SMG Review: Ring it and Rock it with JetSlide!

BACKGROUND CHECK

I discovered the JetSlide while working a show where the Rival Sons were playing. Lead guitarist Scott Holiday had a strange looking piece of something hanging off his hand and was fluidly transitioning between fingering notes and sliding into them. My reaction: What the hell is that?! I had no idea, but it was so bad-ass (Scott’s shredding helped sell it, no doubt), I couldn’t wait to find out.

The JetSlide is the brainchild of guitarist and entrepreneur, Gary Romero. Like most great ideas, frustration with limitations inherent to standard slides led to Gary’s inspiring design. After developing the prototype in 1999, Gary introduced the JetSlide in 2000 at the Dallas Guitar show, instantly selling 200 pieces. Following upon that success, the business grew through eBay, a dedicated website, and sales through Musician’s Friend. All slides are handmade by Gary in his shop using specialty tools he custom manufactured.

FLIGHT CONTROLS

The JetSlide is a simple, yet uniquely shaped and effective guitar slide. The slide portion is a solid bar of brass, stainless steel, or copper that runs nearly finger length and curves up at the end, giving the appearance of a jet plane’s fuselage and tailpiece. This is welded to an equally durable strip of stainless steel that is shaped on one side to form a custom-sized ring and bent with an extension on the other side, serving as a control tab to ‘take off’ or ‘land’ the slide. Each slide is individually hand made and available from ring sizes 7 through 16. In addition to the metals mentioned, a glass sleeve can be affixed to any of the slides, offering a fourth tonal option.

TAKE OFF

I’ve always been fascinated with slide guitar but have been frustrated by the limitations imposed by committing a finger to a tube, reducing my fingering options 25% (not including my Hendrix thumb) and inhibiting the agility of adjacent digits. Additionally, I’m most comfortable with a standard slide on my ring finger, making the use of my pinky kind of a bitch to manipulate. And the thought of switching back and forth between slide on and slide off mid-song? You get the picture.

The premise behind the JetSlide is that it’s there when you want it, and out of the way when you don’t, so my first test was to see how my non-slide playing was affected. In the first five minutes, experimenting with scales, chords, and lead lines, I was able to play everything as I always have. Yes, I had a chunk of metal hanging off my finger which I found distracting, but my actual playing was hardly affected and it’s obvious that after a bit more time getting used to my new appendage, any distractions would melt away into oblivion. In fact, I typed this article wearing it! Engaging the slide is as simple as lifting your pinky over the control tab and applying pressure. While this is a new skill that will require time to master fluidly, I was getting the hang of it within minutes and I can only imagine that it would become second nature within a very short period of time. Playing like Warren Haynes on the other hand, that’s another story.

 

THE FINAL WRAP

The JetSlide is pure genius with a design for slide players that vanquishes all limitations that, up until now, restricted full use of those five extensions of expression hanging off the palm of your hand. The construction is top notch and offered in a variety of sizes and flavors. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newbie curious about getting into slide playing, I honestly can’t think of a reason not to go with the JetSlide, the only exception being a whiskey bottle because you just can’t get any cooler than that (but they’re awkward to use and if you don’t have the attitude and chops to go with it, you’ll just look like an idiot).

 

Direct Price – Stainless Steel $24.95, Brass $24.95, Copper $27.00, Glass Sleeve compatible with any slide $5.00. Lefty versions available.

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  • Ernie Thomas

    Very interesting inovation

  • thanks for another great opportunity

  • This is such a cool spin on guitar slides. I gotta get me one of these bad boys and start slidin’!!!

  • Heyreyprod

    I bought one a couple of years ago and i really like it. The concept is great, the build is quality, and it is made here in Colorado. The tone is good, but i definitely prefer a ceramic slide as i think the tone is warmer and fatter. But you do lose 25% of your fingering capabilities with a regular slide. There is a bit of practice involved with the technique but we should be used to things like that as guitarists! My biggest problem is my wedding ring interferes with the smooth transition from non sliding to sliding and that has been a bit frustrating. And no i am not going to take my ring off for gigs.
    I think this is a product well worth investigating!
    Adam
    http://www.heyreyguitar.com

    • Jetslide Guitar Slides

      Adam,  It works better if you put your wedding ring on after, (on top) of the ring from the Jetslide. It even helps to hold it in place. This will work if your wedding band is not too bulky. 

  • Yep, I agree with the slide being cumbersome that’s one of the factors that has limited my use of it through the years. However, this article perked my ears up … definitely looks like a product that requires more examination. Thanks for the info.

  • Eric Vaughn

    Hook me up. Lol. Looks like a good product.

  • Ed Dennison

    Looks weird but it works 

  • I’d love to try one of these!

  • takie

    Oo! That’s a great idea!!! Thanks!

  • Joefitness

    Seems pretty smooth. But this is coming from a guy who is inexperienced with slide. Sounds good though!!

  • Robb Hindle Guitars

     Very cool idea! I like the idea that you can switch back & forth………..

  • rotten77

    Super stuff this JetSlide. I tried to play with normal slide, but It blocked my fingers. This is realy good idea!

  • Congrats to Jim Tyyska! He was the lucky winner of the FREE JetSlide. Thanks everyone who entered!! http://sharemyguitar.com/community/profile/JimTyyska

  • Jetslide Guitar Slides

    Congratulations Jim Tryska!  I’m not sure if you’re getting my mail, but give me a call regarding your Jetslide.

    Gary Romero
    http://www.jetslide.com 

    Tel  888-244-0252

  • thivamon

    I bought one a couple of weeks ago. Took me a few hours to get the hang of it and now it’s the only slide I use. Works great for me. I’m not really a slide player, I use it for some solo’s. This is the ideal piece of equipment for me.

  • Vinnie gallegos

    Bad to the bone and move it on over are two of my favorites to play. I’d love to try this awesome Jetslide out.

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