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Dobro Lessons: Chopping: Minor Chords

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Well let's talk a little bit about one of
the great mysteries of Dobro playing which
is minor chords.
[LAUGH] And particularly, in this
instance, we're gonna top, talk about,
how do you chop over a minor chord?
It's something that I always wondered and
was actually never that good at,
but developed a way to do it that works
pretty well.
So, there's a couple ways you can go about
One is very easy, which is by just
avoiding the thirds in a chord.
So, let's go to D on the seventh fret,
[SOUND] right there.
So we got our major chord.
But say we're in D minor.
Well, one thing,
one way to avoid the major sound is just
avoid those major sounding notes,
which are the second and fifth string.
That's your, [SOUND] that's your major
Just avoid those altogether.
So, maybe I'll just play the root I hear
on the sixth string.
The fifth, the fourth string, excuse me,
and the third string, these right here.
And what I can do is a pinch chop on
Now I'm using some lower strings,
so it's got sort of a thuddy kind of a low
But that's one way you can,
sort of avoid the major sound if you're on
a minor chord.
So, but that doesn't account for
the strum chop which is a lot of times
that's mainly what
I'm doing is more of a strumming chop.
So I don't wanna have to change the way
I'm chopping.
If I'm playing, you know, a major chord
like say a C major and
I'm doing my strum chop and then I,
the next chord is a D minor, I don't wanna
switch the way I'm chopping.
If I did it would sound, a little strange.
Listen, if I change the way I chop,
it totally changes the sound of it so
I wanna keep that strum chop going.
But what I have to do then is with,
I have to use my left hand to mute [SOUND]
the minor notes.
And, it's a little tricky, but
I'm gonna show you how to do it if you're
so if I'm using my strum chop here,
I can cover all the notes on a major
If I wanna move up to say, D minor,
I'm not actually playing the minor notes,
but I'm muting the major notes so it can
kind of have, a minor sound,
[SOUND] or at least it doesn't have a
major sound.
[SOUND] So how I do that is,
[COUGH] I only put the bar over the lowest
four strings, okay?
[SOUND] The top two strings are left open.
And, so I mute these strings in two
different ways.
I'm, [SOUND] I mute the low fifth string
with my thumb.
So, if you look at this overhead view, you
can see what my left hand is doing.
My thumb here comes around and
mutes this fifth string right here,
[SOUND] and the sixth string.
It only really has to mute the fifth
string though.
And I can actually angle it,
so the sixth string is open.
[SOUND] Well, maybe a little muted.
[SOUND] But the fifth string is totally
muted with this thumb right here.
[SOUND] Right?
And then the, the fourth and
third string are totally open.
So it sounds like.
you hear that fifth string where the major
third would be, is totally muted.
And then, the bar is not on the top two
strings, it only goes up to the, the
lowest fourth string.
So, [SOUND] the top two strings are muted
with this finger, my middle finger on
the left hand, it comes around outside the
front of the bar, [SOUND] and mutes these.
So, really the only strings [SOUND] that
are noting are the sixth,
fourth, and third.
Now I've got what you call like sort of
a power chord, just a no thirds at all
kinda chord, and
that can function great for a minor chord
kinda chop.
Now, especially if the band is playing
the minor notes behind you, it's gonna
sound just fine to do that.
So, if I'm on a C major, [SOUND] I'm doing
my strum chop.
And then I wanna go to D,
[SOUND] it's a real small adjustment
[SOUND] to,
[SOUND] I kinda just have to get my thumb
muting that fifth string.
So there right
there is how I can do a strum
chop over a minor chord.
You have this option, [SOUND] or you have
just the pinch chop option,
[SOUND] where you just avoid the the major
third so,
that gives you two different options to