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Dobro Lessons: “When the Saints Go Marching In”

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Here we have the old song When the Saints
Go Marching In.
Doing it in the key of D.
And halfway through, we actually modulate
and play it in the key of G.
So this gives you a little practice
playing in D.
And a little bit of practice playing in G,
in a closed position.
So, let's just go over a little bit of
this song.
There's a few techniques that are sort of
new, in this song,
that I'm gonna talk to you about, in
So, the first thing that you'll notice,
is, the very first measure contains what
we call pickup notes.
So, when I'm counting this song in before
the song actually starts,
there's a few notes to lead you into the
So if I was counting one, two, one,
two, three da da da da da.
And that note,
you see the second measure is actually
the start of the chord progression.
But when you're beginning the song for the
first time.
You've got those few pickup notes.
So just be aware of that.
So you know, you've got a couple quick
strikes in a row.
I just used my thumb for that.
And the way I do this with my right hand
I do two thumbs
and then I pluck with my index finger.
And then, I come forward with my thumb for
that first fret, third string note.
and then,
that open second string is middle finger.
I mean, if that seems difficult for you,
you can use all thumb here.
And then, maybe, middle finger for the
last note.
But, if you, you know, You may wanna start
developing this, technique,
where you're, you know,
using multiple fingers on single strings,
like that.
So you got index thumb, index thumb.
So you might want to try that just a
little bit.
This sort of repeats.
That note signifies, a five chord, the A.
Then you have a little slide here.
That's first measure of the second line.
And then there you have sort of a quick
pull off.
That's one to try.
Remember those pull offs we talked about.
Second fret you pluck, and then you bring
the bar off,
kind of towards you with a little bit of a
And then you pluck the first string first
fret of the third string.
And then that last D note of the phrase, I
I slide up to the fifth fret as opposed to
playing open fourth string,
I play fifth fret, fifth string and that
gets me into position for G.
So now we go ahead and we play this in G
on the fifth fret.
And here we've got a unison which is two
of the same notes.
So we're playing one of these
on the third fret of the third string, and
we've got the same note open on the second
And that can create kind of a nice sound
especially if you
slide into the one you're fretting.
You can get this type of sound.
So that's what's called a unison, you get
two of the same notes, one fretted,
one open.
And then you've got a slide here.
And so that's sliding up to the fifth
fret, down to the third fret,
And then fifth fret, fourth string.
And then that slide there happens pretty
is what you're going for.
But your only sliding, your only plucking
once here, and you slide quickly.
Now, you know, it may take you a little
bit before that happens perfectly in tune
and don't worry about that.
That's just takes a little bit of muscle
So you may wanna practice sliding five to
Pluck slide, pluck slide,
and then it ends on the sixth fret of the
third string.
Now one other tricky thing about this
particular sections is this.
When you're going from fifth fret third
six fret third string, you wanna make sure
bar is tilted forward because if it's not
you're gonna get that type of sound.
So you don't want this fourth string, here
going with you.
You know, otherwise you get that.
So you need to, tilt the bar forward when
you go to this sixth fret.
So you can see I've gotten it flat on both
of these two strings.
And then I tilt it forward when I go for
this so that this gets muted,
the fourth string.
So you may want to just practice that
little bit.
Bars flat and then it goes forward.
And then.
You've gotta get over to the second
string, fifth fret.
So that could be a little tricky too,
especially because your bar is tilted
You don't wanna get jammed up like this,
you know so,
you can lift the bar a little bit.
You know, just actually pick it up.
And place it there or you can flatten it.
You know, I think I would tend to lift it.
Just, just lift it over that string.
Because otherwise, like I say,
you're gonna get jammed up with the point
of the bar.
So this little section is something to
really focus on.
Tilt forward.
And sort of jumping over that string.
You know you can, can kinda practice
lifting the bar to get single notes.
And then to end it,
there's your unison.
A slide.
You got that faster slide.
And the end of When the Saints Go Marching