Learn to Play the Traditional Tune "Railroad Bill"
While the steel-drivinâ€™ John Henry was a legendary character brought to life in song, Morris Slater (aka Railroad Bill) was flesh and bloodâ€”a black Alabaman who killed a sheriff in 1895 and, for the next year until he was killed by bounty hunters, eluded capture and was credited with a number of daring train robberies.
A standard for five-string banjo, â€śRailroad Billâ€ť also works well for slide guitar in G tuning. Starting with a slurred third played with the slide against open bass strings, this melodic arrangement includes a bottleneck barre of five strings (bars 7 and 8). Practice moving your slide laterally to open up the fifth string for a beat while maintaining the thumb pattern.
Excerpted from Acoustic Guitar Magazine's Best Private Lessons