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Dobro Lessons: Open B Position

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Well, here I
wanna talk a little
bit about playing in
open B position.
As we know in bluegrass the key of B is a
really common key for, for bands to play
in, it's got a really bright sound, a lot
of times people are capoing up high up
on the fourth fret to play in B, and it's
just got a really neat driving sound.
What I'd like to talk about is how you can
get some really cool sounds without a capo
in the key of B, particularly on minor or
bluesy sounding stuff.
So, at the start of this,
I just played you a little something that,
that has that sound.
we're talking about right here on the
fourth fret.
And one cool thing about playing in
an open position, particularly like open
is if you capo there, you can't slide up
to the B, [SOUND] you know,
you can't slide into the low notes because
your capo's there.
So, you can get some really cool sounds by
not using a capo.
As we know in the key of open B, it's,
we've sort of got a B minor note here,
[SOUND] with our high D string [SOUND]
being open.
[SOUND] We also have a B note [SOUND] on
our second string, so we've got B and D.
[SOUND] So we can do some cool bluesy
double stops right there,
by playing the top two strings.
Add that in with some of our closed
position playing and you can get a really
neat sound.
Another thing that you can do,
is you can close your bar over the second
string, so
you've got the minor note in B D, [SOUND]
and then you've got a D sharp,
[SOUND] and you can sort of do those blues
But mainly we're gonna be
focusing on the minor.
So, let's go over just sort of a, a B
minor scale, and
you'll see how you get to actually use a
lot of open strings here.
One thing to keep in mind is that B minor
is the relative minor of D major,
so, you've got all your D major notes,
same as in B minor.
So, let's just play this first exercise
I've got here.
So you can hear how you've
got all these open strings,
including the open B strings.
Now, remember,
we tune our open B strings just a little
bit flat, so, you know,
you want, you might hear a little bit of
sketchiness, but it's okay, you know,
don't worry about it,
that's just sort of the nature of the
But what you can do with this B minor
scale, you can make it kinda bluesy, and
you can do quite a bit interesting stuff.
So, you can, you can do sort of different
patterns using all these open strings.
That just gives you a whole lot
of interesting stuff.
And the other thing you can do, is you can
use some hammer-ons and
pull-offs on your high D string.
So this is your high B note up here,
ninth fret, [SOUND] and you can kinda
bounce up and
down off of this D string.
I've got an exercise here,
it sounds like this.
So there's quite a bit you can do so, for
instance, if we're in a song like say Nine
Pound Hammer,
somebody was playing it in B,
you can play it right here in open
So, I recommend trying
some of these B minor and
B blues exercises, and
just getting a feel for
what it sounds like to play
in this open B position,
it can sound pretty cool.