Come On In My Kitchen - A Slide Guitar Lesson.
Have fun with this lesson. I do have a DVD and Online course for playing Slide in Standard and Dropped D if you want to learn more about it, and I also sell the beautiful brass slides you see in the video.
Links are below if you want to order any of those.
Order my Short Brass Slide (perfect for standard tuning)
Order my Longer Brass Slide (perfect for open tunings)
The Lesson explained
I was asked to take part in a blues gig recently at the Brisbane Jazz Club, a wonderful venue right on the river. The guy who organized it, the incredibly talented Aaron West, performed Robert Johnson's classic "Come On In My Kitchen". What a great old blues tune it is too, covered by just about Blues player that ever was.
I was fiddling around with it yesterday and decided to do a quick lesson showing my hybrid style for this kind of tune, that being a mixture of slide and normal playing. I certainly don't expect you to duplicate my rendition -- even I couldn't do that -- but I'm hoping it might spark off a few ideas that you can work on for your own rendition. I only play one pass through the 10 bars.
So, dropped D -- lower that bass string -- and slip a slide on your pinkie. I do recommend the pinkie for this style as it frees up the other fingers, the most used fingers, for the 'normal' playing.
I've done my best on the virtual fretboard in the video to show you what's going on because it sure isn't obvious just watching. You'll see that the slide is always ready to drop down onto the strings whenever I decide to use it, which is quite often. I always use it on those '3s'. As you probably know by now, in the Blues, the 'third' (3) is never quite the minor third, nor is it quite the major third. It lives in between. If I were to play the minor third it would BE minor, and this tune isn't in a minor key; if I were to play the major third, it would sound too major, like the way Barbra Streisand sounds when trying to sing a blues tune: wrong. The 'blues third' is somewhere in between and that's very easy to do with a slide. When fretting, it's either/or; with a slide you can pick any of the infinite intervals between the two thirds which are, of course, only one fret apart. You'll see in the TAB where I indicate those with a little curvy upward pointing arrow.
I also slide down a couple of times from the flat five (that other blues note). That occurs at the end of bars 2 and 3. I also slide down from major third towards the minor third a couple of times, I just noticed. After a while you simply get to know which notes need to be slid up to and which you can slide down from. The Blues is feel thing, that's for sure.
Muting: If you watch my right hand, you'll see that I'm constantly muting the strings I don't want to be ringing. Muting is a huge part of playing slide, especially in standard/dropped D. The movement of the slide over strings acts like a violin bow, generating notes that more often than not you don't want to be hearing. So you mute them. I use the side of my thumb and my fingertips and it's something that you need to practice and practice until it just happens automatically.
So, there's a whole lot going on in this short piece, including some time-keeping on the soundboard and a lot of extraneous rattling and clunking, which is all part of the sound of playing slide on acoustic.For this lesson, I will be charging a small fee of US $2.95 for the Printable PDF of the TAB/Notation (I've also included the GuitarPro file for this one). Click here to order it.
Have fun with it. I do have a DVD and Online course for playing slide in standard and dropped D if you want to learn more about it, and I also sell the beautiful brass slides you see in the video. Links are below if you want to order any of those.
Order a short slide (perfect for standard tuning)
Order a long slide (perfect for open tunings)