What I need to know is not a brand name, but kind of guitar ? as I want to learn this magic style which is slide blues, using a bottleneck, I am wondering which kind of guitars, or which strings would give me a best effect ?

2 Answers 2


I think the type of guitar is not terribly important. What is important is the setup. It is important that it be a steel string guitar, not a nylon-string or "classical" guitar.

There are slides made of metal or glass or ceramic which have very different sound and feel. As @DougRisk comments (and I agree completely), start with one metal and one glass slide to get a feel for the difference. Pay attention to the length of the slide: you don't want to open up a box to find a short one if you thought you were getting one that covers all the strings.

For slide playing, you want to be sure that the action is not too low. Otherwise you'll hit the frets with the slide and the sound won't be smooth. I think you should also avoid strings that are too light because they will bend too much under the pressure of the slide and you'll still hit the frets even if the action seems high enough.

Summary: strings not too light (start with .012s, then adjust to taste), action not too low.

PS. On further reflection there may be a few acoustic guitars to avoid. I'd steer away from guitars from manufacturers who focus on electric guitars. Fender and Ibanez both make acoustics with really low action and bolt-on electric guitar necks. The action can be raised on these, but the default setup is likely to be too low.

I'd also suggest avoiding "girl" guitars (for want of a better name) for the same issue of low action. These are generally good and I like the colors and styles, but they're almost all going to be setup with really low action because they're targeting new players who don't yet have the finger strength needed to push the strings a long distance.

  • Personally I would start at 12s and consider 13s on acoustic, but in general not too light is the important thing. Dec 22, 2017 at 14:40
  • Good point. I think I started with 12s and moved to 11s because I wanted slightly easier bending when not using the slide. Dec 22, 2017 at 14:45
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    Just in case @Sushi is very new to this, perhaps we should say that he should look for a Steel String guitar, as opposed to a Nylon String, and that he may want to check out guitars that have a "cut away" body style in case he wants to go high up on the fretboard. Also, for the 'bottle' slide itself, he may want to check out brass + glass and get a feel for the difference (slides come in other materials as well).
    – DougRisk
    Dec 22, 2017 at 14:58
  • @DougRisk Thanks! I've incorporated some of that too. Dec 22, 2017 at 15:18

Also - if you are thinking of buying an acoustic guitar to do bottleneck, consider a resonator instrument. The combination is amazing, and there are now reasonably priced single-cone resonators you can try out. They tend to be set up higher out of the box, and if you get a metal-bodied one, they can take the heavier strings you want to use.

Also, don't forget tuning. You're going to want to tune either in open G (DGDGBD) or in open D (DADF#AD), and that allows you to use heavier strings as well.

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