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Hi Folks, Thanks for checking out my Dobro courses here at Peghead Nation!

by Mike Witcher
September 16, 2014

Hi Folks, Thanks for checking out my Dobro courses here at Peghead Nation! We'll be covering a lot of ground in these lessons. From foundational technique to my approach to improvising. Feel free to send me a message with any questions about any of the lessons. Polish up that steel and let's get ready to slide!

Visit the Beginning Dobro Course Page

Visit the Dobro Workshop Course Page


Tags: Dobro
Category: Course Discussions

Questions About Your Course?

If you have questions about the course or a specific lesson, you can email instructors@pegheadnation.com

Comments and Discussion

Posted by kdtfrench@yahoo.com on
Mike,

Can you plan a lesson or series of lessons on Sledd Ridin. Not the Christmas song. lol

thanks,
Posted by doug.proctor2014@gmail.com on
Hey Mike

Just watched Can't You Hear Me Callin' This really helped me with the use of the minor pentatonic blues scale. Also you just nail this version, really good tone and playing!!!!

Keep up the good work

Doug
Posted by doug.proctor2014@gmail.com on
Mike & Scott

Really enjoying the Dobro workshop, I used to subscribe to Scott's flatpicking course and I learned so much from it. The way you folks teach and go over everything is perfect for me to learn and pick up quickly.

My question is for Mike, I used to have a flux capo for my dobro, I thought buying a beard wave capo would be an upgrade but it has proved to nothing but trouble and I am looking for something else. I see you have switched in the videos from the Wave capo to Charlies Slide Pro style. Would you recommend this model for others..? I am weary on anything stainless because I have heard some bad about the harshness of that compared to brass or chrome plated brass. Could you please recommend a capo for someone who is gigging with the instrument and needs something reliable??

Thanks So Much

Doug Proctor
Truro, Nova Scotia
Canada
Posted by Scottnyg on
Hi Jim,
The dobro tab is pretty standard. The first measure of "Cripple Creek" just has four beats -- two quarter notes (the first of which has a grace note slide), two eighth notes, and a quarter note. That makes four beats. Let us know if you have any other questions.
Best,
Scott Nygaard
Editor and Co-Founder
Peghead Nation
Posted by wb1dog@gmail.com on
Tab ? Is there a legend for the style of tab used in this course ? For example the first measure of cripple creek seems to have 5 beats to it.
Thanks !
Posted by rlb2013@zoominternet.net on
Mike,
I am a new monthly subscriber. Really looking forward to your current lessons and the future monthly offerings. Would you please give me a look ahead on what your "planned" lessons will be in early 2017?
Thanks!
Russell in KY
Posted by Scottnyg on
You can check out Mike's teaching style in the two sample lessons on the Sample Lesson page. And you can use the code Summer16 to get a free month of lessons so you can check out other lessons.

Thanks for checking out Peghead Nation,

Scott Nygaard
Editor and Co-Founder
Peghead Nation
Posted by R Holcomb on
Hi Mike,
Since every teachers style is different, it would be a plus if you could record a sample of each song that you teach here on Peghead. It would help me in deciding whether or not your style is easier or harder than other dobro sites. Any chance that could happen soon?
Posted by wb1dog@gmail.com on
When you introduce the chords for Cripple Creek, you appear to have the bar over the first 5 strings only ? and are you playing the low G first and then all the rest of the strings or just the next 4, stopping on the high D string ?

Thanks
Posted by davemays1@gmail.com on
HI Mike
I'm really enjoying your workshop here on line. I've noticed you've got what appears to be surgical tubing above the tailpiece on your Blackbeard. What's up?
Posted by ondrej.pospisil@outlook.com on
Hi Mike,

you have a nice and clear arrangements. Thank you! :) Maybe Fox on the Run should be interesting?

Ondra
Posted by jeff@mclainphoto.com on
Hi Mike,
I've gone through a few slides and am still looking for the right one. Perhaps I need to just choose one and adapt to it. I started with a Shubb wood/steel one, but I was advised that it's a bit tall and it's better to go with a low one to help my ring/pinky left hand fingers rest flatter on the back end for muting. So I got a Scheerhorn slide, and its tone is great, but it has a less-steep nose, kinda pointy, and I notice your 20-10 Beard slide has a steeper nose to it. Sometimes as I am rocking from low strings to high, the pointier nose of my slide is problematic - is this something you've ever experienced prior to getting the 20-10 or should I try to just adapt my playing to whatever slide I am playing? I even picked up a LapDawg steel but it seems too small for my hands. I see you have pretty large hands, mine are smaller so I'm trying to find the right combo of hand-feel and slide nose. Is steeper better?
Posted by freemanrandell24@gmail.com on
Mike,
im loving the beginners course far and how everything is laid out, just have a quick question, im noticing that the bar starts to slide a bit in my hand as the more play due to either hands sweating or fatigue in my hand and will even start to cramp, how do i correct this? or do i just need to get more strenght in my left hand with time? thanks

josh freeman
Posted by berg1101@gmail.com on
Mike-

really enjoying the beginning course. First time I've found material that has me progressing on my dobro!

Your slow play-through of pieces is very helpful. There's always time to speed up but really helpful to play along and try to match with your timing and tone. Scott's play along accompaniments are also very helpful.

I am a long time "thumb picker" and play guitar with a plastic thumb pick and just the nails on first two fingers. I am trying to do same with the dobro as I find the finger picks awkward. Do you think this is OK or a fatal mistake?

Finally, a pitch for a lesson on Wabash Cannonball. The 1970's recording with Bashful Brother Oswald (Pete Kirby) on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band "Will the Circle be Unbroken" album is what made me fall for this instrument years ago.

Thanks for these lessons!

Peter Bergenske
Posted by Mike Witcher on
Hi Jim, Thanks for checking out the coarse. I'm glad your getting a lot out of it. As for the chirping thumb pick: I recommend experimenting with pick angle. If that doesn't work try a couple of different picks. I have produced that sound from time to time. It seems to go away when I pick with a different part of the pick. I hope that helps.

Mike
Posted by Jimcycles@aol.com on
Mike,
I am getting a lot from your beginning course. I would like a lesson on right hand position, hand shape and anchoring. Specifically, my thumb catches the strings on about a 45 degree angle and makes a chirping sound. Do I need to work on changing the angle of approach, change thumb picks or get non-wound strings?

Jim Wilson
Posted by billnagle6900@gmail.com on
Looking forward to doing some dobro pickin! Just signed up.
Posted by Joan Duquette on
Hi Mike, I have been thinking about taking your course. I have been playing dobro for about 5 years and can play quite a few tunes. I also can do simple backup licks and figure out simple tunes using harmony notes. I have reached a plateau and can't seem to get any further with more advanced soloing and backup. For example I am playing in a group and they want me to learn Take this Hammer in D. I am a bit lost as I would like to incorporate rolls, but the key of D seems like a hard key to do this in and I don't want to capo. Would any of your lessons help me with this? Thanks Joan
Posted by mike_w on
Hi Jerry,

After watching the video it looks like i used the thumb for the first two plucks in the 9th measure. Then the thumb moves down to the 4th string, index on the third string and middle finger on the 1st string (this is a very common string grouping for rolls). On the 2-4 slide on the third string move your thumb to the third string and index to the second string to finish the measure. I hope that helps.
Mike
Posted by jerryleonard999@yahoo.com on
Hi Mike

You didn't really explain any fingerings on the "basic" tab to Nine Pound Hammer. I am wondering about the right hand fingering on measures 9 & 10. There is a forward roll on strings 4,3,2 and then you play 1,2,1,1, then back to 2 on the next measure. Can you help with a recommended fingering to accomplish this smoothly?

Thanks,

Jerry
Posted by mike_w on
Hi Steve,

It's hard to give input on what to look for in an instrument without knowing your price range. In the $200-$350 range, Gretch makes a decent starter instrument. They sound a little more funky and swampy than most Bluegrass resonators, but are a good place to start. $700-$1,200 range I recommend the Goldtone Beard resonators. They are great instruments (especially when set up at the Beard shop). You would have to jump up to the $2,000 plus range to beat it. If you are in the $2,000 range, the Beard vintage R is probably the best thing out there. When you get above $2,500 there are a lot of fine luthiers to choose from. I hope that helps. Good Luck!

Mike
Posted by mike_w on
Hi Bob,

I'm glad you liked the lesson for I wonder Where You Are Tonight. It's a great melody. I'll Make sure to talk about the scale and how I am thinking about navigating the patterns in future lessons too. I'll add the B Section to our list.

Thanks again,
Mike
Posted by bubbacollins@comcast.net on
Mike,
Will you be including Part B (the chorus) in "I wonder where you are tonight" in the posted lesson?
Bob
Posted by bubbacollins@comcast.net on
Mike, "I wonder where you are tonight" is a great lesson. Very informative and I like how you incorporated the use of scales into learning the song...something I've wanted to understand for quite some time. Could you use the same approach and explanation in future lessons? Is it possible to post a Play Along Tract for "I wonder where you are tonight?" Thanks
Bob
Posted by Steven Falco on
Hi Mike,
Can you you give me some pointers on what to look for in buying my first square neck resonator guitar?
I'm familiar with "buy the best you can afford" adage, but beyond that, are there some key characteristics to look for?
Posted by mike witcher on
Hi Fred,

I actually use the Beard 20/10 chrome plated steel. It fits my hand perfectly and has the best tone and sustain that I've experienced.
Mike
Posted by banjosmith45@comcast.net on
Hi Mike
I'm taking your beginning dobro course at Peg Head Nation and I have a question about the steel you use. You said it was a tipton by Beard. Is it the RT-2 model with the 15 degree angle? Beard has 4 new steels with different variations: 1 has a 20 degree on one end and a 10 degree on the other end.I'm thinking of trying that one, but wanted your input. You indicated yours was good for pull-offs which I'm trying to master. Thanks Fred Smith
Posted by bubbacollins@comcast.net on
Good start on improvising Mike. I hope you follow-up with a lesson on what to do with them. How do you use them to find a melody or just play around it? What do you do with the triads when a song changes from chord to chord? These questions seem to never be addressed, only the importance of learning the triads and patterns.

Thanks, Bob Collins
Posted by hartmutstuehrenberg@gmail.com on
Great lessons about triads and scale shapes! When you explain it, it seems so simple. Maybe one day it looks also simple when I work with these shapes ideas. ;-)
Thanks, Hartmut
Posted by ronthompson2841@juno.com on
Mike,

Really enjoying the lessons and the suggestions about a lesson on improvisation is something I would also be interested in. Another suggestion is showing us what to do in a jam when the leader says "Dobro take it". Tried rolls and other things but really am lost and just guessing at what to do.

Thanks,
Ron
Posted by bubbacollins@comcast.net on
Mike,
I would like to make a suggestion if you don't mind. The variations you teach in Nine Pound Hammer Part 2 are wonderful, however, the timing is difficult to follow at the pace you demonstrate them. Particularly difficult is sticking in the Jerry Douglas lick in the tune. Reading tabs is O.K. but hearing the licks and their timing best for me. It would really help if you would slow it down a bit.

Thanks,
Bob
Posted by Scottnyg on
Hi Brice,
Welcome to Peghead Nation. To answer your question, in the key of G, the note below G is F# not F. F# is a half step below G and so it's played at the fourth fret of the fourth string.
Best,
Scott Nygaard
Editor and Co-Founder
PegheadNation.com
Posted by Brice Daniel on
Hi Mike,

First, I need to apologize for my english, I am french, so it's far from perfect.

Thanks for your lessons, they are easy and fun to follow.

Yet I have a question regarding the "Exercices for both hands" of your "Beginning dobro course". During the exercice 3, when you apply the standard roll by walking up and down the scale on the 4th string, I am somewhat lost regarding the position you fret. In your exercice when you reverse the scale, at some point you go from the 5th string (a G) to the 4th string (in the video and also on the pdf accompanying the course, it is how it's written).

But I thought that on a D string (the 4th in standard tuning in Dobro) after the G, on the fifth fret, you had to go to the third fret to find a F (whole step), and after that to the second fret to find a E (half step) ?

So I am wondering why your are "fretting" the forth fret and not the third to make an F ?

I am new to guitar, so my question might be stupid, but I would be glad if you, or someone else on the board for the matter, could shed some light on that for me.

With kind regards,

Brice.
Posted by Pilar Marien on
Hi Mike, took you class at Walker Creek last fall, where you said someone from my town of Aptos had also bought your book. If you can remember who that was I'd like to get together with them and practice .
Also, Do you have a second book? I'd like to get that one too. I'm slowly going thru your first one and I'd like some more tunes to try.
Thanks,
Pilar
Posted by bubbacollins@comcast.net on
Mike,
Looking forward to the intro to improvising lesson and navigating chord shapes. I really like the lesson on "Nine Pound Hammer," Your approach simplifies working up tunes in general, find the simple melody, add some rolls, then fillers and licks . . . easy to follow and understand.
Thanks,
Bob
Posted by mike_w on
Hi Hartmut,

Shenandoah is one of my favorite melodies to play around with. I'll add it to the list.

Thanks!
Mike
Posted by mike_w on
Hi bubbacollins,
Sorry for the delayed reply. I'm heading back into the peghead studio this month. I'll make an intro to improvising lesson and a "how to navigate" chord shapes lesson a priority. Thanks for writing!

Mike
Posted by hartmutstuehrenberg@gmail.com on
Hi Mike,
I (and I think many others,too) would really appreciate if you could make up a lesson of your solo version of Shenandoah like played in the video, where you feature your Clinesmith.
And would it be possible to put up the play-along tracks also as doownloadable mp3s.

With kind regards,
Hartmut

PS: I really enjoy your lessons and your style of teaching.
Posted by bubbacollins@comcast.net on
Mike,
When do you think you might have lessons on your approach to improvising? I've learned a variety of scales but not sure how to apply them when improvising. Are there safe patterns that can be played over 1, 4, 5, and related minor chords? When I'm trying to pick up the melody of a tune when improvising, what should I be thinking? Where should I be going on the fret board?
Appreciate any insight,
Bob
Posted by Scottnyg on
And all the song/tune lerssons are different.
Posted by Scottnyg on
The introductory technique lessons are the same in both courses, but not the Exercises for Both Hands lessons, and going forward there will be different new lessons in each course every month, so those basic technique lessons will be the only ones common to both courses.
Posted by watergourd@gmail.com on
are the right and left hand videos the same for both the beginning and the workshop courses?
Posted by Scottnyg on
We just put up some play-along tracks for "Red-Haired Boy," "Cripple Creek," "Amazing Grace," and "Dobro Country." Enjoy!
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