I’ve found that listening to incredible slide guitar music can improve my intonation, my vibrato expression, as well as give me more conceptual ideas for voicing notes on the pedal steel guitar. It is certainly a tradition that can be borrowed from, and used for a deeper understanding of “fretless” playing, and open tunings.
Many slide players borrow their ideas and techniques from legendary singers, for vibrato and phrasing. Also, slide players often hit microtones in between notes, which can add more depth and expression to playing, especially in the blues or rock idioms. Derek Trucks is a personal favorite of mine, and has influenced me greatly as a musician and player.
Here are some recordings and albums that I feel are significant in slide guitar culture and history. This page contains affiliate links.
If you’re interested in utlizing slide techniques on pedal steel, check out this page with pedal steel bars to use for this sound…