The following is a testimony written by Jesse Canarte about what it took for him, a married man with kids to be successful at learning to play slide guitar.
It’s no secret it takes self-discipline to learn a subject. I would say slide guitar is no different, but it takes patience to a new level.. Progress with slide is a snail’s pace, especially compared to our visual and daydream expectations of being on stage playing exactly like our guitar heroes.
Unfortunately there’s no magic pill or microwave instant mojo – only micromanaging your practice, determination, and a good learning tool. This brings me to how Johns videos helped me.
Since day one of my guitar life I loved the blues and after watching Crossroads (Steve Vai/Ry Cooder), I wanted to capture that quality of notes, not necessarily the quantity of notes like a shred rock guitarist. I loved playing Elmore James and never really listened to Duane. I heard Derek Trucks back in 1996 and I knew that his playing was out of my league but was intrigued and craved to know how to play like him or at least capture his expression in a modest form.
An Unplayed SG
So my wife tried to inspire me with a 61 reissue in 2001. However, I couldn’t achieve what I wanted to hear. So the SG sat for 4 years unplayed until Johns DVDs came out and saved the SG! Of course before that I played standard tuning on my Strat, but after the DVDs, I knew dedication was the only way to play slide in the style of DT. So I sold the strat and have played open E on my Trucks signature model SG ever since.
Learning slide on my own I would use YouTube videos of Derek as a tool, but it was hard to grasp each note. I found each note has an emotional value and there’s no skimping if you want it to sound right. I found adapting John’s lessons and advice to my practice was essential. I would have been far behind if it hadn’t been for his backing tracks to help me find my timing and train my ear to follow the flow like dancing.
With time constraints of being a family man, I had to figure out my time and practice management. I found after the family went to sleep I could stay up and practice at least two times a week and on Saturday mornings before everyone woke up. Using headphones for the Computer and using an amp modeler for my guitar let me practice without waking anyone.
Four Years Later
After four years I have reached a point where I can finally figure out Derek Trucks solos by ear. It took focus and work and although I still have a lot of theory to learn, I feel satisfied in my tone, touch, and approach.
Confidence is either a killer or uplifting and motivational. So I suggest taking it slow. Be proud of your accomplishments, and don’t worry about what you haven’t accomplished yet. With practice anyone can learn slide guitar.
Practice promotes confidence, which gets results. My advice is to have patience and to break down each 3-4 note lick to make it articulate the emotion you are trying to express.
– Jesse Canarte
Watch a Video Of Jesse
Thanks Jesse for those inspiring words! I’m sure many people are in your same position as a married man with kids and often wonder if it’s possible to learn slide at this stage of life. You’ve definitely demonstrated that it is if you really want to.
If you would like to learn about Open E Tuning slide check out the course Jesse and thousands of others have used to successfully start playing open e tuning slide in the style of Duane Allman and Derek Trucks. Click Here to Start Learning Open E Tuning Slide
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Inspirational. No excuses if you’re willing put in the work!
Jesse is right on the money. I actually found John’s site after coming across Jesse on YouTube. I admire how humble he is in his approach and the results. He has developed great touch, tone and emotion in his playing. It’s obvious your lessons reached him on a very personal level. I am looking forward to seeing where Jesse takes his playing, and I am hoping to have the same success with my playing as I learn slide guitar with the help of your courses.
Learning guitar takes a tremendous amount of patience and not only practice, but being able to compartmentalize the ways that you practice.
John’s courses for slide guitar break lessons down perfectly to make it work, you just have to put in the time and work.
Jesse is a dedicated slide player, and an awesome dude! Killer clip and excellent blog entry from Mr. Canarte. Thanks John for shining the light on an awesome slide brother!
Hey Jesse: Nice playing, I really like your tone too. You are a blessed man to have a wife that loves you enough to buy you a fine Gibson SG. Good luck and GOD bless you.
Great job Jesse! Thanks to you John as well. You are both inspirations. I got John’s videos about 3 years ago and it was the best purchase I have ever made for guitar. Through Youtube I have got to know Jesse and admire his playing. Always excellent and every time I watch one of his videos or John’s I have to crank up the guitar and play some myself.
Keep up the great work, at the ripe old age of 53 you have inspired me to look into an Epiphone SG-400 and begin my journey as well.
John, thank you for your continued instruction, and I look forward to your downloadable courses in the future.
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