Guitar Slides come in a multitude of different shapes, textures, materials, weights, and sizes… and all of those factors affect the sound, playability, and versatility of the slide. Just like painters who use a combination of different brushes to create the details and textures of a painting, it’s important to learn about what distinguishes different guitar slides from one another, in order to make and informed decision next time you pick up the guitar.
I worked closely with Jim Dunlop to design and manufacture my Justin Johnson Signature Guitar Slide with an eye towards creating the best combination of tone, sustain, and feel that we could squeeze into one slide… but no single option beats having an arsenal of gear to choose from, so that you can select the perfect fit for each musical context.
I recently received several packages from around the world with some exciting, new, and innovative design concepts… along with some classic and re-imagined designs. Check out the following LIVE STREAM video and hang out with me while we get to know these slides and what makes them special.
Whether you are a total beginner with the guitar slide, or a pro, it’s always good to refresh your approach, refine your technique, and sharpen the nuances of your playing to ensure you’re at the top of your game. From my experience performing, recording, and teaching slide guitar, I have developed some simple methods that will help you improve tone, touch, and control, and will save you months of practice if you develop these good habits from the beginning.
The key is gaining control. If you are properly holding the slide and lightly anchoring your sliding hand to the back of the neck, you will be able to easily gauge the slide’s pressure on the strings. It will also be much easier to keep the notes in tune and develop reliable visual references on the fretboard.
The following video lesson is an excerpt from my new instructional video series, “Slide Technique for the 6-String in Standard Tuning,” which covers these slide guitar essentials in detail. If you enjoy the excerpt, the full instructional series is available on DVD or Digital Download at: www.JustinJohnsonLive.com/store.html.
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