Slide guitar is so cool and bluesy to play but it can be very difficult to get a really good sound.
This video will help. I’ll share the biggest technique that I worked on to really clean up my slide playing.
To put this technique to the test, I’ll show you a really cool and super tricky lick in Open E Tuning.
Let’s break this example down.
First, notice that there is an alternating bass line on the 6th and 4th strings happening over the entire lick. The lick itself starts out on the high B note on the 1st string before layering in the G# on the second string followed by the all-important flat 7th, D note on the 3rd string.
But the secret sauce is the pick-hand muting.
I use a thumb and three finger picking style so my thumb takes care of the bass strings. The other three fingers (index, middle and ring) rest on the third, second and first strings, respectively.
They are resting, but ready.
Because these fingers are physically resting on the strings, the string is prevented from making a sound. This is helpful for cutting out unwanted string noise on an acoustic instrument and even more so on a resonator which kind of has it’s own built-in amplifier!
The resting position isn’t terribly difficult, but the tricky part happens when we start to play notes on these strings. To play a note, pick that particular string and leave the other fingers resting on their respective string.
This takes a lot of coordination, but a lick like this can help you isolate each finger’s movement. Play this lick letting only the one string playing the note sound and keep your other fingers resting but ready. This effectively eliminates any would-be string noise from those deadened strings.
Practice working through this lick, step-by-step and in the beginning, pay closer attention to your muting than anything. Even your bass line. Even your timing.
Bring those little complexities back in after you’ve gotten the hang of this muting technique.
Good luck, Practice Smart and…