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Square neck vs round neck on dobro

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  • Square neck vs round neck on dobro

    I'm looking to pick up a dobro in the next few weeks and am not sure what the advantage a square neck has over a round neck. What does the square neck offer that might make it worth considering over a round neck?

    Thanks,
    Derek

    If knowing is half the battle.. what's the other half?

  • #2
    Are you planning to play it ala "spanish guitar" or as a lap steel?
    "Nobody ever reads a book and says what a great alphabet" -Bob Brozman (about playing and emotion)



    Check out some of the stuff I've been listening to

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    • #3
      I'm looking to pick up a dobro in the next few weeks and am not sure what the advantage a square neck has over a round neck. What does the square neck offer that might make it worth considering over a round neck?

      Thanks,
      Derek

      Square-necked resonator guitars are set up to be played with a bar or a slide, lap-style; round-necks are for regular fretting or slide playing in the normal posture.

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      • #4
        I will primarily be using it like a lap steel but it seems like with the round neck, you'd be able to do the same thing. Does having a square neck offer any benefits over having a round neck? Soundwise? Playing wise? Sustain wise?

        I'm trying to understand what the benefit of a square neck and what it brings to the table that a round neck doesn't.

        I appologize for my lack of knowledge here..

        Derek
        If knowing is half the battle.. what's the other half?

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        • #5
          The first guitar I ever had was my Grandfather's old square neck dobro. I never
          met my Grandfather, because he died before I was born. Apparently he
          lowered the action on the guitar, so it could be played like a standard acoustic
          instead of slide. I started learning on this guitar, which was pretty much
          torture to play, but it was still better than no guitar.
          "Consider everything, believe nothing" Elgar.

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          • #6
            Get a round neck. You can play bottle neck blues. You can also play it like a regular guitar. Then if you want you can get a nut elevater to raise the strings so you can play it as a lap steel. Much more versatile. At the end of the day if you decide that dodro isn't for you the roud neck ones hold their resale value more. As far as the sound I don't see a difference.

            I personally prefer wood body to metal and steel body to brass.
            What good is a guitar without a guitarist?
            What good is a guitarist without a guitar?

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            • #7
              The standard tuning for bluegrass dobro is GBDGBD and usually pretty heavy strings are used. The neck of a squareneck is much stronger to withstand that. Also, a spider bridge supports much of the string tension - tuning a biscuit that way would crush the cone. You'll also note that the tuner knobs point up on a squareneck - since you are playing lap style that makes them easier to get at. Most squarenecks come with a very tall nut and some don't even have frets (they have markers but no wire). Set up like this they are always played with a steel bar (Shubb, Stevens, etc). Think Jerry Douglas, Cindy Cashdollar, etc.

              You can play a round neck lap style (but might want to think about tuning it up to dobro G), but it is almost impossible to play a squareneck Spanish style. Most people tune their roundnecks to either standard, or to open G or D. Roundnecks are further divided by cone type (biscuit, spider, tri) and body materials (wood, brass, steel). The can be played fretted or with a slide. Think old bluesmen (Bukka, Blind Boy Fuller, etc), EC in "Unplugged", early Bonnie Raitt, etc.

              my two roundies

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              • #8
                Derek, If you are new to the whole world of resonators, I have done a little Word document called "Resos 101" that talks about all the differences and has a huge number of references at the end. I am a blues style player so it is oriented that way - there is very little about bluegrass (squarenecks). If you would like a copy PM or e-mail me your e-mail addy and I'll send it to you. It is on another computer so I can't send it until monday.

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