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Dobro Lessons: Chord Backup

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Alrighty, let's talk a little bit about
doing some, more type of different backup.
We're gonna talk about chord backup.
We've done some chopping, some rhythmic
stuff, but let's do some chords here,
and what, the point of this is to give you
another technique to use,
when you're not playing lead or just
The Dobro makes really nice sounding
I'd liken it almost to like an organ
And it can be just a nice padding effect
behind either a vocalist or
behind someone else soloing you know, so
[SOUND] a lot of times when
I'm doing these chords, I'm usually doing,
like, a pinch type of a chord.
[SOUND] And the nice thing, as opposed to
a strum.
[SOUND] The nice thing about a pinch chord
is [SOUND] it's real clean.
And all the notes happen at the same time.
So you can get these nice, sliding,
almost organ-like padding chords.
That was just a little
melody I made up right
there on the spot, but
it was just to demonstrate
how you can use some of these
chords behind a chord progression.
So what you want to do is, when you're
doing this as backup,
you kind of, you, the idea is to stay in
the background.
You don't want to draw too much attention
to yourself.
This is something that you want to do
underneath the melody.
So you can stay out of the way with volume
by just keeping your volume down.
You can also do it by
staying out of the register that either
the soloist or the singer is playing in.
So they're singing high, you might go low,
that type of thing.
And the other way you can do this is sort
of by avoiding playing melody notes,
you're not playing a melody here,
you're just wanting to create a pad in the
a little bit of a slide into the chord is
And what you can do is create
maybe little connecting notes between the
So, if I were to go from say, D here on
the seventh fret, to G on the 12th fret,
I might put one sort of single connecting
note in there, so
it might sound like this.
Now you can do that.
So just, just a little something you can
create that's sort of a little bit of
melodic movement there, but
mainly you're just trying to stay in
background and create a nice pad.
So I've got a little exercise here that
I'm gonna play with a metronome and
you can see in the music that I've got the
chords listed.
So you can see what chords I'm inferring
or playing right above the music there.
So we'll go ahead and play this and so
you can hear an idea of how some chord
backup might sound.
[NOISE] One, two, three, four.
you can hear,
it's mostly chords,
with a few little
connecting melody notes.
So what you can do is use your knowledge
of scales to
create those connecting melody notes, and
then use your knowledge of chords to
create the nice backup padding sounds.