Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Learning Dobro

Hey Everybody!
I am looking to learn a little bluegrass/country style dobro! Where would be a good place to start as far as learning is concerned? I know there is stuff on youtube, but what do I want to do first? Theory, basic song, technique, etc.,? Does anyone know of good videos/teachers on youtube? I am not really serious, so I am not looking to take face-to-face lessons at this point.
Ben, (@BanjoBen) , if you ever want to add another instrument…:rofl::joy:


This came to mind since this is on the forum. I believe it is the only one like it though. :disappointed_relieved::


Check out Troy Brenningmeyer on YouTube.

I’ve been working on Dobro myself. He’s a really good teacher and very easy to follow. Also, go to his site… You can buy individual lessons (which can be a little pricey so be sure what you want).

I like Ben’s way better (becoming a member and having access to everything), but as far as learning Dobro, Troy does a good job teaching and has plenty of beginner to intermediate lessons.

And yes, that’s the correct spelling on Troy’s last name.

Let me know what you think or if you find something else that’s good.



I’ve played a coupla dobro before, and as a banjo picker, it was easy to figure out a few tunes like cripple creek, fireball mail, John Henry, but I’d also like to learn more (I’d also like to own a dobro, but that isn’t likely any time soon :cry: ) I think this is one of Ben’s most frequently requested site additions, but sadly, it is not happening any time soon either. I’ve seen a few of Troy Brenningmeyer’s vids on YouTube, and they seem legit. But don’t limit your search to dobro, also search lap steel and wiessemborn lessons, cuz you might find some wisdom or technique in those

Thanks @Fisherbro; @jw11; and @Dragonslayer! I will check those out!

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Thinking about learning Dobro as well. Wondering what kind of Resonator to choose. I want a round neck but the biscuit vs spider question there I’m not sure.

What’s the difference ‘functionally’ between a round neck and a square neck?

If I understand correctly, a round neck is played essentially like a guitar and a square neck is played flat on your lap.

I heard that the square neck is the kind typically used for country/bluegrass. Could be wrong though… I will be learning square neck because that is what we have! :laughing:

The round neck reso is usually used for styles like blues, or as an acoustic guitar with more volume. It is frequently played with a bottleneck slide, or just fretted. It does not, however, make regular appearances in bluegrass. The square neck is played flat on the lap, or suspended flat from a strap if standing. It is most commonly used in bluegrass, but occasionally finds itself playing country, swampy blues, and even some rock. It is for all intents and purposes played the same as an acoustic lap steel. If I bought a dobro, it would definitely be a square neck. @seeligdan, I think I’ve heard that the biscuit is good for blues and spider is good for bluegrass, but that might be only on square necks. The best place to ask would be . They have the most info, and would be a good place to find lessons

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What dragonslayer says is true. I want to play both styles but am leaning towards a brighter sounding spider. Thinking about this one. Heard good things about it. My friend plays a round neck and it sounds great. Like the idea of being able to fret as well.

Thanks for all the feedback, answer my query and a whole lot more

Oh one more thing, without modifying them, you can’t play round neck like a square or vice versa. If you try to play round neck with a slide bar on your lap, the weight of the bar will make the strings fret out and sound wrong. And if you try to fret a square neck… well, let’s not think about that. I think it’s easier to mod the round neck to play lap style than the other way round

I have a round neck dobro that I have this on:

I can play it with a slide just like a sqare neck dobro, and I can take it off and play it a guitar, in theory. It very badly needs a setup because I rarely play it that way so it doesn’t matter much. I used it to record the dobro track in a version of Come Thou Fount that I shared a while ago on the form.

Yep! That’s the mod if you want to play square neck, but only have a round neck because you’re a red neck and now you want to break my neck which will get a noose around your neck and your loved ones will weep on each others necks



Troy has a new sight called []. It’s all the same lessons but you can become a member and have access to everything.


I hope to add more one day! By the way, I recently stocked the steel I like to use the most:


Wow, Ben looks like a teenager in this video. Amazing talent. Is there anything you can’t play?

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You won’t see me pickin’ up a fiddle in public.