I have been struggling with slides recently and was wondering if there were any good tips out there?
For me its mainly the sound I get out of it, sounds totally different from what I'm hearing and from what I can tell I am applying the same pressure and not bending the string. I'm guessing that since I've only been playing for a while my fingers haven't toughened up yet.
Tip I got in a workshop is NOT to leave the first note of the slide too quickly. Make sure you give the two notes of the slide equal time (if they are both 8th notes which they usually are). And pay attention to picking the NEXT string of the song at the same time as the second note of the slide if that is what the tablature tells you to do. Sometimes the two slide notes stand on their own, but often times the tab is telling you to pick another note while you slide up to the second note of the slide.
It's all about timing but doing it slowly at first will allow you to hear it and then the speed will come correctly.
That's what I worked on a lot when I noticed the sounds of the hammers, pulls or slides weren't working for me.
Getting a lefthand accent into the roll is one thing.
Getting the lefthand accent right is a different thing and it often helps to practice it separately.
The other thing to try for slides, now that you can hear what your fingers are doing, is to practice different ones.
2nd string: 2->3, 3->8, 5->8 , 3->5
3rd string: 2->3, 2->4, 3/4->7
4th string: 4->5, 2->5
Do them slow with no roll, just thumb pluck and try to get an even sound at both ends.
One of these may feel/sound better. Get that one working in a roll and then the others tend to come easier.
The slide is at least two different notes. So be sure and give the 1st note time to be a note. On cheaper and poorer sounding banjos, it is a lot harder to get a solid sound out of both ends of a slide. I tend to press harder at the end to increase volume a bit.