Your first four video lessons get you started on the dobro with an excellent guide to using your picking hand. You’ll get set up with a good picking-hand position, learn how to get the dobro situated on your lap, how to place your hand on the palm rest, and curve your fingers so your thumb and fingers hover about a quarter of an inch above the strings, ready to play. You’ll also learn some basic roll patterns, the essence of the bluegrass dobro style, and some exercises that will help you play cleanly and avoid getting a scratchy sound with your fingerpicks.
The bluegrass jam session favorite “Cripple Creek” is a great way to get started on the dobro.
The melody to the popular gospel classic “Amazing Grace” can be played almost entirely on the first string, making it a great exercise for practicing your intonation on the first string.
The old-time classic “Carter’s Blues” works well in two octaves on the dobro. You’ll also learn some variations with bluesy slides, harmonized licks, and pull-offs.
Venture out of the key of G to the key of C for the classic “Home Sweet Home.” You’ll also learn a few simple variations on the melody, with a few extra melodic embellishments and harmonies.
In most bluegrass situations, the dobro fulfills the same rhythmic function as the mandolin, providing a percussive chop on the back beat. You’ll learn a couple of different ways to play the chop, as well as a percussive rhythm that uses more of a roll pattern.
Learn the melody to the bluegrass classic “Long Journey Home” and start adding banjo-style rolls to the melody.
This classic dobro and banjo tune was recorded by bluegrass legends Flatt and Scruggs, whose dobro player Josh Graves introduced the dobro to bluegrass. You’ll learn the basic melody and then learn how to add rolls to the melody to give it the bluegrass dobro sound.
You’ll learn two positions for the G major scale at the 12th fret and use them to play “Amazing Grace” at the 12th fret.
Learn the melody to “Long Journey Home” in a closed position the 12th fret and then add a classic Josh Graves roll pattern to the melody.
Learn a closed-position version of the melody for the classic song “Banks of the Ohio” in the key of E.
Learn the bluegrass, folk, and gospel favorite “I’ll Fly Away” in the key of F in a couple of positions, with some variations that include some classic dobro double stop harmonies.
Once you’ve learned the triad shapes, you’ll learn the scale patterns that correspond to those shapes. You’ll learn three closed-position patterns that can be moved to any key.
The minor pentatonic scale is essential to bluegrass and blues. You’ll learn it in a closed position (without using open strings, so you can move it to other keys) and use it to play the bluegrass classic “Reuben’s Train” in the key of D.
This beautiful country classic sounds great on the dobro. Mike shows you how to use the different chord inversion shapes you learned in the Triad Shapes lesson to find the melody in different places on the neck.
In this lesson, you’ll learn the classic fiddle tune “Old Joe Clark,” played with a capo at the second fret. Mike plays the basic melody through and then breaks it down before showing you some ways to fill the melody out and spruce it up with rolls and drone notes.
The Josh Graves slow blues tune “Flatt Lonesome” is great for learning to play in the key of A without a capo and it includes a lot of cool blues licks.
Learn to play the Carter Family classic “Wildwood Flower,” a popular guitar instrumental and jam session favorite, in the key of C in two octaves.
Josh Graves’ solo on the Johnny Cash song “When Papa Played the Dobro” includes some classic dobro licks that every dobro player should know. It’s also a good introduction to playing harmony scales out of straight bar position.
The classic bluegrass song “Your Love Is Like a Flower” has a chord progression and melodic shape you’ll find in dozens of bluegrass songs, so it’s important to know this progression how as well as a solo over it.