Lesson 1 | Introduction Copy

Slide or Bottleneck guitar is a really expressive form of guitar playing. The technique was made popular by African American blues artists in the 1920s who originally cut off the neck of a glass bottle to slide up and down the strings. Some artists include gospel singer Blind Willie Johnson, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Son House and Robert Johnson. The freedom to move from one note to another, the use of vibrato and other nuances lend to a real vocal like quality which really separate it from other styles . This course is aimed at beginners and more advanced guitarists who have dabbled with slide or those that want to build a solid technique and venture into open tunings.

In this course we will be using open E tuning to get started, which is relative close to standard tuning in terms of pitch and string tension. Its also a tuning many slide players from the modern era  such as Ry Cooder, Sonny Landreth , Derek Trucks and Eric Clapton all use this tuning amongst others.

There will be a lesson on recommended string gauges to use to get the best string tension and setting-up your instrument.

Whether your playing an Electric or an acoustic instrument  the tips and tricks you will pick up in this guide can be applied.

There seem to be two schools of thought when it comes to playing slide; playing in open tunings or playing in standard tuning.  I will be using open E tuning with a finger style approach to demonstrate the techniques involved.

I recommend playing with the fingers as opposed to using a pick, as you will gain more control over the slide or bottleneck. It’s also the way Ry Cooder, Lowell George and Derek Trucks play so you will be in good company.