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Lyle Ronglien >> Slide Guitar I - for Beginners >>

Slide Guitar for Beginners - part 3

Lesson Sample

In the last two lessons we worked with major chords in a blues progression. Here in this lesson I'd like to introduce a minor chord and how to approach it using a slide and a couple simple solos made from scales. Listen to the Lesson Sample to hear exactly what you'll learn in this lesson.

Lyle: Get started by loading the media of this tab and listen:

Lyle: We'll be jamming in E minor for this lesson, so when sliding to the Em chord at the 7th and 9th fret, you have to mute the 2nd string with your right hand so it doesn't sound major, that's what I'm trying to tell you in the last tab.

Lyle: Here's the jam track you'll be using in this lesson:

jam track in Em

Lyle: Here's a look at the chord progression for the jam track:

chord chart

Lyle: Let's try following the chord progression by sliding to each chord like this:

riff 1

Lyle: In riff 1 the tab may look confusing and hard but it's not. You're just sliding to the different chords during the progression.

Lyle: Be sure to "listen" to the tab or watch the video to see what I mean.

harold: Which do you use, fingers or a pick?

Lyle: I am using a pick.

Lyle: Notice in riff 1 I add the 2nd string into the chords for D and C at the 6th measure to give it a "harmonic lift", making it fatter sounding.

JAA: Are your strings set higher for using a slide?

Lyle: Good question, no. I just lightly glide over the strings. I use a light gauge of strings, 9-42.

sammy: I'm guessing a guitar with higher strings works better?

Lyle: It can but then that's all that guitar will be good for. I just practice playing slide on a regular guitar and use a light touch.

Lyle: Here's riff 2 which is like riff 1 only an octave higher:

riff 2

gui: Is what the slide is made of (steel, brass, glass, ceramic,...) affecting the sound of the 'sliding effects'?

Lyle: gui, I think so, but it depends if you're using an acoustic guitar or a clean sound on your amp. If you're using a distortion sound, you might not hear the difference of slides made from different materials. I like the steel slides because they don't break! Slides don't cost very much and if you really want to know the difference in the sounds different materials make, go try a few out at your local store.

Lyle: Let's try playing a melody with the slide. Try playing this simple pattern of the E minor pentatonic scale with the slide:

Lyle: The hard thing about playing a scale with the slide is when you have to move to the next string. You want to keep all the strings around the one you're playing muted. To do this takes some practice with your right hand. See if you can play that E minor pentatonic scale without extra string noise.

Lyle: Here's a video demonstration of muting with the right hand.

muting strings w right hand

Solarshine: How do you mute the extra strings when playing the high E string?

Lyle: Your right hand thumb can lay down a little to help mute.

harold: Do you slide into each note of the scale?

Lyle: Yes, try sliding to each note, slow and fast.

Lyle: Listen and learn this next tab file, it's like a little solo made from the E minor pentatonic scale:

riff 3

Lyle: The main thing about learning to play guitar is making things sound good. You don't need to know how to play fast or real complicated stuff, that comes with time, but it's real important in the beginning to learn how to make even the simplest things sound as best as they can.

harold: Do you pick all the notes?

Lyle: Yes, pick then slide!

Lyle: Let's try one more scale, then we'll make another solo out of it. This is the E natural minor on just the 2nd string:

Lyle: See if you can memorize it if you don't know it yet. Here's a solo example made from this scale:

riff 4

Lyle: BTW - you can loop the tab so you can play along with me for riffs 3 and 4, or use the jam track from earlier in the lesson.

Lyle: The tab shows you going up to the 24th fret. I only have 22 frets on my guitar so I slide up to where the 24th should be! Watch the video for riff 4 to see this. Then add a heavy vibrato with the slide to the last note way up there.

Lyle: That's all for this lesson. I hope you enjoyed it and you learned something new to do with the slide. If you are interested in receiving your own customized private lessons like this using Riff Interactive technology, write me at for more info. Thanks - Lyle

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