The 15 Best Slide Guitar Songs Of All Time

grayscale photography of person playing guitar

There are many great tunes to play on guitar, but there’s something special about slide guitar specifically. Slide guitar is used in a wide variety of musical genres. Since slide guitar can provide something fresh and unique to almost any sound, if you enjoy any popular music genre, chances are you’ve heard it or been affected by it.

Check out the top slide guitar songs listed below if you’ve been searching for the very best slide guitar music. Or if you play the guitar and want to hear music that will help you hone your skills and improve your technique.

Either way, I think you’ll enjoy The 15 Best Slide Guitar Songs Of All Time:

My Sweet Lord – George Harrison

Great folk/gospel-inspired music like this takes you back to the 1970s. This was George’s first solo performance after leaving The Beatles.

Naturally, the song was a huge hit and even the best-selling single in the year of its release. George, a fervent devotee of the Hindu deity Krishna, honored the tradition in this song.

Conventional strummed chords cover the majority of the rhythms in this song, but as the song goes, numerous little lead lines and inflections are handled using the slide, so you want to learn it, keep your slide ready to go on your third finger at all times.

Statesboro Blues – The Allman Brothers

Statesboro Blues is a vintage Blind Willie McTell song first presented in 1929. The piece was, however, made well-known by The Allman Brothers Band. The song’s most notable rendition was included on their classic live album “At Fillmore East.”

You’ll get a great workout using your left-hand fingerpicking and right-hand slide technique because it features a ton of lead playing. Honestly, no one can match the enchantment that Duane Allman created in this song. He continues to be considered one of history’s best guitarists.

Midnight in Harlem – Tedeschi Trucks

You may name Derek Trucks the world’s greatest living electric slide guitarist after seeing him perform live. The man seems to be at one with his guitar and slide.

Trucks was a bit of a slide player prodigy who began playing at a young age. By the time he was 13, he had performed on stage with Buddy Guy. He spent several years performing with the Allman Brothers as a guest musician and has toured with Eric Clapton’s band.

He and his wife Susan Tedeschi founded the fantastic band, which in 2011 released Revelator, which includes a cover of Mike Mattison’s Midnight in Harlem. Truck’s slide work and Tedeschi’s vocal performance make it fantastic.

Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top

ZZ Top played “Sharp Dressed Man” on their 1983 album Eliminator. Despite not being regarded as sex icons or fashion leaders, ZZ Top was persuasive in this song about how attractive well-dressed guys are to women.

Before the third stanza begins, Billy Gibbons plays a lengthy guitar solo following the second chorus. To keep it interesting, he gave this section many turns and twists and layered two guitars to make a compound track.

Stormy Monday – Allman Brothers

In the song “Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad),” T-Bone Walker, a pioneer of the American blues electric guitar, wrote and recorded the song (often referred to as “Stormy Monday”).

The guitar solos by Duane and Dickey in the version above, are still, in my opinion, some of the best straightforward blues solos ever captured on a live recording.

Any piece of music’s ability to endure is the actual test. For me, this record never gets old. Whatever genre of music you prefer, the best pieces will continue to be played long after the others have faded.

How Long Blues – Eric Clapton

Clapton was far from perfect regarding leading, but he certainly put his own spin on blues classics.

This song is a vehicle for playing a new version with Eric’s best clean, soulful breathing shake-it-up, smooth, lead solos. You can feel him getting deeper into it throughout the tune.

Have You Ever Loved a Woman? – Derek & The Dominos

Billy Myles wrote the blues song “Have You Ever Loved a Woman,” first performed by American bluesman Freddie King in 1960. This is a tremendously heartbreaking song that can be related to anyone who has ever fallen in love.

What more could you ask for than Clapton, Duane Allman, and unforgettable, really aggressive solos? The song is sung as a slow 12-bar blues.

Come On In My Kitchen – Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson wrote the blues tune “Come On in My Kitchen.” It has been called “his first undeniable masterpiece” and “a mesmerizing lament” by music critic Elijah Wald. You can feel the soul of an honest, authentic creation when you listen to this man. People should pay attention to and learn from a man who, despite his nature, can speak the truth in an oppressive time.

The song’s core melody is instantly recognizable. with the slide guitar and vocals complementing one another perfectly.

Rocky Mountain Way – Joe Walsh

Rock guitarist Joe Walsh and his band Barnstorm released the “Rocky Mountain Way” song in 1973. All four band members shared composition credit for the tune.

Since most of the song’s slide parts revolve around the minor pentatonic scale, this is an excellent tune for slide guitarists to learn.

This record has excellent production. Like the grooves on that record, every note, tone, timbre, and nuance is deeply entrenched in my mind.

Done Somebody Wrong – Elmore James

Elmore James was an American blues guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and bandleader who lived from January 27, 1918, until May 24, 1963. He was referred to as the “King of the Slide Guitar” and was renowned for his passionate voice, loud amplification, and slide guitar playing.

One of his best guitar solos ever was in this song.

Key to the Highway – Derek & The Dominos

Duane Allman, a master of the slide guitar, is considered to be one of the best but most underrated guitarists in the world. An ingenious slide guitar player, he could play notes, chords, and chord fragments flawlessly.

This is easily one of the unsurpassed guitar duo recordings ever made, Duane Allman’s Les Paul burns on this song. You may just walk away from it thinking he was the best slide guitarist ever to live!

How the lead instruments can sound so powerful with just a basic blues pattern built around three chords never ceases to astound me.

Sahib Teri Bandi/Maki Madni – Derek Trucks Band

I had previously enjoyed Derek Trucks’ guitar work in The Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Derek Trucks Band, and other projects. However, Sahib Teri Bandi – Maki Madni is a very different experience for many listeners. It mixes the Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan songs Sahib Teri Bandi and Maki Madni.

This slide guitar ode to Qawwali and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was performed by Derek, who is of course renowned for excellent slide use and phrasing, tone, and pitch. An excellent song for understanding Derek’s World Music influences on his other playing.

Mojo Boogie – Johnny Winter

Johnny Winter started learning to play the guitar in the early 1970s.

The great thing about Johnny is that he mastered every facet of the blues idiom. He could play finger picking, steel slide, low-down country, loud rocking far-out licks, and simple country music with the same wild abandon and mind-blowing technique.

Johnny is a member of the exclusive group of guitarists who, because of their close relationship with their instrument, were “born with a guitar in their hands.”

Layla – Derek & The Dominos

Layla by Derek & The Dominos was the tune that first exposed many listeners to Duane Allman and his slide-playing prowess.

Wilson Pickett’s cover of Hey Jude by Duane Allman was Clapton’s introduction to Duane’s music. He was so taken with him that he requested to play guitar as a session player on his next album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.

Some of Allman’s best work, including an incredible solo, can be heard in the song Layla, above.

It Hurts Me Too – Eric Clapton

This album (From The Cradle) is the best one Clapton has ever released. This documentary and the new content are both flawless. Early in his career, Clapton was hesitant to sing and doubtful about his singing voice.

This song is unequivocal evidence that the man was capable of much more than just playing that fantastic guitar. Take note of the clear, precise, clean slide playing this piece.

Corbin Buff

Corbin has played guitar for over a decade, and started writing about it on Acoustic World in an effort to help others. He lives and writes in western Montana.

Recent Posts