Does anybody have any advice on how to remove this scratchy noise I hear whenever I play slide guitar?

I'll be playing a song, and constantly have this scratchy noise coming through. It's not a lot but its enough that it will interfere with the sound that I'm trying to achieve.

Also, if anybody has any tips for a slide guitar in general, please let me know.

All help is appreciated, thank you!!! :D

  • Are there anymore details you can add? Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 0:52
  • 1
    Electric or acoustic guitar? What material is your slide made from? What weight?
    – Bacs
    Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 8:24
  • Need a bit more info than "this scratchy noise" - when does it happen? when yo move the slide, or all the time regardless of what you're playing ? Commented Sep 25, 2015 at 9:56

4 Answers 4


I'm going to guess you are using a metal slide. Switching to a glass one will get rid of the issue you seem to be describing. I was also bothered by that metal grating on metal noise which is why I switched to glass. All is well now.


Have a look at flatwound strings. Some say that coated strings make a difference but its debated. Newer strings scratch more obviously.


If possible try to angle the slide so it is only pressing firmly on the strings you intend to play. So if you are playing (what would in standard tuning be) the G and B strings, try to angle the slide so that it is missing or barely touching E,A,D. Dampen these strings with your fingers (or thumb) behind the slide. Now, in this situation the slide will be in contact with the high e string, but you can dampen this with your thumb or palm on your picking hand.

Nobody taught me this specifically for slide, but it's good for all guitar playing to place your fingers in such a way to dampen strings not being played.


A good slide guitar requires high string action (>2-4 mm at the 12th fret), thick strings >0,095 first or 0.11-0.52 as a standard. You should put the slide in a correct perpendicular to the fretboard way and intonate properly. Look as good performers do at youtube. Use slides of good quality or a glass bottle neck or a pharm bottle. Read a book --- http://bookfi.org/dl/589023/af5983

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.