I got my dobro-style resonator guitar
Across the 2nd Street and down a ways towards Avenue B, Sammy Blank had a little hallway of a store. The store was long and narrow, an Aladdin's cave of stringed instruments. Guitars, mandolins, zithers, violins and banjos hung from the ceiling like musical fruit. I picked up a Dobro-style guitar with very high action and rusted steel strings - at a bargain price. I took that thing home and started to woodshed (practice).
High action means the strings are further from the frets and it takes more force to push them down and play.
I was used to the unchallenging gut strings of a ukulele. I liked that steel sound but "Oh my goodness!" pushing those dobro strings down was something else. I worked at it day by day until the tips of my fingers literally turned blue. I made myself practice every day, even if was for only 5 minutes, every day! Learn this chord - play it. Learn the next chord - play it. After a while the ends of the fingers on my left hand became almost like wood. Tapping them on the plaster walls of the apartment and they sounded like drumsticks tapping on a plaster wall
I started to play some of the blues numbers I had learned then and they helped make my load easier. Somehow or other, the blues made it easier to deal with the things that were going down.
I later switched to a regular guitar but the Dobro broke me in and
made a musician of me.
The bridge of a resophonic guitar over which the strings pass is attached to a metal resonator which produces and amplifies the sound; the body of the guitar does not play a significant role in sound amplification.
© Sonia Brock 2005