General Slide Tips and Tricks (Guitar Lesson)

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Eric Madis

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.

Taught by Eric Madis in Blues Slide Guitar seriesLength: 13:30Difficulty: 2.5 of 5


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Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


nate_thegreatnate_thegreat replied

don't wanna nitpick or anything, but wouldn't it make more sense to make this one of the first lessons?

AaronMillerAaronMiller replied

Excellent observation Nate! I will look into this thanks.

chrisshields2000chrisshields2000 replied

Hi Eric, thanks for taking the time to shoot this lesson...you helped clear up a lot of "the devil in the detail" questions I had about slide guitar. Great lesson. Cheers Chris p.s. I look forward to the possibility of you shooting some acoustic slide lessons :)

janthemanjantheman replied

I love love love love lovity love love LOVE these lessons!!! It's only been 3 days and I'm sliding like a big dog!!! Thank you so much Eric!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

That is great news....thanks!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

That should be a great slide guitar....you do not need to set the action higher if you are using .012s.....however, that depends on if you use the guitar for other styles of playing.

selfrobselfrob replied

Eric, thanks for the information for setting up a slide guitar. What would be a good starting point on setting up my action on my guitar for slide? I am using a Fender Starcaster with size 12 strings. Thanks. Rob

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.



Introduction to Blues SlideLesson 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
Common Slide LicksLesson 2

Common Slide Licks

Eric Madis teaches two crucial slide guitar licks.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Slide Lick IdeasLesson 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
Kokomo Arnold LickLesson 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
Fred McDowell LicksLesson 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
Connecting LicksLesson 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
Duane Allman LicksLesson 7

Duane Allman Licks

Eric Madis demonstrates licks in the style of Duane Allman.

Length: 5:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Harmonica Imitation LickLesson 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
Duane Allman IdeasLesson 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
Traditional Blues Slide LicksLesson 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
Elmore James Melodic LickLesson 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
Four Blues Slide LicksLesson 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
Filling the SpacesLesson 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
Building a SoloLesson 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
A Tuning and Slide GuitarLesson 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 FREE
General Slide Tips and TricksLesson 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
Delta Blues SlideLesson 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
The Walking BluesLesson 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
Rollin' and Tumblin'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
Improvisational TechniquesLesson 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
Blues Shuffle ImprovisationLesson 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
A Tuning Lick ReviewLesson 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
Dust My Broom ThemeLesson 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
Linear Playing IdeasLesson 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
Harmonica Imitation Lick ThemeLesson 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
Two Lick ThemeLesson 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
Eric Madis

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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