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Thread: What's the difference between square neck Dobros and round? Besides the obvious!

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    What's the difference between square neck Dobros and round? Besides the obvious!

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    I am really getting into a lot of Southen styles of music. Not really country, not really blues, and not really blue grass... but I am wanting to expand my musical horizon as far as stringed instruments are concerned and so I have decided to get a Dobro and try to learn to play some slide. Now before I do off and just buy one I want to know what the real reason is for having a square necked Dobro instead of a traditional rounded neck?

    If the square necked one is for laying flat in your lap, then why wouldn't you just get a round necked dobro and just... well... lay it flat in your lap? Who cares if the back of the neck is round or square? I think that trying to play a dobro with a square neck would be incredibly akward.

    Any comments?
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    Square are also thicker. trying to play a round neck across your lap isn't very stable. If you already play guitar, a round neck may be the best for you. Playing across your lap uses different skills.

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    Hey 64 Firebird

    Hey man...

    Thanks for the answer. I guess I sort of assumed that was the reason why, but it certainly helps to KNOW for sure.

    Now, I wanted to ask you another question that you might know the answer to. It is about pedal steel. I would actually rather have a pedal steel rig than a dobro. I know that a dobro is no way a substitution for pedal steel but it is a $400 vs. $3,000 argument, I have been leaning towards a dobro.

    Anyway, my question is about how to play a pedal steel. I know that it isn't easy AT ALL!!! There are a lot more strings than on the guitar, you have to have a good grasp of where the notes are on the "neck" and what key the song you are playing is in etc etc... But with regards to just basic playing of the pedal steel, how is the thing tuned?
    Is it tuned just like a normal guitar?
    I am sure there is 100 ways to actually tune it but there has to be some kind of "standard pedal steel tuning."
    What do the pedals do? I have heard that there are some pedal steel riggs that make you use your feet for pedals and to raise your knees to press levers up and down. What is this doing? Are the pedals just like big huge wammy bars? If so, how do you keep the damn thing in tune with whammying around all day?

    Any brief description of the working of a pedal steel rig would be INCREDIBLY appreciated.

    Thanks man!

    Mike
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    I don't know anything about pedal steel guitars. I tune my Regal resonator (the one in that pic to the left) to open A (E A E A C# E low to high) and just play the blues.

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    On a square neck resonator, the strings are elevated off the neck to facilitate playing with a bar. On a round neck, the strings are close to the neck and can be fretted just like a convetional guitar. There are risers that you can buy that fit over the nut and elevate the strings. You don't have to spend $3000 for a pedal steel. There are great used guitars that are available. Check the sites that I gave you links to on your other thread.

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    The square neck plays more accurately then a raised round neck (Iíve had both) as you sight the bar to different positions. Also, early round neck Dobros had no truss rod and could not support an open G tuning without warping. The tradeoff is that a square neck is what it is and you can never play it as a guitar.

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    Re: Hey 64 Firebird

    Originally posted by pisces7378
    Hey man...

    Thanks for the answer. I guess I sort of assumed that was the reason why, but it certainly helps to KNOW for sure.

    Now, I wanted to ask you another question that you might know the answer to. It is about pedal steel. I would actually rather have a pedal steel rig than a dobro. I know that a dobro is no way a substitution for pedal steel but it is a $400 vs. $3,000 argument, I have been leaning towards a dobro.

    Anyway, my question is about how to play a pedal steel. I know that it isn't easy AT ALL!!! There are a lot more strings than on the guitar, you have to have a good grasp of where the notes are on the "neck" and what key the song you are playing is in etc etc... But with regards to just basic playing of the pedal steel, how is the thing tuned?
    Is it tuned just like a normal guitar?
    I am sure there is 100 ways to actually tune it but there has to be some kind of "standard pedal steel tuning."
    What do the pedals do? I have heard that there are some pedal steel riggs that make you use your feet for pedals and to raise your knees to press levers up and down. What is this doing? Are the pedals just like big huge wammy bars? If so, how do you keep the damn thing in tune with whammying around all day?

    Any brief description of the working of a pedal steel rig would be INCREDIBLY appreciated.

    Thanks man!

    Mike
    A pedal steel is usually tuned to an open chord.. The chord would correspond to the key of the song.. The pedals bend the note of a certain string giving you alternate tunings and "bending sound". I have always wanted to get one a learn to play too. Let me know how it goes if you decide to get one.. I do have a lap steel but it is very limiting. The lap steel is easier to learn.
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    Re: Re: Hey 64 Firebird

    Originally posted by scottboyher
    A pedal steel is usually tuned to an open chord.. The chord would correspond to the key of the song.. The pedals bend the note of a certain string giving you alternate tunings and "bending sound". I have always wanted to get one a learn to play too. Let me know how it goes if you decide to get one.. I do have a lap steel but it is very limiting. The lap steel is easier to learn.
    For a bending sound on a lap steel, use your ring finger on your bar hand to pull the B and G string behind the bar a full tone or a half tone. It helps to use .012 and .017 guages.

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