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Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) Style
this lesson we'll cover slide guitar licks in the style of Billy F. Gibbons from
ZZ Top. If you don't have a slide, you can pick one up for under $8 at your
local music store. There are glass, ceramic, brass, and steel slides and are
available in many sizes. I like the steel ones because they don't break! You can
use them on your ring finger or your pinky. Gibbons uses a glass slide.
Picky: Do they make any difference in sound?
They make a little bit of difference in the sound, but when you're using
distortion, it's very hard to tell.
Lyle: You'll always want to play the slide on TOP
of the fret wire, not between the frets. On TOP of the fret wire will put you in
tune. Here's a picture of my slide on TOP of the 5th fret:
slide at 5th
Lyle: Notice it's smack dab on top of the fret
wire. Also, don't press down very hard on the strings, just glide the slide over
them while dragging your index finger along the strings behind the slide. This
will help mute unwanted noise.
Lyle: You'll be jamming in the G blues tonight,
standard tuning. Let's look at the 3 main chords we'll use G - C - D:
First I have a few slide riffs for you to practice, then a few slide blues
riffs, then a few solos to learn. This first slide riff is easy...
Above is a video of me playing this slide riff. Notice I'm dragging my index
finger along the strings behind the slide, then I move my index out of the way
when I slide back down.
Lyle: Now take this riff and practice it over and
over, building up speed. Here's an audio sample of this:
Slide riff 2 makes the C chord at the 5th fret:
Here's a sample of me playing riff 2 and building up speed:
Use a clean or distorted tone.
Picky: Does sliding damage your guitar or the frets?
can if you are pushing too hard, let it glide over the frets so you're not
Lyle: Slide riff 3 uses the D chord at the 7th
fret, then the C chord at the 5th fret again before it slides "off" to open.
Heavier strings are better for slide because they add tension so you can push a
little harder without bumping the frets.
Slide riff 4 uses all 3 chords G - D - C. The G can be played at the 12th fret
as well as the open position.
Try to memorize all 4 of these slide riffs, then practice them together. Here's
a sample of me playing all 4 riffs, one at a time:
Here's a jam track for you to use. It's a 12 bar blues progression in G.
12 bar blues in G
Lyle: Let's move into blues riffs. This first one
Riff 1 is built off the G chord at the 12th fret.
Blues riff 2 is a variation of riff 1:
Start on the D string this time for riff 2.
Blues riff 3 is a bit tougher, you'll jump up an octave from where you were
playing the first two riffs.
Blues riff 4 is a variation of riff 3
When adding vibrato, gently move the hand back and forth like in the video
clips, keep the slide hovering right over the fret.
For the last part of this lesson, I've made up a couple 12 bar solos for you to
examine and learn. Many of the riffs you've learned so far are used in these
solos, along with variations of them and more!
Solo 1 is easy, using just chords and following the progression.
really like this next solo:
Solo 3 is the toughest of them all. You can always listen to it and pick out the
licks you like and want to learn. I hope this helps you learn the basics of
playing in the style of ZZ Top using the slide.
the beginning of the lesson there is a sample of me playing 3 solos, they are a
little different than what I played here in these last 3 solo TABs.
good stuff lyle thanks
Lyle: That's all for this lesson
welcome, thanks for coming to the lesson tonight. If you would like more study
with the slide check out Slide Guitar for Beginners and Slide Guitar / Open
tunings at the Riff store. they are on CD-ROM.
great! thanks Lyle
jackflash: yep your cd's are great i have about 12 of
Lyle: good night everyone, have a good week and
see you next time!
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