SMG Review: Ring it and Rock it with JetSlide!


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.


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.


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 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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