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Post new topic Open-D Dobro?
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Author Topic:  Open-D Dobro?
James Inkster


From:
Ukee, BC
Post Posted 1 Apr 2010 12:11 pm     Reply with quote

Hey,

As recently mentioned in another thread, I've been having a lot of fun with Open-D on my lap steel.
I used to play dobro, in Open-G, and have been thinking about getting a dobro for a new act I'm joining up with... it would fit in nicely.

Obviously it's not a big deal mentally switching from Open-D to Open-G, but I was wondering if there are any/many dobro player who play primarily in Open-D?

thanks!
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 1 Apr 2010 12:52 pm     Reply with quote

Maybe Pete Grant will chime in, it's his favorite tuning for dobro. I like it a lot, it gives the guitar a different "voice" as it were. Aside from its obvious use in blues, it works great for backing a vocalist, and gives one some built-in great bass lines from a dobro point of view.

If the money situation ever gets better, I would like to have a second nice dobro to leave in D all the time.

My "first string" tuning is still Open G.

Along with a top player like Pete preferring D tuning, I don't see any reason that would hold anyone back from making it their preferred tuning.

But if you're into picking up new songs, licks, and techniques from tab, there isn't a whole lot of it out there in D, since Open G is so popular. That's about the only drawback I can think of.
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Last edited by Mark Eaton on 1 Apr 2010 1:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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D Schubert


From:
Columbia, MO, USA
Post Posted 1 Apr 2010 1:35 pm     Reply with quote

Open D allows you to "quick-tune" to a lot of other useful lap tunings (lo-bass G, D6/Bm7, Gm, Dm, DADGAD). I believe that Shot Jackson used open E (2 frets higher) for his resonator tuning.
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Jerry Hayes


From:
Virginia Beach, Va.
Post Posted 3 Apr 2010 9:01 am     Reply with quote

There's a nice solo on Alan Jackson's "Mercury Blues" which is played in open D. I saw him in concert once and his steel player did it with an acoustic electric flat top instead of a resonator guitar but it sounded pretty much the same! I've always thought it'd be nice to have a double neck Dobro so you could have a G and D neck both. The D neck would work great for some things like maybe "Rueben's Train" and others!...JH in Va.
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Dean Parks


From:
Sherman Oaks, California, USA
Post Posted 3 Apr 2010 9:34 am     Reply with quote

http://store.daddario.com/category/145820/EXP42_Resophonic_16-56

This string set works with either tuning, G or D

I notice that Jerry Douglas does a large percentage of his playing in D tuning.
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Blake Wilson


From:
Boulder CO, USA
Post Posted 3 Apr 2010 10:13 am     Reply with quote

JFD in D, I believe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mAdFAdYKXw

Blake
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Stephen Abruzzo


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 5 Apr 2010 8:42 pm     Reply with quote

Here's a group of lessons for Dobro/lap steel in Open D.

http://www.lessonswithtroy.com/dobro_lessons/Open-D-Tuning/
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Orville Johnson


From:
Seattle, Washington, USA
Post Posted 5 Apr 2010 9:27 pm     Reply with quote

Not a resonator guitar player but a lap-style slide player, Kelly Joe Phelps plays (or played, I think he mostly plays regular guitar these days) mostly in open D. Check out his early discs for lots of D tuned slide.
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 6 Apr 2010 7:04 am     Reply with quote

Dean Parks wrote:
http://store.daddario.com/category/145820/EXP42_Resophonic_16-56

This string set works with either tuning, G or D

I notice that Jerry Douglas does a large percentage of his playing in D tuning.


Strings one through five seem to be good from any typical dobro set for D, but the sixth which is typically .056 feels a little "flabby" (Jerry's term) although he has said that he doesn't mind the "flabbiness." If I had a resonator guitar permanently set up for D, I would put a .059 or .060 on for the sixth string.

Dean, I'm not sure what you mean by "large percentage," but I would ballpark Jerry's usage in a typical Union Station concert to be a guitar tuned to D on
about 25% of the songs. Though with the Jerry Douglas Band he might play the whole show in G, or he might not and do a few tunes in D. He even brings a guitar to Union Station concerts for one song only tuned to F for "Man Of Constant Sorrow, " because I guess F is Dan Tyminski's "sweet spot" for the lead vocal on that tune.

Thanks to Blake for providing the link to that medley from the TAS. Owning those DVD's or checking them all out on You Tube should be required curriculum for dobro players.

Jerry playing that medley in D gives it a "fatness" on the bass strings that you don't get in high bass open G. When Jerry recorded the middle portion of that medley, the Allman Brothers "Little Martha," on his album "Lookout For Hope," he tracked two dobros, one tuned to G and the other to D. It's interesting that he often does his concert solo portions on a D tuned guitar, and the D "portion" of "Little Martha" lays out real nicely.

Stephen, thanks for the link to Troy's lessons. Troy really cranks 'em out, he seems to have a couple new lessons every week!
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