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How to Play a Sliding Note on Country Guitar

Learn how to play a sliding note on country guitar from musician Boo Reiners in this Howcast video.


Let's talk about sliding notes on the guitar. The fiddle, as you know, does all kinds of sliding around. There are no frets on the fingerboard of the fiddle. We're always trying to copy what the fiddle does, melodically, in country music, especially the instrumental side of things. The fiddle is really great at playing melody, obviously. It also can play some cords or some backup parts. But it's very easy to slide around on the fiddle, and we like to try to emulate that sound, trying to make the frets sort of disappear on the guitar's fingerboard.

So here's a real simple sliding note that we could do on the third string, starting at the second fret, and we slide to the fourth fret. You could slide from the fourth fret to the fifth fret. And you could slide backwards from the fifth fret to the fourth fret. And likewise, fourth fret to the second fret. So to combine all that sliding around, you could get a melody that sounds something like this.

And of course, there's slides you can do all over the guitar on any string. And then there are other ways to sort of dress up the slide playing an adjacent string that might be within the cord, as an open string. Going back to the third string, we could play the neighboring fourth string. And it sounds even fuller. You could play the neighboring second string open. And then sometimes we'll take a double stop, two notes, side by side, and we can slide those up like this.

So work on your slides. Use a single string to start out, then you could start adding a neighboring string just as sort of a droning cord tone. Then you could start using two fretted strings side by side, and you'll start to see all sorts of cool ways to dress up your melody playing.

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