Slyde-Rite dry lubricant

Contributed by Brock Frazier on March 26, 2003, Minor edits on December 20, 2005

Though not required, there's an advantage with using a hand powder when playing the Ashbory. It allows for smoother playing, less string noise, and for whatever reason improves the sound of the strings. As mentioned on the string packs for Fender Ashbory strings:

Note: Optimal performance is achieved when the player's hands are lightly dusted in talcum powder
Ashbory hand powder that's not baby powder
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Slyde-Rite card
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The problem with talcum powder is you can't just pick up some unscented, unmedicated stuff at a local discount store. It's either medicated or scented, and thus people generally go for baby powder for Ashbory use which is scented but works reasonably well and is readily available. Well, unlike some people, I really don't like the scented nature of the baby powder so most of my Ashbory playing time has been done without any dry lubricant.

Unfortunately, there really are advantages to having the hands lighly dusted, so I decided to start a quest to find a powder that works like baby powder but doesn't smell.

First I posted a message on the Large Sound community board asking what other people used. Some people used Baby Powder, someone else was using an oil of some sort, another person was using "a product called 'glove dust'" which is used inside high voltage (5,000 volt) rubber gloves.

I decided to do some hunting. A local billiards store had these pouches behind the counter on a 24 count card called "Slyde-Rite". $2 each. "What the heck", I thought, so I bought one to try.

Wow! The Slyde-Rite was very rewarding. Compared to baby powder, it:

  • Doesn't have a scent (a big plus for me)
  • Is superior in performance to baby powder
  • It is smoother and slicker yet seems to stay on the hands better at the same time.
  • Comes in a handy pouch that fits in the gig bag zipper pocket

In short, a superior dry dubricant in about everyway possible. It works better, stays to the hands better, and doesn't smell. The only real downsides are cost (since baby powder is less expensive) and availability (billiard supply shops or the Large Sound online store).

So what is a Slyde-Rite exactly? It's a porous cloth pouch with a pinkish white powder inside (not sure what the powder is). Just rub your hands around the bag and it despenses the powder with (at least in my experience) less scatter than with baby powder in a shaker. The little plastic bag it comes with is handy too, it's a resealable bag small enough to fit in the Ashbory gig bag pocket.

I recommend this product, so much that I include a Slyde-Rite with every Ashbory sold by Large Sound along side the Ashbory User's Guide I wrote. Both seem like things that a new Ashbory should come with.

Do you need a dry lubricant to play the Ashbory? Nope. There are advantages though, and for me the scent of baby powder was enough to keep me away for years. Now that I've found a superior powder that doesn't smell, I don't want to go back to using nothing. A Slyde-Rite acts like it was designed for this purpose.