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Dobro Lessons: Minor Chords

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Now we're gonna do a lesson
talking about some minor chords.
Been doing a lot of stuff with major.
Let's, let's get into some of this minor
chord stuff here.
So, [SOUND] it's always a little tricky on
the Dobro because it's tuned to
an open G chord.
So, you wanna learn, there's a few tricks,
few open minor chords you can use and
a variety of ways you can get that minor
sound, even though we've got a,
a major chord for our main [SOUND] open
chord here.
So [SOUND] there's a few ways you can do
One way, and probably the simplest way, is
by just avoiding the B strings,
which are your, your thirds when you're
strumming straight across.
So let's go to the key of D for now, a D
chord anyway, right on the seventh fret.
So one way you can just avoid the B
So [SOUND] play what's called a power
So you're not doing any thirds at all.
Just root, [SOUND] root, the two roots.
The two D's, on the sixth string and the
third string [SOUND].
And then the fifth [SOUND] right here on
the fourth string.
[SOUND] Another way to play that would be
playing the highest string [SOUND],
seventh fret, third and fourth string.
[SOUND] I'm just avoiding the second
So you're avoiding the second and the
fifth strings in this particular type.
[SOUND] This isn't really a minor chord,
it just doesn't have the major note in it,
so in the context of, if you're playing in
a group, or with a track, or
whatever, and the melody is minor, it's
gonna sound minor.
So, that's one way you can do that.
And you can do that any barred chord if
you have an E minor.
[SOUND] You might wanna just, avoid the
Once again [SOUND] just play that sort of
power bar chord.
Now, there are some really nice full
minor chords that you can use.
There's a couple, anyway.
The main one is B minor.
Very pretty,
you get the full minor chord with this
[SOUND] And what it is, is you're on the
fourth fret here.
And you're leaving the top two strings
[SOUND] Now once again,
you wanna avoid hitting the fifth string
cuz your bar is on it.
So [SOUND] you wanna either just strum the
top strings like so.
Or use some sort of pinch [SOUND] or a
roll or whatever.
Just wanna make sure you avoid that fifth
So the B minor, really pretty there.
B minor is the relative minor of, of D.
[SOUND] So if you're playing in D and
there's a minor chord,
chances are it's gonna be B minor.
But a lot of the times,
you don't have the option of playing a
totally, a full chord.
So what you might do is play just like two
notes of a chord,
now this is, is actually quite easy,
because the top two strings of the Dobro
are a minor inter, interval.
[SOUND] So, this note here, some on the
fifth fret.
Like, where I'd play a C.
[SOUND] The second string, that's an E
[SOUND] And then the top string is a G
note, so
right there is a minor chord, that's E
[SOUND] This is your E.
So anything I play on these top two
[SOUND] the second string is the root
The top string is your minor third.
So this is an E minor.
If I move it up three frets,
[SOUND] this becomes my root note.
[SOUND] And I'm playing a G minor.
If I wanna play an A minor chord,
my root note is right here, [SOUND] on the
tenth fret.
[SOUND] I've got A-minor right there.
So these top two strings
could be used as a little two note minor
Now, there's a few others that you can
You've got an E minor down here.
[SOUND] Which is pretty nice.
That's just fretting the second fret of
the fourth string only,
and strumming all the rest open.
[SOUND] Nice E minor seven chord there.
[SOUND] You could go up then and play the
E power chord.
So you've got E minor there.
That's quite nice.
So you've got a few different options.
One other thing you could is play in G
Now the nice thing about G minor is.
[SOUND] You've got all these big open
And then you can just fret the minor note
in G.
That is the third fret of
the third string.
Got a nice big G minor.
earlier we talked about G Minor Penatonic.
So if there's a song in G Minor, you could
just play that regular open position.
Also this note, the minor third in G,
lowest string, third fret.
Now, and the same token,
you can play D minor fairly easily as
You can use this D home position with no
thirds [SOUND] and you could add the minor
third on the top string,
so that would be the third fret of the
highest string.
Also playing the o, lower open D string.
Go up and play a power
chord maybe to resolve it.
So, you want to use a few of these
different tricks to sort of get around
playing the minor chords.
A lot of times that power bar chord's
gonna work,
some of these two note chords, or
a few of the open string chords that you
can use are gonna really help you in this.
Well I'm gonna discuss a few
other chord options we have.
These are not necessarily just minor
These are just interesting chord options
you can come up with on the Dobro.
And there's a lot of them.
I encourage you to experiment using
different sounds, different chords.
The Dobro may seem limited at first, but
it can get a lot of neat sounds
that a lot of instruments can't get,
including with chords.
So what I'll do is just show you some of
these examples of other
sounds you can get.
And you can go experiment, try and make up
some of your own interesting chords.
So I'm gonna just refer to some of the
music we have here, and
play you some of these chord options.
Here's one.
[SOUND] This is an A chord with a D note
in it.
[SOUND] Very pretty.
And a lot of times when I find these
I might even turn them into a little tune
or something.
I might roll on them.
I don't just strum it.
I'm gonna use it as a basis for
So you've got a nice pretty chord there.
It's called A add 11.
But it's a nice A chord with a D note.
Another option, you just move that up one
You've got a nice B flat
chord there with an open D.
D is the third B flat.
Here's a really nice one.
This is a Gsus2 or Gadd9.
You can either play it as a pinch or
you can strum all the way across.
You get a really pretty sound that way.
And a lot of the, what I'll use these
chords for is either in writing or to make
up my own,
sort of, experimental exercises with
So that's the Gsus2.
Here's a Cadd9.
This one is pretty common.
[SOUND] Easy to do too.
The nice thing about these chords is that
they are really easy to play.
[SOUND] This is just playing a C leaving
the highest string open.
[SOUND] So you got a C with a the D.
[SOUND] Very pretty.
Here's another one.
This is D6 chord.
This is neat.
The 6 chords kind of have more of, like, a
swing sound, almost, maybe western swing.
The way this is played is, it's on the
seventh fret where you play a D-chord but
you're leaving the top two strings open,
so you get this B note.
Real nice D6
right there.
Here's another one.
This is a G11 chord.
I don't think of it in that terms, I must
I just like the sound of it.
I think of it more as an F chord really.
You could use this.
And go back and forth to a C chord.
Maybe that's Cadd9,
that makes a really pretty sound.
one more.
This one's a little odd.
This is a major seven chord.
It's actually a D sharp chord, which you
probably wouldn't use all that often, but
you get the major seven note in there with
the D, so it's kinda nice.
Here's another interesting chord.
This is the first fret playing everything
with the highest string open.
You could go back and
forth to that D sharp.
there's one other C
chord you can try.
This is a C Major 7 9 chord.
[SOUND] It's a lot like the one we played
But you're leaving also not just the high
But the second string open.
And then I'll play one more,
a real standard G7 chord.
So that's basically just playing
the third fret of the D string.
Everything else open.
So I'm showing you these chords just to
show you how broad your options are with
chords and different sounds on the Dobro.
You don't have to just play the straight
major chords strummed across.
You can use a combination of open strings
fretted strings to create all kinds of
interesting chord options.