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How to Play Dobro Slide Guitar Music : Finger Picks for Dobro Slide Guitar

How to Play Dobro Slide Guitar Music : Finger Picks for Dobro Slide Guitar


Howdy! I’m Ed Dowling from eddowling.com.
I’m here to talk about finger picking, slide guitar on behalf of expertvillage.com. Finger
picks will allow you to play fast and clear. If you’re going to play dobro like Jerry Douglas,
almost all bluegrass and country players are going to use finger picks. The pick slides
off the string and allows you to play clearly and rapidly. There are 3 basic ways of using
these picks as far as the patterns. One is called the alternating row. Thumb, index,
thumb, middle, thumb, index, thumb, middle. This is 4 notes. There’s 4 notes at two four
and four four time. This is a really good. If you do this alternating row and move this
bar around, you’re playing slide guitar. Now, there’s another roll that’s used in dobro
play. It’s fast; it’s a transition from Earl to Josh Graves to Jerry Douglas, and that’s
the forward row. Thumb, index, middle, thumb, index, middle. Since you’re playing these
3 strings, the thumb ventures out and plays 3 strings and this middle finger will actually
go back and forth and play the 1st and 2nd strings. The third style is just going to
be guts, bare bones, how do I feel. Let’s use these things anyway we can. In other words,
I’m not playing out of a role. I’m just doing what I need to do to make the sound I need.
That’s the heart of slide guitar; just interfacing on a tactile level with these fingers and
this guitar.

62 comments

the basic differences in a dobro and in a acoustic guitar are the bridge and the distance that the strings are from the frets?

Hi. Apart from D G D G B D, you've also got D A D F# A D. Both these are very common and great for sliding. In particular if you're playing blues style. (that is playing the guitar the "correct" way and adding some slide now and again).

@ACmetalfaceDC – You dumb fuck, you had to Google Gandhi's name to see if I had it right – LMFAO – what a bright bulb you are.

Say, since you seem to be defending 1313 are you a sodomite too – why not ask the size of my pack – doesn't AC/DC mean you go both ways – are you a queer?

Look, Ganhdi licker, about the 'Christ like' remark – are you here to define how and how not Christians should act – start with the source, know Christ, he wasn't a door-mat either – do you not care for Jesus?

"..interfacing on a tactile level…" wow, what insightful commentary. Notice the guy is not even repeating his fingering pattern in rhythm in his 2nd ex.

@ACmetalfaceDC – HARD FOR ANYTHING OR ANYONE TO HOLD A BEARING OVER SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T EXIST, NOW ISN'T IT.

@oreostacker — yes, but be sure you buy get a Round neck. And you're looking at a Resonator Guitar…. Dobro is actually a brand name of a particular instrument.

@jehovahuponyou Hmm, let's take a poll. Those who think I am mentally unstable, thumbs up the comment above by Jehovah whatever. Those who think the guy who came to a video about slide guitar to call everyone faggots and hell us we're going to hell because only people from HIS specific version of religion go to heaven, thumbs-up THIS comment.
If I was the uploader, I'd have blocked you ages ago. Nothing you are saying is relevant to the video.

@mellowb1rd – YOU REALLY ARE A STUPID MFer, AREN'T YOU!

HEY, stupid, mellonbitch1roadslut, look fool, when did I tell all the posters they were going to Hell, faggots are cigarettes you idiot, also, please do name my 'specific version of religion'.

OH, and the pole you want to take, you have already taken several, straight up the old wazoo, bet you enjoyed em all. I think your strange attraction to me is some sodomite desire you have for a real man – go away you nyphwad!

@jehovahuponyou Apologies. I thought you were yet another religious whack-job. Turns out you are merely a troll who uses the preposterous, over-the-top religious angle to draw people in. Apologies for thinking you were one of those retards who actually take the bible to be 100% true.
Just a thought, you'd get more responses if you trolled on evolution websites or something. You know: sites based on something that actually IS real. The religious angle would work well there.

The real purpose for using fingerpicks is so the instrument can be played Firmly. (Loud)
You get in a string band (particularly one with a banjo) you REALLY have to be able to dig in and play Firmly to be heard.

Having (or not having) fingerpicks has no effect on speed. Speed comes with practice.

How long have you been playing for, as and average guitarist how long would it take me to play like you? excellent sound by the way

Bottleneck is better if you ask me.. The other thing falls out of your hand eventually. I hate playing with a bar. The Bottleneck is nice and stay's on you finger. And you won't have to use all that strength in your fingers to hold the bar (Because it usually weighs a nightmare for people to play longer time with.) And you can quickly take off the Bottleneck from the fretboard if you have to play a single string without a slide on. That could easily fuck up with the bar heh..

Hope that helped!

If I could just play that first method of his all day long I'd be happy!!!! I think however he's using more that thumb, index, thumb, middle. It got pretty complex about 3 seconds into that first riff.

I saw your video and was wondering; what were those on your fingers? Also I come across your vid because I recently heard about the Dobro or resonator guitar. I wanted to know it's sound was different from a regular guitar. Can you direct me to a video that shows these differences? Please and thankyou.

The last style of anything goes reminds me of Jack White in the second half of "In my Time of Dying" with Jimmy Page jam. That's on YouTube too.

Hi Ed, I can remember my older brother going out and buying Bert Weedon’s book, ‘Play-in-a–day,’ if only it was that easy. I think that was in the 50’s or 60’s. I figure for anyone that has the knowhow and ability it’s easy but you make it look so simple I want to go and buy a guitar right now as there’s nothing to it… in my dreams.
Thanks and Kind Regards … Andy

in my oppinion the third part was deffinitelly the best ":D but ofc depends on the situation and song U playing ';) good JOB!

Wow! As a guy who's been playing guitars for 23 years, I've recently started being very drawn to dobro and bluegrass, and I have to say it can seem pretty daunting at first. But having concrete, directly applicable tips like this makes it feel a lot more accessible, so thank you very much!

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