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Slide Styles

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(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 830
 

I've been studying ,"Warren Haynes, Guide to Slide Guitar."

While I was at it I purchased Warren Haynes, Hot Licks, "Electric Blues & Slide Guitar," as well as "The Best of Warren Haynes " song book.

My wife gave me a Father's Day gift certificate at Amazon.

Needless to say, you could see who I'd been listening to.


   
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(@phangeaux)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 144
 

Phangeaux, great to see you!

I don't think anyone ought to think that playing in either standard or open tunings is the "best" or "only" way to slide. Both have advantages and disadvantages for particular situations. Ideally one could use both. Standard is just one of many alternate tunings, IMO. I don't like the terms "standard" and "alternate."

For learning slide in standard and Drop D, there's nothing better than the videos produced by Kirk L'Orange.

Hi Ricochet. Yeah I haven't been around much to post and with me that usually means that I am probably doing something else like actually studying and playig music, so when I don't show up that is probably a good thing. Alot of times when I do post it is when I am burnt out and often up late with insomnia or something, or not feeling well. have been down for a couple of weeks actually and todayI am better and getting readyu to get out and pay bills etc. I tend to agree with you about tunings in that I feel they are all completely relative and standard tuning is somewhat arbitrary. However I have read some expert analyses as to why a guitar is tuned the way it is (what we call standard tuning) and it would be difficult to argue with technical experts in music, but still, ultimately I believe it is all relative from the start and the system we use has evolved from making some arbitrary standards to define various parameters, frequency relationships, etc. Mainly these standards are so that different instruments are able to interact with each other at same frequencies, notes and scales, so in order to do that there has to be a standard reference pitch and standard scales, etc.

Slide is interesting because we can use notes that are outside of the scales of sharps and flats, like sliding into a nice sounding blues note that is only 1/2 sharp or therabouts. It definately seems like those notes belong in the scales and even notes that are 1/4 sharp (or flat), so we could easily double or quadruple the nunmber of notes between octaves if we wanted to, in effect the whole frequency range between octaves belongs there but isn't described in the standard notation. So I guess that means that the standard notes and their frequency relationships are pretty much arbitrary. When we explore the music of other cultures I think we find different standards and different relationships. I can't cite any examples at the moment, it's not my area of expertise either.

Anyhow, there are times when I like to forget about standards, rules and conventions and just play free flowing and try to discover something new and different.

I love my tricone but I don't play it very often because I don't like to have to change the tunings back and forth with the heavy guage strings. Instead I keep a wood bodied acoustic and an electric within reach and I don't mind changing the tunings on those frequently. Once in awhile I'll get the tricone out and go over the stuff I've been working on. It's always a treat to play it.

Time is running late I have to get going- I'll catch you later Ricochet.

Phangeaux

Phangeaux
BadBadBlues


   
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(@phangeaux)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 144
 

I've been studying ,"Warren Haynes, Guide to Slide Guitar."

While I was at it I purchased Warren Haynes, Hot Licks, "Electric Blues & Slide Guitar," as well as "The Best of Warren Haynes " song book.

My wife gave me a Father's Day gift certificate at Amazon.

Needless to say, you could see who I'd been listening to.

After I posted last night I was looking at the Warren Haynes slide book and CD at Amazon, and it was also available with another book/cd on slide guitar. I like the idea of getting some backing tracks because I don;t have my recording gear set up yet to make my own backing tracks.

How do you rate the Warren Haynes guide to slide guitar and the CD with backing tracks? How are you doing with this and are you learning alot from it? Does he get into details about right hand string dampening?

I am tempted to buy those books. For me that is a big expenditure since I am on low income medical disability and in debt, planning to pay it all off today, but maybe I'll risk spending some more money. Also have to order Steinars CD, so I'llk have to go over my budget in detail.

Here are thew books I am looking at:
http://www.amazon.com/Warren-Haynes-Guide-Slide-Guitar/dp/1575605244

Phangeaux

Phangeaux
BadBadBlues


   
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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

I'm glad you're feeling better, Phangeaux!

I don't have any problem arguing with "the experts" at all. What works best depends on what you want to do. What you said about standard pitches and tuning together so you can play together on different instruments is right, of course, but doesn't have much to do with why we use the tunings (i.e., tuning patterns, not absolute pitches) we do on guitar. Tunings do have a lot to do with what chords and riffs are convenient to finger, or slide.

The reason "standard" tuning was settled on as a popular tuning is that it is quite versatile for playing in different keys. Once you learn the many arcane chord shapes, a wide variety of chords can be accessed without shifting hand position much. The learning curve is long and steep, though.

When you play in different tunings, some things get easier, some get harder. Open tunings are nice in having a full chord available on the open strings or by barring any fret. There are a bunch of nice standard licks in them that involve relatively simple patterns. A lot of them can be duplicated in standard, but aren't as simple. It's easy to modify open tuning chords; for instance if you're sliding and you want a minor chord, when your slide is over any fret from the second on up, you just fret the string tuned to the major third one fret behind the slide and you've got a minor chord. If you really want them, all the chords from standard tuning are there in other tunings, but some will have to be voiced differently for practical fingerings. But you don't need all that to play basic country blues, which is what I mainly do. That music was developed by simple country folk, and doesn't require a conservatory education in music to be able to play it. It sounds best when played in original form, IMO.

Open tunings are easier to slide in because you can't really hit a disharmonious note when the slide's barring a full chord. In standard it's easy to hit some really bad sounding combinations, and good skills in string muting are a must. It's more difficult to play solo with a slide melody accompanied by a chordal bass line in standard. Kirk Lorange can do it right impressively, but he's been working on it for years, too. If you're playing in a band that jumps around all the time to different keys, and someone's going to be playing bass for you, it'll likely be more convenient for you to play in standard.

Anyway, there's no reason we all have to play the same things or the same way. And definitely no reason to put any tunings down, if a player can use them to do what he wants to do. Can someone figure out a way to play some blues riff in standard tuning? Sure! Most of 'em have been long ago. But it may be a piece of cake to play in one of the standard open tunings, in which it was originally done. They're often very useful for expressing yourself in new stuff as well. And a new guitarist can find him/herself able to make decent sounding music a lot quicker with them. I can take someone who's never played a guitar, hand 'em one in Open D or another open tuning, show 'em the open strings, fifth and seventh frets and have 'em strumming a basic 12-bar blues in a few minutes. There's a lot you can do musically with that. A lot of well known musicians never got much past that, either. It's not necessarily technical virtuosity that makes great music.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@witchdoctor)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 124
 

And just to comment on the previous post, I was a guitarist for 28 years before taking up steel, and the closest I ever came to an alternate tuning was dropping the E to D on a Stones cover. Taking up lap steel made me explore intervals, modes and the relationships between chord groupings much more closely, without sacrificing the ability to improvise a little. Going to 8 strings opened it up even more. I'd say that my musical vocabulary is easily 5 times what it was, and I started steel just a couple of years ago. As far as which way to go, just try different things out, spend a couple of weeks with each, and the one you will be most comfortable with will appear as if by magic!!!


   
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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 7833
 

I found it really helpful in understanding intervals to use open tunings. It's very easy to remember which strings at any fret are tuned to the root, fifth or third, and the chords then are laid out in linear fashion that makes it visually obvious. Kinda like a keyboard.

Some of those steel tunings get complex! :lol:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@tinsmith)
Prominent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 830
 

I love the Haynes Slide book. It's definately changed my slide playing for the best. He tells you what to do as far a dampening, then it's a matter of touch, dampening & getting used to it. I've just begun the advanced section. I may post a couple of example soon for S&G's.

After getting into the book, you'll see. All of a sudden, it all makes sense.

Then it's practice, practice, practice.

I rate this book an A, but I'm not sure if I know any better.

It straightened me out.


   
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