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 h... (more)
Ariel currently offers 30 guitar lessons at JamPlay, with 30 intermediate lessons.
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Imagine being able to speak with your guitar as you would with your voice! In "Speaking with the Slide", world renown slide player Ariel Posen will help you develop your slide playing to do just that - speak with your guitar as you would sing with your voice.
If you could choose one technique to replicate the human voice on your guitar, it would be 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.
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!
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.
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.
Now Ariel takes a look at the minor scale in standard tuning, both horizontally and vertically.
On to the scale that is a must have for slide and non-slide players: the minor pentatonic scale in standard tuning.
Now the last standard tuning scale that we're going to drill - the major pentatonic scale.
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.
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're unsure of where you should position your slide. In this lesson, we will start with the major scale.
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 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!
And finally, we use this lesson to drill the major pentatonic scale in open E tuning. Remember to refer to the tab if you're unsure of the note positions on the fretboard.
Now that we've learned all of our primary scales using the slide, it's 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.
In this lesson, Ariel shows us what it takes to play certain scales "behind the slide".
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.
The concept of playing two notes at a time in a melodic line (double stops), is certainly not a new concept. We've all done when playing "regular" guitar. Here, Ariel shows us how to incorporate double stops while adding the slide to the mix.
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've already been playing.
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 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.
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 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.
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're not locked into notes that are vertical on our fretboard.
When we think of slide guitar, it's 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.
Now Ariel looks at the same licks in open E tuning. Although they are basically the same, they have a much different flavor. You'll have a chance to practice the licks, and hear what they sound like in context with Ariel's song "Fade".
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.
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".
Up until now, we've 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.
The way we see notes in our heads dictates a lot in our playing and note choice. Sometimes it's 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.
Now it's time to pull together all the things that we've been working on, and let those things serve us in our quest to improvise a solo. Remember all that time you spent practicing the scales with the slide on? Now is time to reap the reward!
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.