Square Neck Resonator

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

Square Neck Resonator

Postby ballard6449 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:23 am

I realize that Roundneck Rezzies are the standard setup to do blues slide; however, I'm thinking about looking into a Square Neck Reso to play some blues (and a little bluegrass when the mood hits). I'm a keyboard guy wanting to learn another instrument. I don't play guitar but I love the sound and feel of the Resonator and want to learn to play. I realize that I'd be giving up the capability to fret as well as slide by not getting the round neck; however, since I don't know guitar yet I think the sqaure neck will be easier to pickup. Plus I like the thought of being to "look down" on what I'm playing (kind of like when you play the keys). Thoughts? Am I missing something that I outta be thinking about. Your input is appreciated.


'
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Re: Square Neck Resonator

Postby NEONMOONY » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:04 pm

Watermelon Slim plays blues lap style.
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Re: Square Neck Resonator

Postby La.Blue » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:20 pm

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Re: Square Neck Resonator

Postby 5_iron » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:47 pm

Dive in and go for it! I pretty much went in 'cold' to square neck (never really played standard guitar) and I've been slidin' and hammerin' away for 5 years now. Blues, bluegrass, country, celtic - all within your reach. I sorta' like the novelty factor...people take notice when you jam with others. Check out the Regal Black Lightning or Beard Goldtones - both reasonably priced and very versatile.

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Re: Square Neck Resonator

Postby ballard6449 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:12 am

5_Iron

Well I did it! Ordered me a Beard Gold Tone, picked up a tone bar and wondering what else I need. I already have a Chromatic Tuner and Metronome.
Also, when you started 5 years ago where did you do your "learnin"? Can't find any Square Neck teachers in my area.... Ideas?
Much appreciated!
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Re: Square Neck Resonator

Postby gaucho » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:29 pm

Check out this guy online. That's a good site for square neck players too:

http://www.resohangout.com/my/LessonsWithTroy
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Re: Square Neck Resonator

Postby 5_iron » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:37 pm

Ballard,
Welcome to the world of square neck / dobro / lap slide (all valid terms). Congrats on the Gold Tone! I have one and it is my main axe. Here are my suggestions in no particular order. As usual, feel free to use what's helpful and ignore the rest.

First, here are some web sites you'll find helpful in your journey.

Reso-Nation

http://www.reso-nation.org/

Steel Guitar Forum

http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewforu ... 8a5348d0a8

Rob Anderlik tutorial site

http://www.robanderlik.com/

Tunings: Lots of opinions on this one, all valid ones. For blues I'd recommend Open D (DADF#AD L to H), or Open G (DGDGBD) - although personally I use Open D and it has many advantages IMO. Many of the dobro players out there use G tuning (GBDGBD) which is awesome for bluegrass...BUT you are missing some Blues opportunities with that tuning as you won't find a good alternating bass line method. In my experience Open D gives you the best of all worlds...PLUS when you get the inevitable urge to plug in with electric lap steel, you can use Open E tuning (exact same relationships as Open D but tuned up a step) - this puts Duane, Derek, Ellmore, and many others at your fingertips. Oh by the way...to get G Dobro type stuff I simply capo at fret 5 in Open D. Interestingly, I can get good banjo type tones if I intentionally leave some 'buzz' between capo and strings. Very cool for bluegrass.

Technique: Learn to finger pick. It is hard. You will fumble and clang, but it opens up many techniques like rolls and bass rhythms. It took me a good 9 months before I felt like I had the basics going for me. But it's worth the investment. Start your sliding at the top (treble D) string and learn to play simple melodic stuff to work on your vibrato. THen weave in your thumb bass line patterns...sliding on high strings...voila, alt blues slide!

Instruction: I'd be surprised if nobody in your area taught dobro or lap. What neck of the woods are you from? Guess I'm lucky in that I have a ton of great musicians at my disposal in Northern CA. If you don't have access to an instructor, use Rob Anderlik's materials (free on line), and get Bob Brozman's lap slide blues DVDs.

References: Listen to Kelly Joe Phelps (older stuff like Shine Eyed Mr Zen, Lead Me On), Harry Manx, Jerry Douglas (mostly bluegrass but awesome), and David Lindley (weissenborn and lap steel). As noted, Black Ace and Watermelon Slim are also good Blues references.

I think that's a start. Good luck and keep us posted!

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Re: Square Neck Resonator

Postby ballard6449 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:11 am

Gaucho, thanks for the LINK! I checked out "Lessons With Troy" and it seems pretty comprehensive.

5-Iron,
Great info! Thanks for providing me a bunch to "chew on". I really appreciate your response
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Re: Square Neck Resonator

Postby ballard6449 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:14 am

Oh, 5-Iron on the teacher.

I live in the San Antonio area. I've contacted all the Guitar Shops, done web searches out the gazoo, checked out Craigslist and find nothing.
Someone gave me a lead the other day that I'm going to check out. There's a weekly Bluegrass Jam in the City and I'm going to go and listen and see if anyone there knows of someone
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Re: Square Neck Resonator

Postby De Ferre » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:54 pm

I play blues lap style and I love it.
Give it a try!!! :)
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