You Have Reached A Full Access Section

Blues Tone: Odds and Ends

Get full access

The slide is as important to some bluesmen as fingers or a guitar. It provides the unmistakeable, voice-like moan to notes and chords. The sound IS the blues.

Slides can be made of any number of materials. Try many types and decide which is best for you. You will make a decision based on feel of the material, the sound the material gives the notes (bright, dark, brassy, creamy, etc.), and size of the slide.

Slide technique is equally important. In playing slide guitar you must press down with the slide enough to make contact with the string but not hard enough that the string contacts the fretboard. You want to "block" the strings behind the slide (between the slide and the nut) so that all noise behind the slide is muted. This coordination can be challenging. You also want your intonation (tuning) of notes to be correct so you should make sure you have the slide directly above the fret you are aiming to play. This could be the most difficult process because younger players haven't developed an ear for intonation. This comes with a great deal of practice. Finally, muting with the pick hand is a must. This insures that all the strings you're not playing don't ring and make a mess of your lick.

Here we'll get a brief picture of THE sound of blues.

Lesson Info
Instructor Andy Gurley
Blues Tone: Odds and Ends