The Gibson 2015 models may be the answer if you've ever wanted to learn slide guitar but have been put off by the need to re-tune or adjust the action, .
That, says Gibson is because it has introduced a couple of new features that make re-tuning and adjusting the action much easier.
The first is the Gibson G-Force automatic tuning mechanism, which Gibson says builds on the technology introduced with the Min-ETune system and appears on all Gibson 2015 models. Like the Min-ETune, it sits on the back of the headstock. The G-Force has four built-in preset open tunings (E,A,D, and G) which allows you to re-tune at the press of a couple of buttons.
Here's how Gibson describes it: 'Each machine head contains a small servo motor that can wind the string up or down. Servo motors are a common, reliable technology and have been around for years; the Gibson G Force servos are optimized for guitar tuning (small size, light weight, and high speed) and can also be tuned manually… The controller senses string vibrations, then measures each string’s frequency. If a string is off-pitch, the controller sends a correction signal to the servo motor to wind or unwind the string as needed to compensate. For functions like alternate tunings, Gibson G Force stores the alternate tuning’s pitches, then sends correction signals based on those pitches instead of standard tuning.'
The other feature is the Zero-Fret Adjustable Nut. So, instead of adjusting the action at the bridge, as you'd normally do for slide playing, you just pop an Allen key into a slot on the nut, give it a couple of turns, and the strings move out from the frets, giving you a better action for slide.
Among the guitars in Gibson's 2015 models are several Les Pauls, including a double-cutaway model, a 2015 SG and Derek Trucks SG, and a Firebird. All have the G-Force tuning and the Zero-Fret adjustable nut.
Last week, Gibson announced six new additions to its range; a Les Paul Supreme Florentine; Les Paul Classic 'Rock'1959 ES-225 TD; Explorer Blackout; Firebird 7; and SG3 2015.
Head over to the Guitar Hive blog for a couple of slide guitar video lessons from none other than Joe Walsh. As a bonus, you'll hear how he learned to play slide from one of the greatest exponents of the art who ever picked up a bottleneck, Duane Allman.
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