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A Tuning and Slide Guitar (Guitar Lesson)


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Eric Madis

A Tuning and Slide Guitar

Eric introduces open A tuning and shows how some of the licks you have already learned can be transposed to the key of A.

Taught by Eric Madis in Blues Slide Guitar seriesLength: 11:26Difficulty: 2.5 of 5


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Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on September 17th, 2012

Hi Nat, Thanks for your kind words. The reason why I don't recommend A tuning for acoustics is that I think, unless you are using lighter strings, it is a bit of a load on the stop of the guitar. In most cases, I am not worried about the neck as much as the top of the guitar (if it has a pin bridge). It could cause the top to "belly", IF left to that tuning for days or weeks. I believe that, if you use light strings and play in A tuning, you will be fine, as long as you return the guitar to standard when you are finished playing slide. If you have a laminated top guitar, then you might be able to get away with the higher tuning permanently, but you just have to try it, and if you start seeing bellying, go down in tuning. I have an acoustic (a laminated Washburn) on which I play slide and I leave it in Ab tuning (just between G and A), and that works well. I have put it in A for recordings, but then return it to Ab. And yes, D and E are essentially the same tunings, as are G and A. Just a difference in tension really.

nhensonnhenson replied on July 21st, 2012

Eric, great lessons. I've learned a ton. You mention at the beginning that you do not recommend the A tuning for accoustics. I've heard that both A and E tuning can damage the necks of accoustics. Do you believe that to be the case? I've also read that D and G tuning are basically the same as E ans A tunigs, iS that true as well? If so, and I want to practce the lessons in open D or G tunings, would that be ok in your opinion?

Blues Slide Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Slide guitar and Blues go way back, and have a rich heritage of complimenting each other. The slide is a wonderful way to add that "vocal" quality to your guitar playing as well. This technique can be used with all genres of music, but Eric will cover it within the world of Blues.



Lesson 1

Introduction to Blues Slide

Eric Madis delves into the world of slide guitar and discusses how it can be used within the blues universe.

Length: 26:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Common Slide Licks

Eric Madis teaches two crucial slide guitar licks.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Slide Lick Ideas

Eric shows how the basic closed lick can be played over a twelve bar blues. He also introduces a lick by Kokomo Arnold.

Length: 12:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Kokomo Arnold Lick

Eric Madis talks more about the Kokomo Arnold lick and explains some variations developed by Elmore James and Tampa Red.

Length: 11:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Fred McDowell Licks

Eric teaches a few licks from Fred McDowell and demonstrates how they can be used in a blues progression.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Connecting Licks

Eric Madis explains how Duane Allman put his own unique spin on a classic lick played by Fred McDowell.

Length: 9:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Duane Allman Licks

Eric Madis demonstrates licks in the style of Duane Allman.

Length: 5:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Harmonica Imitation Lick

Eric Madis demonstrates how the Duane Allman style "Harmonica Imitation Lick" can be used over different chords and changes.

Length: 7:52 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Duane Allman Ideas

Eric Madis talks more about the Duane Allman style of playing and introduces the idea of playing in a box.

Length: 8:01 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Traditional Blues Slide Licks

Eric Madis teaches two classic licks in this lesson. First he covers a lick called "Son House's Train Lick." He also covers the "Electric Chair Lick."

Length: 7:47 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Elmore James Melodic Lick

Eric Madis teaches a classic blues slide lick called the "Elmore James Melodic Lick."

Length: 8:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Four Blues Slide Licks

Eric Madis introduces four new blues licks that can be played with a slide. He teaches a Charlie Patton lick, an ascending one-string turnaround, a descending turnaround lick, and also talks about sliding...

Length: 10:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Filling the Spaces

Eric Madis teaches how to fill empty spaces in an arrangement with common licks. This lesson is particularly useful for solo guitarists.

Length: 4:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Building a Solo

Eric demonstrates how the licks and techniques from previous lessons can be combined to play a smokin' blues solo.

Length: 5:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

A Tuning and Slide Guitar

Eric introduces open A tuning and shows how some of the licks you have already learned can be transposed to the key of A.

Length: 11:26 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

General Slide Tips and Tricks

Eric offers up some amazing slide guitar tips. He talks about guitar setup, how to hold the slide, which finger to use and more.

Length: 13:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Delta Blues Slide

Learn how to play the timeless Delta Blues using a slide. This lesson uses A tuning.

Length: 15:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 18

The Walking Blues

Eric teaches how to play the classic "Walking Blues" progression using a slide.

Length: 14:25 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Rollin' and Tumblin'

Eric teaches a rendition of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" that can be played with a slide.

Length: 15:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Improvisational Techniques

Eric explains how to take a blues song or progression and make it your own.

Length: 9:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Blues Shuffle Improvisation

Eric Madis demonstrates how blues licks, movable chords and other ideas can be combined to create an improvised blues shuffle.

Length: 16:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

A Tuning Lick Review

Eric Madis gives an in depth review of core blues licks in open A tuning.

Length: 18:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Dust My Broom Theme

Eric explains how the classic "Dust My Broom" lick can be used to develop a theme that spans an entire twelve bar blues.

Length: 6:01 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Linear Playing Ideas

Eric Madis demonstrates some slide licks that use a more linear approach instead of a vertical, box-based approach.

Length: 8:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Harmonica Imitation Lick Theme

Eric Madis shows how the "Harmonica Imitation Lick" can be used to create a theme that spans an entire twelve bar blues.

Length: 6:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Two Lick Theme

Eric Madis combines two classic licks to create a smokin' 12 bar blues theme.

Length: 7:10 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Eric Madis View Full Biography Eric Madis is a guitarist, singer and composer, a versatile artist whose playing and compositions reflect his diverse and thorough background in American music. Whether performing in an ensemble or as a soloist, he exudes a love and a mastery of the blues that have been refined by years of experience in jazz, country, rock, and even Hawaiian music. What results are performances that include authentic renderings of old rural blues, personal interpretations of modern urban blues and jazz standards, and original music that defies strict categorization, but that draws heavily from these traditions.

Eric lives in Seattle where he leads his own ensemble, performs as a solo act and performs in the Seattle Swing Trio. He has released four CDs on Luna Records, and is currently working on a fifth. He is on the faculty of the National Guitar Workshop and Dusty Strings Music and teaches guitar privately.

Eric lived his formative years in Colorado with a family that was musical (his mother was an accomplished opera singer), and began his music study on the piano at the age of nine. He began performing shortly after picking up a guitar at ten years of age. By the age of sixteen, he was performing in Chicago-area coffeehouses. He has accompanied artists as diverse as bluesmen Big Walter Horton, Sunnyland Slim, Deacon Jones, Hawaiian luminaries Irmgaard Aluli, Kekua Fernandez, Emma Sharpe and author/poet Nikki Grimes.

He has led bands in Illinois, Texas, Colorado and Washington. He has opened shows for Robben Ford, James Cotton, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Mem Shannon, Hawkeye Herman and author Sherman Alexie. Eric's four albums have received critical acclaim, including regional airplay and nominations from NAMA and Washington Blues Society (WBS). He has received 16 Best Blues nominations from WBS, was a finalist in the New Folk Awards at the 1981 Kerrville National Folk Festival, a finalist in the 1991 Seattle Guitar Starz competition, and has music featured on five film soundtracks. Eric has taught guitar classes at Denver Free University, University of Washington's Experimental College, Northwest Folklife Festival, National Guitar Workshop, and Canada's Guitar Workshop Plus.

Whether performing in a group or as a soloist, at a concert or a small club, teaching privately or a large workshop, Eric is a dedicated professional, with commitment to the quality of his art and to his audience.

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