We have a slightly more fiddly idea in Fig. 4. Here, we move across the neck, instead of following a more horizontal path. In the third measure we’re highlighting the problem of standard tuning, as you need to slide from E to D on the 3rd string and then pick the B on the 4th string. In order to do this you need to mute the 3rd string before sliding up to the 9th fret and not allow these notes to bleed into each other. Something like this will work better in an open tuning, but as I said earlier, standard tuning doesn’t require you to relearn the entire neck.
Our last lick (Fig. 5) is a little more demanding as it involves sliding down on one string and then following that with a slide up into a note on an adjacent string. This is where you can really see if your string muting is up to par. It can be a bit difficult at first, but I’m sure you’ll agree, the end result is worth the effort.
And finally, here’s the backing track for the lesson—a simple blues in E.
I hope you’ve got something out of these licks, but if you’re not interested in learning slide, remember, you don’t have to. Look at a player like Jeff Beck who is famous for imitating slide guitar with his whammy bar. You could replicate these ideas with careful bending, whammy-bar tricks, or even on a fretless guitar. The entire concept here is to use the guitar to generate vocal-like sounds. If you can come up with your own way of imitating these ideas, that’s probably even better for you in the long run. Anyone who’s seen Michael Lee Firkins’ instructional video will know exactly what I mean!