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Guitar String Slides

The String Slide is very easy to execute for the beginner and advanced guitar player alike and they sound great.

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Guitar String Slides

When slides are handled through an expert guitar player, they are really quite a breath of fresh air, or a break in the action, from the normal repetition of standard notes that are played on the guitar.

Why Do We Play Ornamental Notes?

Interested in ornamental notes? Let's take a look at why they are used for the guitar. When we play repeated notes with the right hand pick, it is hard for your hand to keep up with the rapid pace.

One really great thing about ornamental notes such as the string slide, is that it gives your right hand a break from the constant up and down strokes of the pick playing eighth notes. The sound of the a string slide note depends of the skillfulness of the guitar player and it should sound nearly as clearly as if it were a picked note - that is, if the execution is correct.

There is a certain unusual sound that string slides can bring to a passage in that no other ornament effect note can.

String Slide Performance:

A outstanding feature of the String Slide is that it is one of the simpler ornaments you can have in your 'bag of tricks'.

Here is how you do a String Slide.

First of all, refer to the diagram below, looking at the first measure. Let's start by picking the first or parent note rather powerfully. Then, slide this fingered note up to or down to the designated target note and let it ring for the assigned note timing. In this case slide the D note from the 3rd fret, 2nd string up to the 5th fret. The backward slide does just the reverse.

The second measure demonstrates a combination upward slide and a reverse slide. Again place your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string, slide up to the 5th fret and without hesitating more than the note timing, back down to the original D note on the 3rd fret.

The 3rd measure, shows the slide at a different timing, similar to a delayed slide.

By practicing this approach, you will soon have it mastered and you will be sounding like a Guitar Pro. Keep unchanged pressure on the note as you slide it to carry the energy of the note to the second note of the slide. These tips will optimize your sliding strategies.

String Slide Examples

C and G Scales String Slide Options:

Here are a few additional tips to give you even more versatility with string slide techniques. Try these various methods to give yourself more flexibility and range to your playing style.

Delay: This is a commonly used approach to provide flavor and unexpected twists to a song. Delay the timing between the parent (original) and the second note. As we discussed above, these techniques are demonstrated in the 3rd and 4th measures.

Gap of the String Slide: The span you slide is limited only by means of the number of frets you have on the guitar. You will notice that the further you slide, the more volume fall-off you will obtain.

Executing Multiple Note Slides: Yes, you can slide more than one note at a time. In fact you can slide 2, 3 or even 4 note chords all at once. While 3 and 4 note slides sound really cool, you will encounter you are using the 1 and 2 note slides most often. Look at measures 6 and 7 in the diagram above and you will see multiple string slides.

Directional Slide: Not only can you execute a forward slide, where you slide up to a higher note, but you can do a backward slide, where you slide down to a lower note. You can even choose to slide in two directions with one pick stroke. First you pick the parent note, slide up to the higher note, then reverse direction and slide back to a lower note. Refer to the diagram above and you will see several examples of this in nearly all of the measures.

Another trick is to reverse this action through sliding backwards first, and then performing a forward slide, although this is rarely used.