Slide, or bottleneck guitar is a key part of the blues that has since then added a new realm to the guitar playing field. Many renowned jazz musicians have used this technique to make their songs stand out, while still maintaining the talent they are so loved for. Unfortunately, it is not a widely-used branch of guitar playing, and finding someone who does know it, is not an easy task.
Luckily for you, however, guitarcontrol.com has your back. Many of our staff is familiar with this technique, and we even have lessons and videos that will help you yourself learn it. Here´s 2 lessons:
The thing that drives most people away from slide guitar, as you’ll discover in those videos, is that you kind of have to forget everything you know about your instrument. You have to play in different tuning (though it is possible to play in standard, but not as recommended), and you have to do away with all of your tricks with your left and right hands (yes, that includes hammering).
Once you break down all of your built up knowledge, you’re ready to get started! You have to adjust your guitar to open tuning. Here is an example of open E tuning.
There are many more ways to play in open tuning, so I highly encourage you to find whichever one works best for you, while still remaining familiar with most of them.
Now the biggest difference in slide guitar is how you strum it. The first step is to throw away your pick; you’re not going to need it for this. You’ll be using a slide instead. What is a slide? It’s a glass or metal tube that fits on one of your fingers, and is used to pluck your strings. To play you simply hold the slide against the strings, but don’t press hard on them, and pluck away, while having your free fingers resting on the said strings to prevent any unnecessary vibration.
There are many things about slide guitar that can get even more confusing, but it can be a very powerful tool once you get the hang of it. Stay tuned to our website for more on learning to play the slide guitar. And keep practicing, readers!
If you want to go deeper in blues and slide guitar, I recommend you to check out this great course in DVD: