FRETS.COM Illustrated Glossary

One word or two?
© Frank Ford, 9/26/98 Photos by FF

I like one word "bottleneck" for the generic, and two words "bottle neck" for the specific.

A bottleneck is a slide for blues guitarists. Analogous to the "steel" of the steel guitar, it's used to slide along the strings to change the pitch. The "original" bottlenecks were just that, the broken necks of bottles. Presumably, the later versions became more refined and specialized, although some of today's players still use the necks of wine bottles, like the one on the right:

Bottlenecks are sometimes simply called "slides" and the guitar style called "slide guitar," or "bottleneck guitar:

Here's the item in use by a blues guitarist:

He can raise the bottleneck slide off the strings to finger the notes in the conventional manner, then use the slide for that special effect, usually on the first two strings.

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