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Dobro Lessons: “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”

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All right.
Well now, we're getting into some tunes,
which is the fun part.
So we're gonna go over the song, Will The
Circle Be Unbroken, which is a,
a common early bluegrass, tune that you're
probably familiar with.
We're gonna do it using the G scale that
we have just gone over.
So, we'll play it, using a metronome.
So say, if you wanna skip the metronome,
just, at first,
you can just sort of go over the notes,
and not so much worry about the timing.
And then, as you get comfortable with
where the notes are,
you can add in the metronome, as, as you
see fit.
So, but I'll, I'll demonstrate this using
the metronome so
you can get a feel of the timing.
As I say, it's great to use that metronome
the Dobro is not sort of naturally a
rhythm instrument, you know,
you think of mandolin or bass or guitar as
being a rhythm instrument.
So anyway, you can beef up that sense of
timing in your head is,
is gonna be helpful.
Another thing I'll just point out about
this tune, if you look at the music that
I've got here, it has what are called
pickup notes which
normally, you'll look at some music and
they'll be four beats to a measure.
So, if you look at this music, if you look
at the second bar, there's two half notes.
Well, that equals four beats in a measure,
the first bar is just two quarter notes,
there's only two beats there.
So that's, before a song starts you might
have a couple pickup notes that just lead
you into the start of a song.
So that's what those first two notes are,
they're called pickup notes.
So the song, Will The Circle Be Unbroken.
So those first two notes,
[SOUND] are pickup notes.
And then when you say circle, [SOUND]
that's actually the downbeat of the song,
so, just point out those, those pickup
So here we go.
We'll do, Will The Circle Be Unbroken at
106 beats per minute.
[SOUND] One, two, three.
That's at a nice manageable tempo, 106
beats per minute.
And, you can get the feel of the song at
that tempo.
If you want, once you get a tempo like
that you
can increase the speed of the metronome if
you're feeling comfortable.
You know, you might bump it up another 10
beats per minute.
So a lot of times that's what I'll do is,
when I get a song under control at a slow
tempo I'll slowly increase the tempo.
Maybe 10 beats per minute at a time, as I
said, so, you can try that, if, if you
get this at 106, bump it up, try it at a
higher tempo, and, and, see how you do.
Why don't we try,
Will The Circle Be Unbroken,
with a backing track to help us along.
We'll try it at 106 beats per minute
played two times through.
See how we do.
One, two, three.
Well that was a nice slow tempo, something
to get you comfortable.
And now let's try just a little bit
Maybe more of a performance tempo.
This'll be Will the Circle Be Unbroken
with a backing track at 140 beats per
One, two, three.
Feel free to use those backing tracks as
you like.