Increase the variety of your guitar playing by using a slide! If you already have some ability to play a steel-string guitar, this course will explain the basic principles and technique of using a slide instead of frets. Whether your destination is folk, blues or rock, the knowledge you gain in this course will equip you to begin exploring the eclectic world of slide guitar.
Ten concise lessons cover topics such as different types of slides, the way string action affects your ability to play slide, the role of the left thumb, muting techniques for a better tone, and more. Several exercises are also demonstrated. All of the video segments are presented with clarity and are uniquely optimized for you, the learner, to have the best point of view.
Dave Matthis is an experienced slide guitar player who has played semi-professionally in numerous musical groups over three decades. He also is an experienced professional in the development of instructional video.
This is an introduction to Section 1: Types of Guitar Slides.
In this lecture we explore the variety of guitar slides. This includes differences in shapes, sizes, materials they're made from and how these things might affect your choice of a slide. We also identify some mainstream guitar slide manufacturers.
Learning outcome: an understanding of the types of guitar slides available to you and why you might prefer one versus another.
This is an introduction to Section 2: Slide Finger Pressure, part 1.
In this lecture we look at one of a beginner's biggest challenges when playing slide on a conventional guitar: applying the right amount of pressure against the strings. The lecture includes a demonstration of incorrect finger pressure and an explanation of the resulting problems.
Learning outcome: A) an understanding of the importance of training your fingers for correct pressure against the strings, and B) your famililarity with the result of too little slide finger pressure and too much pressure.
This is an introduction to Section 3: Slide Finger Pressure, part 2.
This lecture explains one solution slide players sometimes use to eliminate the challenge of finger pressure and its associated problems. This solution is realized in one of two ways, and we demonstrate one of these (the use of a "nut extension").
Learning outcome: familiarity with alternative solutions for the challenge of slide guitar finger pressure.
This is an introduction to Section 4: Playing In Tune.
In this lecture we explore another challenge with slide guitar: controlling the pitch of our notes so they are in tune. We look at a few technical details in the mechanics of how the pitch of the note is determined with frets and with a slide. We also take a look at an exercise for using an electronic guitar tuner as an aid in training your ear and your fingers for the most accurate slide placement.
Learning outcome: an understanding of correct slide positioning technique for accurate note pitch.
This exercise will help you develop the ear /brain /eye /finger coordination which helps you position the slide most accurately and play in tune.
This is an introduction to Section 5: Role of the Left Thumb.
This lecture explains why the left-hand thumb is important in controlling the slide.
Learning outcome: an understanding of how the left thumb is critically important in controlling both the placement of the slide and the slide's pressure against the strings.
This is an introduction to Section 6: Right-Hand Technique.
In this lecture we look at two different ways the right hand can be used to articulate notes: with a conventional flat-pick and by using our bare fingers. We also look at the way plucking with bare fingers can aid in reducing unwanted string noises resulting from slide movement.
Learning outcome: an understanding of different ways to sound notes with the right hand and the added benefits of using bare fingers.
This is an introduction to Section 7: Left-Hand Muting.
This lecture explains the two possible positions of the left-hand's index and middle finger: muting the strings or not muting them, and the advantage of each position.
Learning outcome: an understanding of the two ways to position the index and middle finger while the ring finger has a slide on it.
This is an introduction to Section 8: Slide Vibrato.
In this lecture we examine vibrato technique as achieved with a slide. This includes an explanation of the way your left-hand thumb is important in controlling the vibrato.
Learning outcome: an understanding of A) how vibrato can be created with a slide, and B) how the thumb should control the slide's movement for a consistent vibrato effect.
This exercise will help you develop the habit of using the thumb to target the slide's position and control its vibrato.
This is an introduction to Section 9: Combining Slide and Non-Slide Playing.
Wearing a slide normally hinders your left hand's ability to finger notes conventionally (using the frets). But this lecture explores a method which helps get the most usefulness out of the free fingers while wearing a slide. The lecture explains how this relates to your choice of which finger to use for the slide.
Learning outcome: an understanding of how the free fingers can be used for conventional (non-slide) playing even in the presence of a slide.
This exercise will help you develop your ability to quickly switch between slide and non-slide modes while you're playing.
This is an introduction to Section 10: Open Tunings.
This lecture discusses the use of open guitar tunings to help you get more musical results while you're still a beginner on slide.
Learning outcome: an awareness of alternate tunings for your slide playing.
Dave Matthis is a media producer with more than three decades' experience in instructional, technical and informational media development. His professional expertise spans the fields of videography, video editing, graphic design, writing, audio engineering and digital media creation.
For his course Add Slide To Your Guitar Playing, Dave brings more than three decades' experience performing in Oklahoma as a musician with a variety of bands, musical groups and studio projects. His expertise with guitar technique ranges among electric, acoustic fingerstyle, classical, slide guitar and bass guitar, as well as the esoteric niche of MIDI guitar.