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resojeff - Posted - 12/15/2022:  06:39:20

I have Rayco and Meredith resos and struggle to be heard at jams. I have tried, Elixir, GHS and John Pearce strings - in 16's - Pearce seem to be the loudest but still not enough. Any Ideas ???, I would like to remain unplugged.
Cheers Jeff

hlpdobro - Posted - 12/15/2022:  07:26:20

1. Pick HARDER!.

2. If you are taking the lead in a jam then everyone else should back OFF.

It's almost never the guitar..or the strings.


Edited by - hlpdobro on 12/15/2022 07:31:06

LukeL - Posted - 12/15/2022:  07:30:44

Volume is 75% in the playing technique, the other small portion in the strings and setup.

docslyd - Posted - 12/15/2022:  07:52:52

....listen to Howard....

hlpdobro - Posted - 12/15/2022:  08:03:19

To expand on my previous cryptic post..

I encounter a lot of folks that don't realize the amount of "attack" required to get the guitar to respond at it's best. It seems like a lot at first but watch your favorite player up close. Also clues like discussions on string change frequency (often) and you'll get a sense of it.

I'll also repeat my mantra that the No. 1 reason NOT TO AMPLIFY is "I I can't be heard in jams". I'm happy to "amplify"  on that remark if you wish.  smiley


Edited by - hlpdobro on 12/15/2022 08:04:16

SamCy - Posted - 12/15/2022:  11:28:12

I recall an occasion when a fellow picker was surprised at how loud my reso was and asked to try it. But in his hands, it was no louder than his. After that he practiced picking harder. I second Howard's recommendation.

Consider that the strings on a square-neck reso are among the heaviest on the lead instruments in a bluegrass band. If you really want to move something, you chose a sledgehammer over a tack hammer, but it takes more effort to get the sledge moving. The heavy reso strings have the potential to drive the spider-cone setup really hard, but you have to get them moving.

Edited by - SamCy on 12/15/2022 11:31:03

MarkinSonoma - Posted - 12/15/2022:  12:10:16

It's already been said and I will add, to get the best tone out of a squareneck resonator, and the volume  will follow, you have to pick pretty hard. 

I have played multiple Meredith and Rayco guitars in the past, and they can be loud guitars when you need the volume. But if you're sitting near a banjo player that picks with one volume, even those guitars can be somewhat drowned out. 

I have been to an occasional jam over the years where a guy has a really nice older Gibson Mastertone banjo. He's not much into "dynamics." He plays that banjo so loud that it might make Earl Scruggs wince from his grave. wink

resojeff - Posted - 12/15/2022:  19:36:02

Thanks for all the suggestions guys, I shall try to pick harder!!!

Phaedrus - Posted - 12/16/2022:  08:07:39

Another consideration is the angle of the picks hitting the strings. Early in my dobro years I attended Resosummit, and in a one-on-one with Rob Ickes he pointed out that my picks were angled on my fingers such as only the edge of the pick was striking the string. A simple adjustment of twisting the picks on my fingers so that the picks hit flat against the strings made an incredible audible difference.

JC Dobro - Posted - 12/16/2022:  13:42:13

All good advice.

Are you sitting or standing? When sitting, your primary sound waves travel up toward the ceiling (instead of out toward the other players). If the situation allows, I always stand and angle my cone a bit toward the other players. It does help.

Alan Rausch - Posted - 01/23/2023:  06:02:52

Something not mentioned is the make up and numbers in the jam. Some of these gatherings get out of hand, and nobody can hear anything.

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