How to Invoke Minor Chords on the Dobro

Dobro (or resonator guitar) players often face difficulty finding minor chords. Once you know the “rules”, however, incorporating these is quite straightforward!

To create a minor scale chord, begin with the major chord form and lower its third note by half step to form one with C, E and G notes.

Major Scale

As you begin learning scale patterns on your dobro, it’s essential to keep in mind that each pattern contains a key signature; meaning the intervals between notes within it could either be major or minor. This is particularly important when harmonically harmonizing major scales into chords.

One major distinction between major and minor scales lies in their differing thirds; minor-type scales utilize flat 3rds while major scales have major 3rds, giving minor triads their characteristic minor sound.

To illustrate this point, let’s consider a two octave G Major scale pattern. Note how each position contains two root note patterns connected by shared notes with its adjacent positions above and below; similarly, position two has three root note patterns connected by shared notes that move effortlessly between positions above and below; these movable positions enable your dobro player to switch easily between major and minor scales on his instrument.

Minor Scale

Minor Scale is one of the key elements for creating minor chords and has distinct features from its major scale counterpart, most significantly its flat third note that makes minor sounds sound dark and dissonant.

There are various techniques for building minor scales on the fretboard, and you should explore each one thoroughly. Each minor scale position has a distinct root note which you must learn by heart in order to form an accurate scale.

To locate the starting point for any minor scale, count back one major third from the tonic of the major key in question – for instance, F Major has an F major tone as its tonic; when counting back from there you will arrive at D as your new tonic of F Minor’s relative minor key – making for a moveable scale pattern on any fretboard.

Relative Major

Relative minor keys are major keys that start two scale tones and two letters below their dominant note, for instance B minor is the relative major of D major (the aeolin mode). All notes in both keys function the same except the third which may be raised or lowered to create new minor or harmonic scales.

Keys may either be major or minor; most songs use only one key. Once you know which major scale applies to a song, finding its key center and then playing chords that fit that particular key will allow you to switch back and forth seamlessly between major and minor keys.

This works for any major and minor keys as well as chord progressions. If you want to switch from minor to major keys in a song, simply play its dominant chord instead. This technique will keep listeners engaged!

Minor Triad

Minor chords are three note triads constructed using a minor third (b3) and perfect fifth. Like major chords, minor chords may be open or closed and offer various variations by moving one note up or down an octave in its triadic structure.

Musically, minor chords are used to produce darker sounds or as an accent piece in songs. They can also serve as great complements for other notes and chords in a piece.

For this lesson, we’ll introduce some fundamental minor triad shapes and their fretboard locations. Once learned, these triads can then be moved around to form minor chords in any key. Like other triads, minor ones typically include their root note as well as an indicator for quality or type. Here we’ll be using C minor as our example but the patterns can start on any note to give 12 distinct minor triads!