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Michael Johnson >> Contemporary Slide Guitarists >>

Teacher: Welcome class to he lesson on the slide guitar style of Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers. Duane has been a significant influence on many modern day slide guitarists. Duane would use standard tuning so he could switch between playing with a slide and regular fingerings so he could play harmony guitar with Dicky Betts. This lesson will be in standard tuning. Check out the lesson sample of the licks you will learn:

Lesson Sample - Lowband - 1 Meg

Lesson Sample - Highband - 3.6 Meg

Teacher: Our first part starts with a staccato rhythmic blues intro in C using a I, IV, V progression. First here's the jam track that you will play the slide licks over.

Looping Jam Track 1 - Lowband

Rob: I read that down in Georgia ( I forget the name of the blues studio) Duane starting to play in alternate tunings because of all of the new possibilities the blues players showed him.

Teacher: Rob, yes, I've heard recordings of his open tuning stuff, you can tell he listened to a lot of Elmore James, Muddy Water, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie,........ Our first slide lick will be in C:

Part 1 - Slide Lick 1

Part 1 - Slide Lick 1

Teacher: This lick uses the C Major Pentatonic pattern. The C Major Pentatonic Pattern is the same as the A Minor Pentatonic Pattern, they are considered "relative". You can also include the C Minor Pentatonic, so basically you are shifting between the Major and Minor Pentatonic. Let's move to the next slide lick in C.

Part 1 - Slide Lick 2  

Part 1 - Slide Lick 2

OK, this slide lick starts in the octave pattern of the C Minor Pentatonic scale pattern I just gave you. Notice how the lick starts in the octave pattern and then jumps the the C Minor Pentatonic pattern based on the 8th fret. Here's the 2 patterns.

C Minor Pentatonic Scale Patterns

Rob: Michael, do you follow your other fingers on the strings when you are playing high notes. I find this hard to do on my Strat.

Teacher: Yes I do, you can see the technique I use in the videos.
 Keeping the fingers together seem to give me more control on the intonation of the slide lick. Let's jump to the next section, here's the main rhythm riff in A using a I, IV, V progression.

Part 2 - Rhythm Riff

Part 2 - Rhythm Riff

Rob: Sounds like Zep.

Teacher: It as kind of a Zep feel, probably because it's a blues riff. Here's the jam track for the section:

Looping Jam Track 2 - Lowband

Teacher: For this section you play a few slide licks in A over the jam track. Here's the first lick:

Part 2 - Slide Lick 1

Part 2 - Slide Lick 1

This first lick uses a A Minor Pentatonic scale pattern that starts on the 12th fret - 5th string A, here's the pattern:

A Minor Pentatonic Pattern

Teacher: Notice that this pattern combines box 4 and 5 of the A Minor Pentatonic scale patterns.

Rob: I sit really a pentatonic pattern even though you slide through the blues notes?

Teacher: Yes Rob, I was just going to point out the b5 note you use as a slide in the last few bars. Let's move onto the next section, you can also use slide guitar to mirror the main riff of the song, it produces a very unique sound, here's the riff in a jam track:

Looping Jam Track 3 - Lowband

Teacher: Notice that the slide lick uses the octave pattern of the main lick, this slide lick is actually using the same A Minor scale pattern I just gave you. Here's the slide lick:

Tab 12

Part 3 - Slide Lick 1

It is a challenge sometimes to play standard riff using a slide, in this case you have to be able to jump around the scale pattern quickly, the challenge is to match the pitch of the rhythm guitar and bass. A great exercise for slide is to also practice playing scales. Try exercises where you play the notes without sliding into each and then try sliding into each note of the scale. Let's jump into the next section, here's the blues rhythm that you will play over in A.

Looping Jam Track 4 - Lowband

Teacher: This progression uses a standard I, IV, V walking type blues progression. The nest licks you will be playing allow space in the phrasing, making the licks sound more lyrical. Here's the licks:

Part 4 - Slide Lick 1

Part 4 - Slide Lick 1

This lick uses the same scale pattern I gave you earlier. I like the half-step slide riff in bar 3.

Teacher: Well time to go. See you next lesson! Thanks everybody!

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