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Dobro Lessons: History of The Dobro

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So let's get started with a little
bit of the history of this instrument,
the Dobro or the resonator guitar.
Most people call it a Dobro, which is
actually a brand name.
Gibson Guitars owns the name Dobro.
But it was the original name of this
instrument and
the reason it was called a Dobro is it was
invited by a couple Czech brothers.
Two brothers who immigrated from the Czech
Republic in the early 20th century.
And they invented this instrument
basically to amplify the sound of a
This is before there was PA systems and
sound reinforcement.
So, this is what they came up with to
amplify the sound of a guitar.
It's got a single cone, also known as a
And this came about, I guess in the late
It had the wood body, the cone and started
being used in
in country music by Bashful Brother
I guess in the 30s, he played in Roy
Acuff's band.
And so pretty quickly after it was
it was adopted into country music.
Not too long after that a little later
after Bill Monroe
invented Bluegrass Flatt and Scruggs was
And of course, they had the great Uncle
Josh Graves who
was really the first Bluegrass Dobro
He took Earl Scruggs's three finger
right-hand style that Earl had
developed on the banjo and sort of applied
it to the Dobro and he's really,
we could attribute him to being, really
the inventor of modern Bluegrass Dobro.
From there, it was picked up by players,
like Mike Auldridge and LeRoy Mack.
This would've been in the 60s I suppose.
Who sorta continued to expand on the sound
of it.
And all these people are people who who
you should check out and
who have influenced me for sure.
After Mike Auldridge, of course you had
Jerry Douglas,
who took the instrument and just exploded
it and
was very inventive and has sort of helped
take it to where it is today.
And of course, now you have myself,
players like Rob Ickes and others.
But but that just gives you a little bit
of the history of the Dobro.
One interesting thing about the Dobro is
the name Dobro is actually a Czech word.
It means good in, in check.
It was also the Dopyera Brothers being the
inventors, they took the beginning
of their last name of, of Dopyera and
combined it with brothers.
So, you had do and bro.
So, and the original model,
I believe of Dobro was Dobro means good in
any language.
So I would tend to agree and being part of
the Dobro community is just neat
to know a little bit about how this
instrument came about.
And so hopefully that'll give you a little
bit of the history of the Dobro.