Playing Slide with a Pocketknife - Mance Lipscomb Captured on Film

Mance Lipscomb was an American blues singer, guitarist and songster. Lipscomb spent most of his life working as a tenant farmer in Texas and was discovered in 1960 during the country blues revival. He released many albums of blues, ragtime, Tin Pan Alley and folk music singing and accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. He had a "dead-thumb" finger-picking guitar technique, and an expressive voice.

As seen in the video below, Lipscomb also played slide guitar with a pocketknife, a technique that was common with pre-1930's blues men such as Blind Willie Johnson and Gus Cannon. 

With his guitar in an open chord, Lipscomb would keep the closed knife tucked between his index and middle finger, holding it in place with his thumb.  This enabled him to solo up and down on the high string (a technique many people learned from diddley bows) and lay the entire thing perpendicular to the strings for full chords.

Views: 1979

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I tried this just the other day. 

I didn't sound very good! lol

Thanks for posting this video, Shane. I discovered this video, and so many other early Bluesmen on film on YouTube. These are the tunes I listen to while I build my gits.I like the inspiration, and my grandson's get exposed to music they wouldn't hear otherwise. So many old films, TV show performances, etc. available through the interwebs. The roots of all good blues and rock. I also tried the jackknife slide. I was also not very good. Spoiled by glass slides, I think.

Les Blank made a documentary film about Mance in 1971 called, A Life Well Spent. It is amazing, as are all of Les' films. I first saw it in a small art theater in San Fransisco in the in the late 70's. linky:

www.lesblank.com

I have a old pocketknife(Old Timer) that is flat on the back side (opposite of the blade side) and I used it as a slide with good results. I put it between my index finger and ring figer with the middle finger across the top and played it lap steel style with success.

Mississippi Fred McDowell also used a pocketknife sometimes amongst countless other slide players that have

RSS

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

 

Recommended Links & Resources

Featured Instrument Video

Forum

Building to sell

Started by Mark Rinehart in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Jerry Jordan on Thursday. 4 Replies

Latest Activity

Jim Morris commented on shane wagstaff's video
Thumbnail

Wall light banjo

"Excellent!"
12 minutes ago
Jeff 'Bones' Reilly posted photos
23 minutes ago
Spencer Lockhart commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

My Babe

"That is a phat axe and I am diggin on this song man!!!"
40 minutes ago
Spencer Lockhart liked Uncle John's video
42 minutes ago
Spencer Lockhart commented on Spencer Lockhart's photo
Thumbnail

Robusto Rezo

"Thank you man!"
48 minutes ago
Richard Sundberg liked Uncle John's video
1 hour ago
Richard Sundberg commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

My Babe

"It might be the Choo Choo Train Lynas slide, but that train is playing on right on time! Your…"
1 hour ago
Taffy Evans replied to Paul Craig's discussion What's on your workbench?
"Hi, that's a nice conversion Darryl. Here's another small bandsaw conversion I did couple…"
1 hour ago
Derek Rose liked RTZGUITARS's photo
1 hour ago
Dave Lynas commented on Spencer Lockhart's photo
Thumbnail

Robusto Rezo

"Worn off just right! Friendly old guitar."
1 hour ago
Dave Lynas liked Spencer Lockhart's photo
1 hour ago
Dave Lynas liked Daniel Walter's photo
1 hour ago

Music

Loading…

© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->