Slide guitar is a captivating and soulful technique that adds a unique flavor to the sound of a guitar. Slide guitars are typically made of glass, metal, or ceramic and can produce smooth gliding notes that evoke powerful emotions.
Hence, in today’s article, we will explore 11 easy-slide guitar songs perfect for beginners. So, if you’re new to slide guitar or looking to enhance your expertise, these songs will help you and give you an enjoyable experience.
11 Easy Slide Guitar Songs for Beginners
Now, let’s dive into the world of slide guitar with these 11 easy songs that will introduce you to the captivating sounds of the slide:
Song 1: “Walking Blues” by Robert Johnson
“Walking Blues” is a classic blues song that showcases the essence of slide guitar playing. Robert Johnson’s iconic rendition will help you develop a solid foundation in slide technique and blues phrasing.
Song 2: “Statesboro Blues” by Blind Willie McTell
Blind Willie McTell’s “Statesboro Blues” is a blues standard that various artists have covered. It features a catchy slide riff and provides an excellent opportunity to work on your slide control and timing.
Song 3: “Dust My Broom” by Elmore James
Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom” is a beloved slide guitar anthem combining infectious rhythm and memorable slide licks. It’s a must-know song for any aspiring slide guitarist.
Song 4: “Cross Road Blues” by Robert Johnson
“Cross Road Blues” is another Robert Johnson masterpiece that highlights the power of slide guitar in conveying deep emotions. Its haunting melody and evocative lyrics make it a timeless classic.
Song 5: “Rollin’ and Tumblin'” by Muddy Waters
Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ and Tumblin'” is a high-energy blues track that will test your slide dexterity. This song incorporates rhythmic patterns and dynamic slide techniques that are both challenging and rewarding to learn.
Song 6: “Come On in My Kitchen” by Robert Johnson
“Come On in My Kitchen” is a soulful blues composition by Robert Johnson. It features intricate slide melodies and is an excellent platform for honing your slide guitar skills.
Song 7: “Mannish Boy” by Muddy Waters
“Mannish Boy” is a blues standard that perfectly captures the raw energy and spirit of Muddy Waters. With its catchy riff and powerful slide solos, this song will push your slide playing to new heights.
Song 8: “The Sky Is Crying” by Elmore James
“The Sky Is Crying” is a beautiful blues ballad that showcases Elmore James’ mastery of slide guitar. With this melodic and emotional piece, you’ll learn a lot, and your audience will enjoy it.
Song 9: “Death Letter Blues” by Son House
“Death Letter Blues” by Son House is a haunting blues song that demands precision and control in slide technique. It’s a challenging yet rewarding piece to learn and perform.
Song 10: “Hoochie Coochie Man” by Muddy Waters
“Hoochie Coochie Man” is a classic blues track made famous by Muddy Waters. It features a catchy slide riff and a powerful vocal delivery, making it an iconic song in the slide guitar repertoire.
Song 11: “Preaching Blues (Up Jumped the Devil)” by Robert Johnson
“Preaching Blues (Up Jumped the Devil)” is a lively blues tune by Robert Johnson. This song incorporates rhythmic slide patterns and showcases the energetic side of slide guitar playing.
Essential Techniques for Slide Guitar
Before diving into the songs, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with some fundamental techniques for slide guitar playing. With the help of these techniques, you’ll learn to achieve a smooth and controlled sound:
- Choose the Right Slide: Experiment with different slide materials, like glass, metal, or ceramic. Finding the best one that suits you well and your playing style is best.
- Correct Slide Placement: Position the slide directly above the fret, lightly touching the strings without pressing them down to the fingerboard.
- Muting Unwanted Noise: Use your non-slide fingers to lightly touch the strings behind the slide to prevent unwanted string vibrations and eliminate noise.
- Vibrato and Slides: Master the art of adding vibrato while sliding to add expression and emotion to your playing.
- Dampening Techniques: Explore various damping techniques to control, sustain, and minimize unwanted string noise.
Tips for Learning Slide Guitar
To make your journey into slide guitar playing more enjoyable and fruitful, consider the following tips:
- Start Slow: Begin by practicing the songs at a slower tempo to ensure accuracy and precision in your slide technique.
- Focus on Clean Notes: Pay attention to each note’s clarity and work on eliminating unwanted string noise.
- Develop Muscle Memory: Practice regularly to develop muscle memory for slide placement and control.
- Experiment with Vibrato: Experiment with different types of vibrato to find the style that suits your playing and adds expressiveness to your slide guitar solos.
- Listen to Slide Guitar Masters: Immerse yourself in the music of slide guitar legends like Robert Johnson, Elmore James, and Muddy Waters. Listen closely to their phrasing, tone, and approach to slide guitar playing.
Learning slide guitar opens up a world of sonic possibilities and allows you to express yourself in a unique and soulful manner. Hence, by exploring these 11 easy slide guitar songs, you’ll develop essential slide techniques, expand your musical repertoire, and embark on an exciting journey of musical discovery.
No, you can use any standard guitar for slide playing. However, guitars with higher action and heavier strings are generally more suitable for slide techniques.
The time required to become proficient in slide guitar playing varies depending on your dedication and practice routine. With regular practice, you can make noticeable progress within a few months.
Yes, you can use a bottleneck as a slide. It offers a unique tone and is a popular choice among slide guitarists.
Open tunings can enhance your slide guitar playing experience by providing a more resonant and harmonious sound. However, it’s not mandatory, and you can still play slide in standard tuning.