Rory Gallagher’s Brass Guitar Slide

On his National Duolian Resonator Rory used a brass slide.

I use a brass slide if I’m playing a National. If I’m playing a straight [standard tuned] electric, I use a steel bottleneck. The sound of glass is more smooth and sweet. The brass or copper is very harsh-if you want to get the Son House sort of attack-but it’s almost too harsh all the time. Steel is a good compromise and socket wrenches are ideal.

Rory Gallagher The Irish Blues-Rocker Slides Again by Jas Obrecht

In the early years, Rory even made slides himself from a copper pipe or a part from a microphone stand.

I’ve used ones I’ve made myself from microphone stands, cutting off a few inches, but usually you find there’s only the one. Ry Cooder uses only a wine bottle, and John Hammond and Lowell George use these socket wrenches from Sears Roebuck, an American department store. They use six/eight inch wrenches which fit the small ringer, and they’re really heavy, and very good.

‘I try to keep the balance between madness and technique’ – Rory Gallagher talks to John Dalton


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