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Dobro Lessons: Dobro vs. Lap Steel

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Now we're gonna take just a minute and
talk about sort of the differences and
similarities between Dobro and lap steel.
You know, some of you maybe coming from
the Dobro world,
some of you maybe just starting on lap
steel, but they really relate quite a bit.
So I just wanted to go through some of
those similarities,
some of the differences.
Why you would play lap steel as opposed to
Dobro and vise versa.
So, you know, lab steel being electric has
a few differences.
One is that, when you're plugged into an
electric instrument like this,
you get a lot more sustain.
The notes really sustain for a long time
and it even playing single notes.
You really just, you get a lot of sustain
and of course, one obvious one is volume.
You know, in certain situations if you're
playing with drums or
with an electric band the lap steel may be
preferable to Dobro.
You can just, you can get louder before
anything feeds back.
It has sort of a more clear and direct
tone on an electric instrument,
and can sort of cut through in a mix quite
a bit, so.
You know, a lapse will be used in any kind
of louder situation.
Also just the tone is different.
It has sort of a [SOUND].
You know a, a little bit more sustain.
You can use a little bit of distortion,
which you can hear here.
And I think for a lot of people, that's
actually a more, sort of familiar sound.
It's good for blues.
It's good for rock and roll music.
So that's the type of stuff you're
interested in,
I think the lap steel is gonna be for you.
As far as general technique, it's gonna be
pretty similar.
As I described in the other introductory
I'm not using finger picks on these two
In Dobro, I would be using two metal
finger picks on these two fingers.
You know, you can do that on lap steel but
sometimes it can make a bit of a harsh
So what I do is I use just the flesh of
these fingers.
And I use the thumb pick if I wanna get a
little bit more aggressive.
For a really strong sound.
As I said, in Dobro, you would be using
two metal finger picks here.
In this I don't, but you can if it's
easier for you.
You know, it might take a little bit to
get some calluses built up on these
fingers, if you're coming from Dobro, and
have been using the finger picks.
So, you know, that's a little bit of the
Also, we're using this D tuning, which you
can use in Dobro.
And actually, I do have some lessons on
that in my Dobro curriculum.
You can feel free to check those out.
But yeah for me, I just think that
sometimes lap steel just makes
a nice unique sound in a loud situation
you really wanna cut through.
You really wanna rock.
And it takes actually a lot less effort
physical effort, to play lap steel.
You know, with Dobro, a lot of the volumes
coming from just your hands, and
how hard you strike the strings.
With electric and lap steel you, a lot of
that is done for you with,
with the volume, and so you can play
lighter, get a lot of sound.
So those are sorta some of the differences
similarities between lap steel and Dobro.