Slide guitar enthusiasts will enjoy these week-long sessions in Port Townsend this summer:
Survey of Slide Guitar with Rev. Robert B. Jones
This class teaches the basics of playing in a variety of traditional slide guitar styles. The class will showcase slide styles of artists like Son House, Robert Johnson, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Bukka White, Tampa Red and Blind Willie Johnson.
No previous playing slide guitar experience is necessary, however a basic knowledge of blues fingerpicking is helpful. Students should have a steel stringed guitar (conventional or resonator) and to have a slide/bottleneck.
Slide Guitar Tunes and Techniques with Steve James
After a brief musical demo and chronology of slide guitar, two open tunings long used by slide guitarists, "Spanish" and "Vastopol" (i.e.: open G and open D), will be explained. Next some ways that harmonies and phrases with blues tonality can be produced by altering the simple three note chord that forms an open tuning will be detailed; also the slide techniques that produce the clear, sustained tones, vibrato, and subtle control of pitch and dynamics. Also important are the way in which the thumb and fingers of the picking hand are used to combine lower and higher pitches to produce melody, harmony and rhythm simultaneously.
During the remaining days of the program playing and listening skills will be further developed by hearing, and learning by practicing a variety of guitar arrangements (along with devices like tapping, harmonics, and slide bouncing). Expect to play plenty of blues, but it may be spiked with some country, gospel and train imitations.
Just bring your guitar. James'll sell you a slide if you haven't got one. The hand-outs are free. Just don't get him started on that Furry Lewis deal. Wanna record? Ask first.