- Dobro Guitar (Mp3)
I got my dobro-style resonator guitar* when my husband and I moved to
the Lower East Side of New York City. He came to New York to try his hand
at being an off Broadway actor, more on that later.
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 the 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 but 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. I could tap them on the plaster wall
of the apartment and they sounded like wood tapping on a plaster wall
I started to play some of the blues numbers I had learned then and they
helped make the load easier. Somehow or other the blues made it easier
to deal with the things that were going down.
" Trouble in mind I'm blue,
But I won't be blue always,
That old sun's going to shine on my back door someday"
I later switched to a regular guitar but the Dobro is what broke me in
and made a musician of me.
*The term "dobro" has come to refer to any acoustic guitar
with a metal resonator set into the body (also known as resonator
guitars or resophonic guitars).
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