Ok, so I've been playing slide for a few months, and I really, really enjoy it. I hardly ever take my electric out of open G, haha. But I'm kind of in a rut as far as the songs I can play. I only know a few songs really, really well, those being Robert Johnson's Stop Breaking Down Blues, the White Stripes version of Death Letter(I know, I know, some of you probably think that the White Stripes aren't technically blues, but that's a great version of the song, so... meh.) and R.L. Burnside's version of Rollin' and Tumblin'. Usually when I play, I end up doing some improvising around those three songs and it usually sounds pretty good, but I feel like I've boxed myself in. So, I'm looking to expand my repertoire of songs.

Any suggestions on things I should look at? I took a look at the "suggested listening" thread, but I am not by nature a blues expert and it's hard to tell what songs would be beneficial for my difficulty level, and stuff like that. The type of blues I'm into is mostly Mississippi blues, like R.L. Burnside and others, as well as bands like the White Stripes and the Black Keys.

Any help would be much appreciated...

I don't know a huge lot about slide guitar but, if you're wanting to improve your improvisational skills, the best advice I can give you is to just practice it. Find some scales that you're comfortable in and get a decent drum/bass backing track and goof off until you start making your own style and chops. Once you're familiar with those scales, move on to others and etc.

Eventually you should be able to move onto arpeggios and make abstract ideas work for you because you'll be able to see in your mind where to put your fingers next to get a certain sound.
Well, it's not so much scales that are the problem. I know how learning improv works, I just need some different songs to get me going, that's all. Slide guitar is rather a different animal as far as scales and arpeggios and that sort of thng goes. Basically, I just need some new songs to play around with, that's all. I dunno. Thanks for the reply...
i'm no expert on slide but since you mentioned the white stripes i will suggest learning Catch Hell Blues it's a fun song to play and you can steal a few riffs from it to add to your repetoire. I know what you mean by feeling boxed in i'm going through the same thing myself.
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Well, you could listen to some Ry Cooder. I imagine his slide would be *very* difficult to play but trying to learn some of his stuff will definitely show you knew things. Wether you can actually pull them off is another thing, but you'll at least experience them

You couldn find him doing something acoustic , but this is good:

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Last edited by meh! at Oct 28, 2007,
try going into open E and then try to learn some Allman Brothers or Derek Trucks tunes.
Quote by ledhed68
try going into open E and then try to learn some Allman Brothers or Derek Trucks tunes.

yea i like open Eb or D myself. i find it easier to improve on it and the scales dont get as messed up i find. i say just try jamming over any blues song really. maybe some clapton? i have the clapton: blues CD and there a bunch of songs that have slide on it. i also have the crossroads set and there are songs with slide on there too. i dont play slide as much as i should but when i do i usually just jam along with anything.
Clapton's version of "Walking Blues" by Robert Johnson is a good one.
I'd also suggest looking into Roy Rogers.
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Try getting ahold of some Robert Nighthawk. It's a relatively good mix of slide playing and fretting, but can be played either way.
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