1. Absolutely right! All of these points are right on. The only thing I might add is open G tuning is great to play with too, and it has a beautiful sound. I used to marvel at the tones people were geting and then I learned open G…it opened up a whole new world.

  2. All great points for sure.

    My two cents I would add from my experience are:

    Get John’s lessons and expect to put in the time to go through them.

    Patience. Plan large goals in months not weeks or days.

    You will get frustrated. Find ways to get through it. Possibly taking a small break or go to something completely different to try and learn for a bit. I find myself playing the same thing over and over wishing I could move on and then almost out of no where I get something. It clicks and finally makes sense.

    Ask. I have found others here learning slide with John’s lessons or otherwise and all have been very helpful when I have questions as well as John. He has always been very helpful with email responses to my questions.

    Good luck and keep on sliding!

  3. Great reading John, the new site is awesome. Whoever did the redesign is almost as good as I am..haha.

    I have a different reason for not continuing to play slide guitar and any other method as well. Health reasons. It’s been close to 20 months since I hurt my left hand. Still don’t know what I did to hurt that joint and every time I pick up a guitar I get the sharpest pain I have ever felt in my left fretting hand. It pain emanates from the lower joint of the thumb on the inside. There isn’t much I can really do about without health insurance so it is what it is. I hope to get back in the game soon because I know darn good well I am rusty and need to practice again. I had made real good progress until that time with your lessons.
    Continued good fortune for you John.

    1. Hey Steve, I know it’s a bummer when health issues interfere with your playing but I just want to say don’t give up. Both of my hands are locked in a half fist position with no finger movement. Fingers are curled and deformed and I thought I would never play again. But then two things happened. I discovered the lap steel and John’s lessons. I put a slide on my left thumb and a pick on my right thumb,(have some movement in thumbs still) tuned the lap steel to open E and never looked back.
      I’m not saying this is the solution for you, just that, where there’s a will there’s a way. Of course, the best solution for you would be to get that thumb issue looked after. Good luck and hope you are able to get back to playing again.
      And btw, thanks for this John, all good points although the one about using a pick doesn’t apply since I really have no other option.

  4. I never took any lessons.

    I just picked up a slide after about 3-4 years of playing and ran with it.
    (I play an Ibanez Artwood)
    Of course I did add a little piece of cardboard under the bridge to push it up 1/8-1/6 of an inch, but other than that the action wasn’t raised.

    I started in Open G but since I didn’t like the sound of G to much I tuned it down to Open F.
    C F C F A C
    Which sounded alot better for me personally.
    Used to use .13 gage Ernie Ball acoustic slinkies but I switched to the .12 which give me more fingering capabilities and allow for the use of the slide still.

    But truth be told, all it takes is practice and dedication.
    Wanna know the real reason why “you” never got good?
    You gave up.

  5. There are no stupid questions….just stupid people, right? Okay, here’s mine. I don’t play guitar at all now but want to learn and am willing to devote an hour a day, every day, to practice. Since I have always loved the sound of a slide guitar that’s where I want to end up. No illusions about playing in a band or achieving some superior level of play. I would just like to enjoy playing on my front porch at the end of the day.

    So what is the path a non-playing player who wants to play slide guitar should take and given my practice commitment what would be the time frame in order to get moderately competent with it?


    1. If you’ve never played guitar before, then you should find a private teacher in your area to get the basics down first before attempting slide guitar. Hope that helps.

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