Dobro a/k/a Resonator Guitar --anyone play? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-25-2014, 06:40 PM   #1
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Cool Dobro a/k/a Resonator Guitar --anyone play?

I had long admired the sound one often hears in bluegrass of the metallic-y guitar notes sort of gliding up or down. For a long time I wondered, how do they do that?

I couple of years ago in a Michigan campground, a fellow camper entertained us all with music. He played guitar, harmonica, and if I recall correctly he also played a resonator guitar. I keep thinking how nice that was. It really added to the camping enjoyment that day (not that it was the least bit unpleasant to begin with, but still!).

Well, I've never really learned a musical instrument before, but at age 56 I feel like it's time to stretch myself. Out of the closet I dragged an acoustic guitar my wife bought a couple decades ago and I tried it a bit, but my left hand isn't big enough or limber enough to really get around the neck well for chords. (Same reason my wife says she never kept it up.) So today I ordered a 'reso' with a flat neck, that is meant to be played flat on the lap using a slide bar in the left hand. This is where the gliding-note sound comes from, the bar is moved up or down the neck while the note plays and the pitch changes. The 'reso' (often called Dobro, but that is a name brand) is tuned in Open G, which should make for some pretty easy chords. I'm excited about trying something new, and hope that I can also learn a thing or two about patience and perseverance... which will be needed in large supply if I am to learn this instrument.

So... does anyone else on the forum play one of these things? If so, do you have any advice about a source of inexpensive (or even free!) beginner lessons?

I think I'd like to become that 'guy at the campground who plays.'
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:25 PM   #2
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Enjoy. Remember its called "playing" the guitar.
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Old 08-25-2014, 08:50 PM   #3
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You can find lots and lots of teaching on youtube.

Here's one;

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Old 08-25-2014, 09:00 PM   #4
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Wildwood Flower

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Old 08-25-2014, 09:01 PM   #5
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I played around with lot of musical instruments. Most I gave up because of the hand and finger stretch. Trying to twist my hands around a guitar neck to reach the cords was difficult for me. I also played alone a lot so a bit of melody was wanted also. At the young age of mid to late 60s I discovered the Mountain Dulcimer. WOW what a cool instrument. It's played on your lap like a resonator guitar but with only 3 strings. Cords and melody are easy to play at the same time. This year I made my own Mountain Dulcimer. If you'd like to see some pictures and listen to here's the link It's on this site.

I hope you enjoy your music as I do mine.

Go to Death Valley in January 2015 and there'll be couple more Mountain Dulcimer players there beside me. Come join in for the jam.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:03 PM   #6
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Scales and Licks

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Old 08-25-2014, 09:03 PM   #7
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I agree with Carl, YouTube makes a great teacher. Most of the songs I know I've listened to many times with various instrument on YouTube. It's really helped.
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:09 PM   #8
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I've played around with about everything with strings............

My number one instrument is the Piano.
And my second instrument is the guitar.

I love playing around with the hammer dulcimer.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:33 PM   #9
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Thanks, Carl. Youtube, who'da thunk it? Hopefully I can get the basics down, to start with. UPS indicates that my package should be here in a day or two. In the meantime I have been picking up some basic knowledge (like, what is a chord and how to tune) from a free guitar lesson site, guitarforbeginners.com.

Byron, it's amazing that you can get so much out of 3 strings! I thought all dulcimers had a bunch more than that, but I learn something new every day.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:39 PM   #10
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So, what ya got coming?
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Thanks, Carl. Youtube, who'da thunk it? Hopefully I can get the basics down, to start with. UPS indicates that my package should be here in a day or two. In the meantime I have been picking up some basic knowledge (like, what is a chord and how to tune) from a free guitar lesson site, guitarforbeginners.com.

Byron, it's amazing that you can get so much out of 3 strings! I thought all dulcimers had a bunch more than that, but I learn something new every day.
I must confess, mine has 4 stings. The string called the melody sting is doubled. Two stings tuned to the same note played together. It add a little volume to the melody line.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:53 PM   #12
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To start out, I went low budget. It's a Rogue Classic Spider. Also a gig bag, a Shubb GS-1 steel bar slide, some picks, and a Korg tuner.
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
To start out, I went low budget. It's a Rogue Classic Spider. Also a gig bag, a Shubb GS-1 steel bar slide, some picks, and a Korg tuner.

Good start. That's about the same price range of first Mountain Dulcimer added a gig bag and picks. The Korg tuner I already from my building Native American Indian Flutes.
After almost 4 years I manged to improve things a bit with a home made Dulcimer and a more solid case. Next project is hard wooden case.

I discovered that trying to jam with other acoustic instruments I couldn't even hear myself so bought a very small earphone amplifier, (I put a pickup inside the dulcimer I built). Hopefully that at least allow me to hear myself so I can tell if I blend in. I'll find out about that next Friday.

I hope you have as much fun as I been having with my dulcimer.

Music in camp is great. I meet more people and have more fun playing in camp.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:25 PM   #14
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Thanks, I hope so too. I listened to some videos of this model being played, and I like the sound it puts out. So unless my particular unit is set up poorly, I think I will be happy with it.

The mountain dulcimer does seem to be a fairly subdued instrument. I don't think I'll have any trouble hearing mine; if anything I might find myself wishing for less volume during practice. That spider cone is made to put out lots of sound.

Tracking showed a package in transit from the seller, and it came today. Unfortunately it contained only the gig bag. Shoot.

I watched one of the youtube lessons, and it was only a partial lesson. For the rest, one must subscribe. And the creator of those lessons (Troy) states on his website that his lessons are not meant for beginners. Oh well. I just might end up springing for a couple months of payments for Andy Hall's online lessons at artistworks.com.
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