Playing Slide Guitar, Oh Man.

An audition and… slide guitar.

Like, a lot of slide guitar. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against slide guitar. I greatly enjoy a competent player. For me the emotion a slide guitarist can express is perhaps the closest approximation to what a human voice can achieve on a string instrument.

That doesn’t mean I’ve put in my time, though. As with any skill, any instrument, theory and musicality only get you so far. Even though I can compose fitting bass lines, I’m not a great bass player. I get by on bass but have an array of limitations. Likewise, I get by with slide guitar but have an array of limitations.

Why accept the challenge?

Ok, being honest, it’s not like I’veĀ never played slide guitar. I’m no master, not by any measure. That doesn’t mean I’m totally useless at it. Just mostly useless.

Like I stated already, I rather enjoy slide guitar. This is true both for listening and playing. So, why haven’t I spent more time playing it, you ask? Well, I really didn’t have much reason to. I hardly ever compose a slide part, and when I do it’s well within my means to play. There hasn’t been a lot of demand for it in other songs I’ve had to learn, either. Until now I’ve had no good reason to focus on it.

Isn’t that a little lazy?

Sure, I’d be more prepared for a wider range of situations had I taken the time to work on it. It’d also be great if I’d become a master of shred metal, bebop jazz, classical fingerstyle, and so on. To me it’s a bit like when you go to your primary care physician and he sends you to a specialist. You can only master so many things, and in this case so many styles. For me, up to this point, slide guitar hasn’t made the cut.

That said, I’m looking forward to it. I finally have a reason to really dust off the old slide (in my case, a bronze one). I’ve been putting it through its paces for the last couple days and will continue to do so for the rest of the week. Will it be enough? Who knows? Either way I’ll get a ton of practice with it.

Slide guitar, oh man