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Dobro Lessons: “Amazing Grace”

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I've got another song here for you,
and it's one that you're probably familiar
I like, especially at the start, to teach
songs that people may have in their head
already maybe a song that they could hum.
It makes it a lot easier to learn.
So we're gonna do Amazing Grace, a really
beautiful gospel song.
And what we're gonna do is we're gonna
incorporate a lot of what we learned,
some slides, some chords, and just,
you know, the melody of course has
beautiful phrasing.
So this is a song that can be actually a
great solo Dobro
piece because of the great sustain and the
ability to use chords with it.
If you ever play solo Dobro, it's nice to
fill out the sound with, with some chords.
So if we take a look at our music, I'll
just sort of go step-by-step through some
of the points of this song, and then we'll
play along with some backing tracks.
It starts out with three pickup notes.
So it starts out with
these pickup notes for the amaze.
that first chord is just a G chord right
The fifth fret of the fourth string and
the two open G notes, nice big resonant
And then, a slide.
And another chord.
So we're playing the melody,
which would just be
But we're adding these big chords to it.
So on all the melody notes, we're adding
these, these other chord notes that really
fill out the sound.
And then on the second line, again, some
pick up notes.
That's the end
of the second line.
When you're learning songs, one thing
you'll notice is,
there's quite a bit of repetition.
If you look at the first couple bars, the
first three bars are the same as,
basically, the second three bars, just
Just the ending of those phrases is a
little different.
You see, it starts like this.
And then you got a C chord
there on the fifth fret.
And then, once again, we're doing the same
phrase again.
And then, it ends with a D chord here,
[SOUND] that phrase.
So when you learn these songs, you notice
there's a lot of repetition.
And, and so you see a bunch of music and
you think, God,
look at all that stuff I have to learn.
But really, there's gonna be just a few
parts that repeat with maybe,
little different ending chords here and
So when you see the music, don't get
A lot of it is repetition.
So then you go down to the third line for
the second half of the melody.
There's another big G chord with
a D note here, seventh fret, and
remember you're tilting your bar to just
get that one fretted note.
And then the fourth line,
we've also already played this phrase.
Pick up notes again.
So really, there's just a few
phrases to learn in the whole melody.
Now let's try it with a backing track.
>> [NOISE]
One, two,
three, one,
two, three
So you'll
there's a lot
of repetition
there, very
And you may notice that I was doing some
sort of different inflections there.
With a slow tune like this, you can really
add a lot of emotion with
the way you slide, and maybe the way you
strike some notes.
For instance, a lot of times when I was
hitting this C chord,
instead of just playing [SOUND],
instead of just strumming like that, I
might, with the thumb,
I might use the three fingers and almost
do a little roll [SOUND].
Sort of like the notes in succession, you
That's sort of a nice effect as
opposed to just a
You know that can be nice, too, nice and
simple, but
sort of gives it a little bit of
And also, when I slid up to this D chord,
I made it real slow.
And that can really have a nice effect for
a song,
so keep in mind some of those inflections.
Now let's try this at a higher tempo.
>> One, two, three, one, two.
So there's Amazing Grace.
The other thing you can do to help give
the song some emotion is
a little bit of vibrato.
the vibrato can really add a nice effect
to a song, and it's just sort of a wiggle
back and forth.
We'll get to this more in depth later, but
these inflections can really add a lot to
a slow song like Amazing Grace.
Well, here's where I'll ask you to send me
your version of Amazing Grace.
If you send me a video of you playing this
song, I'd love to see how it's coming
along for you, and I'll give you any
advice that I can.