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Lyle Ronglien >> Slide Guitar II - Open Tunings >>

Slide Guitar For Beginners
Open Tunings - part 2

Lesson Sample

Teacher: This lesson uses the open G tuning again just like in lesson part 1. You'll also need a capo so we can be in the key of A easily. Listen to the Lesson Sample to hear what you'll be learning in this lesson. To get started, check your tuning. It should be tuned like this:

open G tuning

Teacher: This lesson is based on the standard 12 bar blues in A. Since your guitar is tuned to open G you would have to tune all the strings up a whole step to be in open A tuning. Instead of re-tuning, you can quickly and simply put a capo on the 2nd fret to give you open A tuning. Your guitar should be tuned to open G, capo at the 2nd fret.

capo at 2nd fret

Teacher:  The 3 main chords you'll use for the key of A are A - D - E. These are the "1 - 4 - 5" chords in A.


Teacher: Remember, the 2nd fret in the TAB files are considered "open strings" because you're using a capo at the 2nd fret.

Teacher: Learn this little slide riff that combines the open strings, left hand fingering of notes and a high slide riff with fast vibrato. Click on the loop button above the TAB player so you can play along with me. You can also slow down the tempo of the tab if that helps.

riff 1

riff 1

Teacher: This riff is the "theme" for the first verse of the Lesson Sample. The end of the verse has a tricky riff and you can learn it now. It's refered to as the "turnaround" riff. This riff also uses the slide and fingers:

turnaround riff


Teacher: Now you're almost ready to learn the first verse. Here's what the chord progression looks like:

chord chart

Teacher: Just a reminder: When using the slide you need to be on top of the fret, not inbetween them like when you use a finger.

Teacher: Here's the first verse. It's made up of riff 1, sliding to the 4 and 5 chords, and the turnaround riff:

verse 1

verse 1

Teacher: You may loop the TAB to play along with me, or you can use this looping jam track:

jam track in A

Teacher: The second verse has a little different theme or repeating riff. It goes like this:

riff 2

riff 2

Teacher: Here's the second verse of the Lesson Sample using riff 2 as the theme:

verse 2

verse 2

Teacher: The Lesson Sample above starts with the "turnaround" riff, then verse 1 and 2. After you have learned both verse you can either play along to the Lesson Sample or use the looping jam track. You can also loop each TAB file too.

Teacher: I was listening to Robert Johnson over the weekend. His voice has a fast vibrato and I copied that sound for some of these riffs.

Stratman: Is this something Robert Johnson would do?

Teacher: Stratman, yes but this is a simplified way.

Teacher: I like using my acoustic guitar when I get a chance like for this lesson. You can certianly use an electric. Try a clean tone or just a little bit of overdrive.

Teacher: Thanks and hope you enjoyed this lesson. If you're interested in getting your own customized lessons like this or in any style, email at for info. Thanks - Lyle

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