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
If you have questions about the course or a specific lesson, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments and Discussion
Can you plan a lesson or series of lessons on Sledd Ridin. Not the Christmas song. lol
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
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
Truro, Nova Scotia
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.
Editor and Co-Founder
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?
Russell in KY
Thanks for checking out Peghead Nation,
Editor and Co-Founder
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?
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?
you have a nice and clear arrangements. Thank you! :) Maybe Fox on the Run should be interesting?
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?
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
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!
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?
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.
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?
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!
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.
Will you be including Part B (the chorus) in "I wonder where you are tonight" in the posted lesson?
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?
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.
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
Thanks, Bob Collins
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.
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.
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.
Editor and Co-Founder
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,
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.
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.
Shenandoah is one of my favorite melodies to play around with. I'll add it to the list.
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!
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,
PS: I really enjoy your lessons and your style of teaching.
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,
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