That means using heavier strings (no “super slinky”…) and a high action (distance of the strings to the fretboard). This notion was driven by the inspiration of emulating the harmonica phrases and sounds of legendary Chicago blues harp players like Little Walter Jacobs, Big Walter Horton and James Cotton. Even if you don't play blues or blues-based rock, consider adding slide to your arsenal. Welcome to your complete beginners guide on how to play slide guitar courtesy of Leigh Fuge over at MGR Music. For proper intonation, the slide should be placed directly above the fret-wire, applying just enough pressure allows each note to ring clearly. Slide guitar is very much an American tradition, and when you play slide – especially on an acoustic instrument – it’s hard not to sound American. Start making music. In this lesson, we will look at … “Slide” is generally distinguished as the use of an object, such as a small glass bottle or a metal tube, that is worn on one of the fret-hand fingers and is positioned along the length of the string in order to produce different notes. How to Play Slide Guitar for Beginners One of the most distinctive sounds in blues and rock guitar is that of slide guitar. Open G is achieved by lowering all of the pitches a whole step (low to high: D G D G B D). The most common open tunings for slide are open E, D, G and A. Duane Allman and Derek Trucks are two examples of guitarists that prefer to play slide in open E tuning. Slide tones are so often heard in this context – on a film or TV soundtrack during a desert scene with a rattlesnake slithering past, for example. Strumming across all of the open strings yields an E major chord; barring across all of the strings at a given fret will yield a major chord with the root notes found on the sixth, fourth and first strings. You can use both acoustic and electric guitars, as long as they don’t have nylon strings. It is recommended that beginning slide guitarists lay a fret-hand finger across the strings behind the slide (towards the nut) in order to mute the strings and prevent unwanted overtones. positioned along the length of the string in order to produce different notes. For beginning slide guitar players, it is beneficial to keep the fret-hand fingers relatively straight. One of the most distinctive sounds in blues and rock guitar is that of slide guitar. While we're on the topic, if you're on the market for a guitar tuner, we've got you covered! Because tuning the guitar to an open tuning often requires loosening, some of the strings, this technique came to be known as “slack key” guitar. 2013-2020 Positive Grid Limited All Rights Reserved. Many slide players secure the slide by using a fret-hand finger, on either to hold it in place; some players, such as Duane Allman, preferred to, allow the slide to “float” by itself, without being touched by either the middle finger, It is recommended that beginning slide guitarists lay a fret-hand finger, across the strings behind the slide (towards the nut) in order to mute the strings, and prevent unwanted overtones. Slide guitarists use both open tunings and standard tunings. . Because tuning the guitar to an open tuning often requires loosening some of the strings, this technique came to be known as “slack key” guitar. Here is a short guide for beginners on how to play slide guitar. This is our most popular guide and it will improve your chord ability quickly. He would then use a piece of bone or other smooth object to. Low to high, open E tuning is E B E G# B E: the sixth, second and first strings are tuned normally, while the fifth string, A, is tuned up one whole step to B, the fourth string, D, is tuned up one whole step to E, and the third string, G, is tuned up one half step to G#. What is slide guitar, you ask? There are many great modern slide guitarists, such as J, Some, like Johnny Winter and Ry Cooder, wear the slide on the pinkie; Duane, Warren and Derek choose to wear the slide on the ring finger, while Betts, Raitt, Wood and Perry wear it on, Johnny Winter, like his hero Robert Johnson, used a metal slide on his, pinkie; like Lowell George, Dickey Betts chooses a Sears Craftsman socket, wrench piece. What is slide guitar, you ask? This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on your website. Stay up to date with our latest news and special offers. While we're on the topic, if you're on the market for a guitar tuner, For proper intonation, the slide should be placed directly. Find out more here. The technique of using a hard object against a plucked string can be traced back to a one-stringed African instrument known as a “diddley bow.” Blues guitar legend Buddy Guy has spoken about, as a child, unwinding a wire from a whiskbroom, nailing one end of the wire to the porch and the other up higher to the side of the house, creating a taut metal string. Featuring over 10,000 tones on the Positive Grid ToneCloud, including sounds by many of the guitarists mentioned above, you’ll never run out of inspiration. One can also mute the “unwanted” strings with, the pick-hand: when playing notes on higher strings, lay the pick-hand thumb, across the lower strings in order to deaden the sound; when moving across to. Slide guitar is also often referred to as “bottleneck” guitar, because many of the old blues players in the Mississippi Delta would cut the necks off bottles and wear them on a fret-hand finger to play slide. of slide guitar tunings that are often utilized to accommodate specific musical, This primer for slide guitar beginners will get you well on your way to. Harnessing proper slide guitar technique will take dedicated work and time to develop. Open G’s higher-strung sister, open A slide guitar tuning. Each material will produce a different tone, so it is recommended that. Slide guitarists use both open tunings and standard tunings. In rural Mississippi in the 1920s and 1930s, Delta blues musicians such as, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson, Tampa Red and Son House developed a, style of blues slide guitar that directly inspired the next generation of electric, blues slide guitarists, such as Robert Nighthawk, Earl Hooker and Elmore James. There are many great modern slide guitarists, such as Johnny Winter, Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Ry Cooder, Lowell George, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Bonnie Raitt, Ron Wood and Joe Perry. Johnny Winter, like his hero Robert Johnson, used a metal slide on his pinkie; like Lowell George, Dickey Betts chooses a Sears Craftsman socket wrench piece. Each material will produce a different tone, so it is recommended that beginner slide guitar players try the different materials to see which is preferred. Open, G is achieved by lowering all of the pitches a whole step (low to high: D G D G B. But Johnny went on to say that, once one develops better slide technique, cleaner tones can be just as effective, opening up the palette and range of the slide guitar sound. “Slide” is generally distinguished as the use of an object, such as a small glass bottle or a metal tube, that is worn on one of the fret-hand fingers and is. a great range of clean tones to help you learn to play slide guitar as well. The technique of using a hard object against a plucked string can be, traced back to a one-stringed African instrument known as a “diddley bow.” Blues, guitar legend Buddy Guy has spoken about, as a child, unwinding a wire from a, whiskbroom, nailing one end of the wire to the porch and the other up higher to, the side of the house, creating a taut metal string. In this way, using a slide enables guitarists to emulate the sound of a human voice when playing single-note melodic phrases. A twist on this tuning is to lower each, string one whole step (low to high: D A D F# A D) which results in an open D, Also prevalent are open A and open G tunings: to tune to open A, raise, the D, G and B strings up one whole step to E, A and C#, respectively, while, tuning the E strings and the A string normally (low to high: E A E A C# E). Each of these players utilized different slide guitar tunings. The most common open tunings for slide are open E, D, G and A. Duane Allman and Derek Trucks are two examples of guitarists that prefer to play slide in open E tuning. Johnny Winter once stated that you need to have a distorted guitar tone to play slide effectively. The slide also can provide a wide variety of vibrato sounds of varying width and speed. once one develops better slide technique, cleaner tones can be just as effective, opening up the palette and range of the slide guitar sound.