When MusicRadar's sister magazine Guitarist was granted a rare interview with slide guitar supremo Ry Cooder - who celebrates his birthday today - in 2012, we couldn't resist asking for his tips for slide guitarists.
Despite being responsible for some of the finest slide work on record, including the legendary Rolling Stones track Sister Morphine (below), Ry denied having any rules of thumb to pass onto other players. He did have these to offer, though...
DON'T MISS: Ry Cooder: 5 songs guitarists need to hear
#1: Get the right weight
"All I know about bottleneck is, what you really want to do is get you one, but get the right weight.
"People use 'em too light and I don't see why they do that. But they do, and you don't get any tone that way."
#2: Learn to play a good note
"You [also] have to learn to play a good note. You have to get a nice note that you can control that's in tune.
"You get your instrument, you sit there and start practicing [one note]- and learn how to get a really good note out of the deal.
"Get you some control."
#3: Turn it down
"Everybody goes too far too soon. They turn up too loud and then they don't have control over the harmonics and then they play and it sounds to me, a lot of times, like the emergency entrance to a veterinary hospital. Like all these poor sick cats crying out…"