Blues guitar players have been fascinated with the evocative, vocal-like qualities of slide guitar ever since Sylvester Weaver recorded Guitar Blues and Guitar Rag back in 1923. But today, thanks to artists like Derek Trucks, Sonny Landreth, George Harrison and Lowell George, slide guitar is adding color and depth to virtually all styles of music from country and pop, to rock, soul and jazz.
If you’re likewise fascinated with slide guitar, whatever your preferred style happens to be, BJ Baartmans’ Creative Slide Guidebook is your first-class express ticket for adding new colors and creative dimensions to your own melodies and improvisations.
Based in the Netherlands, BJ Baartmans has hundreds of albums to his credit as a recording artist, sideman, and/or producer. A member of the highly popular roots rock collective Hidden Agenda Deluxe and the latest version of Matthews Southern Comfort, a band formed around legendary singer Iain Matthews. BJ is also a gifted slide guitarist and passionate educator. We’re very excited to Welcome BJ to the family with his first TrueFire course, Creative Slide Guidebook.
”In the Creative Slide Guidebook, we'll work on slide guitar concepts and techniques for adding color and depth to all kinds of musical styles rather than just the blues. We’ll work through applications that can also be used for rock, jazz, soul, pop, and country. We'll examine picking techniques, palm and string muting, vibrato, and sliding. We'll go deeper into outlining chord progressions and handling things like modulation, complex chords, major to minor shifts, and extended harmonies. And, we'll learn to "read the neck" in a not so familiar tuning and how the slide fits in.”
BJ organized the course into two sections. In the first section, he presents and demonstrates key concepts and techniques: Approach, Material, Guitars, Basics: One Note, Basics: Vibrato, Playing Techniques, Basics: Muting, Playing Examples, 3 Strings: DGB, 3 Strings: GBE & ADG, The Link, Triads & Bass, Muting Behind Slide, Double-stops & Triads, Key Changes, Slide Tips, Open G: Blues, Open G: DGB Strings, Open G: Add Strings, Outlining Chords, Bass and Triads, and Modal Playing.
NOTE! The heart of the first section is the Link, which is where BJ shows you how all the techniques and principles that you learned in a regular tuning can easily be transplanted to open tunings including modulating to different keys!
In the second section, you will play your way through 5 slide performance studies using all the concepts discussed in the previous section.
A Major Change - "This song is inspired by some of my favorite bands like Wilco, The Beatles and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. You can hear that in the melody and the major to minor changes. As a slide player George Harrison is definitely an inspiration. He played in a regular tuning. You may hear some Lowell George in here too, a major influence on my playing. I guess he was my first slide guitar hero and he played in an open tuning.”
347 Street Scene - "Here's a tune in a minor key. It's a challenge to play in G minor as the tuning is G major. I like those challenges. They really make you listen to what you do. I'm also a sucker for songs with a blues feel in a slightly different context. There's some gypsy jazz in this one. It's dark. That I like too!
Let The Wine Talk - "This track is titled Let the wine talk. I heard it through the grapevine comes to mind. I love those late sixties grooves. And songs that are based on a riff can be really cool. One of the most important slide players for me is Ry Cooder. I love to quote him here: Go where it's dangerous and say yes. There's a lot of crazy wild stuff you can do with a slide. Once you got the basics down, that is."
Shuffle Mode - "When I really started learning slide guitar in open tunings, one of the things that bugged me most was: having to stay in one key all the time. A lot of traditional blues and country stuff tends to be that way. I'm not a traditional player. Couldn't be, even if I wanted to. I've listened a lot to the old masters, but I wanted to explore more musical styles with a slide. Like Jerry Douglas on dobro or Derek Trucks and Dave Tronzo on electric guitar. I've spent a lot of time working on a playing technique that gives me the freedom to modulate and play in any key or tonality in open G, without a capo that is."
Gumbo Ghandi - "Here's a song where I guess a lot of my sources come together. It has a New Orleans groove and a minor / major alternating mood. One of my biggest influences is Wes Montgomery. There's some jazz harmony in here and then some tonal weirdness. It's a moody tune but you can dance to it. Or meditate. There's also an Indian flavor here too. I play the tune in open G but the key is C minor.”
All of the key examples and performance studies are tabbed and notated for your practice, reference and study purposes. You’ll also get Guitar Pro files so that you can play, loop and/or slow down the tab and notation as you work through the lessons. Plus, BJ includes all of the backing tracks for you to work with on your own.
Grab your guitar and let’s get creative with our slide guitar and BJ Baartmans!