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How to Play Slide Guitar

Learn how to play slide guitar. This technique will add a whole new sound to your guitar playing even using the same notes as a regular lick, it will sound like a new lick.

Slide guitar will fit into most music styles but it is used in Country, Blues and Rock most often. Slide guitar is often called bottle neck guitar because that’s what they used to use as a guitar slide.

This style started out as a tool for singers to answer their lyrics like background singers or to give that lonesome train whistle sound and mood.

Slide Steel Guitar
How to Play Slide Guitar

Don’t confuse slide guitar with the Steel guitar used in Country music. Steel guitars have more strings and use pedals to change some of the strings pitch. These are usually played sitting down because a Steel guitar is like a guitar neck on a small table some have two necks on one table tuned differently.

Steel guitar players bend notes as they use a slide. We are limited in this area because we can’t bend and slide at the same time however two guitars could get close to this sound with some practice. One sliding and one bending into the same note or notes or harmony notes.

Steel guitars sound really good in Country music. There are some licks we can get on slide guitar that sound like some of the Steel guitar licks.

The Hawaiian slide sound is believed to be the first slide guitar before the Steel and Bottleneck versions.

Dave Mason does a version of his song Every Women using a steel guitar in it.

Slide Guitar Set Up
How to Play Slide Guitar

To be able to play slide guitar you may have to make some changes to your guitar and strings.

You need to use medium to heavy strings to get a good slide sound, thin strings don’t work good.

You might need to adjust the height of your strings so you don’t get fret buzz or banging sounds.

Usually an acoustic guitar can used the way it is without changing things unless you have extra light strings on it.

For electric guitars you need one that can sustain a note which is any guitar nowadays with all the electronic goodies out there.

The preferred guitars by slide players are the National resonator guitar , Gibsons’ Les Paul and the Fenders’ Stratocaster.

Any guitar if set up right will work, the above guitars are preferred by top slide players because they can afford them.

Slide Guitar String Height
How to Play Slide Guitar

If you are going to fret notes as well as play slide you have to set your string height so you can do both.

If you set the strings too high you will have a hard time fretting notes and chords.

If you are going to use the guitar for strictly slide the string height won’t matter. This also limits your playing on this guitar. I like to be able to fret chords and notes as well as play slide.

Another thing you need to check with your strings on electric guitars is that sometimes the strings are set to the curve of the fingerboard. Your strings need to be inline for the slide to hit them all. You can adjust them at the bridge.

Slide Guitar String Gauge
How to Play Slide Guitar

You need to use a medium to heavy gauge string to get clean slide notes. This is true even if you use distortion, you won’t get the right basic sound to distort.

If you are used to extra light strings you may have to get used to this extra pressure you have to use to play notes. Slow down because you won’t be able to play as fast until you get used to them and strengthen your muscles.

You don’t need real heavy strings just heavy enough to give you clean sound on all strings. Every guitar is different so you will have to experiment to get a set you like.

Guitar Slide Types
How to Play Slide Guitar

There are several different types of slides each one gives a different tone.

  • Steel = Loud – Good for Heavy Metal
  • Brass = A little more mellow than Steel
  • Glass = A very Smooth sound
  • Ceramic = A slightly different sound than glass

The best way to find out what you like is to try them. Every guitar is different and will produce different results with various slides.

The slide should be long enough to cover all the strings. It should fit just right, not too tight and not too loose.

Most players use them on the little finger so they can still play chords and notes. This may take a little practice to be able to finger a chord with the slide on your finger. Keep at it and you will get it. Relax your fingers.

How to Hold a Slide
How to Play Slide Guitar

This is better to show you in a short video.

How to Use a Guitar Slide

The picking hand in traditional slide usually plays a steady bass line with the thumb and a melody line with the fingers.

This is a good way to introduce yourself to fingerpicking.

You can use a thumb pick which helps accent the bass notes.

Finger picks are for Steel guitar and Banjo players because the strings are heavier and tuned with more tension.

Pick Picking

You can use a pick also especially with electric slide where someone else is playing the rhythm and you are only playing the lead or fill-ins.

You can hybrid pick too. This is where you play a note with the pick and also play another one or two notes with your fingers. This lets you play just the strings you want like finger picking actually because it’s half finger picking.

Slide Guitar Tunings

Standard Tuning

You usually have your guitar tuned to an open chord when playing slide guitar but not always.

George Harrison from the Beatles played slide in the standard tuning. It’s a good way to add a little something to normal playing without changing tunings.

Standard Tuning Open Chords

In standard tuning the 2, 3 and 4 strings are a major G chord and the 3, 2 and 1 strings are an E minor chord.

Open Tunings

There are two open tunings that are used most of the time. The E tuning and the G tuning.

Both of these tuning can be tuned a whole tone away from E and G. The E can be tuned down to a D tuning and the G tuning can be tuned up a whole tone to the A tuning.

The E Tuning

The E tuning is the same as the E major chord. E B E G♯ B E from heavy E to light E.

The D tuning is the same except one whole tone lower. D A D F♯ A D – 6th string to 1st string.

The G Tuning

This tuning is based on another barre chord type. The tuning is one octave lower than this chord.

The 2, 3 and 4 strings stay the same as the standard tuning. Keep track of the 3rd string to know which chord you are on. I find this easier than trying to remember the A is now G.

The A tuning is one whole tone higher than the G tuning. That’s the only difference except it’s harder on the guitar neck.

Than You for Visiting Our How to Play Slide Guitar Page


The Circle of 4ths

The circle of 4ths is how chords change in most music. They can be major, minor, 7th’s or anything else. This is how it’s not that hard to remember songs.

The parts of a song that are different than the 4th movements are what makes it different.

If you are reading this page you should know about music intervals the link below will open a new window so you can go back and forth if you need to.

Music Intervals

Not Every Song

Not every song follows this 4th movement but it is quite common.

You will find a lot of songs that use this movement for about 75% of the song.

The chords can go from or to a major, minor, 7th’s or any other chord form. It’s the root note of the chord that follows the circle of 4ths movement.

In a song you will not go through all the cycle of 4ths only one or two changes but it is good to know the whole circle to make it easier to remember chord changes to songs, because this movement will become automatic.

Circle of 4ths

You can start anywhere and follow across the list down to the next row back to your starting point.

Two Five One – Circle of 4ths

Many Jazz songs are based on the ii V I(two-five-one) progression. These are the two five one chords of the major scale.

If you were in C the chords would be Dm7 G7 and Cma7. D to G is a 4th and G to C is a 4th. When you start over from Cma7 to Dm7 it’s a major 2nd. However the Dm7 is also an F6. So it’s technically a 4th.

Major Chords – Minor Chords

Every major chord can become a minor 7th chord by adding a 6th to it. A C6(C-E-G-A) has the same notes as an Am7(A-C-E-G) just with a fifferent bass note.

Also every minor chord can become a major 6th by adding a flatted 7th to it, the reverse of the above.

I to IV Chord Movement

You will find the I chord to the IV chord a very common 4th move. Some songs are based on this move. The Rolling Stones song You Can’t Always Get What You Want is almost entirely I(C) to IV(F).

A two-Five(ii-V) move is a common 4th movement. This one uses a minor as the first chord. In F it would be Gm7 to C. This is the basic chords for Evil Woman by Santana.

If you need to know more about major scale structure this link will open a new window so you can go back and forth if you have to.

Major Scale Primer

Starting Point – Circle of 4ths

When following the 4ths you need to go back to your 1st chord(In Your Mind) and not forward if the songs calls for it.

In other words if you move from C to F this is a 4th forward, C-D-E-F If you went forward again from the F chord it would be a 5th, F-G-A-B-C.

If you move back you are going down a 4th F-E-D-C. You are still going to C but it can cause confusion sometimes as to whether you are moving five notes or four.

The 4ths circle starting with C will take you thru the keys starting with the flat keys.

Understanding the circle of 4ths can be confusing also because some call this back peddling through the circle of 5ths.

The Bottom Line

The main thing is that you know these chord changes on your guitar by heart because they will be in all types of music.

You will find that songs go into and out of this circle in the course of most songs.

Here is a short circle of 4ths progression using major chords



Windows Media

Circle of 4ths progression using major chords

If you aren’t used to barre chords take your time and get good clean notes on all your notes. Speed is a bi-product of accuracy. You will get faster but get accurate first. Fast and sloppy is not good guitar playing.

Check out the Barre Chords page.

Guitar Barre Chords

You see why it’s a circle it goes right back to the starting note. No matter where you start if you continue you will get back to the first note or chord.

Short Chords

A good way to learn the guitar neck is by learning 3 note chords in the circle of 4ths.

The first ones will be on the 2,3 and 4 strings.

Give Me an R

The R in the clear finger circle stands for root note of the chord. In case you can’t see it too good.

These 3 chord forms will take you through the cycle of 4ths up the neck

Just go from the 1st form to the 2nd, from the 2nd to the 3rd and start over with the 1st but up the neck where your root note is.

In other words after the G chord you would move up to the 5th fret and play the first form, the A would be a C here.

If you want to learn more about triads go to link below.

Learn Your Triads

More Short Chords

Here are 3 more chord forms. These are on the 3rd, 2nd and 1st strings

Just work these chords up the neck like up above.

These triads exist on the other strings 5, 4, 3 and 6, 5, 4 too but these are most useful because of the easier fingerings and higher pitch.

The lower string sets tend to be muddy but you should still learn them for single string picking and arpeggios. Check out the triads page from the above link.


Minor Blues Scale

Discover the minor blues scale for improvising. This scale is used for blues and rock licks just as much as the minor Pentatonic.

Blues scales are pentatonic scales with an added note between the 4th and 5th note. However this one note changes the whole scale.

Try this scale along with the pentatonic for more feeling.

In other words an A minor scale would be the same as a C major scale and vice versa.

Here are the two scales first the major then the minor.

Here is what they both sound like. They almost sound identical at first listen. Practice being able to tell them apart.

The major scale is built 1-2-3♭-3-5-6

The minor scale is built 1-3♭-4-5♭-5-7

The major and minor blues in A

Minor Blues

Minor Blues Patterns

The R stands for the root of the scale.

To use the minor blues in the same key as the major you have to move it up 3 frets

The diamonds are the Blue Notes. This is what’s different from the major pentatonic.

The minor blue notes are the flatted 5 and 7.

The 6th string is on your left the nut is on the top

The Minor Blues Scale

Major Blues Scales

I hope you found this page useful.


Locrian Sharp 6 ModeAnother Improvising Tool

The locrian sharp 6 mode comes from the 2nd note of the harmonic minor scale

This mode will give you something to play over minor 7th flat five chords. These are usually short time chords.

These chords also have other names. A Bm7♭5 is also a Dm6 and a G9/no root. So this scale can be used on these chords as well.

Here I’m going to play the B Locrian sharp 6 over a Bm7♭5 chord.



Windows Media

The B Locrian sharp 6 mode played against an A B minor flat 5 chord

Locrian ♯6 Mode

Locrian ♯6 List

The E♭ and D♯ modes are the same pitch just written different. This is where I switched to the sharp keys.

The Formula


This one isn’t too helpful. Here is the locrian formula.


Make the ♭6 of the Locrian mode a natural(up one fret) and you have it.

Sometimes its just easier to think of this as mode 2. The harmonic minor but start on the 2nd note.

In the key of A minor it’s easy because all you need to remember is the G is sharp and everything else is natural.

Learn Scales Easy
With This Software

(Opens New Window)


Two Chord Progressions

Two chord progressions are very common. The Rolling Stone’s song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is a good example of this.

The Beatles “Lady Madonna” and “I’ll Cry Instead” are two more examples.

There may be one or two other chords but the main body of the song is two chords, usually a I to IV or a ii to V both are a fourth apart.

Do Wa Diddy is another song that is basically a two chord song, I to IV but the IV only lasts for two beats or half a bar.

Here is a link for the Beatles I’ll Cry Instead>

Beatles I’ll Cry Instead – Vinyl
I’ll Cry Instead – Tab
(Opens New Window)

Two Chord Phrases

Sometimes two chords are used together as a phrase acting like a unit or riff rather than two separate chords.

Here is an example of a I-IV as in a Rhythm and Blues Style.

C to F rhythm and Blues Shuffle

I to vi Two Chord Progressions

This progression is the first half of the 50’s progression I vi IV V. It’s also used in a back and forth manner for lyrics in a song that match these notes in the chords.

Doo Wop Music – mp3’s
Doo Wop Music Books
(Opens New Window)

This can also be used as a base for a songs’ verse before going into the bridge or break.

Here is an example in C.

C to Aminor or I to vi chord change in C

This is played using these two chords.

Another version of this was made popular in the 50’s by Chuck Berry. That rhythm that he is known for is a I to vi change but played differently.

The roots for this comes from the Blues guitarists from the early 1900’s

Chuck Berry Music – mp3’s
Chuck Berry Music Books
(Opens New Window)

This way of playing it and variations are used in millions of songs.

Here are the chords. You only need to move the 4th finger.

The 3rd finger stays on the 4th and 5th string all the time. You may need to practice this a bit to get your 3rd finger laying flat.

You only play the 3 top strings and you can mute them slightly with the heel of your picking hand.

When you add an A or 6th to C or I chord you make a I6 or in this case a C6. A C6 has the same notes as an Am7 or vi7.

Why Play the Whole Chord?

The reason for fingering the whole chord is because you can add other things with this rhythm.

Here is an example of combining this with the rhythm and blues riff above.

A Combo rhythm of Chuck Berry and Rhythm and Blues

This is just a sample of what you can do with these. You can change them around, add notes, anything that sounds good and fits the music you’re playing.

A Must Know
Two Chord Progressions Rhythm

Here is one riff that you need for rock, blues and country guitar. It’s an offshoot of the above.

It’s a 4th finger stretcher so if you have trouble move the chord up the neck where the frets are closer together and work your way down as you gain some stretch.

Here are the chord forms for this.

The C6 goes back to the C and you start over again. This can also be done with the F chord form near the top of the page except you play these notes on the 5th string.

You can mute the 6th string the whole time, ignore the 6th string in the F.

More Two Chord Progressions

This is just an extension of the C to C6 guitar chord progressions above.

Here is what it sounds like.

More Chuck Berry Style in C

Here are the Chords

This one is a little finger stretcher too. Work it down the neck one fret at a time and have fun.

The ii-V Two Chord Progressions

This two chord progression is a good jamming chord progression.

A good song example of this is Santana’s “Evil Ways”. The only other chord is a VI7. This song can also be in the G minor melodic or harmonic scale as long as the Gm and C chords are triads.

Evil Ways – mp3
Evil Ways – Tab
(Opens New Window)

The chords for this song are Gm to C with a D7 as a quick turnaround chord.

Here is a quick listen.

A two five progression in F G minor to C

This is just back and forth. You just change quicker on the second one. Later on in the song you accent on the upstroke before going to D7

You might like the D7 in the 10th position better because you can get a nice long slide down to start again with the Gm to C. If you listen to the song you will know what I mean.

Another ii-V guitar chord progression.

Another song that only uses the ii-V progression is “Lowdown” written by Boz Scaggs and David Paich.

Boz Scaggs – Low Down
Boz Scaggs – Tab
(Opens New Window)

This song uses chord extensions a minor 9th for the ii chord and a 13th for the dominant chord.

This song is written in E flat.

You can choose which note to play on the 5th or 6th string of the Fm9 chord. One is the root the other is the 5th. I use the 5th(6th string) in the mp3.

Here’s a little listen

Two five progression in E flat with embellished chords

The possibilities of two chord progressions is endless. You don’t have to stay in one key. The chords can come from any major or minor scale.

The main thing is do they sound good together.

I’ve found that the closer together the notes are from the first to the second chord the smoother the sound is and the easier to play most of the time.

One More – Two Chord Progressions

One artist that comes to mind for funk is James Brown. I think he was the origin of funk with choppy rhythms or at least the one to make them popular.

James Brown Music
James Brown Music Books
(Opens New Window)

Here is a good progression with a funky blues mood to it

Here are the chords in two positions. The E from the C chord goes to F and the B flat goes to A

This is an easy switch back and forth little progression. Here’s a sample, then you can make up your own rhythm for it

The first chord of the progression puts you in the key of F with a C tonal center, the 2nd chord puts you in the key of B flat

Your tonal center note C acts as home even though you are in the key of F. The F is acting as a IV chord which wants to resolve to I which is really V in the key of F

So even though your are in F it seems like your are in C doesn’t it? So change the B to a B flat in the C scale and you have the C mixolydian scale. Ahh… music theory.

C minor pentatonic and C minor blues scales can be be used too for improvising

C7 sharp 9 to F7th progression

Thank You for visiting our Two Chord Progressions page.

I hope you found this page useful.

Follow @learn-guitar-asap

What Is RSS?

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Click on any orange RSS button to get the latest Web pages from You can use them anywhere else on the Web (they’re everywhere nowadays) to get newsfeeds from CNN or BBC, or just about anything else, including news on upcoming movies and DVD releases, your favorite musician’s tour updates, etc.

Once you get started, it’s like having your favorite parts of the Web come to you. No need to go out and check for updates all the time. No need for bookmarks!

“RSS” means “Really Simple Syndication.” But that’s just a fancy way of saying that you can keep up with all the updates to without having to check the site every week to see “what’s new.” New pages and updates to old ones are released through RSS.

How do you get started? Easy!

Download a free RSS Reader first (or skip to the bottom to learn about Web-based readers). This is special software that reads the RSS feeds…

Windows — RssReader

Mac — NetNewsWire

Once you’re set up, here’s all you have to do…

Right-click (control-click for Mac users) on the orange RSS button on any page of this site, or any blog or news source that interests you. Select Copy Shortcut (“Copy Link to Clipboard” on a Mac), and paste that URL into your RSS Reader.

That’s it! You’ll be subscribed.

You can also use a Web-based RSS reader, like My Yahoo!, My MSN, or iGoogle/Google Reader. Look for any of these buttons on a page on this site.

Click on that button to add the RSS feed to that Web-based reader. If you don’t yet have an account, you can set up one after clicking on the button.

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Sixth Chords – aka – Minor 7th

Sixth chords are a common chord used in all styles of music. It has an alias too, it is also known as a minor 7th.

The difference is where the bass note for the chord is.

If you see a C6 in sheet music it means they want a C6 like C-E-G-A not an A-C-E-G like a minor 7th.

If you are playing rhythm guitar with a lot of other instruments it’s not as important because it won’t get noticed anyway.

Although in theory these chords are the same they have different sounds due to the order of the notes.

These chords are used a lot by keyboard players because the note is so close to the 5th. It’s a major second away.

Due to the way the guitar is tuned major 2nd’s are hard to put in a movable chord that’s easy to play.

Guitars are tuned in 4ths except for the 3rd to the 2nd which is a major third.

Also remember minor 7th’s that are also C6th’s when you are looking for a chord form to use and the best one for that song.

Chord Theory Refresher

Here is the C scale and its numbers.

Remember we usually make chords from every other note in the scale.

This chord is made by adding an adjacent(next to) note. There’s always exceptions to the rule.

The 6th chord is a 4 note chord.

It’s made 1-3-5-6

It’s made C-E-G-A

Here are some C sixth chords

Fingertip Chords

The first chord you need to have your thumb in the middle of the neck and your fingers should be on their very tips. The middle finger should lean down a bit to mute the 5th string.

To play these chords you need to stretch quite a bit. You might find it easier to start farther up the neck and work your way down.

What makes this chord hard to finger on guitar is the major 2nd interval G to A instead of a 3rd interval

Chords 1 and 2 are only one note different.

Chords 3 and 4 are identical except they are played on different strings.

Even if you can’t play these chords yet knowing about them will help your playing. These notes are in the C major pentatonic and the A minor pentatonic scales.

What the chord really is a

C chord with an A – C-E-G-A

or an

A minor chord with a G – A-C-E-G.

You can find some yourself by knowing the guitar fretboard.

Guitar Fretboard

I hope you found this page useful.

Follow @learn-guitar-asap


Written by robert griffith   
Monday, 11 August 2008 06:00

Page 1 of 5

Out of the box, Joomla! does a great job of managing the content needed to make your Web site sing. But for many people, the true power of Joomla! lies in the application framework that makes it possible for developers all around the world to create powerful add-ons that are called Extensions. An Extension is used to add capabilities to Joomla! that do not exist in the base core code. Here are just some examples of the hundreds of available Extensions:

  • Dynamic form builders
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  • Forums and chat software
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  • Banner advertising systems
  • Paid subscription services
  • and many, many, more

You can find more examples over at our ever growing Joomla! Extensions Directory. Prepare to be amazed at the amount of exciting work produced by our active developer community!

A useful guide to the Extension site can be found at:

Types of Extensions

There are five types of extensions:

  • Components
  • Modules
  • Templates
  • Plugins
  • Languages

You can read more about the specifics of these using the links in the Article Index – a Table of Contents (yet another useful feature of Joomla!) – at the top right or by clicking on the Next link below.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2008 06:00


Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.


Guitar Music Links

Guitar music links is a page for introducing you to web sites or anything else musical that you might be interested in. Below is a list of websites I found that you might like related to guitar and music in general.

Chordie Web Site

Chordie is a search engine that gets tabs and chords for tons of songs across the internet. Good site for guitar players of any style.

There is a huge number of artists and songs available. If you sign up for free you can store songs on their site so you can go back and practice it when you want.

Senior Entertainer provides Fun, Memorable Entertainment for Boomers & Seniors Who Want to Celebrate Anniversaries, Birthdays, Reunions & Weddings.* DJ & MC Your Special Event* Play Guitar, Sing & Conduct a Group Sing-a-longsMusic for the Young at Heart.


Guitar Directory Websites

Clever Joe’s

This is a Canadian based directory. Good for bands in Canada or to just browse through the sites they have listed.

Clever Joe’s

Guitar Websites

This is a UK based site with a 100 site limit. A different slant on link sites, definitely worth a look.

Guitar Websites-UK

Church Musician Job

At this site you can find a church in your area to play your guitar or whatever musical instrument you play.

Church Musician Job

Guitar Forums

A good forum for general guitar discussion.

Online Guitar Books

This is a new site that may help you learn some basics.

Acoustic Guitar Forums

A good forum site for those of you who play acoustic guitar.

Acoustic Guitar Forums

Guitar Learning Sites

Here are a few sites that offer online guitar lessons.

Guitar Alliance

Guitar Alliance

Jam Play

Jam-Play Online Guitar Lessons

Guitar Tricks

Guitar Tricks

Offline Learning

Legacy Guitar Learning System

This system has it’s lessons on Cd’s so you have access to them anytime. They have a good rating by the users of this course.

Guitar Legacy

Bass Guitar

Teach Me Bass Guitar (TMBG) has won several awards for excellence in video production, and the First Place AEGIS award for excellence in education.

TMBG consists of 10 DAD’s, 100+ play-along videos, a 162-page lesson book and unlimited access to ThunderRow, the online community and support website “for bassists, would-be bassists, and those who love them.”

Teach Me Bass Guitar is, by far, the most complete bass instruction program ever created. It’s the only self study course you’ll ever need to harness the power of the bass guitar.

Learn Bass Guitar

More on the way as I discover good quality sites and products.

Thank You for visiting the Guitar Music Links page

I hope you found this page useful.