Learning Country Steel Guitar Slides

By: Bryan K.

We're about to embark on a journey that will revolutionize the way you think about country steel guitar slides!

We'll show you the perfect tuning, finger placement, and sliding techniques to master the art.

With our help, you'll learn all the common and advanced slides that will make you an absolute star.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make your guitar playing dreams come true.

Let's get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Regularly check and adjust the strings for best sound quality
  • Develop effective technique for using fingers in finger placement
  • Experiment with different directions and speeds for variety in sliding techniques
  • Practice regularly to play complex melodies and intricate riffs and develop skills in advanced slides

Tuning the Guitar

Now that we've got our guitar, let's get it in tune. To ensure the best sound quality, it's important to regularly check and adjust the strings. This can be done by strumming patterns and listening to the sound.

It's also important to note that some special effects can be achieved by adjusting the tuning of the strings. Additionally, it's important to check the intonation of the strings, which is the guitar's ability to produce a clear sound at different frets.

This can be done by playing harmonic notes on the 12th fret and then comparing them to the open strings. Finally, ensure the tuning pegs are adjusted properly to allow the strings to ring out clear and true.

With these tips, you'll have a perfectly tuned instrument, ready to make beautiful music.

Finger Placement

Let's get our fingers in the right place to start playing some country steel guitar slides. When we begin, we need to pick up the slide and place it over the ring finger of our fretting hand. We then need to press down lightly, and leave the pick in the picking hand.

We must use both hands to switch between strings. To do this, we need to use the slide to fret each string and the pick to pluck it. With practice, we can develop an effective technique for using our fingers. This will give us the ability to play country steel guitar slides with precision and accuracy.

  • Pick up the slide with the ring finger
  • Press down lightly
  • Use the slide to fret and the pick to pluck

Sliding Techniques

With our fingers in place, we can start mastering various sliding techniques.

The most basic technique is string bending, which is achieved by pressing down on a string at a certain fret and then pushing or pulling the string with your finger to create a bending effect. This can be done in different directions and at different speeds, for a wide range of sounds.

Additionally, you can use different picking patterns to create unique slides. This can include upstrokes, downstrokes, alternate picking, and more.

With practice and experimentation, you can develop a unique style of slides that will add flavor and texture to your country steel guitar playing.

Common Slides

Building on our knowledge of bending and picking techniques, let's take a look at some of the more common slides used in country steel guitar playing:

  • Pedal Steel: A technique involving sliding a bar up and down the neck of the guitar, typically combined with string bending.
  • Hammer-Ons: This technique involves playing a note and then quickly hammering a finger onto a higher-pitched string.
  • Pull-Offs: This technique is the reverse of hammer-ons; it involves playing a note and quickly pulling a finger away from a higher-pitched string.

These techniques are essential for creating the signature metal twang associated with country steel guitar playing. With practice, these slides will become second nature, allowing the player to express their musical ideas.

Advanced Slides

Now that we've got the basics down, let's take our steel guitar slides to the next level!

To become proficient, you'll need to begin mastering hybrid techniques and embellishments. These intricate slides consist of several notes played in rapid succession with a single slide. It's a challenge to master, but with practice, you can create a signature sound that will set you apart from other steel guitarists.

To get started, focus on short and long slides, then experiment with hybrid techniques. With time, you'll be able to play complex melodies and intricate riffs. Be patient with yourself and practice regularly to develop your skills.

With dedication, you'll be able to master the art of steel guitar slides.


We've had a great time learning country steel guitar slides!

We've tuned our guitars, found our finger placement, practiced sliding techniques, and even tried out some common and advanced slides.

It's been a wild ride, but it's time to strum that last chord and wrap up our adventure.

With a twang of the strings, we're off into the sunset, satisfied that we've mastered the art of steel guitar slides!

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