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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Chord chart for dobro

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wmrazek - Posted - 06/12/2010:  05:59:30

I've been searching everywhere for a chord chart for dobro. So I open a question here, does anyone know where to find that?

For example, here is a chord chart for banjo players:

I would like to find that but for dobro.

SlimPickins - Posted - 06/12/2010:  06:29:58

Is this something close to what you're looking for?


Grizz - Posted - 06/12/2010:  06:47:27

Here is one I bought, just another alternative

I hope this helps. By the way, thank you for your comment on mama bears "James"


Edited by - Grizz on 06/12/2010 06:49:17

MissouriPicker - Posted - 06/12/2010:  07:16:56

I've got the Janet Davis chart. It's pretty convenient having it on a nearby wall in my music room. Aside from the actual reference use, it's also kind of inspirational. All you have to do is look at it and you will see how close together everything is that you need to play well. These open tunings (in this case, G) are ideal for slide playing. ........I've always been a fan of Joni Mitchell, legendery Canadian folksie. I envied her guitar playing and she often playing some open tuning. Now I'm doing it on a dobro.....Sweet.

wmrazek - Posted - 06/12/2010:  08:26:15

Thank's All, that was exacly what I was looking for! I will order it at once. I just starteted with reso so this will be of great help.

Grizz: A really beautiful guitar you have there, is it homemade? I'm very fond of "tiger-maple", is that what's on the top?

Grizz - Posted - 06/12/2010:  08:56:50

Wolfgang, the guitar was made by luthier extraordinaire Harry James in Stringer, Mississippi. He is an outstanding luthier that is now near the 100th mark in builds. He builds for the love of it not to make money. The back and sides are Oregon Myrtlewood and the top is in fact Tiger Maple more commonly called Curly Maple in the Res world. But it's the same.


Stringnut - Posted - 06/12/2010:  17:00:31

Mike Witcher has a chart that shows the key of G in four different positions on the fretboard that looks pretty good, too.

El Dobro - Posted - 06/13/2010:  08:48:33

You can make chords on a dobro!?!?

wmrazek - Posted - 06/13/2010:  13:47:24

El Dobro,
in most cases not on all 6 strings. I want to find a chart that shows "place your steel here, pluck these strings and that gives you an Em". I've just started with dobro and for example when the tune goes to an Em I don't know what to do. I've found some chords, for example an Am around the 4th fret by sliding some base strings and using some open strings. I might be wrong but it sounds minor... By combining sliding strings and open strings you should be able to build quite a lot of chords.

I hope you understand what I mean, my english is not perfect... :0)

Grizz - Posted - 06/13/2010:  16:42:02

Wolfgang, IMHO the Stacy Phillips chart is the one you want. It shows all the closed chord, chords using open strings and their positions on the neck. It also has a map of the neck and the "C" Major scale patterns. And hell, it's cheap enough.


Stringnut - Posted - 06/13/2010:  20:24:21

Wolfgang, as far as finding minor chords on the dobro, I think the trick is to imply a minor sound or chord. You should be able to find a 2 string combination that would play a partial minor chord. Also, staying away from your B strings in the GBDGBD tuning helps. The resonator is more of a melodic instrument than a rhythm or chordal instrument so you have to approach playing it differently than if you were playing a standard 6 string guitar. Try to think of it more as finding filler notes rather than chords. But then again you have people like Rob Ickes who play great rhythm on their square necks but I have problems getting my thumb pick to work like his without it flying off into space. It's all part of the learning process and I'm not quite there yet myself. I hope someone else can explain this a little better than I can but I think the Stacy Phillips book is probably your best bet, too.


HeldvomFeld - Posted - 06/14/2010:  10:29:53

hehe, nice one. Just ordered the Stacy Phillips pamphlet. Thanks guys....

wmrazek - Posted - 06/15/2010:  01:33:41

Stringnut, thanks for the advises and pointing out that the reso is more a melodic instrument, that´s very important. I have been playing guitar and banjo for years and maybe I'm too focused on chords and rhythm, even though I always play melodies and solos as well. You have a point there that the reso needs a "melodic approach".

SteveH - Posted - 06/15/2010:  03:41:23

I kind of follow Stringnut's idea of implying the chord, too. I don't like to play slants, so I do like what he says in "avoiding the B strings" for minors. So, for an E minor, you could place your bar on the 9th fret and do a 4-3-1 roll. Also, you can get sus and dim chords by leaving your 1st, 1st and 2nd, or even 1st, 2nd, and 3rd un-barred in a lot of positions. There are a lot of tonal possibilities.

Slideman1939 - Posted - 06/16/2010:  07:59:15

From Janet Davis, I purchased the MelBay wall chart (tan background) for "G" tuning. I was pleased enough with the use and convenience of same that I then bought the "other one".Be aware there is a second chart (blue background) for the (blues crowd) with similar information on licks and bar position alternatives for "D" tuning. I keep two Dobros (one in each tuning) near the TWO Janet Davis charts and enjoy switching off.It is challenging to rethink the bar positions quickly since the D tuning changes the fingerboard positions and open G is now at the 5th fret. I recommend BOTH charts as being challenging and helpful.

HeldvomFeld - Posted - 06/16/2010:  11:09:41

received the Stacy Phillips pamphlet today and im very pleased with it...........good stuff that every dobro player should know or at least have ;=)

freestate101 - Posted - 07/03/2010:  17:08:56

Hi all, newby here also. Can anyone share where each major key is located on the fretboard for GBDGBD tuning? I am using a DVD for lessons, but they do not give a fretboard diagram for the key locations. Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Edited by - freestate101 on 07/03/2010 17:10:48

MissouriPicker - Posted - 07/03/2010:  19:57:51

G is all open strings.
A is bar across strings at 2nd Fret
B'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''4th Fret
C'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''5th Fret
D''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''7th Fret
E''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''9th Fret
F''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''10th Fret
G'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''12th Fret

joyfulnoise - Posted - 07/04/2010:  07:33:39

If you get a chance to check out Fred Sokolow;s Fretboard Roadmap book for Dobro, it's worth looking into. I have the wall chart from Janet Music and this book. I use them all the time. It comes with a CD so you can hear what cords should sound like as well as see it as tab or written out. These two things together have been most useful to me. I would recommend them to everyone.

Edited by - joyfulnoise on 07/04/2010 07:37:51

FretBoard Roadmap


Grizz - Posted - 07/04/2010:  10:28:00

WOW !!!!!!!!! Thanks Tammy, I haven't seen that before and you are the first I have seen to mention it. Sounds just like what the Doctor ordered.

josh180984 - Posted - 07/04/2010:  11:58:17

Just to add on to this thread, has anyone come across the note map you can put across your fretboard that shows you every note on the neck? I've seen different makes in the flesh but can't find one to purchase. Fretguides, neck note guide I'm not sure what to look under. Tar

GeoBar - Posted - 07/05/2010:  01:31:07

Here is an answer :

I would explain to Mr Ely that it's possible to bend a string and raise the note half a tone. So we can get the diminished (without 7th), sus 4th and augmented chords ( with a dobro tuning ).

The diminished chords without the 7th are very useful because they are the upper 3 notes of a 7th chord ( root is missing).

Edited by - GeoBar on 07/05/2010 02:01:46

freestate101 - Posted - 07/05/2010:  08:12:05

Thanks MissouriPicker, that is exactly what I was looking for! I am also looking forward to the responses to "josh180984" post. I am a newby to playing the guitar of all types, and at 67 having just had reconstructive surgery on my left thumb, it will be a while before I will be able to fret notes on a flattop. I have always been facinated with slide guitar and lately with the resonator/dobro in particular, so this is a great time to learn. Any help/hints from my seasoned vetran forum members will be greatly appreciated!

Jim B.

mnich - Posted - 07/05/2010:  09:11:00

I think a good exercise is to open up a speadsheet, or just get a piece of graph paper if you dont have a computer spreadsheet. Layout the 6 strings in the first column. Then go across each row putting in the note on that string. Make as many copies of this layout as you want chords. Then get out your guitar chord book, or look one up online. With a colored magic marker, highlite the root, 3rd, and 5th for each chord. Go back with a different color and highlite the 7th, and what ever other notes you might want to embellish the chord with. I did this, and started seeing patterns emerge for playing a partial chord at many different postions, by just playing 2 strings. It also showed me where to get some "light minors" when I need them, by just playing a root, 5th.

It saved me the cost of paying someone else to do it, plus I think I learned the fretboard/chords quicker by doing it myself.

Edited by - mnich on 07/05/2010 09:13:48

josh180984 - Posted - 07/05/2010:  14:35:11

I've been told there called fretplates, They lay across the fretboard as a great visual aid. can't find them anywhere though. Anyone who knows please give me a shout, cheers guys.

SlimPickins - Posted - 07/05/2010:  15:45:54

I know what you're talking about Josh. Beard Guitars/Resophonic Outfitters used to have them, but I don't believe they do anymore. I've been searching for the same things but haven't had any luck.


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