustic guitars. It also allows having extra fingers behind for ordinary guitar playing. Nevertheless, each player has his own preference and comfort.

Second step: The positioning of fretting hand fingers. Opposing to the common belief, the middle fret should not be where the slide is. The tendency would lead to a flat note, and the whole sound will be out of the melody. The right position should be slightly forward, right between the fret and the following fret.

Third step: Knowing the appropriate application of pressure. The pressure should be similar to the usual harmony. The slide should be in contact against the string yet not fully pressed down on the fretboard, or it may lead to undesirable buzzy sound. Try to visualize that fretboard is not present and simply maneuver the slide along the strings. 

Fourth step: Identifying the tuning used. In the most typical scenario, open tuning is widely used when slide playing. The standard tuning will not be best for slide playing, yet if perfectly practiced, playing using the standard tuning could allow you a more easy time learning the true set up.

Fifth step: The final stage of learning how to play a slide guitar is knowing how to mute an open string. In an open E, typically, the slide is on the third finger, and you have already learned the basics of maneuvering the slide and somehow notice that it is not decent to hear. The reason would be the necessity to mute it out.

When the third finger is sliding around the neck, the first finger and the second finger should be placed behind it accordingly. This moment, the slide playing should be the only ones you can hear. If not done properly, the other strings will tend to ring out and lead to unclearness and produce a messy sound.

Is learning slide guitar hard?

Slide Guitar

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Being a few of the oldest sounds in the world, slide guitar may appear to be complicated to play. Slides allow players to experiment with different methods and tones to create new sounds. The additional complexity of sound it produces. Typically, the slide is not highly expensive and can be purchased at local music stores. It has varieties of kinds, and every finger has its own fit. 

Learning the slide can exert a lot of effort to understand; however, the complexity of it should never daunt you. Playing it can be hard or easy, depending on how you take it. If you are already an expert guitar player, the basics of slide playing can be easy to apprehend.

The only difficult part in the process of learning slide playing is the application of pressure on the strings. Similarly, recalling playing notes on the fret can be very confusing in the beginning. Nonetheless, this should not cause any daunting experience for you as slides can being a new sound for an ultimate musical experience.

How to play 3 string slide guitar?

3 String Slide Guitar

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For beginners, a three-stringed guitar can be less intimidating and still provide a magical musical encounter. With a much easier way, learning is much simple to understand as opposed to a six-stringed guitar. For experienced guitarists, a tremendous amount of benefits to learn on a three-stringed guitar with the ease of having few strings only.

Both two strings of the three-stringed guitars are tuned similarly, and one is tuned higher in one octave. It is an instrument both possesses a limiting aspect and enormous potentials.

In playing three-stringed guitars, understanding of how to tune it should come first. It is followed by learning the simple progression of chords. If trained properly, the complexity of this simple instrument comes with ease.

10 Best Slide Guitar In 2020

1) Ernie Ball Glass Slide

Ernie Ball Glass Slide

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Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Users looking for a durable and smooth sound slide guitar, Ernie Ball glass slide is made for you. The sleek design of the slide, made from a pyrex borosilicate type of glass, specifically created for durability and aesthetic. The material also allows users to experience ease, smooth glide, crisp and bright tonal sound.

It provides users with a more natural glide of the fingers and sound, with additional easier navigation due to its fairly smooth texture composition. Its high-quality material promises to provide comfortable usage for long hours without hurting your finger.

The thickness and length of the slide are perfect for different style preferences of users and best for various types of guitars. It is available in three variants of sizes that suites perfectly for the user’s intention.


  • Durability and comfort with a lower price
  • Thick glass but relatively light in weight
  • Made high-quality material that produces incredible tones
  • Seamless Pyrex glass for strength
  • Perfect size with a thickness of 4mm thick, the diameter of 25mm, and length of 58mm.

What We Like

  • Very low price compared to other durable glass slides
  • High quality and comfortable to use

What We Don’t Like

  • Glass material and fragile breaks easily when dropped on tiled flooring in 2-foot high

2) Fender Steel Slide

Fender Steel Slide

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Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Fender, a renowned brand which became widely known with their guitar collections, created a huge and credible name in the business of music. Fender Steel Slide was made to cater to the suitability of every guitar player’s preference, taste, and style. With a lightweight feature of 0.16 ounces only, the guitar slide can bring the high notes to vocalize.

Steel made material; the Fender Steel Slide provides the low strings with an additional composure and elaborateness of harmony. The slide also features durability and smoothness of usage due to its high-quality stainless steel material. Compared to other types of slides, the Fender Steel Slide can sustain multiple falling accidents or throw in between songs, which makes a practical investment for a slide.


  • Genuine Fender steel material
  • More clarity of sound and fuller tonal voice.
  • Very dense steel with great chrome feature

What We Like

  • Great slide for genres like country, blues, pop songs or rock which provides bright quality sound
  • High quality with affordable price
  • Proven and tested durability

What We Don’t Like

  • Size issues on fingers occur moderately
  • Fingers may tend to smell like metal

3) Be Valiant Guitar Slide

Guitar Slide


Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5

With a variety of freebies and slides in one set, Be Valiant Guitar Slide surely worthy at affordable prices. The set includes three types of guitar slides comprising a glass, brass, and steel slides. Provided that each type of slide encompasses different sounds and styles, the set allows users to fully choose which suits their comfort, need, and technique from a wide variety of choices.

Each slide creates a unique and beautiful sound distinct from each other. The brass slide gave off treble and stabilized bass sound, perfect for long stretching and full tonal expression. Steel slide with stainless steel material generates an amazing intonation and bright, bright pitch, while a glass slide made of borosilicate glass is good for middle harmony sound that provides a warm slide tone.

The set comes with a thumb pic and three kinds of fingerpick perfect for playing different guitar-like bass, banjo, or ukulele. The pick set is made of quality material that resonates with classic warm and full harmonious rhythm—great addition accessories to any varieties of string instruments you have.


  • Solid brass quality slide
  • 304 quality of stainless steel for steel slide
  • Genuine boron silicate material glass slide underwent heat treatment and annealing
  • Carrying convenience with free storage for all the products included

What We Like

  • Very low price for three slides, 6 pieces pf guitar picks, 1 thumb pick and three-finger picks
  • Suitable for any types of guitar and guitar player
  • Allows users to experiment and experience various sounds

What We Don’t Like

  • Size issues on the slides typically arise
  • Low-quality finger picks

4) Jim Dunlop 222 Brass Slide

Jim Dunlop 222 Brass Slide

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Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5

For many decades, brass slides have been top choices for users due to its classics warm, traditional quality features, and vibrant tone. It features thick wall composition that generates heat thunderous full sound, especially for acoustic guitar.

A very lightweight slide is measuring only around 1.6 ounces. Competent to produce vibrant chimes and can sustain longer compare to glass, steel, porcelain, or plastic slide.


  • Genuine brass material
  • High-quality material made from the United States
  • The thickness of the wall and diameter are both medium in size

What We Like

  • Very affordable
  • Almost perfect for any size of users’ fingers
  • The slide is medium weight, perfect for users preferences
  • Accurate measurements are furnished

What We Don’t Like

  • Not good for users with large fingers as it barely fit on the ring finger
  • Despite having a polished appearance, the slide is easily scratched and dulled up very fast.

5) Augshy Guitar Slides

Augshy Guitar Slides

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Editor’s Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Augshy Guitar Slides is uniquely designed to different types of users, which caters to various preferences and styles. The set comes with four guitar slides type, functioning each differently, allowing users to have more fun in experimenting with sounds and tones.

The package includes one of each glass, silver, golden, and black guitar slides, a great assortment for suitability of every user’s need. It also allows users to play expertly with ease and establish an extremely wonderful sustain.

The additional items, including two pieces of celluloid thumb pick and six pieces of celluloid fingerpick, provide users more control while protecting nails from wearing. With the aim of providing a classic and natural tone and warm, the package also included 0.71mm guitar picks in ten pieces.


  • Guitar slides come in a variety of colors
  • The glass slide is made of seamless glass with quality Pyrex material, underwent a process from boron silicate with promising smoothness gliding on strings
  • The metal slide is made of 304 steel with stainless quality and high durability
  • Sustains outstanding intonation and crisp, vibrant sound

What We Like

  • Slides have proven perfect quality and size for users with huge fingers

What We Don’t Like

  • The ceramic slide is very thin and easily obtain scratches at first usage.
  • The metal slide is easily dulled and attains scratches at first use only

6) Jim Dunlop 218 Tempered Glass Slide

Jim Dunlop 218

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Editor’s Rating: 4.7 out of 5

The Dunlop 218 Tempered Glass Slide is very popular in producing a soulful tone with a warm and smooth finish glass. The detailed ending of the slide furnished much bigger control, with its interior design underwent the treated process. It is considered the advancement of all glass slides.

It is a high-quality slide made from a tempered glass made especially for users with delicate preference in terms of fullness and richness of tones. As compared to metal slides, tempered glass is preferred more by players of acoustic guitar. They can potentially be favored by electric guitar enthusiasts with a preference for a pure and natural slide of tones. Both guitars produce a steady transition with the least possible string disturbance.

Above all, the slide is affordable in price and simple to find, which can easily be purchase if one loses or shatter it. This slide is very lightweight of 1.92 ounces, which allows fingers to move easily. Perfect for playing lead guitar as it wraps four strings.


  • Intensifies middle harmony and provides warm and full sound
  • Made from boron silicate underwent heat treatment process and annealing for the smooth and flawless texture

What We Like

  • Outstanding tones both on acoustic and electric guitars
  • High quality with superb affordability of price
  • Width is small, perfect for acoustic and three-stringed guitar playing

What We Don’t Like

  • Under warm room, fingers easily get wet with tough management of slide

7) Ernie Ball Chrome Plated Brass Pinky Slide Guitar

Ernie Ball Chrome

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Editor’s Rating: 4 out of 5

Start your music journey into the slide guitar world by purchasing an Ernie Ball Chrome Plated Brass Pinky Slide Guitar. The slide is made from a material of chrome-plated brass that gives not only a stunning appearance slide but also an excellent fit for your pinky finger.

It delivers an outstanding crisp and vibrant tones on high strings while low strings generate a rich and warm tone. The Ernie Ball Chrome Plated Brass promises users with a high quality of craftsmanship with superb design while delivering incredible sound that matches every mood and style preference. It creates an expansion of your sound creation.


  • The edges are chromed, buffed and machine-turned
  • Overall size is 1.8in x 0.8in x 0.8 in

What We Like

  • The high-quality material is proven strong and reliable

What We Don’t Like

  • It has size issue on most men purchased it yet, works well on female on average
  • Does not wrap the neck width, producing undesirable sounds

8) Planet Waves Glass Slide

Planet Waves Glass Slide

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Editor’s Rating: 4.0 out of 5

The brand, Planet Waves, is a renowned brand from the lineage of D’Addario, highly known for outstanding innovation and quality accessories for music. It has a prominent line of products which includes a strap, cables, guitar tuner, capos and many more.

The glass slide from Planet Waves has material made from a better strength and reliability by boron silicate. It likewise generates the supreme quality of sound, smoothness, and vibrant tones. The slide underwent a process of heat treatment allowing the edges to look perfectly smooth and flawless, gliding on guitar strings with ease.

The thickness of the glass, about 4mm in measurement, can generate a thick and warm sound. Large slide variety of this slide guitar is a perfect fit for guitar players with the aim of a full-length size slide on either first, second, or the third finger.


  • Planet Waves Glass Slide made available in various sizes, including small, medium, and big.
  • It has enhanced durability and smoothness
  • Extra flawless finish for additional smooth gliding
  • Length size is 48mm, and inner diameter size is 17mm

What We Like

  • Polished very well and no sharp edges on any sides
  • The inside texture is very smooth as well
  • Comfortable to use due to its perfect fitting on the pinky finger

What We Don’t Like

  • The slide is thick and quite heavy for users who preferred very lightweight slides.

9) Dunlop 263 Mudslide Porcelain Guitar Slide

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Editor’s Rating: 4.0 out of 5

If you are searching for a finely crafted slide guitar with promising harmonious tones and comfort in playing, the Dunlop 263 Mudslide Porcelain Guitar Slide is made especially for your delicate preference. The material is made from high-quality porcelain, which plunges between glass and metal in quality of tone generates. The silkiness of the exterior body provides users with ease and simplicity of gliding on strings. 

The sound of a porcelain-made slide is a much better quality of sound compared to glass. It also has a warmer tone in opposition to brass. The interior features a thick wall that has promising most absorbent of moisture capacity that prevents users from constant slipping.

Each of the slides is made to overcome constant usage for many years and manufactured adequately for assurance of consistent quality.


  • Material is made from high-quality porcelain
  • Dimensions of the product are 6in x 5in x 1.4in
  • The fullness of the tone and smooth gliding experience is hard to beat

What We Like

  • Very reasonable price
  • Fits perfectly to your finger
  • Produce quality, deep and vibrant tones
  • Sound produce matches the mood of the music perfectly

What We Don’t Like

  • Produce a little undesirable noise when sliding
  • Interior finish is rough, seems to have unfinished texture
  • Quite heavy to drive affecting users’ speed

10) Fender Brass Slide

Fender Brass Slide

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Editor’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Fender brand is renowned in providing slides that perfectly suit the preferences and style of every guitar player. The Fender Brass Slide provides all the aspect that users are looking for in a brass slide guitar, but with the best of quality.  The composition of an additional sophisticated tone is a fine refreshment for acoustic guitar users.

The slide caters to all types of genres providing warm, sustainable, and complex harmony sounds. With a wide range of available sizes and thickness, the Fender Brass Slide is made tailored for every need of various guitar players’ needs and desires.

The large size of this slide allows users to cover their entire finger and provides a huge warm tonal sound. For people craving for best-refined tone, with additional versatile capabilities, then Fender slide is all you need.


  • Made from solid brass material producing more drag complexity compared to common steel
  • Best for electric and acoustic guitars
  • Rich in harmony with resonant sound
  • Custom-made best for any types of genre and player
  • Dimensions of product is 11.4in x 7.5in x 3.5in

What We Like

  • Large size is available that allows coverage of entire finger
  • Walls of the slide are thick provides ease in moving without putting too much pressure

What We Don’t Like

  • Relatively expensive compared to other slide guitars
  • Dull appearance is apparent when the coating starts to come off

Buyer’s Guide

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In the selection of best slides for guitars, some things need to be considered before purchasing one.

Personal Preferences

Before purchasing an aesthetically appealing slide, understand first your need. There are slides perfect for acoustic and electric. If you have an existing guitar, make sure the slide is dedicated to playing on the guitar you owned.


There are many types of slides in the market today. The most common type of slide is glass, brass, and ceramic or porcelain.

Glass usually gives a smooth and warm sound. They are made of tempered glass or pyrex. It comes with a lightweight with thinner wall density for regular types. Special ones are heavy walled, typically has thick walls, and feels heavy when used.

Brass or sometimes nickel made slides are usually heavier than glass and possess absolute sustain. It produces bright tones. Some slides with additional chrome plating provide tones the brightest.

Ceramic slides or porcelain, possess a tone and weight between the brass and glass. The exterior is generally glazed. The darker the tone, the higher the glazed it has. The interior usually absorbs the sweat, allowing the user to maintain the slide in place.


The slides come in different sizes, typically from small to extra large, to fit with the different finger sizes of users. The standard sizing online should not be used as a reference because, typically, various brands of slides have their own varying standard sizes.

As a user, you should know which finger you preferred to use and use the standard ring sizer to identify your finger circumference. The key to perfect sizing is allowing a little space between the slide and the finger. It does not need to fit according to the finger’s measurement.


The length of the slides also comes in short and long. Short slides allow players to switching between sliding and fretting. It is manageable for players to bend out the finger with ease. For long slides, it can cover the whole six strings, which allow a more direct choice of notes and larger sound possibilities.


Typically, slides made of glass are lightweight, yet thick walls may reach heavy in weight. It is usually heavier than a small brass slide. The ceramic or porcelain type of slides is very consistent with its weight. The size of the slide plays a role in the differences in weight.

The key to identifying the perfect slide is to know your guitar strings weight. Generally, big strings have higher actions that need a heavy slide. For light strings, it has lower actions that require light slide only. 

If purchased an inappropriate slide for your guitar, it has the tendency to create buzzy sounds and slams on the fretboard, opposing to its supposed intention of gliding.

Slide Finger

Depending on your preference, the slide finger used should matter in choosing a slide. Most commonly, the ring finger is used for slide playing. The next choice is the pinky finger, which allows the player to tuck in smoothly.


What is the best material for a guitar slide?

Taking from the traditional bottleneck, the best material for the guitar slide is the one made of glass. It allows players to glide smoothly, and it generates thicker and warmer tones, emphasizing the middle harmony. Yet, it has an apparent downside as it can effortlessly smash when not handled properly.

How do I choose a guitar slide?

Choosing a guitar should be based on your preferences in terms of what kind of guitar you are using, the material you prefer, the weight, length, and which finger you will use in slide playing.

Can you use a slide on any guitar?

Not all slide is perfect for any types of guitar. However, the best guitar for slide playing is the one with higher action, which implies that the guitar has more space between the strings and the fretboard. If strings are too closed to the fretboard, it has the tendency to generate unwanted noise.


The simple way of gliding a slide across the guitar strings could transform a musical experience into a magical one. It makes guitar playing into a new level by changing its tone, articulation, sound, and sustain. In various hands, slides could provide restrictions and making endless probabilities simultaneously.

Among the list above, is the Ernie Ball Glass slide and the Fender Brass Slide. Both have different materials used yet produce promising quality, maximum sustain, and smoothness of sound. Ernie Ball Glass slide has a lower price and possesses high durability if handled carefully. The sizes and weight are available in the variety, which enables the user for greater options. The glass material produces an ideal sound of smooth tones preferred mostly by slide players. While Fender Brass Slide may be quite expensive compared to Ernie Ball Glass slide, yet it could make a good investment due to its high-quality brass material. Typically, brass is heavy, which gives a more accurate slide for guitars with higher action. Compared to another brass slide, the Fender Brass Slide is custom-made, which caters to a wide range of size, length, and weight preferences of users.

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