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Michael Johnson >> Chicago Blues >>

Michael: This interactive lesson will cover blues slide guitar techniques used in Week 3 & 4 of the Guitar Lick of the Day. You can use both standard and open G tunings, beginners or guitarists with a trem system should avoid detuning to Open G for this interactive lesson.

Click for Open G Tuning Info

Stuart: Does both tunings imply that most of the focus is on the "middle" strings?

Michael: yes stu, we'll use the D minor Pentatonic scale tonight

Tom: do you put the slide on your pinkey or ring finger

Michael: on your pinky, the jam track will be based on the D



sirch: I can't keep this coke bottle on my pinky!

Michael: sirch, that would be a challenge for any of us 8-), we're cover just the minor pentatonic

viper: What are the notes in the D minor pen teach

Michael: what are the notes in the D Minor Pentatonic is based on 5 notes

steve: d,f,g,a,c

Michael: thanks Steve

Michael: notice how I show the scale on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings, it will be the same because you don't detune those three strings, here's the looping jam track:



Michael: load that file and try jamming on that scale over it

Michael: Hey everybody Hank Garland has joined us tonight, if you don't know who he is, Hank played with Elvis, Everly Bros, Roy Orbinson, Hank Williams SR, Patsy Cline, many others. you can find out more info about Hank Garland at  www.hankgarland.com

  AceDuck: THE hank garland??

Jr: hI HANK DO YOU LIKE SLIDE GUITAR

Hank_Garland: I like to watch Junior Brown play slide guitar

AScriabin: yay - junior brown is great and his Git-Steel. as he calls it.

Michael: you can also use the D minor blues scales



Michael: the D minor Blues has D, F, G, A, Ab, C

steve: I never played slide before - and i kep fretting out??? any suggestions (besides practice)

Michael: I'll send you an image illustrating proper slide techniques



Michael: notice that you play over the fret and you can use your first finger to mute open or ringing notes





Michael: Hank have you ever played slide guitar? or lap steel or steel guitar?

Hank_Garland: yes an old lap steel that I gave to Junior Brown back in my Cowboy Copas days with Hank Williams Sr and all

Greg: Hey is it better to play slide with gibson style bridge instead of a floyd type?

Michael: Greg, the stop Gibson type bridge if the best, Floyd Rose trem systems float and are hard to tune.

Jr: Hank how much time did you spend with Hank sr???

  Hank_Garland: for a couple of years.. then I went to New York and back and forth to doing studio work in Nashville, Lime House Blues and all of them

Jr: thats nice at what age were you??

Hank_Garland: 16 years old

  Michael: now you can play middle 2 strings at a time, here's our first lick:





Michael: all the notes you played barred are relative to the D min pen scale now these position all work over the jam track, you can make up your own patterns, try using the various positions to create your own licks



Support: selaty, the lessons are archived for later study if you can't keep up now

Deano: Greg... I'm substituting a slide with a lighter... it's not great, but it works...

Michael: good idea Deano 8-)

Adam: I'm using a screwdriver <g>

Michael: I use a beer bottle when I play live

Tom: just the neck or the whole thing

Kevin: i use an old glass medicine bottle

Greg: How do mute behind the bottle. You must have huge hands LOL ;)

Michael: in the last video I illustrate how you can vibrato using the slide, greg that is a problem 8-) There are several slides you can buy:



Michael: I perfer the glass slide

Deano: using a pick??

Michael: yes Deano, sometimes I fingerpick, I like the sound of the glass, it has that Delta blues sound

wayne: i use one of those moonshine slides





Michael: the last lick I sent illustrates playing the same pattern but incorporating the vibrato

Eddie_solo: do u have to put pressure on the slide or more or less balance it above the strings

steve: i've been playing for 20 years and i still get this slide down - i keep fretting out - should i have a guitar set up with higher action or is it me??

Michael: it's better to have heavy strings and higher action, try the following licks over the jam track





Michael: now you can play the last lick an octave higher





Michael: the last lick was typically used by Robert Johnson



Michael: any questions so far?

Eddie_solo: do u have to put pressure on the strings or try to get a more relaxed feel?

Michael: relax the slide, you want to avoid fretting the guitar

Eddie_solo: i thought so i am griping as hard as i can

Michael: this time let's use a portion of the scale I sent earlier





Stuart: I noticed that the end of the previous licks ends 1/2 step below where they start. This seems somewhat dissonant. Is this intended?

Michael: yes, it's not really an issue of where you resolve the note when playing slide, it's more of the type of feel you want to produce, notice on the last lick how you play some notes and slide into to others

Jerry: are you fretting those notes w/ your fingers or the slide?

Michael: try an experiment by playing some notes of the scale by placing the slide on the fret with the slide, try playing the scale two ways...

1. placing the slide over the fret to play the notes
2. sliding into each note

Michael: any problems with that exercise?

Stuart: I bet you learn that you tend to play the note more accurately when you slide in?

Jerry: do you lift the slide between each note?

Michael: try playing ascending and descending the scale, yes you do stu, try lifting the slide, it's harder to do to create a pure tone and making a buzzing sound

Deano: I gotta get me a slide... ( a concave one... I'm playing a strat)

Jerry: what does a concave slide do for you?

Adam: for curved fretboards?

Deano: ya... curved fretboards.

pete: I'm playing a strat too. Is that why it seems hard to get a pure tone?

Michael: curved fretboards are more of a challenge, but not impossible

Kevin1: yeah its easier to play slide with a flat neck

Deano: sure, if you have a flat slide...... there are curved ones...

Michael: you have to get use to angling your elbow more to adjust to the curve of the neck

Kevin1: you have to really work at muting strings if you play on a curved fret board

Michael: that's tough one also Kevin, adding your first finger to mute really does help your tone

Kevin1: yeah and i think playing with the slide on your pinky helps a little. tonight id the first time i played with it on my pinky and it seemed to make things a bit easier

Michael: it frees your other fingers to play licks and chords

Kevin1: yeah all the sudden i have this extra finger free and it was really cool

Eddie_solo: theoretically can u use every note on the fretboard as long as u start on a scale note and end on one

Michael: Time to go, thanks for tuning in!

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