Todd Wolfe with his Hellhound Red Shavano slide
First, they are made from "solid block" clay. This type of clay is denser than the average "ceramic" slides out there in the market today. The denser the material used, the greater the tonal properties of that slide (volume, sustain and presence). That clay, matched with the specific special custom glazes that we make right here in the shop, creates slide and tone bar possibilities far beyond what was available before. Each slide is hand-worked and hand-glazed, in small batches to ensure the highest quality.
Absolutely NOT!! The majority of so-called "ceramic" slides are made from liquid clay called "slip" and are poured into molds. This molding system does give you the ability to make thousands of slides at a time, all alike… but much depends on the type of slip used. For the most part, those "MUD or Moon" slides are made from a high fire porcelain slip. This material is great for coffee mugs, but if you’ve ever played with one you’ll find out like I did, that it isn’t good for guitar slides.
In order to give the slides any kind of volume of presence, they had to increase the size, or mass, of the slide. This created another problem…the slides became clumsy and bulky, and had a tendency to "bottom out" or what I call "fret clacking." And you ended up with a real rhino on your finger, again…a problem!
Because our slides are based on the theory of density of material rather than mass (size), you end up with a much lighter and maneuverable slide, and no bottoming out on the neck.
Although made from ceramic composite, these slides offer tones other than what you would expect from a ceramic slide. In addition to the "warm back tones" inherent in the clay, these slides also give you tonal aspects of glass, brass and various metals. Each slide model is "hand-tuned" to specific calibrations, to consistently perform within a predictable "tonal registry." What this does, in effect, is provide tones specific to that model of slide. This way, each slide model brings something special to the slide player.
Like any tool, it’s nice to have the right tool for the right job! Much depends on several factors about the slide player. For example, what tones are you looking for? What type of rig do you play through? Are you looking for more of an acoustic or an electric application? If you’re playing acoustically, what tonewoods are your guitars made from? Are you using a sound hole pickup, or stage mike…or BOTH? When it comes to the inner diameter of the slides, much depends on what the slider is comfortable with. Also the style or techniques that they incorporate in their playing that will show the I.D. (inner diameter) and length of the slide that is best for them. These are but a few of the questions we ask our customers so that they can have the best chance at truly finding the slide that can deliver the tones they want.
With over 195 finger slide and 58 tone bar possibilities, what we’re trying to do here at RMSC is to be able to offer a custom slide at a non-custom price.
Yes, that’s true. Although very minor adjustments, there is a perceivable difference between them. This was not intentional, but came to us after the fact, when several of our customers came back with reports of these tonal differences. From brightest to warmest in the glazes it’s…Bayou Blue, Mojo Green, Hellhound Red and Voodoo Black. The nice thing about this is, after you have found the right model and length for the style and rig you’re going to be using, you can "tweak" the tone a little more by the glaze that you ask for.
Right here on the site. We’ve setup files for you to check out the players that are currently part of our musical family, and can support them by purchasing the Family Album Vol. 1 CD, and taking it home and enjoy them anytime!
We wanted to be able to continue to keep stretching the possibilities and be able to offer you the questing slider with tools that are to be found nowhere else! The motto ‘round here is…if you don’t try, you don’t get!!! By "thinking outside the box," the tonal and applicational possibilities can be endless!! Also, this gives us the chance to experiment with these new possibilities, and be able to include you in the scheme of things. This is when things can get real FUN!! Check out our Custom Shop options.
Yep, absolutely!! The reasoning behind the curve is to mimic the string radius of the guitar neck. There aren't many guitar necks that are not curved. What this modification gives you are more options: you can turn to the curve and get "more slide to the strings" with a lot less effort, or you can turn to either side of that curve, and the slide straightens out to a more "traditional" straight surface. But unlike most "one size fits all" slides that are out there, these slides are designed to give you more and better sliding options!!
This can happen, but in 99.98% of the time, the minor imperfection (small dimple, end graining or some minor glaze issue) will in no way interfere with the performance of your slide or tone bar. Each slide is tested to make sure no anomaly present on the slide will interfere with your tonal desires! Because these are all handcrafted from "solid clay" and not poured into molds as we have talked about previously, there will be anomalies. See it as a "trade-off" in greater volume, tonal pallet and sustain, and ability to be played on any guitar without alteration, in exchange for occasional glaze anomalies that won't impede the playability of the slide or tone bar.
For the most part, it is a matter of GLAZE. The higher fired glazes (Blue, Green and soon, White) will be smaller than their low fired counterparts (Red and Black). So if you find a slide model that you like but want it to be either a little larger or smaller, you can keep this in mind for a more custom fit.
Call us at 719-221-1030 or email us…either way, it’s our goal to get you into the slide that will give you the tones you want, and beyond!! Come and see if the tones that you are hearing in your heart and head can be realized through one or more of our family of handcrafted finger slides or tone bars.
I just received my Standard Blues Boy in Bayou Blue today.
Being honest I was very skeptical. I'm a poor boy whose use to playing slide with a piece of copper tubing and you want $19.95 for a slide! You know as well as I, there can be a lot of hype when it comes to guitar accessories. And yes I understand the time and effort it takes to make something custom.
I'd put the order in my cart and then remove it, put it in and remove it, this went on for days! Finally I took the plunge and Blues Boy Oh Boy, am I glad I did! I went from a Model T to a Lamborghini Veneno! What a difference, not only in beautiful tone, comfortable fit, smoother use, but also in construction.
You're the master (if you could see me I am doing the "I'm not worthy" thing). When you say "advanced ergonomic features" you're not kidding. You've taken the run of the mill slide and revamped it to infinity.
I love how the slide is curved on the side. What a difference that makes in clearer, cleaner notes, but also faster licks. And the inner oval shape, fantastic! It’s like slipping your hand inside a soft leather glove that's been conformed just for you. More stability, more manipulation and no slipping or sliding, even when you get the dreaded sweaty finger! I can't thank you enough; it's worth every penny, plus some.
When this poor boy gets some more money I'll be ordering one of your standard Shavano slides in Mojo Green (love all the names by the way).
Now, on to the "Gen 2" black horn and polished bone Custom House Guitar Pick you were so kind to send me a free sample of (thank you!). It's just as sweet and comfortable as the slide.
The thumb cup makes for better gripping ease and just feels downright cozy. It really articulates the notes. What innovation!
A customer for life,
Wow!!!!!! Doc you were right on with the B&B. What a tone!! So sweet, and the Beast...I tried that on my acoustic for some Robert Johnson stuff. Whoa!
I tried it on my Strat clean 1st then with my Chandler Tube driver. Holy..........! Nasty Funky Gritty Blues. This could scare people. Nice...and the Swamp Frog. Now I know the difference between real glass and that Pyrex stuff. Wow!
Thank you so much for the other slide. You didn't have to do that. But man am I glad you did. What a tone. I'm not sure what it is but it is cool.
I love it. I feel like a little kid at Christmas. P.S. I still Love my original Black Shavano. You Da Man Dude!
Thank you so much for making premium quality slides. I love when someone puts their heart and soul into their work. It makes all the difference.
Thank you again, Rob...Time to wake up the neighbors!
I got your slides a week or two ago and have been playing with them ever since. What great tone! Your slides are much lighter than the metal I'm used to and the vibrato is much easier. I've played about 5 shows with the rockit. The other slides you sent are nice but this will be my workhorse.
Letting ya know that I used your slides at the last Columbus Blues Alliance gig. I passed on a Mojo Green and a Hellhound Red along to two different slide players. The first player I passed along was a 17 year old named Jack... Didn't catch his last name, he was just starting out, and used Dunlop Pyrex...Ugh!!!! I had to give him one!
The second slide player was pretty damn good. He is in a band called the Damn Right! Band... His name is Bill Lewandowski. He used the slide on two slides, and he fell in love with it. I told him to drop you a line, I don't know if he did, but if he didn't, drop him one. Trust me, this guy is good. Plus, he could help spread the word a bit.
Oh by the way, In the International Blues Challenge Program Biography of myself, I put "...Micah is endorsed by Rocky Mountain Slide Company..." Just thought that would help you out. That program is seen by thousands of people in Memphis, TN.
Thanks Doc, Micah
I just wanted to let you know how much I love my new Blues Boy slide. Both my wife and the lead singer in my band commented on much they liked my tone (your slide and a Les Paul straight into a Dr Z Maz 38) - the lead singer said it made the hair on the back of her neck stand up (in a good way!). I'd always used a bronze Rock Slide before this, as I never cared for the tone of the other slides I'd tried (glass, medicine bottles, the Dunlop metal ones), but the tone of your ceramic slide was amazing - raunchier, and less hi-fi, and, as it is much lighter, makes getting around on the fret board that much easier.
Thanks for such an awesome product. I'll be ordering more, and letting other people know about 'em too!
There was a discussion over on the Gear Page about slide preferences a few days back, and a couple folks mention your slides (including me, of course - I made sure to include a link to your website, too) - maybe a couple of the orders are people who saw that - that would be cool.
Got the package today (talk about fast! I guess that's a benefit of living in the same state). The slides are amazing - I already had a blue one, and the red and black are just gorgeous - everyone is going to love them. And that was above and beyond, sending those extra slides - you didn't have to do that! However, I'm not gonna be greedy (as they are beautiful) - I'm gonna make sure they get into other guitar playing hands. And after playing for a while, I can't decide which of the raw slides I like better - they both have such different tone. I really wouldn't have thought that the thickness would make that huge of a difference, but it really does. And then I go back to my blue glazed blues boy. Such tones!
Anyway, thanks again! It's really been a pleasure working with you!
Wow, what tone. The glazed surfaces ring wonderfully on my 1930 National. The raw surfaces are going to take some testing, but have potential for totally different sounds.
Will let u know what I come up with.
Hey there Doc,
Man, you have just blown me away. You have no idea,(or you probably do) how rare it is to deal with someone who not only puts the customer first, but also shows genuine interest. I thank you for that. The package you put together is awesome. Now, regarding "spreading the word about RMS". I dare anyone to try to stop me.
You may not be familiar with any of my records, probably cause I don't have any. (Who knows, maybe one day? But at 56, time's getting a little tight.) However, because Alberta is a really big chunk of land, with a lot of little towns, small cities, I play in about a 600 mile radius of my home, with a lot of different people. Your slides will all travel with me, so they will get seen by a lot of people, and if they're nice I'll let them try 'em.
Summer is especially big...Lots of Canadians and Europeans...bottom line my friend (hope I can call you that), is that I will cheerfully do everything I can to promote RMS. Well now, I guess that's about it for now. Just wanted to let you know that all your help has really been appreciated. And, as this is just the beginning, I'll say Next time, Thanks Chris
I wanted to wait until I had given your products a full run through before I replied back to you. I have fallen in love with your slides!!! In particular the Hellhound Red and Voodoo black slides. The green and blue are amazing as well, but the red sings just a tad brighter to me. I have used your slides in a number of shows and cannot imagine using another slide again.
In fact, a few times in practice I will pull out one of my old glass or ceramic slides, but I can't even make it through a full solo without discarding it and picking up one of your slides! Thanks for the great product!
Still using both slides on a regular basis. The voodoo is amazing with my Tele. It has been great to have both of these slides. I still am amazed at the difference in sound and timbre from the two.
Hi Doc, my name is Dave Gunders and I was introduced to your ceramic slides through Bob Pelligrino. He gave me one and it's my number one choice when I grab for a slide. Mostly I use it for my Martin 0028. It's got a pure tone that I love. I had always thought, you know, slide is slide. But my brass slide now sounds scratchy. And glass always felt too light and delicate. So you've got a convert here. Also, I sure would like a couple more in different colors. Good luck, you've got a great product. Thank you, Dave.
I LOVE these new slides. B fits me like the proverbial glove and will be best for electric playing. C is okay too depending on how sweaty my hands are. A is too big. I do use the slide on my little finger; that's why having one that's thicker sounds so much better. I am going to use the hell out of these slides. I'm really excited about it, actually!!
I love em all - they all have so much warmth and feeling in em, not that shrill metal sound. and not the sound of other ceramic slides either - it's like you can hear the earth, the clay, in these lil babies. I swear, if people played these first, before all other slides, they'd play slide the rest of their lives.
Got the slides in today, love 'em all!! The new white is really killer! I'm adding a link to your site from my site now and I'm gonna brag about you on the guitar forums I'm on. I'm also gonna add a link to you from my myspace site too! Also, I'm gonna add a little something on the album like I did the first one. A shout out really.
Let's see, about the slides. Like I said, I love love love the new white. It's so killer and natural looking. And it really matches the tone of the slide, you know, natural. Like the name too!
The JuJu White Shavano is my favorite. The size is PERFECT for my pinkie finger and the length is exactly what I need! I just wish the walls of the Monarch were the walls on the JuJu Standard Shavano. The tones bring tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for existing, and bringing the world such a great product!! You, sir, are a hero, scholar, and a gentleman!
-John Michael Rose
I love the new slides. I've given them both a proper workout and here are some observations:
LOVE the new "hellbuster blue" color. I can't emphasize this enough. It looks like gunmetal and I love it. I love it love it. I go around telling people I have my own color now at RMSC 🙂 Which, after a fashion, is even cooler than having a signature edition slide.
It is durable, even the rough strips, I haven't been able to even begin a groove in the material. And the tone is everything I hoped it would be. I get all kinds of great sounds. In my standard rip/choke/grind mode, it sounds super nasty. In my light tough sing-songy mode It has the light and brightness of a bottleneck without the weight, but more weight than pyrex or a medicine bottle. and playing between the glazed and unglazed parts leads to lots of creative dynamics.
This is the slide I want!!!!
It was the red Shavano. I know the video was kinda rough but that tone...Ooh La La!!! If I find better video, I'll be sure to send it to you. I'm still waiting on some decent pictures to send you. If it's not any trouble, can you send me another red one? Mine got swiped a few days ago. If it's too much trouble I understand. I'm doing a show with John Mooney tonight and I'll be using the black or the blue. By the way, I did a show with Brian Stoltz a few weeks ago and he told me about his signature model and showed me a prototype, Very cool. Keep up the great work and thanks for your awesome product. I'm spreading the word.
Here's a quote if you need one:
"I like the way Rocky Mountain Slides are contoured to fit the arch of my fingerboard. Better string contact means cleaner sliding."
-Will Ray/The Hellicasters
After a couple of hours playing around with your slides, just thru my lo-fi Mini-Twin (2-2" spkrs), I have come to the conclusion you're a fkg Genius! These are THE BEST slides I've ever had.
The Monarch Middy's are the closest to what I'm used to. Nice fat, round sound and lots of sustain, but without the weight of my fat metal Dunlop. Easier to play and easier on the frets.
The Monarchs have a sort of 'humbucker' sound, while the Shavano Middy has a 'single coil' kind of sound. More present and focused, but still balanced without getting thin.
The Custom Shop ones seem somewhere in between on the glazed side. I haven't played much with the raw side yet, but it's great to have those tonal variances.
The Monarch's fit over my first knuckle (pinky) but not the second. I think I like it that way because I don't have to bend my wrist as much as when the slide covers the whole finger. I may have to put something inside to give me some grip when my hands are sweaty. I don't want it to go flying off onto the concrete floor!
Anyway, I REALLY like them all, whereas of the other slides I have (brass, glass/pyrex, ceramic), I only liked the one heavy steel Dunlop. And I already like ALL of yours better than that one. So I can safely toss all my old ones. I'll have more to say after a few gigs, but I wanted to let you know I'm already sold, hook line and sinker. Your efforts have paid off. Thank you for giving players these wonderful tools.
Let me know if you'd like me to show these samples to a few stores and act as an unofficial rep. Maybe I can help generate some orders. If you've contacted anyone, I could do a follow up? I think the stores' guitar guys will, like I did, notice the great sound and feel pretty quickly once they get one in their hands.
The Poncha Bullet is my 'go to' slide for lap steel. It has a warm, clear tone, and is very comfortable in the hand.
-Corry Hanna, songwriter, guitarist
I, unfortunately, won't be in Cali in January but I can tell you a little story that may bring a smile. Last week I was in Kaiserslautern, Germany hosting and performing at a very cool three night blues festival that also featured Shemekia Copeland, John Lee Hooker Jr., the great Louisiana Red (now 74 years young) and others.
I hadn't seen Louisiana Red since we jammed together on a TV show at a festival in Switzerland a few years ago so it was great to catch up some. We were talking guitars and he asked me whether I was using glass or metal for slide- a perfect setup for me to break out my gorgeous Rocky Mountain slide and tell him how righteous it is. I had two so I gave him one to use during his set, and he joked, "If you're lying to me now, Michael...."
Well needless to say he had a truly sweet, rich slide tone on both acoustic and electric and he loved the slide, so of course it was my little gift to him. I told him to e-mail me if he gets a picture in which he's using it.
So I just wanted to pass on the fact that the illustrious Rocky Mountain Slide has passed the Louisiana Red test- with flying colors, naturally! Be well, my friend, and good luck at NAMM.
Got the package - thanks so much. You have certainly won me over with your slides. I'm gonna check out the black one now...
Just wanted to let you know, I sat in with Gov't Mule a few nights ago. I passed that red slide to Warren.
Just got it and you have the best slide yet with The Hell Hound Red - you got it perfect this time - right diameter, right thickness of material, right glaze, right length and most importantly, right tone.
I have to say that this is now my favorite.
Any chance of making the voodoo black with the same specs as this one?
Well done and congrats.