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Watch the Elmore James Style: Open E online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Blues Guitar 7: Slide Approaches

Elmore James Style: Open E - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Aledort and is sourced from Slide Guitar Power.


This Elmore James-style example is performed with fingerpicking, which, for me, is the preferred method when playing slide. As a rule, Elmore also picked with just his fingertips (no fingerpicks) when playing slide. I begin the example with the E triad as formed by laying the slide across the top three strings at the 12th fret, and I apply a slow, wide vibrato to all of the notes to create an expressive, and agressive, sound. With the pick-hand, I like to walk across the strings using the index and middle fingers, meaning that I alternate between these fingers when striking the strings. I then bring in the pick-hand thumb to sound notes on the lower strings while using the index and middle fingers to mute the previously sounded higher strings. This way, I can control the strings which ring together; sounding multiple strings at once is a key ingredient in the Elmore James style. When I move down the neck to add the rhythm guitar parts, I simply alternate between root-fifth and root-sixth chords for E and for A.