If you’re looking for an easy way to add some soulful flavor to your playing and find a great accompaniment for singing, then slide guitar might be just what you need. Slide guitar adds so much texture and expression to any style of music from blues and country through folk, rock, jazz, neoclassical – the list goes on! Start with these five easy slide guitar songs which are fun enough to keep you motivated while providing some essential building blocks in understanding basic slide techniques that will open up a whole new world of sound for your instrument.
Easy Slide Guitar Songs
1 The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
An introduction to slide guitar playing can be gained by listening to this classic rock song. The main riff and the bridge are both perfect for slide guitar, making it an ideal first-time slide guitar song.
2 Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Scar Tissue
This classic rock song is a great choice for slide guitar players. With its straightforward chord progression and simple melody, it’s easy to learn on the instrument. The iconic solo that comes in at the bridge section uses a combination of fretted notes and open string slides which adds an extra layer of challenge. However, with some practice you can master all the parts and make this song sound like a pro! Be sure to use plenty of distortion for that classic Red Hot Chilli Peppers sound.
3 Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird
This classic southern rock song by Lynyrd Skynyrd is a great choice for slide guitar players. With its simple chord progression and signature sound, Free Bird is one of the most recognizable songs in the genre. The lead guitar part makes use of both fretted notes and open string slides, giving it an added layer of challenge. Once you have mastered all the parts, this song will sound like a pro! Try playing with full distortion to get that classic Skynyrd sound.
4 Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond
This iconic track from the progressive rock titans, Pink Floyd, is a masterpiece of guitar work. It’s one of the first songs that comes to mind when thinking about slide guitar and although it’s not necessarily an easy song to master, it’s certainly possible with enough practice! The track consists of two distinct parts (Parts I-V and VI-IX), both filled with amazing slide licks that will make you sound like a true rock god. For an extra challenge, try adding some distortion or effects to your playing for an even more dynamic sound. You’ll definitely be rewarded with great results if you master this song! 
5 ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man
For those looking to get into some more classic rock slide guitar, this ZZ Top song is the perfect choice. With its signature bluesy rhythm and licks, Sharp Dressed Man will help you master the basics of how to use a slide with your fretting hand. The track can be broken down into simple patterns and sections that will help you understand the fundamentals of playing a great slide solo. After mastering this tune, there’s no telling what other songs you’ll be able to conquer!
6 George Harrison – My Sweet Lord
This classic from George Harrison is one of the most recognizable slide guitar songs ever made. The song has been covered by many artists and continues to be a favorite among fans. It has a slow, bluesy feel and features some really simple yet stunning slide riffs that even beginners can learn. With practice, you could easily add your own variations to make this song truly unique.
7 Foghat – Slow Ride
Foghat’s “Slow Ride” is another great song for the slide guitar. The groove is laid-back and easy to follow, while the solo section features a catchy and memorable riff. If you want to practice your slide playing, this one should definitely be on your list. It’s a classic rock hit that will get you jamming in no time!
8 Derek and the Dominos – Layla
This classic blues-rock tune is a great choice for beginner slide guitarists. Written by Eric Clapton and recorded with his band Derek and the Dominos, Layla features an iconic opening riff played on slide guitar, which has become one of the most recognizable intros in rock music history. The song provides a great opportunity to practice playing with both open E and A tunings, as well as getting some experience in combining slide licks and chord parts.
9 Joe Walsh – Rocky Mountain Way
An iconic rock classic, Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” is a great choice for slide guitar players. This song uses an A-minor pentatonic scale and features some great blues riffs that make it perfect for slides. It also has some interesting chord progressions throughout that make it a challenge to master. Once you get the hang of it though, you’ll have a blast playing this one! Get ready to take your playing to new heights with this timeless tune. 
10 Lynyrd Skynyrd – Ballad Of Curtis Loew
Another classic by the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Ballad of Curtis Loew” is a great song for slide guitar players. Featuring an open A-minor chord progression and some basic yet effective licks, this song is sure to get your fingers flying. Make sure to use plenty of slides and let loose with this one! You won’t regret it. Get ready to jam out with this Southern rock classic.
11 George Harrison – Give Me Love Give Me Peace On Earth
George Harrison’s work with The Beatles is widely celebrated, and Give Me Love Give Me Peace On Earth is one of his most beloved solo songs. With its simple chord progression and breezy melody, this song makes for a great slide guitar tune. Its relaxed tone calls to mind the idea of creating peace on earth through love. To take your performance up a notch, add some bluesy licks as you play! As always when playing slide guitar, remember to keep your slides smooth and even with the right amount of pressure.
12 Steve Miller Band – The Joker
The Joker is an iconic blues rock song from the Steve Miller Band. This classic has a great laid-back feel that’s perfect for slide guitar. Its simple chords and catchy melody will have you humming along in no time. To make your performance really stand out, try adding some funky licks and bends as you play – they’ll help to bring the song to life! As always when playing slide guitar, remember to keep your slides smooth and even with the right amount of pressure.
13 ZZ Top – Just Got Paid
This classic from ZZ Top’s 1972 album Rio Grande Mud is one of the most popular slide guitar songs of all time. The song features a repetitive bluesy riff laced with intricate slide work that showcases the band’s signature Southern rock sound. While the track was originally performed using an electric guitar, it lends itself well to being played on an acoustic guitar if you take some liberties with the tuning. If you’re looking for a fun challenge, try learning Just Got Paid by ZZ Top on your six-string!
14 Elmore James – Dust My Broom
If you’re a fan of blues music, then Elmore James is likely already on your radar. This 1952 track showcases the Delta bluesman’s unrivaled slide playing style and is one of his most widely played songs to date. The song has been covered by everyone from Robert Johnson to Eric Clapton, so if you want to learn how to play dust my broom in all its glory, it’s definitely worth taking some time to study up on the different versions out there. Whether you prefer the original or another rendition, this classic tune is sure to give you hours of slide guitar fun! 
15 Led Zeppelin – In My Time of Dying
This song might be a bit of a challenge for the slide guitar, but with some practice it can still provide an amazing sound. The tuning is DADGAD, and you’ll need to use your thumb to form the bass notes. To help keep time, try playing in 8th note triplets with your fretting hand while alternating between downstrokes and upstrokes with a barre on the third fret. You can also add vibrato by using the whammy bar. This song will take some time to master but when done right will create an incredible effect. With its slow-burning power chords and soaring vocals, In My Time of Dying is one of Led Zeppelin’s most iconic songs—and it’s a great one to practice on the slide guitar.
16 Led Zeppelin – Travelling Riverside Blues
A blues classic, Travelling Riverside Blues is a perfect slide guitar song for those just starting out. The tuning is G Major, and you should use your thumb to form the bass notes. You can also add vibrato by using the whammy bar or playing around with bends. This traditional Delta blues tune has a great vibe and will give you plenty of practice for your slide guitar chops. Once you’ve got it down, don’t forget to jam along to Robert Plant’s spine-tingling vocals!
17 J.J. Cale – Cocaine
Cocaine is a classic song by J.J. Cale, which was famously covered by Eric Clapton in his Unplugged album. This slide guitar tune is simple to play but has enough soul and depth that you can really make it your own with some practice. The key of the song is G major and the progression follows I – IV – V chords – G, C, D7 respectively. The two most important elements for playing this song are having an open tuning (such as Open G) and using a bottleneck slide on your fingerboard to get that quintessential bluesy sound. With its bouncy feel and catchy hook, Cocaine will have you jamming along in no time!
18 Blind Willie Johnson – Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground
This classic gospel lament by Blind Willie Johnson is a great entry point for those looking to learn slide guitar. It’s a relatively simple tune in Open G tuning with three chords – G, D7, and C. To get the signature bluesy tones out of this song, it’s important to use a bottleneck slide on your fingerboard and emphasize the bass notes of each chord. This song will give you plenty of practice in changing chords while also allowing you to explore different textures and sounds with your slides. With its sad yet uplifting melody, Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground will have you creating some amazing music in no time!
19 The Allman Brothers Band – Statesboro Blues
The Allman Brothers Band made this slide guitar song famous. It is a great introduction to slide guitar for beginners. This song is in the key of A minor and uses basic chords such as A minor, D major, and E7. You can also use an open G tuning on your guitar if you want to add some extra flavor to your playing. If you’re just starting out with slide guitar, this one will provide a good foundation and get you ready for more advanced tunes. 
20 The Black Crowes – Twice As Hard
The Black Crowes released this song in 1990 and it quickly became a classic. It’s an excellent example of slide guitar that combines blues, rock, and funk elements. The main riff is very simple but the riffs around it are intricate and challenging. This song is in the key of A minor so you can use an open G tuning to play it. You can also use alternate tunings such as DADGAD or Eb-tuning if you want to mix things up.
21 Led Zeppelin – You Shook Me
Led Zeppelin’s “You Shook Me” is a perfect example of a classic slide guitar song. It features John Paul Jones playing his Gibson Les Paul with bottleneck slide and Jimmy Page on acoustic guitar. The song begins with an intro of slow, bluesy chords before picking up the pace and becoming a rock anthem. This makes it one of the most popular songs for those learning to play slide guitar. With its simple riffs and recognizable melody, it’s easy to follow along as you learn the basics of the style. Once you get the hang of it, you can start adding your own variation and improvisation to this timeless classic.
22 Robert Johnson – Come On In My Kitchen
The legendary bluesman Robert Johnson wrote and performed “Come On In My Kitchen” in the 1930s. The song is considered one of the most influential blues songs ever recorded, thanks to its use of bottleneck slide guitar. Johnson plays a mesmerizing solo throughout the song, using his slide to create beautiful melodies and rich tone. The combination of this classic style with modern technology makes it an ideal track for slide guitarists of any age or skill level to learn from. Even if you don’t have access to an actual bottleneck, playing along with a recording is still a great way to practice your skills as a player.
23 Ben Harper – Ground on Down
Ben Harper’s “Ground on Down” is an incredibly soulful piece of music perfect for playing slide guitar. The bluesy, ragtime-style fingerpicking creates a relaxed atmosphere that works great with the simple yet powerful lyrics. It’s easy to play along with just two chords—C and G7—making it an ideal beginner song for those looking to learn how to play slide guitar. To get started, simply strum the chords while sliding up and down the fretboard in single notes. Once you get comfortable, add some fills and variations of your own using hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends, and vibrato techniques for a unique take on this classic tune. 
24 Aerosmith – Draw The Line
Aerosmith’s “Draw The Line” is another great song for slide guitar beginners. It has a classic rock vibe with its bluesy riffs and memorable chorus, but the key to playing it lies in its simplicity. All you need are three chords—G, D, and A—that can be played using open-position or barre chords. Once you have the basics down, you can start adding in some slides and double stops for added expression. Additionally, you may want to experiment with some vibrato on the slide notes as well as bending up from lower frets for an even more authentic Aerosmith sound!
25 Johnny Winter – Highway 61 Revisited
Another classic from one of the original slide guitar pros, Johnny Winter’s version of Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited is a masterclass in bluesy slide guitar playing. With his trademark gritty and raw tone, Winter takes center stage with this slide-driven take on the iconic track. It’s an excellent song to practice bending strings and using open tunings for added depth.
26 The Rolling Stones – No Expectations
The Rolling Stones have been at the forefront of blues-rock for decades, and No Expectations is a great example of their use of slide guitar. Keith Richards’ classic performance on this song highlights his mastery of both chord progressions and single-note runs throughout. It’s a great track to get your feet wet with some basic blues licks and riffing.
27 The White Stripes – Sister Do You Know My Name?
This classic blues-rock tune from Jack and Meg White’s breakout album, “White Blood Cells” is the perfect song to learn when you’re looking to practice your slide guitar skills. The lead riff is deceptively simple but contains just enough complexity to keep it interesting. Best of all, this song often clocks in at a very manageable two minutes long! Whether you want to play the original version or go for something a bit more complicated with added flourishes, learning “Sister Do You Know My Name?” will be sure to give you plenty of satisfaction as you become more comfortable with slide guitar playing.
28 Jeff Beck – I Ain’t Superstitious
This tune from Jeff Beck’s 1968 album “Truth” is the perfect showcase of blues slide guitar playing. The lick played by Beck is incredibly simple and can be comfortably achieved with basic techniques. This is a great song to practice for beginners, as it doesn’t require any advanced skills and still packs a huge punch when performed right. With this classic tune in your repertoire, you will have plenty of opportunities to impress anyone you jam out with!
29 Ry Cooder – Feelin’ Bad Blues
Feelin’ Bad Blues is a blues tune by the legendary Ry Cooder. It has a slow, medium-tempo swing feel that’s perfect for slide guitar playing. The use of repetitive chords in the verses and chorus create an easy yet driving backdrop to solo over. In addition, the key of A major is great for slide guitar players as it allows them to use the open strings available on their instrument. All in all, this song provides a great opportunity for those looking to get into slide guitar because of its accessibility and classic sound. 
30 The Allman Brothers – Old Friend
The Allman Brothers are known for their signature Southern Rock sound that is full of slide guitar licks. Their song Old Friend is a perfect example, as it features multiple solos that feature both open string and fretted notes. This song gives players a chance to explore their technique by playing both slow-paced bluesy riffs and fast-paced lead lines, making it an ideal track for those looking to improve their slide guitar skills. The key of G major also gives players the range needed to add some extra flair when soloing over the chord changes.
31 Eric Clapton – Running On Faith
One of Eric Clapton’s most popular songs, this one has a great rhythm and it’s perfect for slide guitar. The song is in G major and uses the bluesy A minor pentatonic scale. Start by playing the root note (G) then add slides up to B, D, F♯ and back down to G again for some basic licks. You can also try some pull-offs and hammer-ons with your fretting hand while keeping the slide steady on its position. This gives you an opportunity to create more interesting melodies as you go along. Have fun improvising over this classic!
32 Seasick Steve – Cut My Wings
This song is a great choice for bluesy, gritty slide work. The chords are D major and A minor with an open tuning of DGDGBD. Start by playing the root notes (D and A) then add slides up to F♯ and back down again for some basic licks. As well as pull-offs and hammer-ons, you can experiment with double stops on this one too – try playing the root note (D or A) together with another note above it such as E or B respectively. Have fun jamming on this classic Steve tune!
33 The Derek Trucks Band- Sahib Teri Bandi
The Derek Trucks Band and their song “Sahib Teri Bandi” is an excellent example of how to master the art of slide guitar playing. The song is full of intricate licks and improvisational runs that will challenge even the most advanced guitarist. The song features a slow groove, but it still maintains a lively energy throughout. The melody is also quite memorable, making this one of the most popular slide guitar songs around. 
Is the slide guitar easy to play?
Yes, the slide guitar is relatively easy to play. It does require some skill and practice to master, but it’s a great way to get started on a musical instrument without too much difficulty.
What are some popular slide guitar songs?
Some popular slide guitar songs include “Crossroads” by Robert Johnson, “Statesboro Blues” by Blind Willie McTell, “Walkin’ Blues” by Son House, and “Freight Train” by Elizabeth Cotten. There are many other classic blues songs as well as newer contemporary styles that use the slide guitar sound.
Is there an easy way to learn slide guitar?
Yes! One of the best ways to learn how to play the slide guitar is with tutorials that teach you a few simple songs. Whether it’s blues, folk or rock, there are plenty of easy slide guitar tunes to practice. Here are some classic and popular songs that you can learn with minimal effort:
- “Statesboro Blues” by Blind Willie McTell is a great song for beginners; the simple chord progression makes it easy to get started on the slide guitar.
- The Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” features an easy-to-play fingerpicking pattern and just two chords – perfect for learning how to play lead lines on the slide guitar.
- One of the most iconic country songs ever written is Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”. It’s a great song to learn on the slide guitar, with its fast-paced rhythm and simple chord progression.
- Another classic folk tune – “The Weight” by The Band – is a great choice for practicing your slide guitar playing; it features an interesting chord progression that will challenge you while still being easy enough for beginners.
- Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer” is another excellent option; this powerful, epic song has a memorable riff that makes it ideal for learning how to play slide guitar leads.
No matter what style of music you’re into, there are plenty of easy slide guitar songs that you can use to start developing your skills.
How do you slide easier on guitar?
Using the right technique makes all the difference when playing slide guitar. It helps to make sure you’re holding the slide in the correct position, with your thumb and index finger forming a “C” shape around it and your other fingers lightly pressing against the neck. Make sure that you have a good grip on the slide so that it doesn’t slip out of place during your performance. Developing proper muting techniques can also help you produce smoother slides. When sliding up or down a single string, use your fretting hand’s middle finger to mute adjacent strings to prevent them from ringing out and distracting from your solo. You’ll also want to practice changing between chords quickly with one fluid motion while keeping each note clear and distinct. As you become more comfortable with slide technique, you’ll be able to create beautiful melodies and solos that will impress your listeners!
What is the best chord for slide guitar?
The best chord for slide guitar is the open E minor chord. This simple, three-note chord consists of an E note on the fifth string played with a lift off (for greater clarity), followed by an A note on the fourth string and a B note on the second string. The combination of notes creates a pleasant and full sound that’s perfect for slide guitar melodies. Additionally, because you can use this one chord shape to play different voicings across all six strings, it provides plenty of room for improvisation. With practice and experimentation, you’ll be able to craft some truly unique slide guitar solos!
Useful Video: Top 7 Easy Slide Guitar Licks Every Guitarist Should Know! | With Tab
Slide guitar is a great way to add some extra energy and interest to your playing. With just a few practice sessions you can start playing these easy slide guitar songs with confidence. Whether you’re looking for something upbeat or slow and melancholic, there are plenty of options for everyone. So grab a slide, tune up the guitar, and get ready to rock!