Using Slides for Position Shifts | Hub Guitar

Using Slides for Position Shifts

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Hi, this is Hub Guitar.

The sliding technique is useful not just for decorating notes but also for shifting positions. If I'm playing a melody in the low register, as I get to the C here on the A string I'll start to run out of range.

If I expect the melody will begin to climb hider, I can look for a leap in the melody and slide up to it on the B string. Then I'll land in a higher position on the guitar neck and have more range to play higher notes with.

Of course, this also works going down.

If you're sight-reading music this may not be as applicable because you may or may not have a leap to do this with. But if you're doing improvisation, you can use the big slide to get to a different part of the neck smoothly, and that's what this is all about.

So try this technique out for yourself and see if you can find it useful especially during improvisation, see if you can kind of shift from one position to the next by using this slides going both up and down the neck.

One underlooked reason to take advantage of guitar slides is so that you can shift positions quickly, easily and effectively.

The slide is a technique that automatically results in a change of position. So it’s a great idea to use slides to shift around on the guitar.

For instance, if you’re playing some notes in the open position, and want to create a dramatic shift to higher-register notes on position X, then you can use a slide with your 1st finger, landing on Fret X.

To practice this technique, we'll do large position shifts between fret I and fret X, sliding up and then sliding back down, using the first finger both times.

In this example, use the 1st finger to slide up to position X and back down to I.

Key Tasks

  • Practice using the above example until you can land accurately on the notes used in the slide and continue. (As if nothing happened...)
  • Try repeating the exercise, but this time using free improvisation. You can also change the target slide notes, or slide on different strings. The key is to use the slide as a method of quickly shifting position on the guitar.
As the creator of Hub Guitar, Grey has compiled hundreds of guitar lessons, written several books, and filmed hundreds of video lessons. He teaches private lessons in his Boston studio, as well as via video chat through TakeLessons.

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