ArtistWorks Blog

How to play Dobro: Wearing the Picks

Next in our series of Dobro lessons we learn all about using Dobro picks. In this sample video lesson from the Online Dobro School, Andy Hall also goes over some different wood choices for resonator guitars. But first let's talk about how to wear those dobro picks!

It takes time to adjust to the picks and get used to wearing them on their own before comfortably using them on your Dobro (aka resonator guitar). Some picks are easier to adapt to and others may require modification (like a little bending). It can take some time getting use to the feel of the pick but once you've worn it enough or made adjustments it will feel like another extension of your finger. In the meantime keep it nice and snug with just a little bit of the tip protruding past your finger. Remember that how you wear the picks will totally depends on your comfort level. You may notice that different people will bend the pick up or keep it more straight -  but it is all up to you. As you see in this Dobro lesson, Andy uses a pro pick because they bring him the most comfort.


Watch Andy's Free Dobro Lessons

Andy also talks about the different wood choices that you can get in a Dobro. There are all types of woods used to make Dobros. In this video Andy is holding a Meredith built resonator guitar. It's a new model called an Elipse that's made up of all solid maple. Maple tends to be one of the premier tone woods for a Dobro. Flat top guitars are generally made out of other woods but for the Dobro it seems maple is the preferred wood of choice. One main reason for this is the sustainability or the length of musical sound over time with Dobros made of maple wood. As a result maple Dobros have notes that really ring out. It also has a very bright sound that can be heard in high notes. It's a very clear and high sustained sound.

There are a variety of woods that are made into resonator guitars. You'll see the Dobro made in mahogany, rosewood, or spruce. All these can be graded depending on the type of tone you are looking for.

Whichever wood you go with, learning to play the Dobro can be a fun and easy experience. It just takes a little know-how and learning a few of the tricks before you're able to make some cool music. So get creative and daring as you learn how to play Dobro and learn how to use those picks correctly before getting too far ahead of yourself.

How to play Dobro: Wearing Dobro picks

Want to learn more about how to play the Dobro?  Check out Andy's Online Bluegrass Dobro School. This unique 24/7 online "virtual" school of Dobro starts with hundreds of HD videos - beginner to advanced - you can watch at your own pace. Then, it enables you to submit practice videos and get personalized feedback from Andy himself.  Finally, you can learn from all Andy's video exchanges with other students.  It's a worldwide community of Dobro players all learning with one of the best in the biz.  Learn more at today.


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