Soul of a Man (Guitar Lesson)


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Orville Johnson

Soul of a Man

Orville teaches a beautiful slide guitar arrangement of "Soul of a Man."

Taught by Orville Johnson in Blues Bottleneck Slide seriesLength: 8:52Difficulty: 2.5 of 5


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Member Comments about this Lesson

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Orville.JohnsonOrville.Johnson replied on October 23rd, 2014

One more thought- work on the slide part while hitting just the downbeat of every measure on string 6. That will help you keep your timing right on the slide melody. After you can play the melody while hitting the downbeats work on adding the alternating bass note.

bwadebwade replied on October 27th, 2014

Thanks for the tips Orville, it's starting to come along. Another thing that helped was to practice the timing while fingering all the melody notes and then repeating with the slide.

Orville.JohnsonOrville.Johnson replied on October 23rd, 2014

Yes, bwade, you just need to keep working at it. Break it into two parts though- work on the slide by itself so you can get past thinking about that so much and then try to add the bass line.

bwadebwade replied on October 2nd, 2014

This is a very nice lesson for introducing blues slide guitar. I'm struggling with the timing of the alternating base. I've had some success with other lessons combing alternating base with a repeated finger picked melody, but combining it with the slide is proving difficult. Operating the slide takes all my attention. Any tips for merging the two or do I just need to keep trying?

christianp1825christianp1825 replied on January 10th, 2013

lol jesus-y

bmassaerbmassaer replied on January 29th, 2012

Hi Orville - thank you so much for this lesson. I really like the slide guitar of Blind Willie Johnson... Right Now, I have some problems filling in the bass notes, though. They just don't seem to fit... Any tips for this? Belgian greetz, Bart

Orville.JohnsonOrville.Johnson replied on January 29th, 2012

Not sure from your description what your problem might be. Since we're in open D tuning and the song only uses the D chord, all the low strings are part of the chord so they all "fit" the chord. do you mean you're having trouble with the timing, maybe having a hard time keeping steady time with the alternating bass pattern?

bmassaerbmassaer replied on January 29th, 2012

Hi Orville - thank you very much for this wonderful song. I do like the slide guitar style of Blind Willie Johnson! Right now I have some problems playing the bass-notes... They just don't seem to "fit" into the song when I play them... Any tips to help me out?

mgapmgap replied on May 4th, 2010

Nice job Orville. I like the tuning for a change of pace and the selection you choose.

mattbrownmattbrown replied on May 6th, 2010

The tabs / notation for this lesson will be posted by tomorrow evening EST (5/7/10).

mattbrownmattbrown replied on May 7th, 2010

I didn't get to this one today! Sorry guys! Hopefully tomorrow won't be so crazy.

klomtklomt replied on May 4th, 2010

Fantastic Orville Thanks so much!!

axisaxis replied on May 3rd, 2010

woohooo!! Another slide lesson, always look forward to those. Simple and basic, easy to learn but gonna take forever to master. Thanks for another great lesson, so glad you're showing us some open tuning slide, thank you very much :o)

Blues Bottleneck Slide

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Bottleneck slide guitar is a method of playing the guitar using a slide to mimic the sound of the human voice. The term slide is describes the sliding motion of the slide against the strings, while bottleneck refers to the original material of choice for such slides, which were originally chopped off necks of glass bottles. Using a slide can expand the aural diversity of the guitar and give another avenue for expressiveness.



Lesson 1

Bottleneck Slide Basics

Orville Johnson covers the basics of the bottleneck slide. He talks about the history of slide guitar, choosing a slide, and proper technique.

Length: 26:49 Difficulty: 1.0 FREE
Lesson 2

You've Got to Move

Orville Johnson uses his version of the traditional blues song, "You've Got to Move," to demonstrate proper slide guitar technique.

Length: 18:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Trouble In Mind

Orville Johnson teaches the classic blues song "Trouble In Mind" using a slide.

Length: 21:37 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Soul of a Man

Orville teaches a beautiful slide guitar arrangement of "Soul of a Man."

Length: 8:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Country Blues

Orville Johnson teaches the catchy tune "Country Blues" in a slide guitar style.

Length: 22:13 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

John Henry

Orville teaches the song "John Henry" using a slide.

Length: 22:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Sitting on Top of the World

Orville Johnson teaches a slide guitar version of the classic blues tune "Sitting on Top of the World."

Length: 23:32 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Guitar Rag

"Guitar Rag" was one of the first blues songs ever recorded. Orville Johnson teaches a slide guitar version of this masterpiece.

Length: 15:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Tampa Red Style

Orville Johnson explores the slide guitar style of Tampa Red.

Length: 18:11 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Mississippi Hill Country Style Part 1

Orville Johnson takes a look at Mississippi Hill Country style in open G tuning.

Length: 18:37 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Mississippi Hill Country Style Part 2

Orville Johnson takes another look at Mississippi Hill Country style, this time in open F tuning.

Length: 19:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Bottleneck Slide Techniques

Orville breaks down some of the more advanced bottleneck slide techniques such as string dampening and playing fretted notes behind the slide.

Length: 37:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Orville Johnson View Full Biography Orville Johnson was born in 1953 in Edwardsville, Illinois and came up on the St. Louis, Missouri music scene, where he was exposed to and participated in a variety of blues, bluegrass and American roots music. He began singing in his Pentecostal church as a young boy, in rock bands in middle school, then took up the guitar at 17,with early influences from Doc Watson, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Chuck Berry. In the early 1970's, Orville spent several seasons playing bluegrass on the SS Julia Belle Swain, a period-piece Mississippi river steamboat plying the inland waterways, with his group the Steamboat Ramblers.

Orville moved to Seattle, Washington in 1978, where he was a founding member of the much-loved and well-remembered folk/rock group, the Dynamic Logs. Other musical associates include Laura Love, Ranch Romance, File' Gumbo Zydeco Band, Scott Law, and the Twirling Mickeys. Johnson, known for his dobro and slide guitar stylings and vocal acrobatics, has played on over 100 albums. He has appeared on Garrison Keilor's Prairie Home Companion, Jay Leno's Tonight Show and was featured in the 1997 film Georgia with Mare Winningham. His musical expertise can also be heard on the Microsoft CD-ROMs, Musical Instruments of the World and the Complete Encyclopedia of Baseball. He teaches as well at the International Guitar Seminar, Pt. Townsend Country Blues Week and Puget Sound Guitar Workshop.

Orville released 4 recordings in the 1990's: The World According to Orville (1990) Blueprint for the Blues (1998) Slide & Joy (1999) an all-instrumental dobro tour de force and Kings of Mongrel Folk (1997) with Mark Graham. He also appeared on 4 discs with the File' Gumbo Zydeco Band and produced Whose World Is This (1997) for Jim Page and Inner Life (1999) for Mark Graham. In the 21st century, he has released Freehand, a new Kings of Mongrel Folk disc, Still Goin' Strong, and been featured in the soundtracks of PBS' Frontier House and the Peter Fonda flick The Wooly Boys as well as the compilation cd Legends of the Incredible Lap Steel Guitar.

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