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Dobro Lessons: Learning The Neck

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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.

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[MUSIC]
Why don't we talk for
a minute about learning the neck,
note names and locations?
So we learned what the names of each of
these strings are.
We've got G, B, D, G, B, D.
Well, that's a good starting place.
As we go along, I've found it's really
helpful to try and
learn as many note names as you can on
this neck.
Now obviously, when you're looking at the
neck it looks like a lot of notes.
But really you're only, you really only
need to learn 11.
That's how many different notes there are
to learn.
And there's a few ways you could go about
it.
The reason for doing this really is it's
gonna save you.
If you can spend a little time trying to
learn the note names on the neck,
it's going to save you a lot, a lot of
time as you, try and
learn songs, begin to maybe play with
other people,
it's, communicate about music with other
people, learn music in general.
It's just, it really can h, can help that
a lot.
For instance,
a good place to start would be to learn
where all the G notes are on your neck.
So let's just talk about that for a
minute.
So we know we've got a G here, that's the
lowest string.
There's that G.
And then there's the middle G string right
here.
[MUSIC]
So
where else might we find some of these G
notes?
Well, you've got one right here.
[MUSIC]
This is the fifth fret of the fourth
string, the same note as this open G
string.
[MUSIC]
Right,
[MUSIC]
so we know we have one here.
One way to sort of double our knowledge is
to think about the octave of that,
which we know [SOUND] would be right here
on the highest string on the fifth fret.
So there's two more G notes, right there.
So you've got these two, [SOUND] and then
you've got these two.
[SOUND].
But we're already, you know, getting
halfway up the neck.
So, and to find these, you might just try
and
experiment, but eventually, you'll know
visually where these are.
For me, after doing this for a long time,
it's almost like the neck is lit up with
little dots in my mind,
and I can see exactly where all the notes
I'm looking for are.
And that can be the same for you, if you
take a little bit of time.
[MUSIC]
The next place you're going to find these
G notes is here on the eighth fret on the
second and fifth string.
[MUSIC]
Your octave, your G note octave right
there, and then once again you go up to
the twelfth fret,
which is the octave of your open G
strings.
You've got two right there.
So that covers the whole twelfth fret of
the neck.
So you know all, where all the G notes
are.
Now, that same visual pattern, this here.
[MUSIC].
That can be applied to another key.
So for instance, if we go to A which would
be the second fret, right,
and we strum that A chord so your A notes
are the root.
[SOUND] Lowest string.
[SOUND] And the third string as your A
notes.
Well, you can go up
[MUSIC]
right to here, and
there's your two high notes.
Go to here.
[NOISE] The second and fifth string,
there's those A notes.
And then once again, the octave up 12
frets from your original A.
[NOISE] And you've got those.
So that's one way you can sort of learn,
where the notes are.
I mean, you can also make yourself a
little chart.
Or you could, you know, find a note that
you know, like a G, count up from it.
If you know what to know where a B note
was, how might you find that out?
[SOUND] Well, you know you've got a B
string [SOUND].
So you sort of use the different, what you
do know to help you find the notes,
and what I recommend is just do a little
bit of experimentation.
Another way to approach this is you might
take a chord, like say a C chord.
[MUSIC]
So the C chord is on the fifth fret.
[MUSIC]
Strum right across.
So you could do a little bit of
memorization, so
you've got C is the lowest note in your
octave.
[SOUND] Well, the second note is gonna be
a major third above that.
It's an E, and then the next note is a G.
So you've got C, E, G.
Well, you know that the lowest three
strings are the same as
the highest three strings.
So then you've got C, E, G right here.
[SOUND] So it's using these little tricks
to sort of cover a lot more ground
than you think you need to.
When you look at the neck, it looks like a
lot of notes.
But you use a few little tricks, some of
these that I've taught here,
to help you to sort of learn these note
names.
And as I say, one way this is gonna help
you, is if say somebody says,
okay, play an E chord.
You're going to know right away where that
E is,
particularly if you know where the root
notes are, or the lowest note.
I'd say the most important notes to know,
are the notes on this
lowest string because, that's your root
note for a chord or a key.
So if you can learn the notes on the
lowest string,
if I know this is a G [SOUND], this is a
C, D, E, F, F-sharp, G.
If I can just learn these, that's going to
give me a good head
start in learning the neck and learning
the note names.
[MUSIC]