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Dobro Lessons: Basic Right Hand Technique

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All right, so let's talk a little
bit about, right hand technique.
I know you're anxious to get playing, and
so am I, so let's, let's get to this right
hand technique and get to where we can,
make some sound on this thing.
So the right hand, you wanna just have it
resting comfortably
on this part of the cover plate right
And rest your hand, be relaxed, and
what I generally do is just let my fingers
fall, one on each string.
So the way I have them now is I've got the
middle finger on the top string,
the index finger on the second string, and
the thumb on the third string,
and you can just sorta rest them there.
[SOUND] And this gives you, real easy
picking motion.
So when you pluck the strings, you wanna
just, you know, with these two fingers,
just pull towards you, [SOUND] and let,
let the note just, [SOUND] just happen.
And then, with the thumb pick, you press
forward, [SOUND] like that.
[SOUND] So, just try a little bit of that,
just try getting used to plucking some
strings, like I say with these.
And you want your hand to be sort of
curled in a little bit,
you don't want it to be too open.
It, if you imagine, this grip is,
is much stronger than a more open grip,
and it also means less movement, you know,
you don't want your fingers to be really
flailing, you want it to be controlled and
just relaxed, and so you have your fingers
curled under.
And if you need to, you can bend these
pick faces up a little bit,
which will help curl your hand under.
So you just want to look like this, and
you've got your fingers just one resting
on each string.
Just play a few strings, maybe move to the
next three lowest strings, play those.
[SOUND] And then the next three lowest
strings, just play those.
[SOUND] Just one at a time.
[SOUND] Just kinda get comfortable with
that movement.
[SOUND] You just want it to be a nice
clean strike just like this.
So, as I say, you want your hand curled
under, you wanna be relaxed,
you want your shoulders to be relaxed, and
just gently stroke the string.
[SOUND] But not too gently, you wanna give
it a little bit of oomph.
One thing that I notice, with new Dobro
players is, and this is to be expected,
but you're a little bit intimidated, you
know, you're playing, very quietly,
which is, is fine.
But what you wanna do is give it a little
bit of emphasis to get the tone going,
get this cone resonating you know?
So, give it a nice strike there.
[SOUND] Just feel what that feels like.
So, I've got a little exercise here, and
it's called basic right hand technique
using open strings.
And we'll go ahead and play this with a
Now, all the exercises we're gonna be
doing from now on,
I'm gonna demonstrate like I did talk a
little bit about it, and
then, we're gonna do most likely an
exercise with a metronome.
Using the metronome really helps a lot in
these exercises because it gives you
a sense of timing, and you wanna try and
start developing that from early on.
So, we'll do this basic right hand
technique exercise, and
we'll set the metronome at 90 beats per
[SOUND] One, two, three, four.