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Arlen Roth Lessons
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Arlen Roth
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Pre-bends are a very expressive and fairly advanced style and technique, mainly because the fingers must, in a way, develop "presets" that will enable them to know just how far to bend a string silently. This will enable you to play a lick with the note or notes already bent, so they can "spill down," usually at the start of a phrase, or in the middle of one.
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This is one of the most fun styles to both play and teach, as its infectious “groove” orientation is a great combination of right and left hand dampening. It’s also a style where the right hand has to really think like a drummer with a relentless drive, while the left hand does its best to block, dampen and allow the sound of certain key notes in key spots.
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Arlen Roth
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This is a technique I’ve long been known for, and I sort of picked it up by listening to the late, great Clarence White. When I was just a kid loving and learning from White’s playing on the Byrds’ records, I was unaware that he had invented the B-string “bender,” which is a mechanical string-pulling device that had been built into his guitar. Instead, I started emulating this effect by bending the strings with my fingers, while still recreating the mechanical pedal steel-like sound.
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Arlen Roth
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The positions of open G tuning are surely unique, but one of the best uses of this tuning are the endless open and closed position harmonies that can be created. A good right hand is really important here, especially for the “splits”, and the muting that must occur if you want a clean slide sound.
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This is an important technique that’s sort of a combination between the Dobro sound and the “upright” slide sound. The creation of the necessary harmonies is accomplished by what I call slide “tilting,” or angling to keep from hitting the other open strings we need to ring and sustain.
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