Guitar Rag (Guitar Lesson)


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Orville Johnson

Guitar Rag

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

Taught by Orville Johnson in Blues Bottleneck Slide seriesLength: 15:36Difficulty: 2.5 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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


daddy_mikedaddy_mike replied on September 28th, 2011

mr. orville, you're flawless and inspiring. I learned a lot. THaNK YOU

krobinson5krobinson5 replied on August 18th, 2011

I may not sound like you but I am amazed at what I can do with the slide now. Thanks. Ken

jboothjbooth replied on July 1st, 2011

Tablature and notation is coming soon! Thanks for the patience :)

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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