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Dobro Lessons: Ear Training: The Copycat Exercise

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Well over the years, I've come up with a
few interesting ways to help develop your
ear and get you to use your ear to learn
better playing technique.
So one thing that you can do and is good
to do,
is learn how to hear and play harmony.
So, one easy way to do this is to actually
hum or sing or sing a harmony.
So a lot of times when you're talking
about a harmony,
you're talking about something, if we're
in a major key,
would be a major third above the note
you're playing.
So if I were to play a low G,
I could sing a major third above that and
it would be a harmony.
This can really help to develop your ear.
Even if you're not a singer, you can just
sort of hum these, and
humming things actually really ingrains it
into your brain, so
one thing that I'll do is practice scales,
while singing the harmony to it.
Again, you don't have to be a singer to do
You just have to be able to hear the
So for each time you play a note, you
wanna hum.
Or even just hear in your head a major
third above it.
So, if you're playing that note, that's
the note you gonna be hearing or humming.
No that's the idea.
Another thing that you can do, an exercise
that I'm gonna do with you here.
I want you to get your dobro out, and be
ready to play for this next exercise.
So what we're gonna do, is I'm gonna play
a short little phrase.
And then you're gonna try and copy it.
So this is a great way to sort of develop
your ear and
hear the different sounds of the Dobro,
and be able to emulate them.
It's gonna help you to learn songs,
and it's gonna help you to play with other
So I'll give you the key and then I'm just
gonna play a short,
little phrase, and you see if you can copy
Okay, are you ready?
We're gonna be in the key of G here.
So here's some G phrases.
Once again.
Here's another one.
Once again.
Another one on G.
Here's another one.
Okay that's good, well done.
Now let's try a few in the key of C,
Now let's just try a few more and one
other key.
Let's go to the key of D major and try
some more.
So there's some call and response
exercises for you.
You can practice these.
You can even make up some of your own.
You can get with a buddy and, just play
back and forth.
You don't even have to play the same
You could do this with a guitar player or
a banjo player or even a singer.
So, this is just an exercise to develop
your ear and give you some more to
practice with to help expand your
knowledge of melody and harmony.