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Dobro Lessons: Introduction to Weissenborn

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[MUSIC].
[MUSIC]
How's
it going,
everyone.
And welcome to my Introduction to
Weissenborn Guitar.
I thought it was high time I sort of
introduced you guys to this instrument.
And it's an instrument you find a lot of
slide players playing these days,
you know, most notably people like Jerry
Douglas and
Ben Harper sort of his main thing, David
Linley, people like that.
So I thought I'd give you a little
introduction and
a little bit of history about this
instrument.
As you can see its all wood.
There's no resonator here on this
instrument.
Its just got a sound hole and a wood sound
board like a regular guitar, but
it's pretty thin, you can see.
And one of the unique things about this
instrument is it's hollow
all the way through the neck, all the way
to the peg head.
So all this, the neck, the whole body is
just a large resonating chamber,
and it gives it sort of its unique sweet
sound and tons of sustain you know?
[MUSIC].
Now the Weissenborn guitar originated in
the 20's.
It was invented by a guy named Herman
Weissenborn who was
building them out in Los Angeles.
And they kind of became part of the
Hawaiian music craze in the 20's and 30's.
Most often they're made of koa wood, so
koa wood comes from Hawaii.
The koa tree grows there.
And Koa wood is sort of known for its
sweet high end, and
that's definitely what you find with
these, with these instruments.
[SOUND] So yeah, I mean, the, the main
thing about these is just a unique sound.
It's a softer sound, you know,
it's not quite as aggressive as a Dobro or
a resonator guitar.
So, usually when you play one of these
you're using maybe a little bit
of a lighter touch.
And of course the technique is a little
bit different.
I mean, generally it's the same.
I use my finger picks, you know, the bar.
Of course you don't have a cover plate to
rest your hand on, so
a lot of times I'll rest my hand here on
the bridge, you know,
behind the strings, or even just kind of
float, you know.
[MUSIC]
You know,
you can float a little bit with this one.
You don't need quite as much power to get
the tones.
[MUSIC].
So this right here, I have tuned to D, a
drop D tuning,
or dadfad, D-A-D-F-sharp-A-D.
And I have a lesson on that tuning, in, in
my school, so you can check out,
you know, how to tune to a D tuning, and
sort of to get the feel of it.
But,
[MUSIC]
yeah I mean, aside from that,
it's a pretty similar technique to your
regular slide guitar technique.
Usually what I'll use this for is, is
ballads, maybe something a little bluesy.
[MUSIC]
Or, or
a real pretty sound,
you know?
Now with these for some reason, for me,
intonation is actually a little bit
trickier, and it maybe partially because
its a D tuning and
the strings are a little looser and have a
little bit more give to them.
But also I've noticed just a general
technique tip when
I'm playing the Weissenborn, I noticed my
bar really has to be right over the fret.
It can't be, it can't be down towards the,
towards the finger board,
even almost more so, it seems to me, then
on a Dobro.
I could be wrong about that.
I'm not sure why that would be, but that's
that's what I've noticed is my bar
really has to be where you'd think it
almost would be sharp,
but it's, it's going to be right in tune
that way.
[MUSIC]
So that's just a little bit of an overview
of the Weissenborn guitar.
And what I'm going to do is go ahead and
end this video, but
I'm going to give you a quick lesson on a
tune, that we can learn in the next one.
So hope you're digging the the Weissenborn
guitar,
obviously beautiful, neat sound, and,
we'll
get into a tune here, in the next lesson
[MUSIC].