Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Does anyone play Dobro or Steel?

I like Blues and just think the Dobro and Lap Steel sound is incredible.

I wondered if any forum members could share some insights as to the instrument(s) by way of knowledge sharing, types, artists, and techniques?


Reach out to Dragonalayer he plays everything and is very talented and knowledgeable on such things !:sunglasses:


I know the perfect guy, and he’s in K’zoo…I’ve PM’d him and am awaiting reply…


I’m a dobro player. Ask away…


Thank you Dave! Kalamazoo is perfect and I would so appreciate some interaction.


Well, I guess we start with a decent starter/intermediate instrument recommendations.

Then, the acoustic or Acoustic/Electric debate. I kinda like a little of the electrified for that Dirty-blues sound.

Any teaching or technique resources?

What about Lap versus “standard”? I guess that lap has a squared-off neck.

I happened across this and was floored… Tyler Bryant playing a Resonator “Mule” Brand… made right here in Michigan… but too expensive for me as a beginner.

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Well, for an instrument, I would hands down recommend the Beard Deco Phonic line as my first choice. Not only are they fantastic starter instruments, but they will last you well into your years of advanced playing. They are handmade here in this country and you can’t go wrong with them. Bad dobros are everywhere, and they will take all the fun out of practicing. The Deco 27 square neck is a great place to start, the 57 is my favorite of the Decos. If that is out of your price range, I have a few other suggestions that are decent but not as good.

I would definitely go for an acoustic. It is much more versatile in a bluegrass setting.

For teaching, there are several good options now. Rob Ickes is teaching at Big Music Tent online, Andy Hall has a fantastic course at Artistworks, and Jerry Douglas has a course going as well. There are also several good books available. Maybe Banjo Ben will teach Dobro someday soon as well :slight_smile:

I didn’t watch the video you posted, but that is a round neck guitar they are playing, which is more like a standard guitar with a resonator in it. For Bluegrass, one usually plays a square neck with a slide.



What kind of music do you want to play? If bluegrass, get a squareneck. For blues, you can go either way. But square vs round neck is the biggest question


I’d second what Luke and Gunnar said. If the Beard Deco Phonic is out of your price range, the Recording King Phil Leadbetter seems to be a pretty good alternative, however I have yet to play one. Like Luke said most budget Dobros aren’t worth they’re salt. If round neck is what you’re after then I’m afraid I can’t help you too much.