Ariel Posen

"Speaking with Slide Guitar"

Slide guitar is perhaps the closest we can get to replicating the human voice on the guitar. In his series "Speaking With the Slide", world renown slide player Ariel Posen will guide you through slide scale positions in standard and open tuning, as well as teaching you to use such freeing techniques as playing behind the slide that will open a world of possibilities for your slide playing!

Ariel will be guiding you through slide scale positions in standard and open tuning, as well as teaching you to use such freeing techniques as "playing behind the slide". Learn more or start the course with membership, or get lifetime access with purchase.

Course Details
30 Lessons
5 Hour+ Runtime
Tabs (gpx, pdf)
Playalong Tracks
4k Video
90 day guarantee
Join for 50% Off

Stream online, plus all other courses with membership.

Buy for 30% Off

Purchase for lifetime access. Download all files or stream.

The Blues Course Collection

Black Friday Deals - Save $100 on this Collection

This course is a part of our Blues Course Collection, featuring 4 artists addressing this popular topic. Featuring courses from Ariel Posen, Stuart Ziff, Artur Menezes and David Isaacs. Save $100 on this Collection during Black Friday.

View the Collection

Speaking with Slide

Giving the instrument a human voice

If you could choose one technique to replicate the human voice on your guitar, it would slide guitar. The long rich history of slide is rooted in just that: making your guitar sound like a human voice. Join Ariel Posen as he introduces us to his course, "Speaking with the Slide". This overview will let you know exactly what to expect from this course that will take you outside of your normal guitar playing box.

Slide Basics

Proper Technique

The bedrock for your new technique. Ariel gives us his take on selecting a slide, string gauge, guitar setup and other practical topics to get you up and running with slide guitar.

  • Selecting a Slide
  • Proper Hand Technique
  • Applying to Basic Scales
  • Dialing in Your Sound

Hit the ground running with a solid foundation for technique and slide essentials.

Articulation & Flavor

Mimicking the Human Voice

Add serious vibrato and feel with proper technique and thoughtful note choice. Ariel walks you through the essential articulation topics needed to unlock the power of the slide.

  • Playing "Behind the Slide"
  • Using Dynamics
  • Applying Vibrato
  • Giving it "a voice"

Giving your instrument a real "voice" with useful techniques and ideas.

Licks & Jamming

Adding vocabulary

Ariel demonstrates go-to licks with your slide, with accompanying ideas for improvisation and "freedom" with your technique. Includes ideas for standard and open tunings.

  • Tabs & JamTracks Included
  • Licks in Various Tunings
  • Applying Drone Ideas
  • Playing Freely

Apply slide techniques in a comfortable manner, and unlock the music in your head.

Full Lesson Listing

View all topics, discussions and lesson information provided in this exclusive course.


Series Introduction

If you could choose one technique to replicate the human voice on your guitar, it would slide guitar. The long rich history of slide is rooted in just that: making your guitar sound like a human voice. Join Ariel Posen as he introduces us to his course, "Speaking with the Slide". This overview will let you know exactly what to expect from this course that will take you outside of your normal guitar playing box.

Slide Guitar Essentials


The Nuts and Bolts of Slide Guitar

First, there are a few things that need to be addressed before we even play a note using the slide. In this lesson, Ariel gives us his take on selecting a slide, string gauge, guitar setup and other practical topics to get you up and running with slide guitar!


Proper Hand Technique

So much of getting the slide to sound great is born out of good hand technique. From muting and the "sandwich" technique, to bar placement on the strings, Ariel puts you in the best situation to succeed with these technique tips.


The Major Scale - Standard Tuning

Playing slide is not about re-learning your instrument, it's about integrating certain techniques with your existing knowledge. In this lesson, we start down the path of that integration, with learning to play the major scale with the slide in standard tuning.


The Minor Scale - Standard Tuning

Now Ariel takes a look at the minor scale in standard tuning, both horizontally and vertically.


The Minor Pentatonic Scale - Standard Tuning

On to the scale that is a must have for slide and non-slide players: the minor pentatonic scale in standard tuning.


The Major Pentatonic Scale - Standard Tuning

Now the last standard tuning scale that we are going to drill - the major pentatonic scale.

Open Tunings


Intro to Open Tuning

Ariel now turns our attention to open E tuning. Because of the tuning intervals, this tuning allows us to stack scale notes and chords within the same fret, thus giving us simpler slide positioning and different colors to work with when playing slide.


The Major Scale - Open Tuning

This part of the course focuses on becoming as comfortable and familiar as possible with our scales in open E tuning. Remember that our hand positioning has changed, so be sure to refer to the tablature if you are unsure of where you should position your slide. In this lesson, we will start with the major scale.


The Minor Scale - Open Tuning

Now on to the minor scale in open E tuning. Remember, the practicing and repetitions are a very important element to get us to the desired comfort level with these scales!


The Minor Pentatonic Scale - Open Tuning

The minor pentatonic scale is perhaps the most familiar scale that we all know in standard tuning. Ariel's goal in this lesson is to get you just as familiar with this scale in open E tuning!


The Major Pentatonic Scale - Open Tuning

And finally, we use this lesson to drill the major pentatonic scale in open E tuning. Remember to refer to the tab if you are unsure of the note positions on the fretboard.

Beyond the Slide


Playing "Behind the Slide"

Now that we have learned all of our primary scales using the slide, it is time to look a technique designed to add back in some of the freedom of playing with our fingers: playing behind the slide. Being a real master of this technique, Ariel explains the concept and shows us the nuts and bolts of the technique in this lesson.


Playing “Behind the Slide” - Scales

In this lesson, Ariel shows us what it takes to play certain scales "behind the slide".


Playing “Behind the Slide” - Chords

One thing that playing behind the slide allows us to do is to expand our chord vocabulary while using the slide. It takes us out of having to only use vertical slide positions in the same fret. Ariel shows us some of our basic chord positions and voicings that will make chord playing with the slide an enhancement to our music and not a hindrance.


Double Stops

The concept of playing two notes at a time in a melodic line (double stops), is certainly not a new concept. we have all done when playing "regular" guitar. Here, Ariel shows us how to incorporate double stops while adding the slide to the mix.


Play What You Already Know

So often when we put a slide on our finger we feel like we have to totally re-invent the way we play guitar. Ariel is here to tell us that this is not so! In this lesson we learn how to incorporate the slide into the licks and riffs we have already been playing.

Included JamTrack "Fade"

Slide Articulations


Slide and Intonation

Now we begin to look at the subtleties of playing slide guitar - the articulations. Perhaps the most important articulation is intonation. The very voice and character that you play with is greatly affected by your intonation. Here Ariel takes a look at finding the "sweet spot" of intonation, and how to approach notes in a way that gives them that character.


Getting a Good Tone

Getting a good tone when playing slide is less about amps and guitars and more about fingers - specifically your picking hand fingers. In this lesson, Ariel demonstrates the different tones you can achieve with a pick and without.


Slide Dynamics

Playing with dynamics is a concept that applies to all types of guitar playing, but perhaps even more with slide. After all, having a big piece of metal or glass on your finger can make it a challenge to remember the subtle nature of playing with dynamics. Ariel shows us how to use touch and volume to create the desired level of dynamics in your playing.


Vibrato with Slides

Vibrato is a technique that not only gives character to your guitar playing, it conveys your personality on the guitar, giving voice to your emotion and state of mind. Vibrato can be subtle, or it can be intense - there is no right or wrong! Ariel explores the various "states" of vibrato in this, the last lesson on the slide articulations.

Included JamTrack "Better Late Than Never"


Bass Notes with the Slide

Expanding on the idea of making good use of our other fingers while also using the slide, Ariel shows us the idea of using our "free" fingers to play bass notes, while the slide accentuates chords above said bass notes. These techniques give us maximum flexibility and versatility so that we are not locked into notes that are vertical on our fretboard.

Learning Licks


Licks and Tricks in Standard Tuning

When we think of slide guitar, it is not a stretch to think of other instruments like lap steel and pedal steel, which are just a "stone's throw" away, musically speaking. In this lesson, Ariel shows us three different licks that were designed to sound like a pedal steel guitar, thus giving even more variety to our slide playing.

Included JamTrack "Better Late Than Never"


Licks and Tricks in Open Tuning

Now Ariel looks at the same licks in open E tuning. Although they are basically the same, they have a much different flavor. You will have a chance to practice the licks, and hear what they sound like in context with Ariel's song "Fade".

Included JamTrack "Fade"


Droning Low Strings

Droning certain notes while playing with the slide over the top of them is a favorite technique of slide players. It allows you to create mood and color in a very simple way. Ariel starts the droning section of this series with a demonstration of droning the bottom strings while using the slide on the top strings.


Droning High Strings

While droning the bottom strings and playing high string lends itself more to a "solo" guitar approach, droning the high strings lends itself to being used in the context of a full band situation. Here, Ariel shows us what that technique sounds like in the context of his song - "Better Late Than Never".

Included JamTrack "Better Late Than Never"


Three String Drone

Up until now, we have only droned two strings at once. In this lesson, Ariel uses the top three strings to drone. Given that we are in open E tuning, that gives us an E chord to drone over (E, B and G#), which in turn gives even more flavor to our chordal sounds.

Improvising with Slide Guitar


Note Relationships and Playing What's in Your Head

The way we see notes in our heads dictates a lot in our playing and note choice. Sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in the letter names of the notes, but most of us know that makes choosing notes in the spur of the moment more challenging. Ariel talks about changing the way we think of notes in this lesson - less in terms of letter names, and more of numbers and intervals. Practicing how we hear and name these notes can have a tremendous effect on how free we are in our playing.


Improvising Comfortably in Open Tuning

Now it is time to pull together all the things that we have been working on, and let those things serve us in our quest to improvise a solo. Remember all that time you spend practicing the scales with the slide on? Now is time to reap the reward!

Included JamTrack "Try"


Improvising Comfortably in Standard Tuning

The differences between standard and open tuning are subtle, but there are "flavor" differences that we can hear. Ariel now demonstrates a slightly different flavored solo in standard tuning.

Included JamTrack "Try"

Own this course for life with full purchase, or become a member for streaming access.

Arial Posen is a singer, songwriter, producer, and internationally-renowned guitarist. A lifelong musician, there are few roles Ariel Posen hasn't played.

Although born in Winnipeg, Posen spent much of his childhood on the road, traveling from show to show with his musician parents. He began playing guitar at 9 years old, kicking off a career that eventually found him traveling the globe for his own gigs, including shows as a member of the Juno Award winning, roots-rock band The Bros. Landreth. Several years later, Posen began working on an album of his own, tracking his new songs in the same studio in which his parents once recorded their albums.

How Long marks Posen's long-awaited solo debut, showcasing not only his chops as an instrumentalist, but his talents as a diverse songwriter, too. The record casts a wide net, moving from rootsy blues to R&B to melodic rock & roll. A co-writer and producer for artists of all genres, Posen shows the full range of his talents on these 10 tracks, nodding to his influences — including The Beatles, Stevie Ray Vaughan, John Mayer and more — along the way. How Long is not a guitar record, although there's certainly plenty of guitar to be heard here. Instead, it's a song record, filled with hooks, autobiographical lyrics, and Posen's compelling voice.

"The guitar is the tool to get the music out," he says. "Always serve the song first. Otherwise, you're just playing an instrument.”

Get Started & Save

Order for Lifetime Access or become a Member

30 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.

4k Video

Filmed in 4k with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

Tabs & Info

Download tabs, helpers, JamTracks and docs.

Practice Help

Practice alongside the teacher with guided sessions.

Guitar Pro

All tabs provided in PDF and Guitar Pro formats.


Lifetime Access: Steam & Download

Lifetime access. Download all files to your devices or stream online. Includes all videos, tabs and supplemental material.

  • Lifetime Access: Stream or Download
  • Video Quality: 4k, 1080p, 720p
  • Download all Tabs & JamTracks
  • 90 Day Satisfaction Guarantee
Buy for 30% Off

Instant Access upon Purchase

Join & Save

Stream & Unlock Full Platform

Spring Savings Event with sub-Netflix prices and 2020 Guitarist Toolkits. Unlock all artists, courses and platform features.

  • Stream All Artists & Courses
  • Video Quality: 4k, 1080p, 720p
  • Unlock 450+ Courses and All Artists
  • Live Courses Daily + Teaching Tools
Join for 50% Off

Over 500,000 Guitarists Served

90 day guarantee. If you don't like the course, then we don't like your money.