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How To Use Slides Creatively

How To Use Slides Creatively

When choosing what to play while improvising, many guitar players overlook “How” to play something, and often end up focusing on “What” to play. In this article we are going to look at one aspect of “how” to use slides in your improvisations.

First, let’s define what a slide is on the guitar:

• A slide is when you fret a note on the guitar with one finger, and without releasing the pressure you slide that same finger to the next note. In the example below, use your pointer finger and press down the 5th fret on the “G” string, and then without releasing the pressure slide up to the 7th fret.

• A second type of slide is what’s called a “Slide from nowhere”. This means that instead of fretting the note before the slide, you simply pick the string and simultaneously slide your finger immediately to the target note, which results in a “slide” sound effect.

Many times when listening to a student improvise, I am looking for the use of when, where and how often slides are used. In many amateur guitar players, there is almost no use of slides, and instead they pick every single note. By fretting every note, your playing will sound very mechanical, and therefore will not sound fluent or natural to your listener.

In order to break out of the habit of always fretting every note, we are going to look at how we can take a scale or mode and start off by applying slides to first the pattern, then to a melodic phrase.

We’ll use the pentatonic scale for our examples today:

First, play the Pentatonic Scale with picking only.

Second, play the Pentatonic Scale with sliding only. On this example, we are sliding “from” & “to” our starting notes.

Finally, let’s create a melodic phrase using picking and sliding together. In this example, you will see in the first measure that I use what is called a “Slide From No-Where”. This means that I am not fretting the note before the slide, instead I am simply picking the string and simultaneously sliding

After playing each of the examples above, you will be able to hear a significant difference in how implementing slides into your improvisation will improve your sound and creativity. This takes time to develop, but if you practice with a purpose and intend to implement this technique, it will eventually come natural to your playing.

Here is the order to practice implementing slides to your scales/modes.

• Learn the scale/mode first without slides until you have it 100% memorized with no errors. You want to be able to execute any scale at this point without thinking about where you need to place your fingers.
• Play the scale/mode using slides only. This step not only helps you to further memorize the pattern you will be playing, but it also primes you for step C.
• Begin creating melodic phrases while using a combination of picking & sliding. At this point you should be able to do Steps A & B flawlessly.

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Vintage Electric Guitars for Collectors

Vintage Electric Guitars for Collectors

The debate rages on as to what was the first modern electric guitar, however, the Rickenbacker (aka the Ken Roberts) electric guitar is one of the front-runners of that race. One, in particular, a 1935 Rickenbacker, a
full-scale electro Spanish guitar, sold with a price tag of $7.5 million dollars on March 3, 2017. Although the receipt was notarized, the sale could not be independently verified.

The guitar wasn’t very popular when it was in its prime, but it laid down the basics for current guitar designs. Very few of these guitars are left making the typical cost of them around $3,000 to $5,000.

Rickenbacker also made the Electro-Spanish Model B (aka the Electro Hawaiian) which was the Ken Robert’s more popular twin, with a solid body made of Bakelite walls. This instrument lit the way for solid body guitars
to come to the spotlight in the 1950s.

Rickenbacker was founded in 1931 as the Ro-Pat-In Corporation in order to sell Hawaiian guitars. They were based in Santa Ana, California and in 1932 were the first to produce electric guitars.

Guitar Notes on Electric Innovation:

The most innovative creation after that has to be the “log guitar” which was a 4×4 post with a neck attached and homemade hardware and pickups. It had Epiphone hollow body haves for decoration. This franken-guitar was built by none other than Les Paul in 1940.  Here is a look at this guitar.

He understood that the solid body would combat the terrible feedback of the hollow models. The designers knew of the feedback issue long before “the log” came into creation as the Rickenbacker models had some solid Bakelite models then. Most guitar manufacturers didn’t show interest in his solid body electric guitars until Fender had its own line in the 1950s.

Guitar Notes on Interesting Sales this Month:

1954 Gretsch Round up – A rare guitar and one that rarely comes up for sale. They have so many bells and whistles that they are sure to have something wrong with them by the time they come to the shop whether its cosmetic or not. It’s a bit country-western looking, it even has a leather western motif bridge piece that gives it a look like a western belt buckle.

1958 Gibson Korina Flying V – One of the most cool looking vintage guitars. They really were out of their time. They were produced limitedly in 1958 from korina wood and fewer than 100 Vs were ever made in the original production. The guitars were discontinued in 1959. It was initially an unpopular axe, but now they are on the top of the most coveted list. Blues guitarists Lonnie Mack and Albert King both started using these guitars
immediately.

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