Jason Isbell’s Slide Magic

If the slide guitar hook that binds “24 Frames,” the jangly first single from Jason Isbell’s fifth album, Something More Than Free [Southeastern Records], sounds a little tricky, that’s exactly what its architect wanted.

“The main riff on that song has a pull-off I do with my pinkie in front of the slide,” says Isbell. “I hit the note and pull off three frets up.”

Isbell figured out the trick after adopting Bonnie Raitt’s habit of wearing a slide on her middle finger when he was learning to play at age 11, which makes his fretting hand more versatile.

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Originally published in Guitar Player, August 2015