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Michael Johnson >> Chicago Blues >>

  Michael: This interactive lesson will cover slide guitar licks and open G tuning, I'll show licks that you can play without an open tuning for those who don't want to detune to open G. Beginners or guitarists with a trem system should avoid detuning to Open G for this interactive lesson.

Click for Open G Tuning Info

stjewell: what do you suggest now if you want to learn both?

Michael: you can play both tunings with the following licks, first let's go over some basics, notice the various styles of slides, the old Delta blues players used a wine bottleneck

AceDuck: craaaazy

Michael: or medicine bottle, I use a glass slide, there are a few things you have to understand about what guitars perform the best for slide

Chris: Of all of the slides, which do you feel is the best?

Michael: I prefer the glass slides 

Good Tailpiece for slide Guitar

Michael: first you want to use a guitar with a stop tailpiece, acoustic guitars work great

stjewell: that which does not have a whammy bar of sorts?

Michael: you can use a Strat or other guitars with a tailpiece but you have to invest a lot of time tuning, the reason why is because of the tension on the guitar strings are controlled by springs:

stjewell: I have an sg deluxe with bixby. I'm going to be tuning a lot?

Michael: those are ok to use

Slide Fret Techniques

Jerry: should you put the slide on your little finger?

Michael: yes Jerry, you produce a better tone if you use the first finger to mute the strings, that way you can still play chords and licks with the other fingers, make sure you play the slide over the fret for the correct intonation, that's where the intonation happens when you fret your guitar neck

Jerry: is it harder to play slide on a guitar that has its action set real low?

Is this lesson on electric guitars only?

Michael:  no you can use acoustic, Jerry, good point having high action is preferred for better tone

AceDuck: cool teach, i never knew that... no wonder it sounded so out of tune before

Michael: have you ever seen a lap steal guitar

djb: Real high action

EMP Lap Steel Guitar Exhibit

Skedman: They are a lot of work. feet, knees, both hands, all fingers...

Michael: Here's our first jam track:

Michael: all the following licks you can play with a slide or by standard fret

Michael: you can play chord/interval patterns simply by playing the middle two string (3rd, 4th)

Jerry: how do you use a slide on the middle two strings without them all buzzing?

Michael: use the first finger to mute the string

Jerry: all six strings?

Michael: you can, but mostly play on the middle two strings for now like in the tab

AceDuck: wow... kinda difficult :(

Michael: it takes time, having high action on a guitar helps also:

Michael: this lick is a common slide blues lick using the pattern I sent earlier, do you all see how this pattern is used in the last lick? Try to slide into the notes

Skedman: This Rawks.

Steve: right on

stjewell: The sound clip sounds very subtle for the last notes on 9th fret. Is this right?

Michael: all these licks correlate with the "Lick of the Day" from last week

Jerry: this sounds cool w/ a little distortion

Michael: yes stj

Skedman: lots of dist.

Michael: distortion does help the tone and sustain

SRVSTRAT: I like your tone Teach!

Michael: see how you can use the pattern, you basically use the pattern I sent earlier and break it down into licks

stjewell: This one's kinda tough

Michael: it is, I need to raise the action on this guitar for a cleaner slide tone

Steve: I see that it sounds better take the slides off the strings a lot

Michael: it also helps to have heavy gauge strings

Steve: I started out with the slide always on the strings

Michael: yes it does, the video should help to illustrate this technique

stjewell: This is where a lot of people will buy and configure a separate guitar just for slide playing.

Michael: you bet stj

Andy: the masters of slide don't use picks.....they use their fingers to play and mute all the strings except the one that they are playing

jfsteele: Mute with LH or RH fingers?

Andy: right

Michael: very true andy, but I've seen smokin' players who use a pick also

Andy: i play slide with all five

Andy: i guess if they can mute with their palm

stjewell: Didn't Lowell George use a pick and normal tuning?

Jerry: i cant get mine to sound like the video, need practice

Michael: I believe Lowell did, because Little Feet played several songs where you need to be in standard tuning from what I remember, notice how I used the lower frets then moved to the octave position. The looping jam track helps you develop the groove for playing the licks

Steve: yes

Michael: that's a key portion of practicing these licks, it makes it fun too!

Michael: notice how I slide ascending to notes and descending

stjewell: On lick 4, did you mean for the last portion to be on the 2nd and 3rd strings rather than the 3rd and 4th?

Michael: it's good to experiment both ways, at the end of the phrase for Lick 4, I use the 2nd and 3rd

stjewell: both ways sound pretty good. But I seem to like it better all the way on 3rd and 4th. Does that make me narrow?

Michael: not at all, stylistic 8-)

AceDuck2: this is really awesome teach *clap clap*

Michael: Monday's lesson concept is you study the "Lick of the Day" then the following Monday we cover...... the previous lesson content and additional licks in that style

lengnu: Thanks alot for the cool lessons you taught us today.

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