In 1982 I became interested in playing slide guitar. While flipping through the pages of a Kicking Mule record catalogue, I found an advertisement for an artist named Bob Brozman and ordered his new album “Blue Hula Stomp.” It was that point when the needle hit the vinyl that I really discovered the world of slide guitar music! Years later I attended one of the International Guitar Seminars in New York City where I honed my skills as a slide guitar player. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Faculty for the week long event included: Bob Brozman, Stacy Phillips, Orville Johnson, Mary Flower, and many other well known slide guitar players. I am eternally grateful for their advice, patience, wisdom, and unrestricted conveyance of their musical craft.
In 1995 I purchased an old Oahu Hawaiian guitar and found a vintage Nick Manoloff tone-bar still inside the case. The Manoloff design was so revolutionary it received a patent in 1937 (See Patent). This slide bar produced incredible tone but was constructed from materials that showed an unacceptable amount of wear. It did what it promised to do in terms of reducing string noise but durability, construction, and proper weighting had yet to be perfected. The Manoloff design was a great idea but came before modern engineering plastics were available.
Today there are hundreds of choices in engineering and aerospace ‘plastics’ and each formulation has a unique set of features, prices, properties, and possible applications. In 2001 I built my first slide dedicated to reducing string noise and used it as an early prototype for the ones you see here today. The quality, craftsmanship, and chosen materials for the Tribo-Tone™ slides are the result of research, experiment, some creativity, and years of refinement.
2007 marks the 70th anniversary of the revolutionary Manoloff tone bar design. Tribo-Tone™ is proud to carry this tradition to the next level and cover some entirely new ground as we move forward. I hope you enjoy making music with our bars and thank you for choosing to play Tribo-Tone™.
See you on the strings,