My Biggest Slide Mistake & How You Can Avoid It

Lesson ID: TB179

In this lesson, I’ll pull back the curtain and show you a lick in a song of mine that was full of bad slide guitar technique.

Recordings are supposed to be just that: a record of time.

Before I started BGI, I was super passionate about writing original material and recording it in my home studio. One track that I was especially proud of was called “These City Streets” and I recorded it in 2005ish. It was an upbeat number (not bluesy at all) that really had some fun guitar work in it.

Of course, it needed a slide part, ‘cuz…why not?

Now when I go back and listen to that slide lick, I cringe.

It’s not terrible, but I can hear bad slide technique all over the place. I don’t seem to nail the notes with some being flat or sharp. The notes just weren’t properly intonnated. This is my biggest mistake on slide guitar.

Well, at least the biggest one that got recorded. 🙂

How to Avoid this Mistake

I’m sharing this with you so that you can learn from my mistake. The first step in avoiding this type of bad technique is to simply be aware of it. Listen to the recording and hear how I almost get away with it, but I guarantee that if you heard a properly played part next to this one, you’d hear a big difference.

Make sure that you’re aware of what a proper note sounds like.

You can’t hide behind your frets when playing slide. The next step to avoid this mistake is so check yourself with a guitar tuner like I do in the video and like I mention in Tuesday Blues #177.

This trick and a few hours in the woodshed will help you learn what the right note sounds like and how to play it.

Hopefully, this error of mine helps you see and hear the difference between good slide technique and great slide technique. We want the later.

Keep it Simple. Practice Smart.

Play On.


Slide guitar sounds extremely bluesy and expressive. But it can seem wild and uncontrollable at first. Grab this guide to help you clean up your technique and play great slide guitar.

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