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The Rocky Mountain Guitar Slide Story

Shavano Guitar Slide

One of my proudest moments was seeing Bryan Bassett’s face light-up after playing one of my slides. On the stage that night, he looked like a three-year-old in a candy store, completely in-love with the sound of the Rocky Mountain tone. For those not in the know, Bassett was the guitarist for Wild Cherry (“Play that Funky Music White Boy”), Molly Hatchet (Flirtin’ with Disaster), and now plays for Foghat, an English rock band known for their electric slide guitar sound. As a slide player myself, I shared similar sentiments with Bassett about the state of the average guitar slide: they just weren’t vocal or expressive enough! Since one of the main ideas of slide playing is to create a warmer vocal-like presence, it didn’t make sense to me that many companies mass-produced Pyrex and metal slides: materials which often create a shrill, steel-on-steel sound. Take a look at Bryan Bassett’s signature guitar slide! He believes in the product and uses it on-stage and in the studio.

What Led to My Custom Guitar Slides?

Every slide player has a box of slides lying around the house somewhere; if you’re a slide player, I think you can agree that most slides just never offer enough. This quest for finding the perfect tone tool resulted in the birth of my company, Rocky Mountain Slides. Rocky Mountain Slides has been in business since 2002, but I was working on slides 3 years’ prior with my father (who has some serious skill in ceramics). My only purpose was to create a product that other slide guitar players would love; to me, it’s all about the quality of the product and what it can do for an individual’s sound. At Rocky Mountain Slides, there is no disconnect between the maker and the player.

Like many other slide players, I was tired of my never-ending search for the perfect guitar slide. So, I decided to make my own. While I believe that the guitar tone comes from the fingers, hands, brain, and heart of the player, I also believe that the right tool can help every guitarist reach their full potential. The guitar slide has always been a tool of opportunity… just think of how Dwayne Allman used to use old glass Corcidin bottles as slides! If you have the right tool for the right job to make the right sound, there really is nothing better…

Tools of Opportunity

Rocky Mountain Slides will always be a small, artisanal company that is dedicated to high-quality, affordable tone tools. Unlike other major guitar accessory brands, guitar slides is all I do… and I truly believe in my product and “quality over quantity”. I hand-make every small batch right here in the good old United States and have been doing so for over 15 years. Our slides offer a warmth and unique vocal-characteristic that you won’t find in any other slide…. you don’t have to take my word for it either, just take a look at how fellow slide players think of the sound of my guitar slides.

Our Custom Guitar Slides

At the end of the day, my mission is simple: make a great product that other slide players will love (without breaking the bank). If you’re looking for a slide that is radically different from the ones you can buy in any of the big-box stores, head on over to our online slide store to get a feel for what we do. If you have any questions about the slides that I carry, you can call me personally at (719) 221-1030. In the next blog, we’ll take a look at what exactly sets our slides apart from the competition.

Happy Sliding! – Doc


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Custom Guitar Slides: What Our Customers Think

Fender guitar

At Rocky Mountain Slides, we build our custom guitar slides, picks, and guitar accessories under the principle of “more with less”. Our innovative tonal tools expand the presence, sustain, and color of your tonal pallet to create something that mass-produced slides simply can’t offer; large companies often use cheaper materials to cut their cost. However, this cost-cutting also reduces the amount of tonal color a slide can produce.

We’ve produced innovative guitar slides for nearly two decades by tailoring our products towards the discerning guitar player; but don’t just take it from us, here’s what Robert Johnson Jr. of Moses Jones & The Dirty Southern Souzl has to say:

“Doc, good morning! I’m not sure if you remember me or not, but you sent me a slide about 4 years ago. Well it rolled out on the concrete floor and smashed into lil pieces. The reasons I’m telling you this is because I just ordered a brand new one and I’m excited to be playing your slide again. Seriously, your product is so far superior to anything I’ve ever used. I’d love for you to check us out sometime and I plan on doing a promo showing the difference in the quality of your products compared to the competition. Rocky Mountain Slide-Co. and Moses Jones coming soon to a venue near you! I also ordered a pin for my guitar strap can can’t wait to rock that. Thanks for putting your heart into what you do sir. I can appreciate it and I can feel it!”

Unique Custom Guitar Slides

Professionals and hobbyists alike love our slides for the comfort, tonal qualities, unique ergonomic design, and control that our tone tools offer. One of our customers tried our Elements Series Stone Slides and gave it flying colors: “This slide gets that sound but with more sustain and a tone that I just can’t describe… Really unique. Might be perfect for some old delta blues stuff that I do.”

Unique is exactly the right word to describe our Elements Series, as they are made out of real stone; in addition to our stoneware clays, these tools will prove to be a staple in any guitar player’s tone arsenal. These beautiful slides are a pleasure to play, and they look just as sweet as they sound. The Element Series is just one example of the many innovations we bring to the world of custom guitar slides and it’s what Rocky Mountain loves to do – creating tone tools for slide players, by slide players.

Along with innovation, one of our biggest beliefs is that the customer comes first. If you have any questions about or guitar slides, do not hesitate to contact us at (719) 221-1030. We can help you decide which slide is the right fit for you – both physically and stylistically. Our customer service doesn’t end there. Customers often find a few surprises with their shipments:

  • Hi Doc, I received my shipment yesterday. Thank you so much for the note and for sending both the green and the voodoo! I can’t believe you did that!! Thanks for the great customer service, and for helping me pick the right one – the fit and feel is amazing for my pinky! I absolutely love both of them. Thanks so much!! – Best, Abbie B.
  • Hey Doc, the new slides arrived today. They are so beautiful and feel so great – just what I had hoped for Also, thanks for the freebie – II know it says it’s a 2nd but I can’t tell why. You do amazing work and I’m happy to let everyone know about it. Best, Mark W.
  • Hey Doc, just wanted to let you know I received my order on Sat. 4/27, and was surprised to find an extra slide included! I’ve been playing guitars for about 50 years now, but slide playing is a new endeavor for me. I’m trying out some different slides to see what works best for me, and receiving the extra, standard length slide is very helpful – I think I may actually like it better! Just wanted to say “Thanks!”

Essentially, the longer and thicker the wall of the slide, the warmer the tone; the shorter and thinner the wall of the slide, the brighter the tone. We have a wide selection of custom guitar slides to choose from, so give us a call if you need advice on which one to choose!  If you’re looking for a great place to start, take a look at our Shavano guitar slide, at 19mm & ¾ inner diameter, it’s one of our most popular models.