Tips for Beginning With Slide Guitar

If you're having trouble getting into slide guitar then these tips will prove useful...

slide guitar

Question:

Do you have any suggestions for playing slide guitar? I've tried over and over, but I'm just not getting it!

Answer:

There are a few very important guidelines to work with. First, be aware that the heavier your strings are, the easier it will be to get a good slide sound.

Playing slide with super-light strings is not impossible, but it is much more difficult to get a good sound, and also harder to prevent the slide from knocking onto the fingerboard. It's also easier to play slide on a guitar with higher action. You'll notice that pros usually have one guitar specifically set up for playing slide.

Next, make sure your slide is the right size for you. It should feel comfortable, not too tight, not too loose. If you can start out learning with the slide on your pinkie finger, you will still have playability from the rest of your hand while wearing the slide. Some players prefer their ring finger, as it has more strength and better aim, but if you start with your pinkie, it will learn fast!

Touch the strings lightly with the slide, don't press down. Keep the slide parallel with the frets, and remember, you need to play exactly over the fret, not behind it like when you're fretting. Your slide is acting like a fret. Also, lightly dampen the strings behind the slide with your other fingers. This will keep unwanted harmonics and overtones from sounding.

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