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Arlen Roth Lessons
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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 a little known approach within slide guitar playing, yet it’s one of the most attractive. I’ve always felt that lead guitarists in general spend too much time concentrating on the higher strings and positions, while neglecting some of the equally cool, if not cooler, lower positions available to them.
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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 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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The combination of shapes and scales on the guitar is probably the single most important tool to the improviser. Even when I first taught myself these kinds of positions, I was not yet truly aware of the fact that I was essentially creating a “double-exposure” of scale positions that could be easily taught.
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