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How to play Slide Guitar 101


You can sound good quick using BigA's method to slide guitar.

First tune your guitar to open D

Lowest String D
  High string   D

Get a Glass slide from your favotire music store and put in on your third finger. It is ok to use little finger if you wish but I find it hard to get enough pressure to cover all strings when making a Chord. See picture at bottom of page

Now the how to : In guitar simplest is usually the best.

So play and sing a song in D. Start with one that has only three chords. When you strum the guitar in
open you then have the major D chord, the other two chords used for most three chords songs in the key of D would be G and A. To get a G slide up just below the 5th fret better to be slightly flat than sharp. To get the A chrod go to the 7th fret.

Pressure ... press firm enough to make the chord but not so firm that the strings hit the fret.

Now just sing your song using the slide to change chords and you are off and running.

Part two fingerpicking - Slide guitar suddenly sounds much better when fingerpicked. Start your favortie fingerpicking pattern in open D then using slide change chords as above except keep the fingerpicking going.

Part three advanced fingerpicking - If you can pick out a melody and keep the alternating bass going then this will work good on the slide too. Use the slide between chord changes to slide on the highest string playing the melody. I use about a 30 degree angle to keep the slide only on the highest string.

When it is time to shift up to G or A I cover all 6 strings once again.
Part four - Alternate to full open D

One trick used by ZZ Top is to tune only the highest string to D leaving the other strings in a normal tuning. Try it and sing their song " Mexican Blackbird". One of the coolest things about this tuning is playing a C chord ... try it; it sounds really cool.


Now you really good sliders can take my basics and tell us more..... post away.

Big A



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