This is a public version of the members-only Dobro & Lap Steel with Andy Hall, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Dobro & Lap Steel with Andy Hall.
Join Now

Basic Dobro
Intermediate Dobro
Advanced Dobro
Lap Steel
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Dobro Lessons: Names of the Strings and Tuning

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Quizzes
information below Close
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Basic Dobro

+Intermediate Dobro

+Advanced Dobro

+Lap Steel

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Dobro & Lap Steel with Andy Hall.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

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.

CLICK HERE for full access.
All right.
So let's get into the tuning of the Dobro,
for a little bit.
In bluegrass music the standard tuning for
a Dobro is like this.
G, B, D.
G, B, D.
So you have six strings.
And they're tuned in two major triads.
As I said, G, B, D.
And then one octave up, G, B, D.
This is, kind of convenient that you have
the lowest three
strings are the same Notes is the highest
three strings, just an octave apart.
So one thing as we go along and we're
you can just keep in mind that anything
you learn on these top three strings,
can just be transferred to the lowest
three, so like I said it's G B D, G B D.
And The way it's tuned is, it's similar to
how you would in fact it's the same as how
you would play if any of you are a guitar
players, who play an open G chord,
on a flat tap guitar.
It's tuned the same, it's a little bit of
a higher tuning
than a standard flat top guitar.
And I think the reason they chose this
tuning is because of
the material it was generally being played
on Dobro, which is blue grass or country.
G's a common key so, that's what we're
working with.
Now for tuning, I'll get my tuner here and
what I tend to do.
Is, I start with the G and the D strings.
So you've got your G string here [SOUND]
on the third.
And on the sixth, these are your two G's.
The third and the sixth.
And the way the strings are numbered is
number one string is the string farthest
away from you, the highest string.
So this is one, two, three, four, five,
So you've got three
is a G.
six is a G.
And then you've got one
is D.
And four is D, so I tune those first.
I tune the Gs and the Ds, and I wait on
the B strings.
Because the Bs are a little tricky.
So, what I'll do is I'll start with this
middle G string.
The third string first.
So, I'll pluck that.
And, get that lined, get that lined up.
Once I have that in tune I'll play the,
the highest string, the first string, this
is a D [SOUND].
Get that lined up, and kind of play those
together [SOUND].
Sounds in tune.
Then I'll go to this fourth string, which
is the other D.
[SOUND] Get it in tune.
And then I have these three strings here.
[SOUND] Those are in tune.
I'll go to my lowest string.
The G, the low G, get that in tune.
And then I have all the G's and all the
D's in tune.
That's the easy part.
Now the B strings are the second and the
Now one unique thing about the Dobro is
that I found.
As I tend to tune these B strings a little
bit flat,
and the reason is, when you tune them to
the tuner,
[SOUND] which I'll do to demonstrate,
it tends to have a sharp,
kinda bright sound.
And so for the way I play, which is doing
lots of chords, and
you can hear this is the B tuned to the
It's got quite a bit of sort warbeliness
to it so what I'll do, is I'll tune it to
the tuner and
then back if off a little bit.
So there it's in tune and I'll just
Put it maybe there, [SOUND] just one or
two notches flat.
[SOUND] Here how much more consonant and
pleasant that sounds.
[SOUND] So eventually you'll get to tuning
these B-strings by ear,
but they're kinda tricky.
So usually what I like to do is tune
these, the Gs.
And the D's
first, You
can hear it.
All right,
and then make sure those are in-tune,
and then what I'll do is, I'll just strum
all the way down and see how it sounds,
that sounds in-tune to me and
we are now ready to play.