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Help: Dobro Tuning/Strings

Chicken Charlie 07 Jun 01 - 02:56 PM
Jeep man 07 Jun 01 - 09:19 PM
Chicken Charlie 07 Jun 01 - 09:37 PM
Grab 08 Jun 01 - 11:24 AM
Sorcha 08 Jun 01 - 11:35 AM
Justa Picker 08 Jun 01 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,Phillip 08 Jun 01 - 12:23 PM
Bobo 22 Jan 03 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,pjpdemo 28 Aug 11 - 07:07 AM
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Subject: Dobro Tuning/Strings
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 02:56 PM

I am now the proud owner of a dobro, which came to me strung and tuned like a guitar. I have been playing it in that manner & love the sound, but now I want to start playing it dobro style. The book sez there are a variety of tunings which seem so far above std guit. tuning that the strings must be changed--some notes are four frets above standard. [Get to the point, please!! Oh, right.]

Question: Why can't you just play the dobro in guitar tuning?? Is there a down side?? I'd rather have the option of using the instrument as a guitar or as a dobro within the same performance. Am I overlooking something that's going to bite me??

CC


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Subject: RE: Help: Dobro Tuning/Strings
From: Jeep man
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 09:19 PM

Most Dobros would be awfully hard to play as a regular due to the action being so high. You can tune in in G just like a banjo Jeep


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Subject: RE: Help: Dobro Tuning/Strings
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 07 Jun 01 - 09:37 PM

Well, hello, Jeep. I thought this was a case of "What if we posted a thread and nobody came?" The problem is not playing it as a guitar; the problem is in playing it as a dobro.

What's the advantage of banjo tuning going to be?? Then I just have to re-learn chords for that tuning. Besides, if I can play it in banjo tuning, why can't I play it in guitar tuning?

Take yer time; it's been a long day of computer frustrations and I'm "ottahere."

CC


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Subject: RE: Help: Dobro Tuning/Strings
From: Grab
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 11:24 AM

The answer is a single word: "slide".

Slide guitar is most often played in open tunings. You can do it in standard tuning, but it's difficult not to get duff notes creeping in and to get the right kind of riffs. Chord-wise, you can get any chord with an open tuning depending on where you bar the strings. Getting different voicings of chords though is another matter.

Tuning strings up is easier for slide but harder to finger due to the extra tension. Tuning strings down is easier to finger, but it doesn't slide as well and can give a "slackness" to the tone which may or may not be desirable.

Different tunings give different tones to the guitar and tend to put you in a particular mode of playing - the proximities of different notes in the different tuning makes it more natural to play different riffs. I've only been playing slide for a year or so, so maybe more experienced players can suggest different tunings and the songs they're used in?

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dobro Tuning/Strings
From: Sorcha
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 11:35 AM

Charlie, I don't know doo doo from dobro, but I found this page, it might help a little...........


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Subject: RE: Help: Dobro Tuning/Strings
From: Justa Picker
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 11:55 AM

If the Dobro is a round neck (as opposed to sqaure neck) you can play it like a guitar in standard tuning (you might need to have the action adjusted however) or as a slide, ala Jerry Douglas style. If it is a square neck, you'll only be able to play it as a slide guitar, with open tunings and their variants. (Taj Mahal fingerpicks Dobro just as he would a regular guitar.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Dobro Tuning/Strings
From: GUEST,Phillip
Date: 08 Jun 01 - 12:23 PM

Charlie:

The down side to playing a reso in standard guitar tuning is that there are limited major chords that you can play with a straight bar. (the steel thing you hold in your hand and slide along the strings to alter their vibrating length). Almost all reso tunings are some variant of an open tuning usually E or G (G is the most common, GBDGBD two G major triads with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings being the same as standard guitar tuning) Other variants include 6 or 9 chords, which are more commonly used on 7 or 8 string instruments.

The most glaring difference between the two styles of playing and the biggest impediment to using the same guitar for both styles is that reso players (lap style) raise the strings significantly by using a nut extension, to avoid bar noise on the frets when sliding. Slightly more than 1/4" is considered standard. You can surmise that pretty much eliminates any possibility of fretting the strings.

Check out www.beardguitars.com and www.resoguit.com for more info.

BTW, the term "dobro" has pretty much been replaced by "reso" for all instruments except actual Dobros, which are manufactured by Gibson. Gibson is highly protective of it's copyright and the use of the term "dobro" in the generic sense.


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Subject: RE: Help: Dobro Tuning/Strings
From: Bobo
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 10:35 AM

From the bottom up (1st string is the smallest) D-B-G-D-B-G is standard bluegrass tuning, just like Phillip said in his above post. The 1-2-3-4 strings are the same as a banjo in the same octave. So, if you have some banjo experience, it helps. But, rolls are not as important as picking string pairs. As far as playing "chords" in this tuning, you are limited... but you're not. You can play many chords including minors by playing only one, two or three strings (or more) for minors, 7ths, etc. "Chords" don't necessarily mean every string, right?


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Subject: RE: Help: Dobro Tuning/Strings
From: GUEST,pjpdemo
Date: 28 Aug 11 - 07:07 AM

from what I understand, open G, D, and E are the most common tunings for blues, my question is I am using medium guage strings and for the lower tension whith open G and D. Is there any problem using the same medium guage strings (on a round neck National Rhesonator)for open E tuning


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