Free Slide Guitar Lessons from Lee Roy Parnell

Free Slide Guitar Lessons from Lee Roy Parnell

Lee Roy Parnell is renowned as a slide guitar virtuoso, as well as an incredible writer who takes cues from the Southern rock, country, Memphis soul, and Texas blues traditions. His unique style of playing slide draws out the melodic, vocal-like quality of the instrument, and he’s here to teach it to you in his TrueFire course, Slide Guitar Slinger.

Take a look at these lessons taken from the course, where we’ll go through some of the techniques to adapt the style into your playing, as well as two performance studies to put it into action á la Ry Cooder and Duane Allman. Let’s get slidin’…

Vocal-like Phrasing & Expression – Demonstration

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this slide guitar lesson.

One of the things that drew me to slide guitar first was the expressiveness of playing, and the ability to not be directly on one note or another. B.B. King said he would have loved to play slide guitar, but he couldn’t get the vibrato down (instead developing incredible left hand vibrato that looked like a hummingbird).

Being a singer first out of necessity, the slide and voice were synonymous to me. They express the same emotion in the song. The slide on guitar is an extension of my singing voice, meant to augment, not replace. There are several instruments that have this quality, but none of them are fretted like the guitar!

Building Solos & Themes – Demonstration

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this slide guitar lesson.

In building solos, there’s probably a method to it, although I don’t think about it so much. From being a songwriter, I like to build a solo using the melody that I have in my head. It’s almost like I’m trying to go for the harmony of what I’m singing. You can go anywhere from here, but it’s important to focus on where you’re starting at, and to identify what’s home base.

Straight 8th Groove in A – Overview

In this first performance, we’re going to talk about how I approach a 12-bar blues. This is very important to know how to do, as it’s hard to move one without getting down. This is a straight 8th’s rock-blues groove. We’re going to go through it twice, where I’ll be showing you how to get to the IV chord, to the V chord, and back home. Let’s check it out.

Straight 8th Groove in A – Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this slide guitar lesson.

Here I’ll show you my approach to a 12-bar blues. This is very important to know how to do, as it’s hard to move one without getting down. This is a straight 8th’s rock-blues groove. We’re going to go through it twice, where I’ll be showing you how to get to the IV chord, to the V chord, and back home. Let’s check it out.

Straight 8th Groove in A – Breakdown

This is in the key of A, open tuning. Again, this is a straight 8th rockin’ blues groove. Let’s breakdown this performance study, and I’ll point out some basic things you need to have down to move on from here. It’s very important to be able to play these concepts cleanly in order to play the blues and grow as a guitarist.

Ry Style Etude in E – Overview

This next piece is inspired by one of my heroes, Ry Cooder, who also inspired Duane Allman, another hero of mine. It’s in the style of the classic west coast “bop-till-you-drop” era of Ry Cooder’s recording. Let’s give it a shot.

Ry Style Etude in E – Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this slide guitar lesson.

Here’s a performance inspired by one of my heroes, Ry Cooder, who also inspired Duane Allman, another hero of mine. It’s in the style of the classic west coast “bop-till-you-drop” era of Ry Cooder’s recording. Let’s give it a shot.

Ry Style Etude in E – Breakdown

Now that we’ve looked at the performance study, let’s breakdown some of the things I did. This is inspired by Ry Cooder, one of my heroes. You’ll hear a lot of the “west coast” style here.


There’s much more to learn in the full version of the course, where Lee Roy will take you through several more concepts and techniques, and four more performance studies. Check it out now!