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Dobro Lessons: Getting Drive in Closed Position

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So, in this lesson we're gonna talk about
getting drive in closed position.
This was a request I polled some of you
guys to see
what kind of lessons you were interested
in and this is one that came up.
And this is a great lesson topic because
you know,
we use capos usually in fast songs or when
things are really driving,
but it's nice to be able to feel free to
play in closed position, and
still feel like you can get the power and
That you want.
So I'm gonna give you, you know, some tips
some ways to sort of to, to do that, so
right there I was playing in the key of B,
which is a nice key to sort of give some
examples of.
So one way to add excitement and
drive when you're playing in closed
position is with rakes.
You probably heard me do quite a few of
those there.
So you wanna, you know,
get some of those rakes in there.
[SOUND] So, you know, use that, you can
use those pretty liberally and what that
is going to point to also is the rhythmic
element that's really what creates drive.
It's, it's a rhythmic thing, you know, and
it's and attack thing,
so the attack of the note, whether it be
with a rake [SOUND] or just, [SOUND] or
just with power.
You know, where it's real concise that's
what's gonna give you the drive.
The other thing you want to focus on is
just this sounds sort of obvious but
playing right in time is
probably the biggest factor to giving you
the most drive.
You know, drive you think of somethings as
Maybe faster but it,
it actually doesn't have much to do with
the tempo as just the grove and the feel.
If you listen to somebody like J.D. Crow
say in the Bluegrass Album Band,
his playing is it's right in the pocket
and it has a ton of drive.
And so
so, yeah,
lets just focus on this attack here.
Even if I'm not using a rake,
you want to get in attack that has a
little bit of a pop to it.
And that comes with just, you know,
[SOUND] a little bit of force,
it doesn't have to be too, too hard,
but [SOUND] just focus on getting a real
concise attack on the note.
So the more sort of pop you have at the
beginning of the attack,
that's gonna give, sort of the impression
of drive.
Again with the rakes, and then,
to elaborate a little bit more on, the
playing in time element.
If you notice if you're playing right in
time, either with a, with a track, or
with your band mates, or whatever.
What you're gonna, what you're doing is
you're using the other instruments to sort
of enhance what you're doing.
If, if the banjo's playing, duh, da, duh,
da, duh, da, duh, da, duh, and
you're right on with that, then you've all
of a sudden has, have double the power.
You're using the attack of the banjo to
enhance your attack.
If you're, if you're locked in with the
banjo, or
with the mandolin as it's chopping.
Those effects are gonna enhance your
So if everyone's playing right in time,
and you're relaxed, and
you're settled into the grove,
all the attack of the instruments are
gonna add to you being the lead player.
So, you know, it's sort of hard to do when
wanting to feel like you wanna sort of
play aggressively.
It's easy to rush.
And to play way ahead of the beat, you
And I'm certainly guilty of that myself.
But the best thing to do is sort of try
and relax.
And relax your body.
And just settle into the groove.
And you'll find a lot more drive.
That way than by really,
forcing it, you know, so,
you know.
The other thing too is, you, you obviously
have to know your scales and
the fretboard pretty well s-,.
To be able to play, in closed position.
You know, a lot of times.
I'll be playing in the close bar position
if I'm in B, here on the fourth fret.
And then I may, you know, I'll go up
[SOUND] to this high B note and play in
this area.
So you wanna get that sort of, you know,
that little area there between the bar
chord and the root note, and your high
root note on the top string.
So if you combine attack.
And a little bit of pop with some rakes,
also focus on playing relaxed and in time
with the band.
You're gonna get a whole lot of drive out
of closed position.
So something to check out.
You can practice along with recordings,
with a metronome.
A metronome is a gr-,
Great way to do it.
And what you can do is you can set the
To, you know, a high bpm, so you've got a
lot of clicks to play to and
just try and match your picking, you know,
right to those clicks and
you'll, you'll start to feel the drive.