Talk:Lap slide guitar

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I thought of merging this to steel guitar or slide guitar, but on reflection it deserves an article on its own.

The terminology is still not quite consistent. Here's a little of how I understand it:

  • Slide guitar and steel guitar are different, non-overlapping styles, depending primarily on the sort of slide used. It might seem logical that steel guitar would be seen as a type of slide guitar, but that's not the current usage.

Lots more to do. Andrewa 21:20, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

It gets way more complicated, unfortunately.

There are Dobro-branded solid-body electric guitars and electric lap steels, so all Dobros are not resonator guitars.

OHO! Good catch. Do you have a citable source for this?

And it's very common in guitar circles to use "dobro" generically to refer to spider-cone (rather than biscuit-cone) resonator guitars of any brand, particularly those set up for playing lap-style.

Agreed. But I think this is technically an error, like calling a Canon photocopier a Xerox. To say dobro style is probably OK (although their lawyers might still object). Note the capitalisation, which of course we lose in article names but should observe in wikilinks; To say dobro is borderline grammar at best, and Dobro style also borderline and both are easily avoided.

As for "steel guitar" - this usually refers to classes of instruments (lap steel guitars and pedal steel guitars) and their associated playing styles. One can play slide guitar on any guitar, but one would not refer to using a bottleneck on a telecaster as playing "steel guitar".

Yes, agreed. But I don't think it's a normal technique to use a steel (as opposed to bottleneck) on a tele played spanish-style, and for good reason... it would be very awkward. Many bottlenecks are made of steel, and are used spanish-style, and that's still bottleneck guitar, not steel guitar, and I guess both are slide guitar but I'm not completely sure of the usage here. It would be equally awkward to use a bottleneck to play steel fashion, you'd generally use a steel, even on a tele (probably with the action cranked up a bit, but even if you didn't that's still steel guitar as soon as you turn the body over to enable you to hang on to the steel).

It's hard not to get hung up on terminology in an encyclopedia project, but unfortunately, it has never been consistent with respect to the terms "slide guitar" and "steel guitar", let alone "dobro/Dobro"... sigh.

--RobHutten 01:19, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

I think that sorting these things out is an important part of an encyclopedia project. This all helps. Thank you! Andrewa 17:07, 19 April 2006 (UTC)


Steel, slide, bottleneck[edit]

This is still an outstanding question for me. Logically, I'd like to think that a bottleneck and a steel are two different types of slide. But, the usage seems to be that bottleneck and slide are synonyms, at least in some contexts. Andrewa 20:14, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

You'll never get consensus on the terminology here, so my advice is to have the articles acknowledge the lack of firm definitions for these terms.

For the record, here are pictures of a Dobro lap steel and a Dobro non-resonator electric guitar.

You said "It would be equally awkward to use a bottleneck to play steel fashion" - uh, I really don't want to be a pain here :-) but I play lap slide on my Regal dobro using... a brass bottleneck. I wear it on my thumb for playing lap style, and on my third finger for playing bottleneck style. But I've never seen anyone else do this, so I'm a weirdo and your statement holds.

--RobHutten 01:17, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Go to Talk:Acoustic bass guitar#Adding a resonator and scroll up. Love the idea of the bottleneck on the thumb for steel, never thought of it.
Good advice re the likelihood of consensus on terminology! Let's work to that formula. Andrewa 03:00, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
My first attempt at implementing it however is off to a bad start! See Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Slide (guitar). Andrewa 04:18, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, it survived, for better or for worse and for now. I'm a great believer in the principle that if something is as close as this vote, it doesn't really matter which way it goes (OK, easily said if you're on the winning side).
We seem to be moving towards a consensus that slide guitar includes both steel guitar and bottleneck guitar. We do IMO need to be aware that that's not everyone's understanding, that some use slide guitar and bottleneck guitar as synonyms, and contrast slide guitar to steel guitar. Andrewa 16:25, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Lap slide vs standard slide[edit]

Rem text:

but it is fair to say that players generally choose one style or the other.

See http://www.lubosbena.sk/ . Andrewa 16:30, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

nopeRomanfall (talk) 07:24, 17 June 2010 (UTC) some do. and a slide is what you are playing with vs what you're playing on. ie brushes or sticks on a snare. it's still a drum. Romanfall (talk) 07:24, 17 June 2010 (UTC)