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Dobro Lessons: Building Solos

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Now we're gonna talk a little bit about
how you mi, might go about building a solo
phrasing one thing that I've tried to
develop over my time as a Dobro player is
trying to get good at phrasing.
What I mean by phrasing is, when you play
a solo,
you want it to sound like you're
communicating something.
And you can almost relate it to having a
So you want there to be phrases.
You want there to be breaths.
You know I mean some solos can be a stream
of 16th notes top to bottom,
that's you know one style and that can be
useful for really fast songs, but
a lot of times you're gonna want to have
some breath in there.
Let me just give you an example.
We'll play something here in the key of G
and I'm just gonna make it up but
it's gonna demonstrate a little bit of
phrasing here
Now I just made that up, but you can hear,
in there, there's.
Various parts where I'll play a statement
and then I'll take a breath.
Here's another way you might look at it.
Maybe that right there is
a complete statement.
You would just play that much, and then
take a breath.
And then start again on something else
so those two phrases together almost
make like a question and answer.
So when you're building a solo you can
think of it also as conversational.
You might have a question
something going up almost sounds like
a question and then something going down
almost sounds like the answer or
a resolution.
So when you're doing these phrasing
things, you can think of it
And the Dobro is an instrument that has a
real vocal quality.
So, you know, you can imagine.
If you were a singer, you'd wanna sing a
phrase and then take a breath.
And when you're playing, it's sorta the
same thing.
You wanna play some and then take a
And not only does it help you.
To take a breath it gives the listeners
ear a little bit of break and
it's gonna be a lot easier for them to
understand what you're playing.
One thing I notice in blue grass musicians
a lot of times and
myself as well, especially once you get on
stage you can end up playing
a whole lot of notes you're really trying
Emote and you're trying to really make a
but sometimes the best way to do that is
by leaving spaces.
Look at Mike Auldridge's playing for
instance you know,
he's one of the most highly respected
Dobro players ever and
he has a very, sparse tasteful style.
So, you don't need a lot of notes
necessarily just to be impactful.
I'm gonna play for you here an example
that'll helpfully,
hopefully help you get the hang of this
even more.
This is a solo off the song Always You
from my Sound of the Slide guitar record.
I'm gonna go ahead and play the solo along
with a click track, and
you're gonna be able to hear these
different phrasing type of ideas,
so we'll get a click going, and
I'll see if I can render this solo for you
one, two, three.
So that's the solo from the song Always
Now you can here in there, there'll be an
exciting lick and then a break.
And so that hopefully will help,
sort of give an example as to what I'm
talking about here.
I've also written this solo out, so
if you're interested in learning it, you
can check it out and
you can hear the original version on my
record Sound of the Slide Guitar.
Now that we've been talking about building
solos and phrasing,
I'd love to see what you're doing out
there to build a solo and
work on your phrasing, so if you'd like,
send me a video in,
you can use backing tracks to play along
to, and just create a solo.
I'd like to hear how you're phrasing and
how you're putting it together, so.
You can do that you can look to see what
some other students have sent in
maybe there's some videos related to this
to help you and but you can go ahead,
send me a video and I'll take a look at it
and give you some feedback.