Learning Slide Guitar: The Secret Weapon!

One of the many challenges for guitar players learning slide guitar is to find the right intonation.

It takes quite a bit of time to train the arm and hand to go straight to the right location and get the intended pitch without moving around the right position (no, overusing “vibrato” with the slide is not a solution: it’s cheating and will sooner or later sound quite boring for the audience!). It can be very frustrating and sometimes the ear can get quickly confused, not knowing anymore what IS the right pitch, after spending hours going up and down over the neck!

One solution to help you find the right pitch quickly and train your brain easily is to keep an eye on a good guitar tuner while playing. Not every tuner will do the job, as it has to be both precise and fast enough to track pitch while the slide is moving.

Blue Cat’s Hot Tuna (also included in Axiom) works very well for this purpose, as you can see in the video below. Its tracking is very fast, thanks to its unique algorithm that can be triggered by upper harmonics. It is also very precise and gives you the exact deviation from the intended pitch (down to a cent if you will!).

You are now ready to master slide guitar with perfect intonation… But it’s not only a matter of tools: go back to work, practice, and enjoy!

Gear used: in case you are wondering, the guitar in this video is an all-original 1979 Kramer DMZ 3000, with a neck made of aluminum.  A great instrument!

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