How to Play Minor Chords on the Dobro

Mike will walk you through some techniques that will make finding major chords on a Dobro easier, such as power chords and dyads (chords made up of two notes).

Focusing on the flat third of the chord can be helpful. Play this note using both open strings for an identifiable minor sound.

Root Note

As is common knowledge, the major scale has a pattern of root notes corresponding to each position in its scale; while its minor scale counterpart has different arrangements of its root notes.

Dobro players often find it challenging to navigate the fretboard and create minor chords on this instrument, though cheating may still be possible due to its open tuning (which places three half steps between strings 5th and 4th and two between 2nd and 1st strings) can sometimes help.

So if you bar the fifth fret of your steel guitar and play its four strings – fourth string, third string and first string – as an A minor seventh chord! Of course, depending on the song and other instruments that might also be playing along, listeners may discern its root note differently; just make sure that when it comes time to lower your flat third!

Flat Third

A minor chord’s flat third indicates a note lowered half step from its major counterpart; it is known as a diminished interval and can be described by counting up from one (the tonic) until reaching your desired interval.

Minor chords can be constructed using any scale consisting of the notes 1-2-3-4-5-6-7; however, most frequently taken from C minor as an example to form song chords in major keys – known as modal mixtures or secondary dominants which may or may not be diatonic in character.

Dobro guitars equipped with open G tuning make it simple to find two-note minor chords up and down the neck. Play Em on first string at second fret with open second string at open 2nd string or Bm at fourth fret of strings three & 4. Simply bar the ninth fret like you would for E major chord, leaving off fifth and second strings!

Major Chord

As we’ve seen, a minor chord is similar to its major counterpart with one key difference – its middle note has been flattened (lowered) by half step to create its somber and melancholic sound.

Dobro guitars are tuned to B, so by playing chords with their roots at fret two and flat third at fret five you’re playing an A minor seventh chord! For other two-note minors to form on your instrument’s neck you may also place it across strings 3, 4, or 5.

As an easy way to move quickly through both major and minor tonalities, another effective technique for quickly traversing both major and minor tonalities quickly is a run across the whole fretboard. This works especially well when using GBDGBD tuning. Just make sure not to overstretch strings 2 & 5. Alternatively, it might even work using just one finger spanning all six strings (something Josh Graves often does!). I recommend giving it a try!

Minor Chord

Minor chords are essential components of most musical scales. Like their major counterpart, minor chords consist of two notes that form an arch – root note (G) and three minor thirds (E, F# etc). To create one using G’s root note you simply move up one octave; so G is now E with full minor triad: G, B & E.

Creative songwriters frequently utilize minor chords to subvert expectations within a scale. For instance, minor iv chord is frequently employed in sad songs to produce an unsettling atmosphere.

Minor chords are an effective way of adding urgency and tension to fast-paced music, providing emotional accents while adding an edge of urgency and tension. Recognizing them can help develop more versatile musicians; an excellent way of doing so is through roman numeral analysis theory.