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Dobro Lessons: Low String Bass Notes

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Dobro & Lap Steel with Andy Hall. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Dobro Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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[MUSIC]
Okay, in this lesson, we're gonna talk
about ways to use the lowest string on the
Dobro,
the low G as a rhythm effect, and for back
up.
So I'll show you a little bit here of what
I'm talking about.
[MUSIC].
So you can create a really neat, driving,
low-string bass effect
by using your thumb pick as a flat pick
and going back and forth with it.
That's the idea.
And so, what I'm doing here
[MUSIC]
is I'm taking the thumb pick and
grasping it just like I would a flat pick.
So instead of leaving the thumb pick open
on its own like I would for
normal picking, I take my index finger and
grab the front part of it.
So, just the way you would grab a flat
pick to flat pick a guitar, and so
that keeps it real steady.
[MUSIC]
And
I anchor my right hand on the cover plate
here to get sort of this rocking effect.
[MUSIC].
And I'm kind of angling the bar up,
[MUSIC]
so I don't hit any of the other strings.
I'm just hitting the low string.
[MUSIC]
And
then you can add the left hand the bar to
it.
[MUSIC].
So also on the left hand I'm angling the
bar up so that I only get
the the lowest strings, so you can see how
the bar is angled up like this.
[MUSIC]
Now you can see in some examples
when I was playing with Scott Law,
you can refer to some of these performance
pieces.
You can see in some of my backup, I do
chopping.
[SOUND] I might play some chords.
[MUSIC]
But
I also use some of this base note effect
as a rhythmic effect so,
you know, not only can you chop
[MUSIC]
to keep time, but
you can use this base string effect.
[MUSIC].
So that's the idea here and it just takes
a little bit of practice.
I might practice it with a metronome cuz
you really want to make sure your timing
is correct, but you wanna make sure you're
striking the string evenly going forward
and going backward.
So you don't want necessarily, one to be
louder, but
you can use that type of dynamics to
create a rhythmic shuffle maybe.
[MUSIC]
And I'm actually using just
a little bit of muting there.
So there's a lot of variety you can get
with this low string base effect.
[MUSIC]
And you can get it going pretty fast.
[MUSIC]
So, it's just another thing that
you can do to add to your repertoire, and
sometimes I'll even use that in a solo.
It might be a cool way to start a solo.
[MUSIC]
So as I say, it's kind of a neat,
unique sound, and you can add it to
rhythm, you can add it to doing a solo.
So practice these techniques, maybe with a
metronome,
to make sure your timing is on point.
Well, I've covered a lot of interesting
techniques here in the last few lessons,
and so I'd like to encourage you to send
in a video of you demonstrating
maybe some of the chicken picking some
bending behind the bar,
and maybe some of the low bass note rhythm
stuff.
You can send me a video regarding just one
of those techniques, or
you can combine them to make your own sort
of tune or song,
you can combine some of these techniques.
So feel free and send me a video, if you'd
like.
Take a look into the student section and
see I've already
answered some of these questions with
another student video response, but
if not, feel free, send me a video, and
I'll give you some feedback.
[MUSIC]