Instructor:   Dave Bradt


Instructor:   Dave Bradt

Course Description:

Level: 1  (see Playing Experience Level descriptions at the bottom of the page)

This course is for the complete novice. No musical background is required.

This class will introduce participants to playing the Dobro (or resophonic guitar). We will learn the basic chords in the open G tuning and some simple scales to get started on playing melodies. Left hand “bar technique” and right hand picking positions will be presented. By the end of this session participants should be well on the way to playing simple versions of several classic bluegrass tunes.

You’ll Learn:

  • How to hold and tune your Dobro (Standard Open G tuning)
  • Bar Techniques
  • Chord positions
  • Scales, and happy notes!
  • Rolls
  • Reading Tabulature
  • The Slide
  • An appreciation for “A Drawerful of Cutlery”

Players should bring square-neck resophonic guitar, and have a bar, two metal finger picks, and a thumb pick. Recording devices are allowed.

Dave Bradt

Dave Bradt is a long time banjo addict, who fell from grace in 2008 when he picked up a friend's Dobro at the Sorrento BC Bluegrass Workshop one fine summer afternoon. Twenty minutes of noodling later, he was hooked. He drove straight back to Calgary, went into Long and McQuade, and bought his first dobro the next day. He'll regale you with this story, I'm sure.

Dave has been attending the FAMI camps since 1998, and has at least attempted to play harmonica, fiddle, penny whistle, bodhran, mandolin, blues guitar and ukulele. (So he's VERY familiar with beginner classes.) For the past 4 years, he has served on the FAMI Board. He currently is a member of the local band "Lucid Diversity", playing banjo, dobro, and bass, and also dabbles in the occasional original song.

Website: Lucid Diversity


Playing Experience Levels

These guidelines aim to ensure that all camp participants have an enjoyable experience. They represent what your playing capability should be before you take the class (prerequisites).

Classes are generally designed to pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Level 1 classes aim to proceed at the pace of the slower students in the class. Level 2 and 3 classes aim to move at the pace of the majority of students in the class. Level 4 classes are designed to push the capabilities of all students and will target the pace of the more capable students  Class descriptions that show a range (Levels 2-3) means the material presented is broadly applicable across that range.

LEVEL 1: You are new or relatively new to your instrument. You may be able to play basic chords or scales slowly. You want to learn the basics of the instrument. You have very little experience playing with others.

LEVEL 2: You are competent with basic chords and/or basic scales. You can keep rhythm and/or play basic melodies and/or sing and play at the same time if the song is familiar. You generally need the chords or melody to be written out in order to play along. You have some experience playing with others.

LEVEL 3: You are reasonably comfortable with most chords, basic major and minor scales, and can play at an appropriate tempo for songs. You are aware of time signatures, song keys, and know that there are chords called 6th, 7th, 11th, etc even if you can’t play them all. You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and are willing to taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. You may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band (beyond jamming) and you want to further improve your technique and speed.

LEVEL 4: You are skilled on your instrument and have a good understanding of musical concepts including scales, arrangements, harmonies and some improvisation. You play lead and back-up with a steady rhythm and can play skillfully with others. You know there is life further up the neck on your instrument and have some capability in that world. You have performing experience, can hold a tune, and can harmonize.