Essential Listening: 10 Stellar Slide Guitar Songs



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I try to play slide in standard tuning and in a minor key...if I use an open tuning I just sound like a poor man's version of a 48 hours mystery where the crime took place down south. Oh and Sway with Mick Taylor deserves an honorable mention.



Good Lord, these lists suck. Steve Miller and Rod Price, but no Ry Cooder. The guy is synonymous with slide.



Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth ) by George Harrison is a masterpiece of slide guitar playing. I teach the intro and solo on YouTube. Guyleeguitar



Rory's acoustic slide work was phenomenal, and his electric slide could peel the paint off the walls! Check out "Who's That Coming", "Sinner Boy" or my all time favourite, "Crest of a Wave".



Several ZZ Top tracks come to mind. Billy Gibbons tears it up!

Also Skynyrd's Gary Rossington cranks out some sweet, tasty slide work.


Gumbo Billy

Not one song from Lowell George & Little Feat? Can't belive that Steve Miller song is listed.



Don't know if you ever heard of him but check out Junior Brown from Austin, TX. Amazing.......



Thanks for mentioning George Harrison in this list. He is often overlooked and vastly underrated as a slide guitarist compared with the open-tuning blues-based greats such as Allman, Elmore, Sonny and the others you noted. George often played slide in standard tuning which is much trickier without the sonic net of open tuning. No less an expert than Jeff Lynne said George was the "king of rock and roll slide guitar." You mentioned a couple good ones that he did but his last album "Brainwashed" was where he really shined. Check out "Stuck Inside a Cloud" and the true pinnacle of his technique "Marwa Blues." You won't find a more lyrical and melodic slide player than that.


Leo Kottke.



Oh yeah...George Thorogood on Move It On Over too. Thorogood is a great slide player



Never cease to be surprised when I don't see Eric Sardinas on this kind of list. One of the best slide-guitarist EVER - just as good as Trucks and Allman. Saw him about five years ago at a local music festival here in town. The whole crowd sat mesmerized in the POURING RAIN IN SEPTEMBER FOR TWO SETS watching this guy tear the strings off his electricified Dobro! If you haven't heard him, check him out. He's actually managed to get BETTER since I saw him!



I understand why you feel that way, but Eric, while a fine player and showman, doesn't have a hit song and hasn't done anything that would be considered high profile.

Sonny Landreth, for example, can play in the traditional style like Elmore James... But he brings something new to the table that transcends traditional slide playing. Derek Trucks is the same way... He plays some jazzy lines you don't hear from any other slide stylist.

From everything I've ever heard, Eric is pretty traditional in his approach and there are a lot of great slide players that are the same way. They don't get mentioned on a ten song greatest of the great list either.



Eric Clapton on "Motherless Child" and "My Father's Eyes" to name just a couple. Often forgotten as a slide player but he's as clean and distinctive as anyone.



Lets bout Duane Allmans slide on Layla, thats ones pertty good. Joe Walsh on Rocky Mt Way. Muddy Waters Rollin & Tumblin or Ron Wood on Stay With Me.



Gotta check out Like a Rock, Bob Seger. Try to forget the old Chevy commercial, Rick Vito's solos in this song have the whole package, tone, feel, and great melody.



Love, love, love the slide!
Check out Ian Thornley's song Under the Lighthouse. It's killer. Ian's got tons of tone!

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