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So there isn’t an official or ‘proper’ tuning to use when playing slide guitar. *Blues slide guitar player CeDell Davis used a butterknife for his slide work. Sometimes playing your guitar in standard tuning just isn’t enough. Here are some common slide (open) tunings: Reference: Standard tuning E-A-D-G-B-E (Eric And Duane’s Guitar Beats Everything) Open G: D-G-D-G-B-D (the most common slide tuning, EC’s favorite Dobro tuning). This is done using open tuning. So in order to achieve an Open E tuning you will want to tune the guitar … “Listening to Ry Cooder, David Lindley, and Jerry Douglas, I was able to hear the possibilities.” When playing particular music types, it’s often easier to tune your guitar so that chords are played instead of individual notes. It seems like everyone is kinda mystified about how to play slide guitar in standard tuning. Never tune a string above standard tuning, at least with an acoustic guitar and heavy strings. It can break the neck. A great way to get started with slide guitar is to play in standard tuning, which allows you to focus on all the essentials of fret-hand touch and pick-hand articulation without having to address the issue of re-learning the fretboard and chord forms in an alternate tuning. Slide guitar is not, at its essence, about which tuning you use. Try focusing on the top two high strings, the E string and the B string. The easiest and safest way to play slide guitar in standard tuning is by playing melodies on a single string. To begin with, let’s look at a map of the fretboard: Then let’s look at one of the most popular open tunings, Open G, and compare it, from low to high strings, to standard tuning: Standard Tuning: E A D G B E. Open G Tuning: D G D G B D. Notice the D, G and B strings … The second through fourth strings are D G B which is an inversion of the G chord or could be part of Em7 and numerous other chord, E A D Asus4 (inv) OR … Tune down if possible. Pretty darn cool if you ask me. Standard tuning features the root of the chord on the top string and an interval of a fourth between the first and second strings. You do not have to, and it is not necessarily the most entertaining, but it may be a great way to start practicing. The slide guitar part to this song is in Open E Tuning. What this means is that once we retune the guitar to Open E we will be able to strum all 6 strings without fretting any notes and it will ring out an E chord. The slide doesnt do that much, but what it does is very effective, even in small doses. He eventually got around to tuning a guitar to open D, placing it across his lap, and teaching himself to play slide with a socket wrench. Use open G tuning if you want to sound (a bit) like Robert Johnson Open G tuning… Standard Tuning Slide Guitar is a compilation of slide guitar techniques accumulated by author and uber-guitarist Greg Koch for over 30 years. 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