Reply To: Questions & Answers

Rob Ickes
Hi Todd,
Great observations! A few thoughts-
In #2-you mention how you spent much of the song time figuring out what you were going to play when it was time for your solo, and that is great! Use that time to try and quickly work something up.  This situation is also GREAT ear training. You’re learning how to quickly put a solo together, and this is a skill that I learned from playing in jam sessions.  And I use the same skill today when I’m in the recording studio and I have a short a mount of time to put a solo together.  It’ll get faster/easier the more you do this. You are starting to connect your ears, your mind and your hands, good stuff…
BTW-It’s fantastic that you are starting this process by playing with people. There are some things you cannot learn by yourself, you must go out into the “real world” and experience all this great stuff.
In #4-If you’re playing the “Tom Dooley” solo from this website, that is from my version, which is similar to the Doc Watson version.  I learned it from Doc’s recording.  I never cared much for the Kingston Trio version, even when I was a kid! (:
No worries that you “forgot everything you knew about the Dobro,” it’ll get easier!  You’re still very new to this game.  And like I said before- There are some things you cannot learn by yourself.  You cant practice how to deal with nerves if you only play by yourself. You have to get out there and do it!
In #5-RE: starting a song-there is not one answer to this question, it just depends on the situation. For most songs I am kicking off, I will try and play a solo that sticks close to the melody. It gives the band something to grab onto and minimizes confusion, especially if you’re at a jam session where maybe some people aren’t familiar with the tune. So the solo you learned here on the site would be perfect for kicking that one off.
Re: calling breaks out, you can certainly do that. At a jam, I like it when the solos just go around the circle in a linear fashion.  This keeps the confusion (re: when to take a solo) to a minimum, but I realize that it is not always possible to do this. Eye contact comes in very handy for things like this, which can be tricky on the Dobro because we tend to be looking down at the fretboard a lot…So everyone-look up as much as you can and make some eye contact with your fellow jammers!
Great questions Todd, I’m sure many of our folks on this site will get a lot from this discussion!



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