There are a variety of guitar slides on the market, including polished porcelain, brass, anodized aluminum and chromed steel; however, many professional players prefer glass. Dunlop Manufacturing Inc. manufactures a popular tempered glass guitar slide, model number 212, which can be used for electric or acoustic playing.
Dunlop’s 212 glass slide is suitable for acoustic or electric playing.
Dunlop’s 212 “Heavy/Small Short” Tempered Glass Guitar Slide, made from boron silicate in the United States, can be used for playing acoustic or electric guitar. The 212 glass slide, tonally consistent across acoustic, resophonic and other instruments, is often the first choice for guitarists due to the pure tone it provides when music is amplified.
Advantages of 212 glass guitar slide.
Dunlop’s size 7 model 212, usually worm on the little or little finger, is a seamless open clear glass slide, 4mm thick and 51mm long with comfortable rounded edges.
When the 212 is used on the little finger, it frees up the remaining four fingers for easy chord fretting if desired. Many guitarists prefer to use the slide on the ring finger because it is a stronger phalanx than the little finger, although the technique is less prone to wear and tear.
Some glass slides, including the famous bottle of Coricidin® used by blues rock icon Duane Allman, have a closed lid. Duane’s legendary slide show of “Whipping Post”, “Ain’t Wasting Time No More”, “Done Somebody Wrong” and many other Allman Brothers Band classics was made with nothing more than an empty glass medicine bottle , the kind that used to be bought at the neighborhood pharmacy.
Duane Allman created music history when he stuck that little bottle of medicine in his finger, but for some other slide players, the closed glass keeps the perspiration from the hands and fingers from evaporating. Yes, fingers and hands sweat which can create excess moisture inside any closed slide, a potentially slippery grip situation in wet play venues.
For players who enjoy the open style, Dunlop Manufacturing Inc., founded in 1965 by Jim Dunlop, has conveniently released a complete line of glass slides. Coricidin® discontinued its bottle in the early 1980’s.
The length and thickness of a slide are important sonic elements.
In general, thick guitar slides contribute to a fuller sound; the 4mm thickness of the 212 produces convincingly heavy volume on acoustic or electric guitars, depending on string gauge.
The short length of the Dunlop 212 allows players to target exact locations on guitar strings with slightly greater precision than longer, more conventional glass slides. In simple terms, the shorter slide is less uncomfortable for the finger and the guitar.
Tested on a National Tricone
When the 212 was played on a National Tricone acoustic steel body in open G tuning – DGDGBD – and then in capped open A on the second fret, the notes sounded with warmer definition than the chrome metal slide it was tested against. .
The metal provided a “scratchier” and “tame” string quality compared to the tempered glass sheet. Both metal and glass offered the same opportunities for extended string vibrato, sustain, and overall volume when played on the Tricone.