How to Quickly Raise your Action for Slide Guitar

Slide guitar...good, clean fun for the whole family.

Or dirty, if that's your preference.

But there's a good kind of dirty slide playing and a bad kind of dirty. I'm talking about that annoying thing that happens when the slide digs too far into the strings and goes into the frets.

That's not a cool sound, but hard to avoid if you have your guitar set up with low action and/or light gauge strings. I play on 9s with action so low most players would gets lots of fret buzz on my guitars. I tend to play with a very light touch, so it's not an issue for me.

...Until I try to play slide guitar.

At this point I'll mention one obvious (yet not so practical for many of us) solution...set up a guitar specifically for slide guitar playing. Heavy strings, high action, maybe even an open tuning.

If you have the means, go for it!

However, if you don't have a spare guitar lying around, you'll need another option.

Here it is: Place a nail under the strings, parallel to the frets, and slide it down towards the nut.

A tightly folded piece of paper can also get the job done, but with a slight deadening of your tone.

This effectively raises the action of your guitar, making slide playing much easier. And it takes about 5 seconds.


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