Acoustic Slide Guide from Richard Gilewitz is a very effective method approach for acoustic slide guitar, although many electric players have likewise and very successfully incorporated slide guitar into their playing using this engaging approach.
Richard covers all of the slide guitar basics plus ascending and descending slide movements, vibratos, palm mutes, grace notes, multiple picking patterns, open tunings, performance techniques and much more across the 55 interactive video lessons in Acoustic Slide Guide. Richard even presents three tunes as complete performances.
Richard Gilewitz is widely respected as one of the most graceful fingerstyle guitarists on the contemporary scene. Gilewitz has collaborated and appeared in concert with the likes of John Renbourn, Mose Allison, John Fahey, Leo Kottke, Adrian Legg, The Little River Band, Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Rory Block and Jorma Kaukonen. Richard is also an excellent instructor with an innovative approach for communicating and demonstrating conceptual approaches for guitar-centric composition, improvisation and performance.
Acoustic Slide Guide Curriculum:
Open D Slide Exercise 1 - A twelve measure exercise and one of the simplest in this collection involving the very basic movement of the slide moving either one or two frets up the neck allowing the student to identify "targeting" locations as they develop hand/eye coordination. The greatest challenge is to avoid a rattle on the frets under the neck as well as avoiding the slide touching the 2nd string. The picking hand creates the backdrop of a simple alternating bass during the slide movements.
Open D Slide Exercise 2 - 8-measure exercise involving a variety of techniques with the student being introduced to a combination of a forward roll and series of pinch patterns for the picking hand. Additionally a reverse slide movement and vibrato are employed along with specific considerations for a 12 string guitar.
Open D Slide Pinch Patterns 1 - 8-measure exercise and another of the simpler exercises in this collection involving an introduction to pinch patterns and full range use of the slide. The main challenge is the navigation of the arpeggios in opposing directions periodically. Also, a basic use of vibrato is utilized in measures 4, 6 and 8.
Open D Slide Pinch Patterns 2 - 8-measure exercise with the unique effect of a constant pairing of the middle and ring fingers combined with a series of pinch patterns on the picking hand. A strict steadiness is required as the slide travels one to two frets at a time up the neck of the guitar. 12 string players will notice the special effect this series of patterns has on, specifically the 3rd and 4th strings when plucked with the thumb or (p).
Open G One 8th Note Slides - 12-measure exercise and one of the simplest in this collection similarly to the first attempts you will be making in the Open D segment of the program. Once again this effort involves the very basic movement of the slide moving either one or two frets up the neck allowing the student to identify 'targeting' locations as they develop hand/eye coordination. In this particular case, the slide is adjusted during the exercise to play one, two or three strings simultaneously as 8th notes. Pairs of fingers are attempted as well within the picking patterns.
Open G Two Grace Note Slides - like the previous segment, 8th note slides, is a twelve measure exercise allowing the player to utilize the slide in the same manner but with the movements based on grace notes. This requires the quicker movement of the slide while the targeting concept remains the same. In this portion the student will omit the temptation to apply vibrato as in the previous attempts although this remains as an optional choice. Artistic license!
Open G Three 8th Notes vs. Grace Notes - 12-bar session which demonstrates how the player can combine 8th note and grace note slides within the same exercise or eventually, a tune. Additionally reverse slides are introduced where the slide moves in a descending fashion as opposed to ascending and full bar slides are included. Mutes are introduced to create a staccato effect and considerations for a 12 string guitar application are demonstrated.
Open G Slide Exercise 1 - 8-measure exercise introducing the concept of rhythm to the student with 16th note patterns utilized within selected measures allowing the music to produce a slight bouncing effect. Parallel arpeggios are performed with the plucking hand as well as the slide affords a chasing effect to the listener between the bass and melody.
Open G Slide Exercise 2 - 8-measure piece where a multitude of 16th note picking patterns are provided to create a dance-like effect and when combined here with several palm mutes, ascending and descending slide movements, and a single simple left hand chord addition, this exercise is one of the livelier contributions.
Open G Slide Exercise 3 - 8-measure exercise requiring the player to practice a sustained slide vibrato and in three consecutive measures, produce an 8th note slide, grace note slide, and full bar slide. An up and back melody is also introduced on the first string as well as an over the top 6 string only attempt for a deep growl effect.
Open G Slide Exercise 4 - 8-measure session once again demonstrating the value of fingerpicking a guitar with a slide for the 12-string. Optional thumb passages for the slightly more experienced picker are offered along with right hand position shifts which expands the available range of sounds. Nested arpeggios with the picking hand along with 3, 4 and 7 fret slide movements are attempted as well for those up for the challenge.
Open G Slide Exercise 5 - 12-bar blues effort requiring the player to use quite a variety and combination of the techniques taught in this project. Grace notes, palm mutes, vibratos, full bar slides with chasing arpeggios and a chromatic slide movement are utilized allowing the student to envision creating their own original pieces based on all of these movements.
Open C Exercise 1 - 8-measure exercise involving the shifting of the right hand fingers as a group among strings 1-3 or position 1, strings 2-4 or position 2, and strings 3-5 or position 3. This allows the player to greatly expand the range of available sounds as they navigate from the lower frets and 3rd position to the higher frets and the 1st position. Fretted fingers are introduced as well as a reverse slide movement.
Open C Exercise 2 - 8-measure exercise involving a variety of techniques with the undercurrent of a bluesy sound based on the selected fret movements. From low to high on the neck, the player will attempt quarter note, 8th note and grace note slides. A three fret descending slide and muting technique will also be introduced.
Open C Exercise 3 - 4-measure exercise with a bit more complexity as it calls upon the player to create an extended slide off technique, employ an effective vibrato with the slide and perform a reverse slide movement as a grace note. A 16th note forward roll followed by two 8th note pinches is encountered towards the end of the exercise.
Open C Exercise 4 - 5-measure exercise with the 5th measure being an option for the 4th as it replaces a grace note slide with an 8th note slide. The first measure utilizes the picking thumb and fingers to create a dual arpeggio and the 4th measure demonstrates a picking technique vital for a 12 string guitar.
Open C Exercise 5 - 6-measure exercise involving a variety of techniques such as a double pull off while wearing a slide, creating a grace note and 8th note slide within the same measure, and the use of a triplet picking pattern. Three sequential forward grace note movements are there for the player to attempt in the last measure of this exercise.
Tuning D A D F# A D - Daughter of Pete's Feet is an original composition in Open D tuning usually performed on the 6-string guitar, although there is a minimal amount of slide involved, the technique plays a huge role in the effectiveness of the composition.
Tuning D G D G Bb D - Dirt To Dust is an original composition written for the 12-string guitar. The tuning for the instrument is in Open G minor and pitched down 1-1/2 steps from concert pitch, creating a shimmering growl effect, particularly with the jumbo body instrument.
Tuning D A D F# A D - This original composition, written for the 12-string guitar, begins with this slide section and using utmost restraint, the guitar will sound as if it is slowly weeping. Pay special attention to the fingering with the plucking thumb to ensure that you target the 3rd and 4th string octaves to achieve the full effect.
Enjoy your exploration of slide guitar playing and as you immerse yourself in this often overlooked style. A plethora of techniques and approaches, and their application to a multitude of instruments make slide guitar playing one of the more mysterious and fascinating musical worlds to explore. Acoustic Slide Guide will light up your path and put a smile on your audience's faces!